Anastacia interview

Anastacia has always been one of my favorites: ever since I heard her powerhouse attitude-heavy vocals on her hurricane debut single I’m Outta Love back in 2000. I was also geeky enough to spend a lot of time on the Russian Anastacia-themed message board around the time her Anastacia album came out and made some fantastic friends in the process with whom we’ve traveled to Kiev, Saint Petersburg and Helsinki to see Anastacia’s shows over the years. So I was beyond excited to finally be able to chat with miss Freak of Nature about her newest compilation record Ultimate Collection, staying positive and people mispronouncing her name.

The Russian version of the interview was published at Zvooki.ru and the original is below.

Hi, Anastacia! It’s a huge pleasure to finally be able to talk with you after waiting for you outside your hotel in Moscow 10 years ago. How are you?

I am in Los Angeles in my house, still doing my work but at least being able to sleep in my own bed. Trying to take the last moments of sun before the winter comes ‘cause it’s coming.

It’s your second Greatest Hits compilation. What made you decide to release it now?

It was reuniting with Sony that made the decision pretty easy. It was a nice way to introduce coming back home to Sony. And I just released Resurrection so I felt like the title Resurrection, going back to Sony, the whole theme of what was going on the last couple of years was pointing to being able to put out an ultimate collection. It feels like even better time than when I released the first one which felt too soon.

You’ve certainly paid your dues (pun intended!). What’s been the most fun and the least fun moments of your career?

There’s a lot of ‘most fun’s, so it’s hard to give an exact answer ‘cause I really enjoy what I do and how I do it. It’s not fun to ever have to go through your health and personal life in public. I think most people can probably admit that but that is the hard thing to balance your career with. It becomes difficult but you just try to measure through the complicated part.

You’ve been to Russia a lot of times. What do you like about our country? And do you follow any of the Russian musicians? Cause you did work with Dima Bilan.

I actually enjoy seeing your country grow since I’ve been coming in around 2005. And just within that time and it’s only 10 years I’ve been able to see the amount of your country’s growth in dramatic ways which is very exciting. I guess I would kinda call it ‘Western ways’, ‘wordly ways’ developing into Russian culture. And it’s really exciting to see people becoming more understanding of other cultures, even our culture. It’s this fusion that I enjoy watching: when you adopt different things but still stay prideful in the Russian way. It’s like you want to stay Russian but have many different influences.

Did you ever think about doing a SPROCK record in a way that 1/3 of the album would be pure soul, the other one rock and the final one pop?

I don’t know if I’ll ever think about separating stuff, ‘cause when I do my music is just sorta forms into whatever it is. The song itself pens to sprock energy, but usually it’s not 100% sprock album, because that’s probably too much energy all at once [laughs]. It’s kinda the way I like to do my concerts, too: I like to have a variety, and give my audience almost a roller coaster ride instead of throwing them out of the plane with no parachute.

Your live shows used to be these huge spectacles with dancers and costume changes, but for your last Resurrection tour you decided to strip it all off (not literally though). Is this the way you want to perform now – almost low-key with your big voice in the center?

No, I don’t think so. Before the Resurrection tour I wanted to take the title of the tour and make it more of the rebirth and make it more about starting at the beginning spiritually, emotionally and mentally and that’s why I wanted to do a Q&A at the concerts, which isn’t normal. Sometimes when you perform with all the dancers and all that success, you forget what’s it like down at the bottom and you forget what it was like when you just started and didn’t have the hair and the make-up team or whatever. I just wanted to do things differently than my fans were used to and I think it really went well because nobody really does that at my level, so it was nice to experience almost like their own independent concert each and every night. And that was what I was trying to get out of the loyalty for my fans and the dedication that they’ve given me over the years. Now the fans want the Q&As at every concert. I can’t do it in arenas! That’s so funny.

If you didn’t follow through with being a singer, what would be the Plan B?
Before I got my break as a singer when I was 28-29, I started thinking: ‘Okay, it doesn’t look like people are gonna give me a record deal or that I’m gonna have a music career. I need to think of something I need to do for a job, ‘cause I’m getting too old’. And I thought what would make me happy would be if I went to school and got a degree so that I could become a social worker for children or a therapist for kids. I enjoy helping other people but actually helping the younger generation to try to get in touch with where they’re going. And that was my wish and then I got my career right around the corner. So I’m very glad I didn’t try to go to school, cause I think I might not have passed.

How many pairs of glasses do you actually own?

I got my eyes LASIKed so I don’t always have to have a prescription behind my glasses. I used to not be able to see far which is why I always wore glasses, now as my age is happening I need glasses to see my Blackberry. So maybe I will get my eyes fixed again, ‘cause it limits your activity. I have so many glasses, I can’t put a number on it, probably about a 100. It’s a little much, I know.

I noticed that on UK TV shows they often call you AnastaZia. That can’t be right, can it?

My mom came up with the pronunciation which isn’t the correct one. But I’m an American and that’s how we tend to say it. I think when my mom heard Anastacia in a Chekhov play before I was born she didn’t realize that it wasn’t with a C. So she spelled my name with a C. So now everyone whose name is spelled like this is probably influenced by me, because that’s definitely not the traditional way.

So now I’m picturing you on a theater scene in a Chekhov play. Maybe the next time you’re in Russia…

Oh my God that would be amazing! That would actually be really amazing, I would love that.

Well, your new single is called Take This Chance. So I was gonna ask you what chance are you gonna take, so I think that’s it – acting in theater!

That’s a big chance, I wouldn’t be able to speak Russian though. As long as I can do in English I think I can do it.

I feel like what a lot of people don’t know is that you have a great sense of humor. Is it hard to stay positive while working in this industry? And did you ever think about maybe writing a comedy, a sitcom?..

People have said to me: ‘Oh you should have your own show’. But from when I was very young I learned that the way to get through a lot of difficult times was humor. And maybe being diagnosed with Crohn’s disease it was an easier way to deal. And if you sometimes think about children in hospitals, they usually smile and have a good time because it gets them through their illness. And I think that was something that happened to me or maybe more my personality, it’s always sorta stuck with me to want to make people laugh and finding humor in something dark, trying to find silver lining in something difficult. It’s just been who I am and I continue to live with that kinda perspective and it’s been much easier to get through a lot of the situations in my life to have a little bit of a lighter opinion rather than be so down and moody. I just like to feel easy and light and let it roll off my shoulders easier.

What about writing an autobiography?

I do have a title for a book. I’ve had it for a good ten years and I do know that I’ve wanted to right my side of things that people don’t know. Not telling stories about other people but just about my own journey and how I grew up and what went on and different things that I think my fans would be interested in. But it still hasn’t happened for whatever reason I haven’t searched directly for a book deal, but I know that the right time will come when I am completely ready for it. It will happen, it just didn’t happen yet.

Just like my first glasses line that I will put out in spring with Bluemarine. It’s the first time I’ve ever put my name on a pair of glasses and people will be surprised because they’ll be like ‘Really?’. I am famous for my glasses but I’ve never had the opportunity to do the right deal. And this is just the perfect relationships and the glasses I have in the album cover is one of the pair of glasses that are part of the spring line. It’s so exciting to do something that I’ve thought of for so long. So I think the book will eventually happen and I’ll be saying the same thing: ‘Gosh, I’ve been thinking about this book for many many years’.

What are you favorite artists and songs right now?

There’s a lot of people I really like. I like Imagine Dragons and The Black Keys. Even though they’re rockbands, it’s the voices and the way they write their music that I enjoy. So whether or not we as two voices together would write the same kinda energy and work well I don’t know, but I’m a fan of old school rock as well. Classic AC/DC and Zeppelin yet I still enjoy Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran, John Legend, I have such a variety of things that I like. I like Macklemore, ‘cause he’s so funny.

I’d love to hear a Macklemore ft. Anastacia single. I’ll tweet him! And finally when is the next studio album comes out?

I’m gonna tour the Ultimate Collection. And while I’m on tour I’ll write the next album. ‘Cause if I’d waited til after the tour, it would probably be too long. That’s how I wrote my last record and I liked not having too much in-between time strange as it is. I came home from my tour in beginning of September and I’m already doing interviews for the next one. I don’t mind, because the fans want the project. They’ve been following my tour for a long time and I think they’re ready for something new.

Get Ultimate Collection now.

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Posted on by Mikey Moscow in Articles, Interviews, Music

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