HIT CHANNEL INTERVIEW: September 2011. We had the great luck to talk with a very talented and socially active person: Film and Broadway actress and gifted singer/songwriter Nellie McKay. Nellie’s last solo album is “Home Sweet Mobile Home”. She had also a notable role in “PS.I Love You” film. Read below the interesting things she told us:
Are you satisfied from the result and the feedback you’ve already received from fans and press for ‘Home Sweet Mobile Home’?
Every kind word is a bonus – I’m always happy if people like my music.
Are you writing any new material this period for a next studio album?
Seems I am always writing new music – our bass player Alexi is from Cyprus and I would love to record with baglamas (ed: Do it! Baglamas has a great cry-like sound!).
Verve has been a life jacket in the rough waters of the music business. John Fogerty is a treasure – I would love to do a version of “Proud Mary” with him (ed: I’m dying to see this!)
Do you feel privileged for having Geoff Emerick (The Beatles standard engineer and producer’s George Martin, right hand) as producer in your debut album ‘Get Away From Me’? Do you have happy memories from these recordings?
Geoff is number one – he has the best ears in the business. “Get Away From Me” was a lot of work but Geoff is absolutely committed to doing a great job. I’d love to work with him again and especially love to eat with him because he lets me have all the food.
How difficult is to split your time between music and acting or do you think it’s actually the same thing (performing)?
Music is nice because you’re your own boss. Acting is nice because it’s make believe.
Recording with Clark Terry or Ry Cooder would be a dream come true.
Were you a fan of Amy Winehouse’s music?Did you get shocked by her death?
I liked her music and I liked her. I hope she’s in a better place now – there are worse things than death. Her audience was too hard on her; she was put on a pedestal then knocked into a pit. Maybe she didn’t always do what was expected but Amy Winehouse was never boring and we were lucky to know as much of her as we did.
Who could you say have influenced you the most in your life?
My dog Bessie teaches me patience and focus, Pee Wee’s Playhouse taught me how to have fun, and Howard Zinn gives me the courage to look at the truth.
With who director you’d like to work with in a film? With David Lynch for example?
Guy Maddin’s movies are wonderful – ‘The Saddest Music in the World’ is one of my favorites. I would love to work with Rob Reiner again. I’ve met Mike Nichols and would enjoy improvising with him. Mike White mixes humor and politics beautifully. I’m itching to work with Larry David or Woody Allen.
You’re a politically consious artist. Which one thing you wish you could change about America?
How can I pick just one? Here are 3:
1. An end to corporate welfare – they’ve been ruling this country while bleeding it for too long.
2. An end to institutionalized violence – whether it’s towards animals, the environment or people, in war, ‘detention centers’ or the prison/police state.
3. Universal healthcare.
Have you ever been in Greece? Send a message to Greek listeners.
I haven’t been to Greece but I love Socrates?! Thank you for banning the use of animals in circuses (ed: Sorry, this is not happening in fact). Watch out Athens, here we come!
A big “Thank you” to Nellie McKay and to Mrs Robin Pappas.