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Thursday, April 6, 2000

Jann Arden chat transcript

Jann Arden Hi everyone, we're about to start!

Lynn Holt: Jann: It's Lynn from Las Vegas here, eagerly awaiting my copy of 'BRC' in today's FedEx delivery. Any plans to reconquer the states sometime soon? We miss you down here. And last tour I had to haul my entourage all the way to Victoria to see you live. (Well worth it, of course.) Thanks in advance for the great music on the new CD.

Jann Arden Wow, yes we're going to be dealing with American stuff in the next few weeks. Because of Universal buying my label, A & M, things are up in the air slightly. But I will definitely have an American release in the next 20 weeks

Corey Davidson, Toronto: Hi Jann! What was the reasoning behind the use of drum machines and tape loops on "Blood Red Cherry"? (Personally, I think they sound great and that this is your finest album to date.)

Jann Arden Hmmm, I think I was really feeling complacent with the style that I had been using over the last 20 years. Which was basically me sitting at my kitchen table with my guitar. I think with using the technology that's out there right now, I was able to write from a more rhythmical place. Also, my guitar player Russel Broom was instrumental in this technology.

Anne Lawson-Darrah: What made you think of doing a duet with Jim Cuddy from Blue Rodeo? Good choice.

Jann Arden I was fortunate enough to be travelling with Jim in a car in Ontario, we were both going to a charity function. And I just asked him if he was interested in singing on other people's records. He was in New Orleans and I was in L.A. when he sang his part. I sent him the tape there and he ended up singing a verse as well, which made it really special.

Tommy from Texas: Love everything about you Jann. Have you considered possibly putting out an acoustic album? I haven't had the opportunity to see you live yet, but I've seen some footage and I'm blown away. I would walk through fire for an acoustic album. Love ya.

Jann Arden I could have used you in High School. An acoustic album isn't out of the question but I think it's a few years away. One thing I do want to do is a live record, possibly even on this next tour, recording it. And we're able to do a lot of really great acoustic versions of my songs. I'm taping a couple of nights of my tour for a television show and would also like to do a live record. I've been recording for 10 years and it's kind of overdue for me to do a live album.

Clari Sizer, Markha: Has your sense of humour ever gotten you into trouble?

Jann Arden No, it's gotten me out of a lot of trouble

Jed from Winnipeg: Hey Jann, Congratulations on the new album. I understand there were a lot of changes when you made this record (new management, new label), but you continue working with producer Ed Cherney. What makes him the kind of producer you want to keep working with?

Jann Arden He's incredibly funny and he's a great listener and I think he just understands, as a person. So everything else really comes truly to him.

Shaun Nixon: How does Touring Affect U as a person?

Jann Arden Well, it's extremely tiring, it's exciting but tiring. You must put your personal self aside completely for the period you're touring. You just have to find a way to create a routine for yourself, eat really well, rest and make sure you exercise. You really have to spend a lot of time on the phone with family and friends because you do get really lonesome.

M. Woodcock: Which musician would you most want to perform with most if you had the chance (either living or dead)?

Jann Arden ABBA - seriously, I just love them. I saw that band, Bjorn Again and it was hilarious. Either that or Karen and Richard Carpenter.

Jeri: I love the lead track on the new album, "Waiting In Canada". What inspired it?

Jann Arden Being a hopeless romantic, I think. I think sometimes in Canada we can feel a bit isolated by American culture, and I think for artists here it gets increasingly harder to stay. So for me it was kind of my way of saying I'm not leaving here. I'm not coming to you anymore, so you have to come to me.

Marlene: Hi Jann, i'm quite proud of your accomplishments. I must also say that my love of music has helped me through some very depressed times in my life. Also, women like you and many others give me strength and hope to carry on in life. Any advice for a woman who will be starting over at 50, alone and pretty much penniless? Take care and much continued success.

Jann Arden I wish her much success in her new life. Every day we have an opportunity to literally re-create ourselves. It's so easy to look back over our shoulders because it seems comfortable. It seems less frightening to stay in a bad situation than to change everything and embrace this complete newness. I think faith is bigger than confidence. I think being confident can let you down. But I think having faith in yourself will never let you down. I'm so glad ... I'll be 40 soon and I'm so grateful to be getting older and more comfortable with myself. I've never felt better.

Jer Fairall: Hey Jann!! Looking forward to seeing you in Windsor, Ont., again! We seem to love you here (me especially). Just curious, what have you been listening to lately? Yr Top 10 albums of 1999, maybe?

Jann Arden Radiohead, I love all their records. Semisonic, Filter, Macy Gray, Travis I always listen to ABBA Heather Nova Sarah Brightman's newest record Buena Vista Social Club Anything by Cesaria Evora and Frank Sinatra and Petula Clark

Blugrsgrl: Are you ever the difficult one in a relationship?

Jann Arden I am never the difficult person. And I get hurt every time because of it. Honest to God, I am so easy going. I like doing anything, I like doing nothing, I'm an excellent cook. And I don't know what my problem is. Like many women, I sort of repeat relationships. I choose the same type, which is jobless. All I can say is that comedians are the most unfunny people in the world. NEVER DATE A COMEDIAN or a fire-fighter or a musician

Stompin' Elvis Connors: I know there's a song called Cherry Popsicle on the new record, but how did you arrive at Blood Red Cherry as an album title?

Jann Arden I had an epiphany and I thought "My God those three words sound great'. That's the whole story. I think it means everything that you think it means.

Lisa: Hi, Jann! Can you please tell me what kind of acoustic guitars you use. And do you use the same kind on stage as you do in the studio? Thanks.

Jann Arden Yes, I use a couple of different kinds: Fender Guilds, a 1952 Martin (very small body 00D18) I also use an old Melody Maker Gibson guitar from the '50s for "Wishing That".


Jann Arden Check my website, I'll be update the tour list there. jannarden.com

Margaret Beres: Jann - I caught you appearing on channel 2, Edmonton noon news hour on Wed., Mar. 29. Calgary has been good to you - so why would you sit there and diss them like that - Flames stink, Stamps are no good - not very nice, Jann!!

Jann Arden Oh, be quiet! It's just disappointing when your teams don't get into the play-offs if you're a season-tickets holder.

Elijah from Ottawa: Jann, What inspired the new song, I Only Wanted Sex?

Jann Arden I think the title speaks volumes. I don't think there's any need to look any deeper into that. That song absolutely says what it means and I was feeling frisky.

Montreal: Inside the album, you say: "To every dog that's ever been thrown out of a speeding car in the dead of night without a prayer of ever finding their way home, this is for you." What does that mean?

Jann Arden It's about people that have no voice, that feel like they don't. Hopefully they can find solace with the music. I also happen to love pets.

Fire_Butterfly: Jann, do you write songs based on your emotions or what you believe people want to hear. I don't mean to rude or anything, i just want to know if the songs that you write are about you.

Jann Arden For the most part they're about me but I'm not sure what part of me. It's hard to pin-point, every song is very real to me. I don't try to cater to anybody but myself.

Norma: Not only are you a very funny person, but a great talk show host. Do you have any new plans to do any TV/radio talk or information shows?

Jann Arden No, I won't be doing anything like that. I really don't have very much time and I think if I do something like that, it's years down the road.

Sleepdemon: Jann, just heard you talking on the radio here in Guelph, Ontario. Was glad to hear you. I was wondering, have you ever had any regrets about your music career?? And if so, why?

Jann Arden No regrets. I don't have any regrets about anything I've ever done. Life is unfolding as it should. My greatest personal discoveries resulted from failure.

Jill: I was looking at your tour itinerary, and it seems incredibly gruelling, with very few off days. What kinds of things do you do to get through it? Could you describe a typical day on the road? Thanks.

Jann Arden Lots of sleep, which is difficult on a bus, but I really try and have a routine. I have coffee and I read the paper in the morning no matter where I am. Lots of fresh air whether it's a walk or a bike ride. The dates are close together but it's the only way to be cost effective.

Toronto: Janeen is just about the nastiest song you've ever written. Fess up, is there a real Janeen? You say she's on TV, so is it someone we know?

Jann Arden I can't answer that. It might be and it might not be. I would never point a finger.

Tony Baloney: The new video has a very different look from previous ones. Did you work with Jeth Weinrich again?

Jann Arden Yes. We had no story, we never have a story so don't ever try to find the story. We just shot it all on digital camera, transferred to film. Then a whole bunch of us spent days scratching the film, and that's what we came up with.

Allison: Hi Jann I read in a hockey magazine that you played hockey. Do you follow the women's world championship now on in Ontario. Canada and the USA are the teams to beat....

Jann Arden I really don't follow it at all. I'm sorry. But I hope Canada wins. I did play hockey when I was a kid.

Kelly: How's your Mom, Jann?

Jann Arden My mom is exceptional. I was just at Winners with her yesterday. I bought underpants and my mother bought some pants for $8


Jann Arden She misunderstood me a bit. They always say is this my best work ever and they never are, they're just work. I think my first record is every bit as good as this new one. CDs are just capturing that piece of time.

Christine: I just adore Blood Red Cherry, but I want to go back to Living Under June, to the song 'Good Mother'. You say "I've never wanted anything so bad". What does this mean?

Jann Arden To be yourself. Look at the lyrics, the answer is in the song

Bubbles: I read that you lost 35 pounds. How did you do it? (you are a great artist)

Jann Arden I really started eating more often, more proteins and I just walk a lot.

Gail: Do your parents ever go to your live shows? By the way you do excellent impersonations of your Mom (even though I've never met her...consistently funny!)

Jann Arden My parents come and see me every tour, they come to a show. And they always offer to pay. But they're very funny, and my mom is exactly how I do her.

John: Hi Jann, I was wondering if you think the Internet is a good way to promote your work?

Jann Arden I think it's an extremely valuable tool. I really think technology is only as good as the nut behind the wheel. I think we're all aware of the abuse that goes on on the Internet and the negative aspects of it, but I also am one of those people that believes it really can change the world and make it much better.

Alexis (lex@nbamail.org: hey what happened with Lin Elder - she is not on the new CD....that is such a loss, great voice and great stage presence ( sp ) Who is replacing her ?? OH and congrats on the new site it is very entertaining...CD is very good - love Cherry Popsicle

Jann Arden Lin is just doing her own thing now. Lin is irreplaceable, but we do have a fairly different band this year.

Lisa Pearlman: hi jann: it is Lisa from Toronto....bleak day here as well...good to have the opportunity to chat....my question is, "what will be the next single released from BRC?"

Jann Arden 'Into the Sun' in probably six weeks.

Jer Fairall: Who's opening for you on this tour? There are a lot of talented young Canadian artists out there (Emm Gryner, for example) who could really benefit from the exposure that you have helped give others in the past (ie - Melanie Doane, whose name I hope I spelled correctly)

Jann Arden I don't have an opening act. Actually it's intentional. There's kind of a special thing that's going on in my own crew. That's a secret! But there will be something and it involves someone in my actual crew.

Dee: Jann, I love your music (saw you in Eddyvile a few years back) and I'll be seeing you here in Montreal. Just wondering what colour of underwear you bought at Winner's.

Jann Arden I bought white underpants.


Jann Arden Usually if you hang out after the show I always make time to sign things.

Magus Herbian: How does it feel to have people ass kissing you now, and telling you you're great, when before, there was nothing but silence at the start and no support?

Jann Arden I don't think I've ever felt unsupported .And I really don't think I have people kissing my ass. Not that I'm aware of.

Jen: In almost all the interviews and concert reviews I've read about you, the writer mentions the weird gap between your sense of humour when you're talking and the very serious nature of your songs. On the new album, there seem to be a couple of songs where you're trying to close that gap. Have you consciously tried to reconcile the two?

Jann Arden I don't think it's conscious, it just started creeping out a little bit. Comedy and tragedy are the same thing.

Allen: On Another Human Being, there's that image of kids chasing a candy truck in Africa. Did you visit Africa, and why did that image stick with you?

Jann Arden We were the candy truck. When we went to Africa we drove around in Range Rovers and gave candy out to the kids, so when they saw us coming the next day, they knew we had candy so they chased us as fast as their little legs could take them. I was there with World Vision on a humanitarian mission.

junior: HI Jann. I've seen you live twice and they were terrific shows. How do you decide what songs to perform?

Jann Arden It's really difficult trying to decide. I'll change things quite a bit. I'll add or take away things as the shows go on when I have a better sense of what I want to do. We'll take requests out of the audience, and I challenge the band every night.

Laurie in cowtown: Miss Arden. Preston Manning, I heard, was at your Diner. Is his a party you are for?

Jann Arden No comment

Lorna Kupchanko: Hi Jann, just wanted to say that I love your voice, music and perspective on the music industry, life etc. Two questions: I love cats. What kind of cats do you have and what do like the most about your new place - why did you buy that particular place. Hope these questions aren't too deep - thought I'd give you a break - I get tired of people asking " are you Happy ".

Jann Arden My three cats are from the SPCA. I chose my new place because it's close to my parents, little brother and my nephews.

Kim: Last summer I was in a store on 17th in Calgary and got to hold your Junos. It was great! Thanks for being an accessible Canadian Star! P.S. Come to Grande Prairie Alberta again; it will be better than before!!

Jann Arden The Junos are at Jeth's mom's store, and he's got a few at the store. The store is called Sagesse. I'm completely accessible.

Daniel Blais: In the song "Into the Sun" you mention Matthew Shepard. What are your feeling about this tragedy and what do you think it did for the gay community? (xoxo)

Jann Arden That hatred should not be tolerated. The reason the song mentions him next to JFK or Martin Luther is that his life is of equal value and is of as much importance as they are. It was about being a human being. Doesn't matter what his sexual orientation is. He's a human being!

Mike K: Jann--I was just wondering if your CD will be released in the states anytime soon. It's a shame Americans can't seem to figure out what good music is!!! All Americans seem to know about is "Insensitive", which is a great song. Don't get me wrong. But there is so much more! I just wanted to let you know you're the best! -Mike Albany NY

Jann Arden Thank you very much, Mr. New York. This record will be out down there. We're a few months away. It's about finding the right label and support to help us on our way.

Joni: Are you still big in Italy, where "Insensitive" first broke?

Jann Arden I doubt it very much. I think my last record was released there. But that song was in a commercial.

Magus Herbian: Jann, in your honest opinion, do you think the media offers the individual performer a chance to exercise control and domination over a large number of people? I'm specifically referring to the legitimation effect that broadcasting faces on television has. As a televised musician, you must know something about this.

Jann Arden That has no bearing in my life at all. I do things on my own terms. I don't cater to an type of media. My professional life and my personal life has very little to do with the media.

Nikki: Hi Jann, I was just wondering... these songs seem a lot more 'up' than in the past re. relationships, and I was wondering what caused the change? I'm glad to have some 'happy' love songs to listen to in addition to all the 'sad' ones... : )

Jann Arden I think it's just happened. Some of my saddest songs were intended to be happy but ended up very sad and some of my sad songs turned out happy. I have no idea what the hell I'm doing.

Samantha: Which male singer would you like to sing a duet with?

Jann Arden James Taylor.

Nikki: Hi Jann. Love your music. Can you tell us, is Janeen about a specific celebrity with the initials J.G.? Can't wait to see you in June!

Jann Arden No comment

Jann Arden It's not about a real person, it really isn't. A lot of people think it's about me.

angelfre: Im glad you're not a bone rack.It helps all of us that have a full womanly figure. Love you.

Jann Arden I'm happy to hear that. The average sized woman is 5'4 and 140 pounds. That is the general size of a woman in North America, so where this other thing came from is beyond me.

Lara from BC: Hey there Jann. What is your idea of a perfect day ??

Jann Arden I think every day is a perfect day, but going to Costco with my parents, not having my period, eating cold Kentucky Fried Chicken, going to see "Raiders Of The Lost Ark" on the big screen, and somebody to kiss you goodnight.

Jann Arden Thanks everybody for your questions, and my mom was standing by in case no one wrote in!

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