Fiona Apple Has A Lot Of Explaining To Do
VH1 Online   
Oct 30, 1999

Fiona Apple's first album was called Tidal. Her sophomore effort is called When the Pawn Hits the Conflicts He Thinks Like a King What He Knows Throws the Blows When He Goes to the Fight and He'll Win the Whole Thing 'Fore He Enters the Ring There's No Body to Batter When Your Mind Is Your Might So When You Go Solo, You Hold Your Own Hand and Remember That Depth Is the Greatest of Heights and If You Know Where You Stand, Then You Know Where to Land and If You Fall It Won't Matter, Cuz You'll Know That You're Right.

Say what?

"It was a poem that I needed to write for myself," Apple told Wall of Sound. "I knew I didn't want to make it into a song, but I needed to write something for myself to remind me that everybody who was making fun of me wasn't right. I needed to remind myself that I have not done anything to hurt anybody. It's telling me that when everyone's being mean to me, I shouldn't believe it."

Nice to see she's lightened up a little.

Apple shrugged off any comparisons to Tyrannosaurus Rex's 1968 opus My People Were Fair and Had Sky in Their Hair ... But Now They're Content to Wear Stars on Their Brows. "Yeah, it's getting made fun of a lot right now," she observed. "I don't know if it's because they don't think the writing's as great as I can do, or if it's just long."

In an interview with Launch.com, Apple said that her behavior when Tidal was first a success drew a lot of criticism, and may have unfairly tainted the way people perceive her. "I've embarrassed myself a lot, or not embarrassed myself a lot ... or been embarrassed by things that have come out on me," she said.

"I got picked on a lot," she explained. "So it was a weird experience. ... It took a toll on me for a while and just kind of fed itself, because I got really upset with the way things were going. And that would show in the public, because I'm not really good at putting on the game face."

But what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. "I've also experienced a lot of f*cking backlash that I don't really understand," she admitted, "I feel like a lot of people just didn't like me...for no real reason. ...They just didn't like me and my attitude, and the attitude I was projecting was this attitude that came from somebody who doesn't know what the f*ck she's doing in the public eye."

The pressure of Tidal's success, which might have overwhelmed a lesser artist, left her unfazed.  "I never worried about the whole second effort thing," she said. "I'm so proud of this record, and I think it's so much better than the last one."

She says that she was also left alone to get along with When the Pawn under her own steam. "I guess if they had been calling up and saying, 'We need the next album. Are you writing? Are you doing this?' then I might have started to feel the pressure," she remarked. "But they didn't. ... For, like, six months I didn't talk to anybody from my record company."

Boogie Nights auteur and Apple beau Paul Thomas Anderson directed the video for her new single. Apple claimed 'Fast As You Can' was "really just thoughts that were running through my head that were in that rhythm." A little like her album title, in fact.