So, Prince is getting ready to embark on a European tour that actually kicks off with dates in Canada this weekend. For the European tour, Prince did 3 interviews we are told. 2 of them at the same time. 1 was with the Guardian and Le Parisian both interviewing him at the same time.
The Guardian had quoted Prince...or mis-quoted....as it did not go into detail of what his answer or answers were. Since Prince does not allow recording devices, this does some times happen. We are running what the Le Parisian wrote as it is more detailed and has more length to Prince's answers to the questions he was asked;
We almost fainted when he heard on the phone: "It's for tomorrow. Get ready. "A few days before his unique concert at Stade de France on June 30, Prince is visiting Paris. And he wanted to talk. The incredible news - we have not slept all night - will be confirmed: "Be there at 19.00 hours.(7pm)
Not allowed to record anything. If he likes you, you have time. "Go to a selected restaurant near the Champs-Elysees. Feverish, we are led into an empty room upstairs. An hour passes. Suddenly, Prince appears. Alone, without bodyguards or entourage. Smiling, all in black, a silver chain around his neck, he tends a firm handshake, apologizes for being late, asks "How are you? "And" What's there fun to do tonight in Paris? "Sits on the bench, ordering a green tea," Go, discussions. "
You played at the Zenith, Bercy, the Parc des Princes. Stade de France ... is the missing one from your list of conquests?
Prince. The thing is, I have a group of incredible quality. It's like a basketball all star team: each one is a champion in their field. When we play together, there is such an overflow of energy it takes at least a stadium/stage to greet it.
What will the show look like on 30th June?
"There will be many surprises. What I can tell you is that by playing in New York and Los Angeles it resulted in a very controlled show. This stage is at the end."
We know that you rehearse a lot. How do you work with your group?
"I love being a tyrant (smile). But with love. I ask from them a very high level of excellence, but they are also perfectionists."
What do you remember of the 1980's?
"Michael (Editor's note: Jackson) and I appeared at a time when there was nothing. On MTV, there was nothing. People dressed like they were going to the supermarket. We were the exceptions."
Are you nostalgic for that time?
"Sometimes yes. Sometimes I see the shirts/clothes that I was wearing. But musically, no. I play more guitar, I sing better, I am a better arranger."
Are you working on a new album?
"I no longer records songs. I do not want to record as long as the crisis in the music industry will not be resolved. No one earns money. I'll go to the White House to discuss with the government the issues on copyright. It's the Wild West. Everything must be clean."
But you had been one of the first artists to use the Internet ...
"Yes, but at that time, we made money."
You very early on went to war against the record companies ...
"A record company boss told me, straight in the eye: "But, Prince, you do still believe that our goal is to make you earn money? "I was accused of distributing my album" Planet Earth "with an English newspaper, but it allowed me to reach 2 million people. I fought for control over my records. From there, no one dictated to me what I should do."
Is it true that you have hundreds of songs in your files?
"That's true. I listen to some of them with my band and they give me feedback on them."
What do you do between concerts/shows/gigs?
"I study. I learn. I like to talk to people. In all the countries I go to, I meet the people. For example I'm going back to/returning to Morocco. I really like the Muslim culture. I don't understand what people have against veiled women/women in bhurkhas. How can you stop people dressing how/the way they want to?"
The people you meet are they very intimidated by you?
"No, I am very easy to access. Here, for example, do you feel uncomfortable with me? No! Celebrity means nothing in reality, we are all the same."
When you are in Paris, what do you do?
"I go out at night. During the day I can not. The days when I could still walk the streets without being harassed by the paparazzi are long gone."
It seems/would appear you don't like your songs being covered?
"First of all it's lazy. Then/secondly its as if you've erased/ruined/wiped out the original version. This only happens only in music. Can you imagine if everybody did their own version of the Harry Potter film or book? Do you want to hear somebody else singing 'Kiss'? Not me."
You don't have any wrinkles (you haven't aged a bit), what's your secret?
"Time is a spiritual thing (you're as young as you feel). God doesn't count the passing years. He doesn't have any date of birth in the Bible. I don't celebrate my birthdays any more. If you stay active, if you learn new things (keep learning), if you travel, then you stay young."
2 interviews. Done at the same time. Yet, one has more fuller answers and more attention to detail. Very interesting. Was there an agenda? I rather Prince talk about music and performances all day long. It's like watching Michael Jordan. I care about his skills on the court. Could care less that he loves McDonalds and wears Hanes underwear. Calvin Kleins are softer Michael, just for the record.
So what do you all think happened here? I am glad there was some clarification and not just sound bites.-Dr.FB
Diagnosis: Whatever You Think....Is True
UPDATE: The interviewer for the Guardian, Dorian Lynskey had this to say regarding the interview with Prince
Hi. I did the Guardian interview and had no sinister agenda at all. In fact I almost left out the line about burqas because I thought it might take too much attention from the rest of the piece (which it did), although this French Q&A also misrepresents that part of the conversation because the “How can you stop people dressing” bit was in response to a follow-up question about the French burqa ban, not about muslim countries.
Inevitably with two people taking longhand notes (one of whom is doing an interview in his second language) there will be differences. Some of the French version is definitely wrong – it was clearly “loving tyrant” not “I love being a tyrant”, for example. Equally, I can’t say for sure that I didn’t mishear or mistranscribe a few words. I wish I could have recorded it and checked every word myself. But nothing was deliberately fabricated. Please don’t assume that there has to be some weird agenda behind everything.
Michael Hann, the editor of the story for the Guardian contacted us as well:
I’m the editor who commissioned the piece from Dorian. There’s a further issue that explains the indisputable differences between the Guardian’s interview and Le Parisien’s. Not only has their interview been conducted in a second language, and then translated into the writer’s mother tongue, it’s then been further translated back into English for the version that appears above. Anyone who’s ever played the game where you use web translation tools to take a favourite song lyric, translate it into another language, then back into English knows that the final result is unlikely to bear much relation to the original.
By the way, there is of course no circumstance in which a newspaper with an international readership in the tens of millions would compromise its journalism by taking an editorial line from a group of people on a fan site. It just doesn’t happen. As Dorian says, there was no agenda: we at the Guardian were as surprised as anyone by what he had to say.