Wednesday, July 2, 2008
Interview: Dana Fuchs
Interview by: Lauren
You might know Dana from the movie Across the Universe, where she portrayed the role of singer/landlady Sadie, but she has her own music beyond Beatles covers!
1.When did you first get into singing? Can you remember the first music you fell in love with?
I didn’t just get into it-I felt pulled into singing by my big sister. In fact, all of my brothers are musical too. They all still dabble in music but one of my brothers is still a great singer and drummer. But the difference is that I fell in love with all the big sis/big bro music plus my own heart’s music…which includes all my influences!
2.How many albums do you and your band have out at the moment? Where can people go about buying them?
I have my debut album “Lonely for a Lifetime” out (2nd printing available soon) and I released a live album this year called “Dana Fuchs: Live in NYC”. You can buy them on iTunes and CDBABY. Links to buy are on my site www.danafuchs.com and Myspace.
3. If you could pick one statement about your music to have on the front of your album, what would it say?
Same Old Battle, Different Scars.
4.How did you end up being cast in Across the Universe? Have you done any other acting? Would you like too?
Julie Taymor wrote the party for me. Julie was given my name by the producers of “Love, Janis” and then she came and checked me out at a gig at the Mercury Lounge in NYC. After that, I did an on camera casting session at her request for another role she had in mind. That was about a year before ATU started production. It was for the party of The Death Goddess. (Think Tina Turner-upside down). So about a year after that interview, I got a call from Julie aand the script pages for Sadie kept following. And yes, I am and will be doing more acting…if you have guys have time I can tell you about how I’ve actually been acting longer than I’ve been singing…(!)
5.Was it hard to get into the role of Sadie? What did you do to prepare yourself for the movie, if anything?
I had an incredible relationship with Julie Taymor. She had a distinct vision for Sadie and it was based on her vision of me in the first place…Plus a late 1960’s Texan earth mother vibe that came 2nd nature. How did I prepare? I grew my hair and dyed it red. It was Baptism by fire. I bonded with my amazing cast mates. I let my spiritual heart go and worked my ass off on a 80 day shoot. I paid attention to Julie and my surroundings. It’s really a great question.
6.How was it to sing such infamous and classic songs? Did you have a particular favorite?
I absolutely love The Beatles. It feels like it’s a life’s honor to be able to represent those songs. But the songs deliver! “Helter Skelter” was mine to own…But “All You Need is Love” is my anthem…I cry every time I see that scene in the film between Jude and Lucy.
7.How was working with such a talented cast?
It was also an honor to work with the cast and crew of ATU. My castmates and I really fell in love with each other! Everyone, top to bottom, benefited from Ian and Dicks’ script and Julie’s vision for the film. I did have (Ahem) starstruck moments…working closely with Bono…But on the whole it was just a community Carnival-esque cast of people entirely true to the music of The Beatles and Julie’s vision. As for the music, Eliott Goldenthal is a hidden genius. Check it. I loved the music, my castmates and crewmates and frankly everyone I’ve met since doing the movie, including you! It’s officially a movement!
8.What was your favorite scene in the movie? Favorite line?
My favorite scene is the She’s So Heavy scene. Right about now, that image is deep. My favorite line is from the songs Across the Universe: “Words are flowing out like endless rain into a paper cup.” Otherwise from the film I like it when I say, “Main ryoom, living ryoom,” cuz it reminds me of my loved ones back home.
9.Any “behind-the-scenes” moments you can share about making the movie?
Yes! For you I will share that I met Joe Cocker in the studio! I got to record the scratch track from “Come Together” and he heard it and asked to meet me! So I met him in the studio in New York as he was in to record his part to replace my scratch track. Let me just say that it was a highlight of my life. As for ATU movie production, please read my blogs at my myspace page for a start. It’s all there!
10.What are you currently working on? Do you plan on touring in the near future?
I’ve been busy! I’ve been touring with Ray Davies and Dickey Betts plus my own headline shows plus a legendary weekend with Bob Weir and Ratdog at The Beacon Theater. (OMG) Right now I’m off the road for a few weeks writing new songs and getting prepped for my NY (Amagansett) and LA gigs. Then later in the summer I’m off to Europe for a big tour.
11. What are some of your favorite musical acts?
Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding, Boby Dylan, Tom Waits, Etta James, The Beatles, Fleetwood Mac, The Band, Joe Cocker, Tom Petty, Prince, Lucinda Williams, David Bowie, U2, Koko Taylor, Janis Joplin, Oh My God, Alice in Chains (RIP Layne), Elvis Costello, Led Zeppelin, Heart, 10,000 Maniacs, Melissa Etheridge…(Do you want to get coffee and keep talking?)