As you may have gathered from our Twitter feed earlier this week, we were utterly thrilled on Tuesday when we somehow found ourselves taking afternoon tea with Kylie Minogue! Admittedly there were about 50 other journalists there, but still. The star hosted the event to promote the October 29th release of ‘The Abbey Road Sessions‘, as well as her and William Baker’s stunning new book ‘Kylie/Fashion‘ (released November 19th by Thames & Hudson – more on that later).
Here’s what Kylie had to say when she joined our table for a chat!
On the inspiration behind the ‘The Abbey Road Sessions’:
“It’s exploring other avenues – but I don’t think it takes me completely away from the dancefloor, because I’m still a sucker for that, I still love it. But I think it just rounds things up, makes things more whole and satisfies a different place in me. I think Anti-Tour was a complete indulgence – for the fans and for me, I’m not going to lie – I loved doing it. And the Proms really brought this to life for me. It’s the only live performance I’ve done of these tracks, and it was typical of me – I’ve never even been to the Proms and the first time I go is closing night at Hyde Park, doing something I’ve never done before, greaaaat (laughs).
Kylie Minogue ‘Can’t Get You Out Of My Head’ Live at BBC Proms 2012
“But I think this process started a while ago, in my tours since about ’98. I’m not really counting the very early ones, where I didn’t really have a clue what I was doing, and was just kind of jumping up and down – but from 1998, that’s the first time we did a ‘torch’ version of ‘…Lucky’. So kind of owning the songs, moulding them and seeing what else we could do with them. And since then, [my musical director] Steve Anderson and I have always wedged in a couple of classical moments in each concert. [The Abbey Road Sessions] just gave us the opportunity to fully ‘go there’.
“But I’ve still got my eye on the dancefloor, for sure, and I’ll be working on that next year.”
On the Abbey Road tracks that brought back the strongest memories:
“Locomotion, for sure. I actually love the version on this album, because I’ve done it in so many ways, and this version comes back, not to ‘my’ version, but to the ‘60s version. It was so much fun to record – one of my favourite parts of recording was doing the ‘Do the lo, do the lo, do the loco-loco-motion’ parts with the whole band and all the engineers doing the live handclaps.
“I’d say the most surprising was ‘Never Too Late’, which is just so gut-wrenching, so sad. A lot of the PWL songs, like ‘…Lucky’, ‘Better The Devil You Know’, ‘Never Too Late’, they’re actually all really sad lyrics. And [in the Abbey Road] form, like a lot of really classic pop songs, you hear that they’re actually from a really tortured place, but we’re normally going ‘Woohoohoo, isn’t this great!’ while we’re singing them.
Kylie Minogue ‘On A Night Like This’ at Abbey Road
On potential future collaborations:
“I’ve said for ages that I’d like to work with Brandon Flowers [of The Killers]. I love The Killers. Another would be Jonsi of Sigur Ros, I still love that album and hammer it all the time. As for girls, there’s a wealth of amazing girl pop artists, so aside from all the obvious ones, there’s a girl called Kimbra, who sang on Gotye’s ‘Somebody That I Used To Know’. I met her earlier this year, so someone like that would be amazing. Someone who’s starting out, like Sky Ferreira. I appreciate the girls who are out there doing it better than anyone, like Beyonce, and also the ones who are starting out and going down their own road. I’m somewhere in the middle I suppose.
On X Factor 2012:
“Ella and Jade are great. And Jahmene. His voice is out of this world. It’s just off the scale! I love Rylan of course. I mean without Rylan, what would we all be talking about?! I’m asked [about judging, and appearing on similar shows] all the time – I was just saying earlier that I haven’t been able to say yes to anything.
“I know from my sister what a commitment it is, and it’s full-on. It’s a great way to be in people’s living rooms constantly for a few months, and that part of it, that communication with the audience, I would like. But I don’t know. If [my team] suddenly said, “Right, something’s happened, you’ve got to go in, and you are now in the seat”… I would do it. But I think thinking about it is more scary than actually just going and doing it. But, you know, those shows are here to stay, and I’m sure I’ve got something to offer. I just haven’t committed. I haven’t gone there yet.”
Kylie Minogue ‘Finer Feelings’ at Abbey Road
On deciding the Abbey Road tracklist:
“We managed to get a lot on there! A lot were quite obvious choices – ‘…Lucky’; ‘Locomotion’; Colin Elliot’s interpretation of ‘Better The Devil You Know’. It was good to have Steve Anderson, a guy I’ve always worked with, and Colin Elliot, who I haven’t worked with before. He doesn’t normally work with someone like me, so it was good to have someone who knows my music inside out, as well as someone else that could bring something we wouldn’t think of. And then we had a week’s rehearsal just to see what worked. That was really fun because there was no real pressure.
“It was amazing to be Elisa Day again [on ‘Where The Wild Roses Grow'], I was so thrilled that Nick Cave agreed to do it. We recorded it together, and we were doing a little bit of filming on that day, and he didn’t want to be filmed, so we were like, “It’s OK! It’s not required!” I gave him lots of hugs and made a fool of myself. Sometimes you don’t hear your own song for years so we had to go through it first and remind ourselves of who did what.”
On her public persona:
“I think I was discussing Holy Motors when I said, ‘My persona is Kylie, as soon as I step out of my house I have that projection of me – but that isn’t necessarily who I am’. I was probably talking about having to not be Kylie in this film. If I’m doing my own show I can do whatever I want, I can play a character, but the audience is still there to see a Kylie show. But being a character in a film involves a different set of things.
“The way things are now, with the paparazzi outside your house, or, I don’t know, if someone recognises me while I’m in a restaurant…I don’t have a clue what that person’s life is like, or what they think, but they might have an idea of who they think I am. Probably a lot of that is to do with the fact that I’ve always been pretty open with my audience, but that’s not the sum of it. I think that’s what I was getting at.”
Kylie Minogue ‘Flower’
On the ‘Kylie / Fashion’ book (published by Thames & Hudson):
“I’ve just seen it, in fact! Putting that together [with long-term creative collaborator William Baker] was actually a lot harder than making this album. You know, as organised as anyone thinks their office is, it’s not that organised! Trying to collate material from the last 25 years and it’s all on different formats, whether it be negatives, transparencies, weird discs from the mid-‘90s that no one even knows how to read anymore…then digitising all of it, getting the quality good enough, getting permission from all the photographers – it’s a nightmare job. It’s funny when you think, ‘Oh, I’ll just put a nice selection of pictures together….’ No!
“I didn’t nuke all the embarrassing looks, some of those are still in there. It was interesting looking back at all of those… I just tweeted a picture of me and Jazzi P from 1991, taken on the ‘Shocked’ video set…(shakes head, does Edina Monsoon voice)…There were definitely a few fashion disasters darling, you know. But hey, I think most people can relate to that.”
And with that, she was gone. WE LOVE YOU KYLIE!
(A big thank you to Stuart at EMI for inviting us along x)
Kylie Minogue – The Abbey Road Sessions (album sampler)