Everything should be half as fun as Katy Perry (photo gallery 1) / photo gallery 2) . The Santa Barbara-born singer-songwriter broke away from her strict religious upbringing and has found her groove writing pop songs inspired by Freddie Mercury. In addition to a new album coming out this year, Perry will bring a little class (and possibly some Silly String) to Warped Tour this summer.
What’s been going on lately?
I’m just starting the New Year, you know. The stars are aligning for Katy Perry in 2008. I’ve been working on my record since I was eighteen years old. I’ve gone through two record labels and written between sixty-five and seventy songs, and now it’s ready to come out. It’s been a long trip. I’ve had lots of money, lost lots of money, but the record’s here and it’s the right one.
What can we expect from the album?
UR So Gay was a soft hello. It wasn’t meant to be a big single or show what the album is going to be all about. That was for my Internet bloggers, so I’m not coming out of nowhere. UR So Gay was meant to be an introduction and a background. The album will have a lot of the same characteristics, though. There will be lots of storytelling, because lyrics are important to me. There are a few songs that will make you cry, but there are others to make you dance and sing. Every song is on the album for a specific reason.
What do most people not know about recording an album?
One of the unique things about me recording is that I like to put down the vocal track with all the lights off in the studio. If I remember the lyrics, I don’t want anything to get in the way.I want to be a voice in the darkness. That’s not weird is it? It’s not like I’m naked or anything.
Do you prefer to be recording or playing live?
I guess I prefer to play live, but I don’t want to have only live CDs. I like playing live because there are alot of things that can happen. I can interact with the audience and say some things to get me in trouble. On the other hand, the studio is nice because you can really take your time and make something that you know is the best thing that you can ever do. But nothing beats being up on stage in front of all that energy.
Give me an awesome tour story, then.
There was the Silly String incident. I was playing a concert and I decided that I wanted a beach theme. No particular reason, I’m just fun like that. The band entered to “Wipe Out” and everybody was wearing their bathing suits. I should mention at this point that we were doing this show for Garnier Fructis hair-care products, and they’ve spent like an hour and a half getting my hair just right. So I’m out there in my bathing suit with my awesome hair and I have some Silly String. I don’t know why I have the silly string, of course. It’s just kind of fun. So I point it at the audience and try to spray them. Only instead of spraying it at the audience I had thecan backward and sprayed it all over my awesome hair. Everybody thought that was pretty funny. Except maybe the hair people, I guess.
Do you have conscious influences? Do you ever say like, ‘I’m going to try to write a song that sounds like Prince today?
Yeah. I’m a huge fan of Freddie Mercury. I’m a fan of lots of music, but he was a turning point. I wasn’t allowed to listen to secular music when I was kid, but there was a time when I was hanging out at my friend’s house. We’re trying on all our outfits, like girls do, and out of nowhere I heard the lyrics to “Killer Queen.” Time stood still. The music was totally different from anything I’d heard. I still love Freddie Mercury. He was flamboyant with atwist of the operatic, but more importantly he just didn’t give a fuck.
And then there was Alanis Morrisette. Jagged Little Pill was huge for me. One of the vivid memories of my childhood is swinging on the swing set singing "Ironic" at the top of my lungs. I went to Christian school, so I got into a little trouble for that one.
How did you come across “Use Your Love”?
There were a couple of choices in the pile for covers. I actually wanted to do a Queen cover, but there wasn’t anything they would play in the club. So I’m back to square one, and I go out dancing with my girls. “Use Your Love,” the original version by the Outfield, comes on, and immediately every girl hits the dance floor. Everybody’s out there dancing and trying to hit these notes. It was the best time, and I wanted to capture that on the UR So Gay.
Do you think that UR So Gay enforces a negative stereotype?
Every time I play that song, everybody has come back laughing. I’m not the type of person who walks around calling everything gay. That song is about a specific guy that I used to date and specific issues that he had. The song is about my ex wearing guyliner and taking emo pictures of himself in the bathroom mirror. The listeners have to read the context of the song and decide for themselves.
Why should people seek out Katy Perry?
That’s a hard question. Nobody likes to brag. If you’re forcing me, though, I think people should check out my music it’s fun and funny, and I actually sing them live. I think that my music makes pop-music cool again.
Video: Katy Perry plasters breasts
Photo Gallery: Katy Perry @ Mercury Lounge