Queen of Hearts:  An interview with Fiona Apple
DrDrew.com  · 
Nov 24 '99

  by Aidin Vaziri

Even though she is a young singer-songwriter of remarkable caliber, these are the things Fiona Apple is best known for: rolling around in her underwear on shag carpeting in the video for "Criminal," making a venomous speech after she won the Best New Artist trophy at the MTV Music Video Awards in 1997, and now, for giving her second album a rambling, nonsensical 90-word title. Apple, who was discovered by Sony executives while she was still in high school, thrives on defiance. The singer has managed to be one of the most controversial artists in recent memory, without resorting to the shock tactics of Marilyn Manson or the cosmetic surgery of Britney Spears, but by displaying a vulnerability that has become alarmingly scarce in popular music. As evidenced with When The Pawn… and in our recent phone interview, the woman is fearless.

drDrew.com: How did you recover from the critical backlash you got with your first album?
Fiona Apple: For me, the best times are always going to be the most intense, the ones with the highest highs and the lowest lows. I was so pissed off that I was misunderstood for a while that it discouraged me. Because I don't feel that way anymore, I can use those experiences and think they're wonderful. If I had the worst of times and I had the best times, that means I really kicked ass because I got past those worst times.

drDrew.com: Do you have any regrets about that infamous speech you gave at the MTV Awards?
FA: That was a big step for me, and it had nothing to do with the content of my speech, or lack thereof. It was the fact that I said what I wanted to say. If I can't show everybody that I'm willing to go up there and make an ass out of myself and be inarticulate and be nervous and be angry, then I have no right speaking, because I have nothing to offer that hasn't been seen before.


drDrew.com: Do you feel old now that you have turned 22?
FA: I don't know how I would feel old or young. I don't understand how people can really answer questions like that. I have no basis of comparison; I've never been anyone else.

drDrew.com: Do you feel more mature?
FA: I was just telling my sister yesterday that I feel like I'm 6 years old. Everything I do with my free time is absurdly kindergarten-like. In hotel rooms all I do is lay out the blanket on the floor and get a bunch of magazines and make collages.

drDrew.com: Does it bother you that people make out to your music?
FA: Hell, no. I don't care what people do. Honestly, I don't care how people remember my albums. I do them for my own reasons. I don't have a big thing about leaving my mark or being historic. They make me feel good, they make some other people feel good.

drDrew.com: What do you listen to when you make out?
FA: What's really good is African drum music. You should try it.

drDrew.com: Did you get drunk when you turned 21?
FA: Come on, I got drunk when I was five. Everybody gets drunk before they're 21.

drDrew.com: You once mentioned in SPIN that you though you would die young. Do you still believe that?
FA: I was being sarcastic, but the writer just didn't get it. I said those things; I wasn't misquoted or anything. I don't think anyone had it out for me or anything; I was just misunderstood. I had been fighting all day about what I was going to wear and how I was going to look at the photo shoot. I just got pissed off and was in a weird mood. I was being deadpan and the man didn't get it. I got into therapy in the fifth grade because I said in a sarcastic way that I was going to kill myself, and they didn't get it then. Nothing's changed.