Saturday, February 14, 2009
By DJ Ron Slomowicz, About.com
Everybody loves Tiffany. Her hits "I Think We're Alone Now," "I Saw Him Standing There," and "Could've Been," launched from her infamous mall tour, became pop classics. After spending a couple of years in Nashville, releasing the critically acclaimed Color of Silence album, and a popular Playboy layout, Tiffany moved to Los Angeles and created "Dust Off and Dance" – the high energy dance album that her fans have been clamoring for.
DJ Ron Slomowicz: Where are you today?
Tiffany: I'm in Minnesota today. I did Minnesota Gay Pride last night.
RS: That's awesome. So this month you're really busy doing a lot of touring?
Tiffany: I've been on the road for a month now and I don't really go back home until the end of July.
RS: Does this remind you at all of how you got your start in the malls?
Tiffany: It's really different. When I was doing the mall stuff I was going to school during the week and then flying out on the weekends, so there was a lot of flying, a lot of homework and a lot of not knowing if people were going to like me or not. It's a little nicer because I actually have my fans and people who know my music. I think I've gotten a little wiser and I'm traveling in an RV now. I've really always been a bus girl myself, going back to those country days when I was singing with Roy Atkinson, Mickey Gilley, and Johnny Lee. I've always been the person who knew that you could have the bus and the dogs and the family, everybody goes.
RS: I think that's one reason why a lot of people identify with you. You always seem really down to earth, like everyone's best friend when you're up there singing.
Tiffany: Thank you. Yes, I have fun out there. I think that's a lot of credit towards my family because my grandparents were very much like that, they knew all the neighbors and they'd sit out on the porch and drink their iced tea. If anybody would come by they'd say hello and they were always very loving people. Being raised like that and having my country music, I realized that it's a lot about just liking people and having a good time. When I got into the pop world, doing the mall tour, that was very much about being a people person. I loved that about the mall tour. With a lot of the tour performances I'm doing now, it kind of reminds me of it only because I'm not on a crazy time schedule and I can hang out with the fans afterwards and sign autographs. The audiences are big but they're not huge or you can't see anybody past the first few rows now. A lot of the shows I'm doing are outdoor venues and that's great because you can just see forever, the sea of people.
RS: Speaking about country, you're coming to Nashville this weekend to perform at Play.
Tiffany: Yes. It feels like I am coming home because I lived there for a couple of years. I feel like Nashville's a part of me and I have great friends there. I miss Nashville very much. Going back to California was just one of those things. My family was getting older and I had a few people pass on in my family so it kind of scares you and you want to be as close to family as possible. Living in Nashville, I learned so much from going to places like the Bluebird Café and watching writers and getting that whole learning experience. I always knew that I wanted to come back to Los Angeles and do a record and so that's kind of what I did. I think that I had to go outside of my comfort zone in LA and really learn from people out there, and definitely Nashville has it down when it comes to songwriting. I learned a lot there and then applied it to what I did when I got back to Los Angeles.
RS: Speaking of songwriting, you wrote most of the album Dust Off and Dance?
Tiffany: I did, and the Color of Silence album as well. I started writing for other people and collaborating with other writers for soundtracks and stuff like that because I really wanted to use my new craft. Then I was approached by a couple of producers from my past to do an album and I did the Color of Silence in 2000 and everything really worked out. We got great reviews and enjoy working together and we feel that the songs are solid, so it ended up that we ended up doing another album together. I went over to England touring and I loved the dance music there. I remembered being out on the dance floor when I was like nineteen/twenty and just having a good time.
Many people have asked me to do a dance album and I just really wasn't ready. I think you have to be a little lighthearted at the time and just really kind of believe in the music. I came back from England and I had kind of jettisoned a few layers there and it was just about having a good time. I thought that I could really sit down and write some fun dance songs.
RS: What was in your mind when you went in the studio and rerecorded I Think We're Alone Now for the album?
Tiffany: We had to do the track a little different, but did not want to take away from it and go so far out that people would go 'well, this is a whole different take on the song.' So we were kind of treading lightly a little bit in that situation. I was working with the Backroom Boys and they said to take a stab at singing it and we'll try to get this close to what the original record sounded like vocally. I started singing it and he kept looking through the glass at me and said to my husband - is she really singing or is this a playback? I sang the whole song through and he said 'I think it's done because you sang that dead on.' He said, 'you know that song, don't you' and I said 'yes, pretty much.'
RS: So who are the Backroom Boys?
Tiffany: The crew at Backroom Recording Studio - Tim C and everyone.
RS: You also worked with Second Sun, I saw you with them in Miami two years ago. How did you hook up with those guys?
Tiffany: I'm a fan, as was my assistant at the time, and he suggested that I try to do something with them. I was a bit shy to approach them because as a performer, I respect peoples' space. My assistant pushed me to set up a meeting and the Second Sun guys came right back and said yes. Working with them was amazing. I learned so much and I hope that we will continue to work together. They have really a long future ahead of them. I'm amazed at their shows, there's so much energy.
RS: I find it hard to believe that you're shy because I remember seeing you on stage with the singer from Second Sun and the two of you had such a chemistry going back and forth. When you're doing those kinds of shows as opposed to the shows you're doing now, do you get a different energy from the crowd because maybe they don't know about your history as much?
Tiffany: The crowd always makes it or breaks it really. Once I got to know the guys it was different, especially when writing "He Said She Said." We talked a lot about dating so we had already kind of started that chemistry a little bit. They're great guys and I look at them as like family now. When you're up there and you're performing you have to feel it, that's what we do when we're representing our song.
RS: Writing your own songs and having more control of your music, that is great. You're also taking more control of your career with the different websites. How do you think the internet's helping you or how have things changed from fifteen years ago when you first got started?
Tiffany: Well it's definitely different, the internet is a way to reach out to the fans and get response right away. Everything is so instant With my website, I have my merchandise there and everything like that. It's nice to be in big stores and stuff but for me, I found it easier just to have my merchandise on my website. I know what I'm selling and I know the orders that are coming in, and they actually are getting in to the hands of the fans. What was really frustrating with me going through a lot of smaller record companies with the Color of Silence, it was like we'd all sit in these meetings and decide on things and then my hands were tied, I was completely dependent on those people to make it happen. Unfortunately, a lot of things don't get done. For me it's been more pleasurable to just do it my self. It's a smaller scale but I know what's going on and I know what we can do and what we can't do. I'm learning as I go along more of the business I think than anything. The websites and the internet are my sounding boards, I would say.
RS: Which web page is officially yours where you contribute to?
Tiffany: I contribute to tiffanymusicsite.com and the myspace page. It's hosted by a girl who's actually in England. We talk all the time and she has my full approval. I give her all my stuff and everything so she's my in the know girl.
RS: Has anyone come up to you at a gay club and said 'oh my God, I saw you at the mall, it's so cool to be seeing you again?'
Tiffany: Oh, all the time. I had a guy last night and he said, 'I'm seeing you tonight and I saw you when I was ten in New Jersey. You brought me up on stage because it was my birthday and you sang "Happy Birthday" to me.' He said that I hadn't aged, so I was like 'oh, I love you.'
RS: One last question, is there anything you'd like to say to all the fans out there?
Tiffany: Come to the show! I'm doing a show that's a little bit of old school, some of the new stuff and definitely popping in a few songs that I haven't done in years, since the first couple of tours. I'm really pumping up my show nowadays and every show is different, I feel the crowd's energy. If it's a Tiffany fan crowd, they might get a "Johnny Scott," "the Inside Mood," or "Hold an Old Friend's Hand." You never know.
Posted by Natt at 7:50 AM