Kylie Minogue returns to the US with an epic tour
Over the course of her extraordinary 20-plus year career, Kylie Minogue has been a global force in pop music. She is one of the world’s most successful female artists with more than 60 million albums sold worldwide and 50 hit singles including the dance chart-toppers, “Love at First Sight,” “All the Lovers,” ”Get Outta My Way,” and the Grammy-Award winning ”Come Into My World.”
With the release of her eleventh studio album, Aphrodite, the 42-year-old Minogue kicked off an ambitious world tour, which brings her glammy gams to Orlando’s Hard Rock Live Sunday, May 8. Orlando’s own DJ Scott Robert will be the opening performer.
“The reaction to Aphrodite has been absolutely incredible and has inspired me and my creative team to develop a new show that will take all of us on a euphoric journey of joy, excitement and glamour. I can’t wait to get on the road and see all my fans,” says Minogue.
The artist credits her die-hard fans for her much-awaited return to the states. Minogue performed a sold-out US tour back in 2009.
Minogue spoke to me from Manchester, England, where she is amidst her tour. The pop goddess discussed her US tour, drag queens and boys in sequined toga outfits.
ERIK RAYMOND: It’s no secret that you have a huge gay fan base. How much does your gay fan base have an effect on what you record in the studio or perform on stage?
KYLIE MINOGUE: It’s definitely a big influence on my life. William Baker, whom I work closely with, is my gay husband. I’m surrounded, basically, so even if I wanted to escape, it wouldn’t work. [Laughs] It’s hard to clarify though. An influence is an influence. I don’t very often think of my gay audience as different from my extended audience. It just is. And I think that’s why it’s so harmonious. Now if we’re talking about boys in little tiny toga outfits and sequins opening the show, then yes, we may make an allowance. [Laughs] I know the boys are going to like that.
Tell us about the importance of using gender play and exploring sexuality when staging your show.
I don’t think there’s ever been a particular standpoint to take. In my life, that’s just the way it is. These are the people I associate with. This is what I believe is right, so we just try to represent whatever we feel is appropriate for that set or that visual representation of the song. So, I guess it is important. It’s great that I get to play with that. It can resonate however the audience wants to take it. There might be someone in the audience who sees how we represent sexuality and it will have a profound effect on them. Or there could be someone in the audience who thinks they’re just ugly costumes. [Laughs] I can’t fathom if I had to banish any of that from my show because it is such an important part.
What’s your favorite part of the production?
Oh, gosh. How long is a piece of string? There are so many different elements and I’m disappointed that we’re unable to bring them all to the states. I’m bringing everything that we can squeeze in. It’s a massive spectacle. The stage is mesmerizing. It’s so technically advanced. However, I genuinely think the best part is the emotion in the room. However we create that emotion it doesn’t matter, as long as we get to it.
Did you ever consider that your 2002 hit single, “Can’t Get You Outta My Head” is not just being about a boy you can’t get out of your head but maybe a melody you couldn’t get out of your head?
I don’t know that we specifically discussed that but I’m sure we made mention of [the fact] that we can’t get [the melody] out our heads. It’s a great play on words. I probably got through a verse and a chorus and I was in conniptions over it. [Laughs] I was like, “Please tell me I can have this song.”
What song can’t you get out of your head?
Britney’s new song, “He About to Lose Me.” I really like that track. I’m also listening to Adele. Like the rest of the world, I think she’s incredible.
What is your favorite thing to do in the States that you can’t do anywhere else?
Really crappy diners. I love a good, crappy American diner. I don’t know why. [Laughs] Really terrible coffee and food I wouldn’t normally eat. I’m not really a big junk food person. There’s something about the States that makes me want a big stack of pancakes or something. I can also walk around and not be recognized, which is refreshing.
But your U.S. fan base is growing, right?
There’s been this weird ripple of success in the States compared to other territories. I’m thrilled to be able to come back and share the ride with you. Sometimes I feel like [my fans and I] are all part of some kind of secret society.
How do you mentally prepare yourself before going on tour?
Sleepless nights and anxiety mixed with excitement. It’s demanding, mentally. The physical stuff and the fatigue I can deal with, but the mental execution of the show can be really difficult knowing what the show needs to entail before it debuts in front of audience. After that, you know it’s going to be the same show every time. Experience [has taught me] that we can only do as much as we can do. It’s almost a cruel twist of fate that opening night is the most reviewed because it’s the first night for me as well.
You can have dress rehearsals and performances for friends and family but it’s not the same as having an audience. So, basically, I try to stay calm but then I realize I’m not going to be calm, so then I try to balance it out.
Is there any ritual you do before you go on stage?
A shot of Scotch helps. [Laughs] When my stage manager comes around with his mega phone – which he doesn’t need ¬ you can hear him through lead. That’s when I realize I need to get a move on and finish my make-up. I do my own make-up; I find that’s a good part of the process. Then, by the ten minute mark, I’m ready. When I walk onto the stage it’s like walking through the wardrobe into Narnia.
Have you ever thought of doing a Vegas residency?
That could be out of control! A few of us have talked about the luxury that would be to be able to be in one place. I’d be really excited to do something like that.
With Aphrodite coming out and the tour, have you had any time to think about new music or your next album?
I’ve had a few meetings about what to do. Everything is pretty difficult at the moment. I’m tied down for the next few months and it hasn’t been that long since the release of Aphrodite. So, I don’t know how soon I want to rush into doing another pop album. I’m looking at opportunities for collaborations or performances that will keep the fans interested.
One of those ideas is an anti-tour because we seem to be going bigger and bigger with the productions. It’s fantastic and it’s a spectacle but as with all parts of my life I try to find balance. I’ve never done anything where there are no dancers, there are no lights; it’s just music and me performing songs that are much loved by fans. Songs that would never ever be heard anywhere, especially in a live environment. I’m talking about B-sides or songs that were never meant to see the light of day, songs that were leaked and turned out to be quite popular, covers that I haven’t done yet. I think it’d be really cool to be in a tiny, tiny venue and maybe do like a week’s run somewhere and just strip everything back and [perform] songs that the fans would cry for. So, I have ideas like that that I think we could pull together without much fuss. The hardest part would be choosing the songs.
Going along with your gay iconic status, when was the first time you saw a Kylie Minogue drag queen and what your reaction?
[Laughs] I was really surprised. This was back in the late 1980s when I was performing in Sydney. I heard there was a Kylie drag show going on at a gay club, The Aubrey. I had never heard of such a thing. I mean, I knew I had support from my gay audience; half of which were making my videos and doing my make-up.
So, I really wanted to go but my management and security were like, “You’re not going there.” They thought I’d be crushed [by the fans]. So, I didn’t actually get to see the show but I heard about it and I was really excited. It wasn’t long after that, I performed at Mardi Gras in Sydney [where I actually got to see plenty of Kylie drag queens]. I was very touched, very excited, very curious and it’s been a love affair ever since.
Originally published by Watermark Media, Inc.