Technology didn’t want to co-operate this morning when I spoke to Tiffany. First Tiff’s phone was completely dead, and after some hurried messaging back and forth, she called me from a landline. Then my phone decided to have problems of its own, and chose to stop recording at several crucial points in the interview. On top of that, the UK is currently being battered by Storm Ali, which wreaked further havoc. So sadly, it wasn’t possible to transcribe everything we spoke about today, but thankfully we managed to salvage a very good interview regardless. Tiffany is a warm and lovely person to speak to and we hope you’re able to get an idea of that from this.
EP: Thank you so much for speaking to us! How did the show in Bristol go last night?
Tiffany: It was really good! I think my band and I are kind of in the flow now, after having performed in Asia and at Epcot, and the new music sounds very solid, and they’re all amazing musicians, so I was in really good hands.
EP: How was the audience? Were they new fans, old fans…
Tiffany: A lot of new fans actually! I couldn’t ask for more really, that’s the point of doing the interviews here on radio, a lot of people genuinely curious, I looked around the room and there were a lot of metal-heads, rockers in the crowd, coming to check it out. The music stands on its own two feet, the new album, I’m really proud of it, it has the cred and depth that I want it to have, I’m a live performer, so I get up there and I think it’s believeable when people see it. I’m all smiles, we just have to keep doing more and more shows, and growing that fanbase. Of course I have that solid fanbase, that I adore. I mean, they’ve been with me for 30 years and they’re just amazing.
EP: So you get fans who go to as many concerts as they possibly can?
Tiffany: I do actually! Especially on this leg, I get a lot who say, “Oh I’m going to go to London” or “I’m going to go here”, it’s been a while since I’ve done a lot of concerts, with me not flying, that’s kind of under my belt, especially now that I’m located in the UK and primarily living here now, I have a place in Nashville Tennessee as well, but ultimately road is my home. But yeah, constant touring is the climate for most artists anyway, radio, records, and publishing etc went in a different direction for most artists. It’s gone back old school. But I was always a live artist, it was very much instilled from my country music upbringing, to my pop music life, I toured for almost four years straight. My old manager worked with a lot of the artists from Motown so there’s those golden rules there, like, get out there and do what you do, and make believers out of people. That’s what we’re doing now and I’m really excited about it!
EP: You’re really answering all my questions, it’s excellent!
Tiffany: Oh sorry haha I was having a little chit chat!
EP: I was going to say, people would think of you as a pop artist, but in reality you’ve got this country background…
Tiffany: Yeah! In country music, as a female artist, it was instilled in me that you can still have kids and husbands and dogs as well as a music career. But when I entered pop music – that was a conflict, definitely. It was not encouraged to have children, it was not encouraged to date other celebrities at that time. I think we’ve changed a lot in the pop world, and very favourable for women, which I’m glad to see.
But definitely in the 80s for me it was like…babies? I know when I was pregnant with my son everybody was like, “Oh that’s it, you’ll just want to stay at home now” and was like, “Mmm no I don’t! I think I’ll just tour!” And that’s what I did, I took my son and I toured everywhere for the first four years. It was an old school mindset, but I think that I proved to them. I did take some time off when Elijah started school, I wanted to do the whole Mom experience, to be able to take him to soccer, and baseball, and just be there for him. This is my choice to be a musician, this is my path.
I thought maybe he might be a musician, we took a lot of music lessons together, but no, he’s not, he’s a structural engineer haha! But I would never trade that time! I think my career it probably took a little hit, because I wasn’t as agressive, but now I’m full force back in it, and we’ve been back for two years and on the road, and the new album, I think is going to open up a lot of doors, my family is still for me, and I’m feeling a lot of love.
EP: I’m really excited about ‘Pieces Of Me’, I got an advance copy a couple of days back, and it’s just in my head, constantly [T: Thank you!], and ‘Worlds Away’ – it’s just brilliant. I have a new favourite song every day.
Tiffany: Thank you! I appreciate that! It’s the most vulnerable I’ve been on an album, as a songwriter, I’m writing about my life…
EP: Why now?
Tiffany: I don’t know! I can’t put my finger on it, it was meant to be! I think that everything I’ve been through led me to this moment. I didn’t really have a plan to release an album, this has always been my heart’s desire, to show what I’ve thought, that I’ve got more depth than people think [EP: Oh definitely!] but the way people started falling into my life, I couldn’t deny it, so we were like, if there’s a good song there, why not keep going? Myself and Mark Alberici, we wrote the first three songs, ‘Worlds Away’, ‘Feels Like A Storm’, and ‘Beautiful’, and I was like, “that was easy! I think we have something here…” and it got better and better as we got more people in.
[Mark] brought his brother Oliver in as another co-writer, and then the band of musicians we’ve chosen for the record and to tour with me live, they’ve just taken it to the next level, it was really, I said this last night at the show [in Bristol] I have all this footage no-one has seen, where I was behind the scenes watching everyone create in the studio, there were times when I had to put the camera down and cry, because it was just so beautiful, the way everyone was working together.
We’ve really recorded this as a band, more than as a solo artist. I’ve never really had that experience before. It definitely made me grow. But just to watch this take place, it was really touching.
And obviously the studios we’ve chosen to record in, Sound Emporium, Rockfield in Wales, Blackbird, all these places, if only the walls could talk. I’m sitting there going, “this is where Bohemian Rhapsody was recorded!” – you can just feel that, the magic there. You just walk in and tap into the energy as a musician. You don’t always get that vibe. But we felt like that in these places. We’re so inspired by all these artists, Queen, Led Zeppelin, me Stevie Nicks…standing using mics they’ve used before. It’s such an amazing feeling.
EP: I can hear so much of Stevie in your voice, and every song I was like, gosh that’s like Stevie – in fact, ‘Worlds Away’ reminds me of ‘Stop Dragging My Heart Around’…
Tiffany: I LOVE that! Thank you for making my day! She is it for me! This album was inspired by her and Dave Grohl from Foo Fighters.
EP: We put the word out that we were going to be speaking to you, and we were overwhelmed by the response, which was wonderful. Colin would like to know – when are you coming to Australia again?
Tiffany: I am coming to Australia in February! I’m opening up for Bananarama, I’m very excited, I’ll be going ahead of the shows and connecting with the fans, and probably do some more shows after with my band to support the album. I’ll be doing retro stuff with Bananarama, which I’m very excited about, and I’m a huge fan, and it’s the first time I’ll be touring Australia, I’ll have the tour dates up very soon on my website. I’ve wanted to go to Australia for a very long time.
EP: Cam is a long time fan in Berlin, and she want to know if you’re planning a German tour anytime soon?
Tiffany: I am actually! Next year – the sky’s the limit really, we decided to stay in the UK and break the marketplace here, and that’s branched out, and we’re going to go into other parts of Europe. Germany I’ve got family there, so I definitely want to go, it’s nice now, I can definitely take a couple of days, visit family, little villages, and have a full experience, whereas when I was young and the label brought me over, I didn’t have the time. It’s been a long time since I’ve been to Germany, so I’m really looking forward to it.
EP: Melissa, who’s also from Australia, enjoyed watching you on ‘I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here’ and she said you came across as being very authentic, and she wants to know what you think of Australians, after spending time with them.
Tiffany: Oh I love them! They were so easy to be around! I totally got them. It was the first time in my life when I didn’t know anyone, I didn’t have family, I didn’t have friends, I didn’t have handlers, I was completely on my own. I did the show really because I thought it would be a great headspace for me, to kind of conquer that, before I conquered the album and the tour…a little “me” time, even though it was kind of crazy with the challenges and so on, pushing myself to the limit, and getting in that mindset – before I pushed myself to the limit on this album! And it totally worked, I loved that time.
But Australian people! I got their jokes, I got all these great places to go in Australia, I made really good friends with Jackie Gillies, and Shannon Noll, those were the first two to greet me. They’re still in my life, we’re great friends, I want to go see Jackie, I miss her, and you know, I’m always open when I do these kinds of shows, that hopefully it’s not just TV, that you can make friends, because a lot of entertainers will understand your lifestyle, it’s crazy, they get it, but I’m coming from LA originally, it’s not always true, you might meet someone but it’s not a really genuine relationship, but I’m very lucky that both of them are genuine people, and I’m lucky to have them in my life.
EP: I’ve been to LA twice in the past 18 months, but the people I’ve run into just made me feel at home. It might be a thing there, a similarity between LA people and Australians?
Tiffany: Well thank you very much! In the industry it’s a bit touch and go, but true LA people are happy people, and they’re community people, and yeah, I’ve a big sense of community, and helping out others, and being aware of people, and saying hello…which is probably why I moved to Nashville Tennessee, because you get that Southern Charm.
But yeah, I grew up in LA and Orange County, and it is coffee on the porch with your neighbours, and it’s never about the music industry because nobody knows that side of things. That’s how I was raised, so I see the similarity as you were saying, because Australians are very warm people. They like to laugh, and so do I, and hang out and get to know people. It was so easy, and I was so relieved! By the second day I was like, “Okay good! This is going to work out!”
EP: You’ve been in the music business for a realllly long time now – what if anything, would you have done differently, if you had had the opportunity, and why?
Tiffany: I’m not really a big person about regrets, I believe they form you, even the mistakes that you’ve made, bad choices, good things, whatever, I think if I had to change something, it would have been not to be so hard on myself as a kid. I got off the road because of that.
I got really frustrated with people doing reviews and questioning if I could do it live, and I think I let it beat me in my head, and every night, instead of connecting with the fans, and just having a good time, I’d be like, every note has to be perfect, I have to let them know I’m singing live, and I have to have all these dancers, and I have to let them know that I’m not just a pop artist, and it became a lot of pressure, and I didn’t think I was making any ground, so I took some time off, which led me to me having my son. But I think if there was anything, it’d be “just be you”, if I could have seen the adult version of me, where I am now, and now I’d be like “you’ll get there, don’t worry, enjoy what you’re doing”.
Because really where I’m at now, I’m self-funding this album, I’ve got a lot to prove, I’ve been waiting for this, I’m going to have fun. I’m going to be me, I’m going to get up and enjoy this, even though it is work, and it’s a hectic schedule, and it’s a real job, you get tired and things don’t work out. But again, it’s the people you’re surrounded with, it’s your mindset.
And I can go, okay, take that all off, this is what I want to do, I’m lucky to be able to do what I do best, and what I’ve been wanting to do for a long time. At the end of the day it’s all good stuff.
EP: It is! And I’m really looking forward to seeing you in London, and I want to give you a big hug!
Tiffany: Oh thank you! I can’t wait to meet you!
EP: I’ve got one more question, what question do you wish someone would ask you in an interview but nobody ever does?
Tiffany: More questions about who I am. I think that’s what this experience is about as well, showing my heart, who I am as a person. I don’t think we talk about that enough.
EP: Thank you very much for talking to us today!
Tiffany’s album, ‘Pieces Of Me’, will be released digitally on Friday. This will be followed up on October 5 as a CD, and November 2 on Vinyl. You can pre-order here.
Catch Tiffany live across the UK in September:
22ND COTTINGHAM – CIVIC HALL
24TH LONDON – BORDERLINE
25TH MAIDSTONE – HAZLITT THEATRE
26TH PRESTON – GUILD HALL