Is the next record going to be an even split between originals and covers?
No, I think I'm going to leave the covers by the wayside. I didn't feel very strongly about those songs. And the more time passes, the less feelings I have attached to them. I think the ones that I've written myself adapt and molt and meld into current situations. They can adapt to being expressed differently much more easily than covers can, for me.
Did you ever get any reaction from the Bee Gees regarding "Inside And Out?"
No, but wouldn't that be great? I'm not sure they've even heard it. Probably every two days they get CDs sent from people covering their stuff.
Well, your cover is particularly gorgeous.
Aww... well, thanks. Let's see if Barry thinks so. Maybe I'll get on his radar some day.
If you had the opportunity to work with any musician/ producer of your choice, who would you choose?
I often to listen to voices and imagine who would be the ultimate person to sing a duet with—for my own joy factor. And I know it's sort of a mainstream answer, but I do think that Chris Martin [of Coldplay] has a phenomenal voice, and I would love one day to sing something with him.
The New York Times did a story on modern French chanteuses, which included Keren Ann, Coralie Clement, and yourself. Do you see this as a scene? Are you a fan of Keren Ann or Coralie?
I know of Keren Ann of course, because every time I'm in a magazine, she's in the same one. And in fact, I played a concert with Broken Social Scene in Toronto, but just as I got to the gig, Keren Ann had finished playing. She was opening for Broken Social Scene. And I was like, "Damn! It was gonna be my one chance to see her play." But I missed her, so I went to her dressing room to say hi cos I'm sure she may have heard my name as much as I've heard hers. But I guess she left immediately after her gig. I can't say I feel part of any scene. I mean scenes, they can either be from the inside where you feel a community, or they can be from the outside where people just perceive a similarity between you and people that you actually don't know anything about. And they might all say the same thing—that we all worked independently of each other and we just seem to be striking a similar chord in people, but it doesn't mean we have much in common. But we may. I don't know their music. I might hear it and be like, "Oh my God, those are my sisters."
How did you land the opportunity to sing with French legend Juliette Greco?
Ahhh...The Juliette Greco thing—I can't even tell you. I've found my mentor. She's the most amazing, beautiful, giving, generous, encouraging woman I've ever met. She has a real greatness about her. She's a great with a capital G. And I got to sing with her in this really strange context of her and her husband—he's her pianist. They've been playing together and married for 40 years. There's this really famous song that defines her called "Le Javanese," which is something about the dance of coffee. And the national TV station, Canal Plus, was having their birthday party—a four-hour live broadcast birthday with millions of people playing songs and talking—and they asked if we would open the show with her and her husband. They would do the first half of the song in the traditional way, and then Gonzales and I did the second half. Kind of like the old guard passing the torch to the new guard.
It was really cool. Actually when I played my last concert in Paris, Juliette sent me a bouquet of flowers and a note that said, "Tonight, Paris is yours!" It was such a classy gesture. Pretty spectacular. She's someone I have unending respect for. And she's in her eighties by the way.
And she's still performing?
Yeah, she's still playing and she's laughing her ass off.
What was the last record that really impressed you?
I bought the M.I.A. record after I saw her play at SXSW. And I don't know what influence this has, except for helping me wake up in the morning because I'll roll over and turn it on, and it'll help me go. I think it's one of the best records out there right now.