Sunday, October 19, 2008

11 Questions with Tiffany By Brad Evans

11 Questions with Tiffany
By Brad Evans

1)You were discovered by singer/songwriter Hoyt Axton who was more of a folk/country singer songwriter. How did this come about? Well, I started singing, professionally, when I was nine years old. My Stepfather would just hit up people. He saw Hoyt was playing at the Palimno Club, and by that time I had played with a few bands. He actually went up and just asked him. But Hoyt was nice enough to say okay. I was taken in a back door, and got to sing with him, and then I was taken out of the Club.

2) Then the tour of shopping malls began? After that, I did demos, and I was actively pursuing country music. I was growing up in California, I was going to school, but I sand wherever I could. I sang at grocery stores, schools, VFWs. There were some opportunities for me to sing at my school, But growing up in a Latin Community and singing country, wasn’t’ working. So I was getting a lot of ribbing… So I started thinking, well, if I’m going to sing in front of the public maybe I shouldn’t sing country. I had discovered Stevie Knicks at that time. So I was thinking maybe I can do this. It wasn’t like crazy rock. So I started changing my set list. I started singing Rosanne Cash, Stevie Knicks sort of stuff. And that led me to the world of Pop.

Some might give you credit for giving New Kids on the Block their big break, by casting them as your opening act when they were nobody. We ended up signing with the same agent. I was doing my usual lunch backstage, and my agent brought them back. They came backstage and performed for me and my best friend, I always had a friend on tour with me during the summer, cause I was the only kid out there, I just thought they were great. and we loved them and asked them to come along. So I put them on that night. Nobody was going on before me. I got in big trouble for that. My manager got so mad. He thought I went crazy. But it worked out. They were a lot of fun to have out on the road.

4) How did that work out, touring with a group of young, hot singers?

Well they were older than me. We got the best of both worlds. I was touring and living my dream at the same time. It was great to have people around that were fun to be around. And of course I started dating Jonathan Knight.

5) Why do you think we’re seeing so many of the bands from the 80’s come back for more?
I’m not sure. I think there is an element of fun. They have a new album, so it’s not just coming back. They are back to making music again and that’s a great thing.

6) But you’ve continually toured and written songs right. Do you think the Tiffany from the past has made it harder or easier on you to get noticed these days? A little of both. It opens up doors but you still have a lot to prove. People have a perception about you and it’s hard to get past that. It’s hard to get change your image. Not so much to the public, as much as it is the corporate marketers. But for example, the public is waiting with open arms for New Kids on the Block. I think as long as the music is good. But marketing execs are always like “well do we want to go Singer vs. Singer/songwriter.” They are always asking themselves those sorts of questions. I believe that if the performance is good, the music is good, and then there is room enough for everyone, for every type of music out there. I think it all goes back to the written song.

7) You knew about the hardships of being a Teen Queen long before it was cool to raise your skirt in public. What advice would you have given someone like Britney Spears if you’d have had the chance? It’s hard to think about someone else. They have it worse than I did. We’ve lowered the bar a little bit. It’s okay to be messy and the public wants to see that. For me it’s just not okay. I’ve done reality TV and I’m okay with people seeing me as an artist. I just don’t appreciate the whole, Jerry Springer out thing. I like The Osbournes, it showed them as people, but it didn’t show them all out of control or anything. And since then we’ve just gone downhill. Celebrities are people. They just live in the moment, and it’s harder to do that today. Even me, when I dated Jonathan Knight, we had to keep that quiet. We tried to keep it about the music and validate ourselves as artist.

8) But a lot of times you were a big story. The whole mess with your parents etc... Did that make it hard to think about the music?
Yeah, it did. . I loved my parents. Just because you love someone doesn’t mean that you can live with them or be in that environment. When you get lawyers, they bring out all the messiness. A lot of things came out about my family that I never intended to reveal. At the end of the day I think we were all like “how did we get here.” If we had just kept that in the family then people wouldn’t have had to get all up in our face.

9) So after Celebrity Fit Club, do you think your stint on reality TV went well? It was great. It was interesting. I’ve done the reality TV series that I thought were athletic or interesting, and I had a lot of fun. I’m not going to be all drama; I did have a few moments though. Maureen McCormick was great. Ross was my buddy. Dustin Diamond and I have just done a show together, for Hulk Hogan celebrity wrestling. I got involved with that because I’m a HUGE Hulk Hogan. My stepfather was a big wrestling fan and that was like the only thing he was involved with that I thought was cool. The rest of the time I really didn’t like him you know. So I had a great time with Dustin as well.

9) You appeared topless in Playboy several years before Debbie Gibson. What brought that about?

I think it was the frustration about having a past. I was working an album. Doing a college tour. Thousands of people were coming to these free concerns. I was signed with an indie label, which can be great, but this was really sloppy. They didn’t have any product out of the road. And I couldn’t get rid of this image I thought I had. I came back on the tour sort of disillusioned. You know what you can commit too. If I say something I expect it to happen. My name is out there and people read about it, they don’t know that XY and Z didn’t work out. So they think about what went wrong and attribute that to you. When I came back there was all this frustration. Playboy was on the table. I didn’t get it but it was an Honor. And I said, you know what? This will totally blow this perception that you were one thing and one thing only. I was also going through a divorce. I thought, wow this would be good for me as a woman too. So I went for it, and it was great. I took a meeting with them first, but it went really well and it was a lot of fun.

So much fun that Debbie Gibson decided it was a good idea huh?

Yeah she did. We’re great friends, but at first, she was like “Oh I’m so sorry you have to do this.” And six months later I saw her and was like “ooh girl…you’re missing your dress.”

10) What’s different about The Tiffany of the 80’s and the One of Today? What can we expect from you at the upcoming show at Club Synergy?
I do some of the old and some of the new. I just had song hit #`18 on the dance charts. I wrote it for a soundtrack for a movie. A few months later, a DJ came up and asked if he could take it and see what he could do with it. It was a compliment as a writer that someone wanted to do that. And it has sort of spawned this new thing. Obviously people want to hear “I think we’re along now” and I love doing that song. I get kick of seeing the 18 years old who didn’t experience the mall tour and don’t’ really know who I am, but they still like the song.

11) This is the last question, I’m sure you get tired of the 80’s stuff, but What fashion disaster to you most regret when looking back at your '80s Pop Idol wardrobe? Wow. There were a lot of them. My worst. There was a show called Pop The Top in England. I wore this long dress that looked like a tulip but upside down, and these huge snap up granny boots, and these huge puffy extra shoulder pad things. It was all pastel. And I’m a red-head, we don’t do pastels. It was terrible. I married and English guy, so we go to England often, and sometimes I’ll catch the re-run. That was actually picked out by a stylist. But I think I would have been better off on my own.

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