AND HER DEBUT
'THE DEVIL HAS MY DOUBLE'
BORE US! GET TO THE CHORUS:
PEOPLES TALKS TO ROCKWIRED ABOUT HIS SELF-TITLED DEBUT CD, HIS BIG
CHORUS MENTALITY, AND GIVING OUT SOMETHING GOOD.
MULHOLLAND TALKS TO ROCKWIRED ABOUT HIS LATEST CD 'FURTHER', THE
CHALLENGES OF BEING AN UNDERAGED ROCKER, AND LOOKING TO THE FUTURE.(READ
MORE)LIKE FLOWERS THROUGH THE CONCRETE:MARC PANNI OF LOS BLANCOS
TALKS TO ROCKWIREDABOUT THEIR LATEST CD
'JUST THIS ONCE' REELING IN THE AUDIENCE AT MAKING FOLKS RECONSIDER
NOT JUST A VOICE:NIKITA
GERMAINE TALKS TO ROCKWIRED ABOUT HER LATEST CD 'JUST KITA', WORKING
WITH KEVIN 'DARKSIDE' SMITH, AND FINALLY BEING ABLE TO EXPRESS HERSELF.
LOVE LIKE THIS:MIKE
ZITO TALKS TO ROCKWIRED ABOUT HIS LATEST CD 'TODAY' GROWING AS A
SONGWRITERAND MAKING THE ALBUM
HE'S ALWAYS DREAMED OF
GRAHAM TALKS TO ROCKWIRED ABOUT HER LATEST CD 'ECHO'TAKING THE LISTENER
ON A MUSICAL JOURNEY
AND FILLING PEOPLE WITH A SENSE OF HOPE
A BIT OF
VIXEN AND AUSSIE SOCIETY WOMANJANE BADLER
TALKS TO ROCKWIREDABOUT
HER DEBUT CD 'THE
DEVIL HAS MY DOUBLE'FINDING
HER VOICE AND DOING SOMETHING ORIGINALINTERVIEWED
BY BRIAN LUSH
When I mentioned to people that I was
going to be interviewing DIANA from the cult science fiction
mini-series 'V', I got two different responses; one group said "What
the hell is 'V'?" and the other gasped "You mean the one
who ate the guinea pig?"
I would be lying if I said that
the sight of actress JANE BADLER scarfing down a guinea pig in the
1983 sci-fi classic didn't stick with me to this day, but it was
BADLER's wide brown eyes, dark hair, wide cheekbones, and pouty lips
that made her portrayal of the reptilian dominatrix bent on
harvesting the human populace for food, so memorable. In a show
littered with recycled special effects footage and annoyingly
over-the-top performances from the likes of B-actors MARC SINGER and
FAYE GRANT, perhaps being devoured by an alien sexpot nemesis like
DIANA wasn't such a losing proposition after all.
later, the world has changed and the only thing that's changed on the
lovely Ms. BADLER is her accent. Having lived in Melbourne Australia
for the past nineteen years since her marriage to businessman STEPHEN
HAINES, BADLER lives the life of a society woman. She has also
returned to the world of music; a vocation she put on hold thirty
years ago when she found herself singing standards in clapped out
bars instead of doing something unique and original. This time, she's
doing both with the release of her debut album 'THE DEVIL HAS MY
DOUBLE' from UNSTABLE APE RECORDS with a little help from the
Melbourne-based band SIR. According to BADLER, "It feels the
most right of anything that I've done"
'THE DEVIL HAS MY
DOUBLE' is a surprisingly dark and edgy listen in the vein of JULEE
CRUISE or PORTISHEAD. The opening track 'WHEN WE GOT HIGH' brings to
mind the urgency of MARIANNE FAITHFULL's 'TIMES SQUARE' and
JANE teams up vocally with JESSE JACKSON SHEPHERD on the playful 'I
LOVE EVERYTHING', where the results mirror the teaming of NANCY
SINATRA and the late-LEE HAZELWOOD (had HAZELWOOD been a robot). With
solid backing from the SHEPHERD fronted band SIR, 'THE DEVIL...' is a
deliciously crafted concept album exploring themes such as fame
('EVERYBODY KNOWS MY SECRETS'), sex ('SINGLE TONIGHT') and loneliness
('THE DOLL THAT CRIES REAL TEARS'). The female psyche hasn't been put
on display this artfully since EURYTHMICS' 1987 album
ROCKWIRED spoke with JANE BADLER over the phone.
Here is how it went.
I guess I should preface things by
saying you look great! It's as if time stood still for you and not
for me or anyone else.
Well thank you! But I must say that I
do spend a great deal of time on it. It doesn't come naturally.
You've got to work at it.
And your CD 'THE DEVIL HAS MY
DOUBLE' has come as quite a surprise to me.
How great! I love surprising people! That is such a great
response to hear that you were surprised!
And now that it's
out there for everybody to hear, how do you feel about it?
so proud of it. I really am. Looking back on it now, I think we've
evolved the persona of it a bit more. When I'm in performance, I
bring it to the next level and it all makes a lot of sense when you
see me perform live. We've gotten rid of some of the songs on the
album that don't quite work with our concept, but things do evolve
and change. At the moment we're writing new songs but I'm really
proud of this CD that we've put out.
I guess there is this
musical side to you that has taken me by surprise. All I ever knew of
you was DIANA from V.
Well let me tell you that there are lots
of sides to me that people don't know. I grew up playing flute,
guitar and piano and I've been singing since I was about seven and I
started singing professionally at age eighteen in clubs throughout
New Hampshire and then I sang on weekends in Chicago when I was at
University and then I sang in New York at the PLAYBOY CLUB and then I
stopped for years. Then I started again about seven years ago. It was
mostly jazz. I worked with the greatest jazz pianists here in
Melbourne, Australia and did lots of cabaret and then JESSE JACKSON
SHEPHERD of SIR approached me about a year and a half ago and I
have to say that THE DEVIL HAS MY DOUBLE feels the most right of
anything that I've done.
It does feel right, and I'm saying
that as a listener.
It's kind of magical how those weird
things happen. I was singing these jazz covers and it really wasn't
going anywhere and it really wasn't all that edgy and when you know
that there is something out there for you that's a little more
original and then, when it finds you, it's amazing. Around that time,
JESSE approached me and I heard the music and I was like "Oh,
this music is really strange! I'm not sure." JESSE and SIR had a
very different approach than me. We sort of evolved together and
created this character and it sort of makes so much sense now to the
both of us. We're very excited.
Before meeting with JESSE,
were you familiar with SIR at all?
Not at all and he really
wasn't that familiar with me. He knew me as DIANA the icon, and he
knew that I had been singing around town, but he really had no idea
of the extent of what I could do and I didn't realize how much this
music would tap into my own fantasy life and touch me very deeply in
my own way. So it was just kind of this weird thing that has
In the small press snippets that I have read, the
album is described as being autobiographical. Is that really the
Well, lets put it this way. I am very fortunate that in
my life, there is one aspect of me that would be a "society
woman". I'm lucky that I live a beautiful life and I married a
business man and I go to charity functions. In the creation of this
character for this album, I have used that. I have used what appears
to everyone as this woman who fits in so perfectly into society
circles and I kind of exaggerate it with the couture and the glamor
and hair and the CHANEL. And in the course of the music, you have the
unraveling of this character with her very dark sexual obsessions. So
it kind of came from me from where I'm at and where I've been.
artwork and photography for the CD is amazing!
Let me tell you. JESSE SHEPHERD
is the most unsung hero. He thinks out of the box. He's so brilliant!
He's a beautiful artist and now he's a songwriter and he teaches art.
He found this photographer and he created this scenario and the most
strange locations we went to. He kind of knew what he wanted and we
created this alter-ego of the character. It took about a year to do
all of the photos because we did it on a very limited budget, which
you would never know from looking at the art work. Because it's an
independent release, we didn't have access to tremendous amounts of
money but sometimes you are forced to become more creative and in a
way it's more satisfying.
And I think you've got the
perfect shade of blue on this album.
Isn't it great! I'm just
so happy with the artwork and how much it mirrors the whole
experience of the character in the songs. A part of what we are doing
with this project is the visual aspect. We're now trying to get a
show going where it's kind of cabaret/pop, where we would have a
video installation and take it a step further in a way that DAVID
BOWIE or IGGY POP did - that sort of thing where it's performance art
Personally, I think some of the tracks lend themselves
perfectly to music videos.
We're actually about to do
For which song.
We don't know yet actually. But
we're thinking about the first song 'WHEN WE GOT HIGH'
was thinking that one myself actually.
Yes. There was either
that one or 'I LOVE EVERYTHING' - the song about screwing in the
backseat of a car and touching you up in the cinema. We're just
talking to a director right now about getting something up and onto
TOUTUBE and getting it out there. It's all quiet arty and we want to
start doing some visual things.
Well, the track 'WHEN WE
GOT HIGH' was the track that sort of reeled me in. It's got this sort
of MARIANNE FAITHFULL vibe to it that I really like.
tell you that it's one of my favorite tracks too? It was one of the
last things that JESSE wrote for me. When we started working
together, he would write some things and some of the songs we'd throw
out and some of them, we kept. As he started writing that one and
'EVERYONE KNOWS MY SECRETS', that was when we both felt that he was
really starting to tap into my persona and what we were doing was
really starting to click. So the next album that we are collaborating
on will go in a much more moodier direction and certainly not as
So you were pretty much the muse in terms of the
creative process or did JESSE have these songs already.
of the songs he had already like 'THE DEVIL HAS MY DOUBLE' which was
great. He had a lot of songs and most of them I wasn't happy with
because some of the were quite poppy and poppy isn't my thing. Even
some of the ones that we kept, I don't think are my strongest songs.
One song that really worked, which was an existing song was 'THE DOLL
THAT CRIES REAL TEARS', which was used in a feature film. I think
that one works very well. Another existing song that I think really
works is 'SINGLE TONIGHT' which he had sung years and years ago and
had dragged out and I went crazy over it. So that song had
already existed but later on, you can hear where he had written these
more moodier songs for me. So when I heard 'WHEN WE GOT HIGH' I was
like "Oh my God! JESSE! I'm so excited about this song! This is
where I'm at!"
You've got a very interesting label
behind you - UNSTABLE APE RECORDS. I interviewed another artist on
that label earlier today.
Oh, GUY BLACKMAN?
doing well. He's amazing! He's a reviewer, a writer, and performer
and he's very well known in Melbourne and Australia as a writer as
well as a musician. He's going on a tour right now and it's so much
easier for him in away because he can fit into a genre a little more
easily than I. We struggle a bit and people don't quite know
what to do with us. We don't quite know what to do with us.
What are your thoughts on the label that your with? They
seem kind of hands-on to me.
They're great. They're small and
the label is really quirky and they're really excited about all of
us. None of us are huge but you never know. I think it's great! I
like what they're doing and I like the creativity. I like that
everyone is really original. It's not generic. Everyone is really
original. I'm excited to be a part of their quirky stable of
What drew you to music initially?
beginning, it was more about an expressing myself. I didn't have the
most ideal upbringing -not that I had a tragic one, but it wasn't
blissfully happy either - and I was very much into the fantasy
and was eager to express myself in a way that I wasn't able to in my
personal life as a child. That was probably the initial reason why I
got into performing and singing. I was kind of generic in that I was
singing in cover bands and singing things like 'JEREMIAH WAS A
BULLFROG' with these evening gowns and false eyelashes, you know?
long way from having reptile skin and a laser gun.
was eighteen! I did attract a crowd because I was cute and busty, but
I certainly wouldn't say that I was doing anything extraordinary and
I guess there was a time when I had realized that my music wasn't
going anywhere. I stopped because I didn't have an original voice
and I didn't have anything original to say with it. Now I'm at
an age where that's what I'm most interested in; saying something
original in my music and my acting. In everything I do, I want
express myself in an original way, if I can.
an accent helps.
Yes it does actually. I'm a little bit of an
oddity here in Melbourne. I'm very glamorous in my outlook on how I
like to present myself and I don't think that people are much that
way here in Australia. They're a bit more laid back. And I've never
wavered from that. I've always been who I am which is pure glamor in
my presentation. We did a big indie festival recently and I can tell
you the people were quite aghast at us when I walked out like 'Miss
Glamor Puss' and I think they all went "Good God! What is this?"
There was all of this folky, weird indie stuff going on and I come
out. There were very mixed reviews, needless to say, about me but
that's okay. I've got to do what's right for me.
interviewed a couple of other women from Australia and they were kind
of butch, so yeah, you are the glamor queen amongst the lot.
yeah, it's kind of what makes me feel good. It makes me feel good and
empowered, to be glamorous.
In doing my research for a
picture to use, I came across this one photos of you as a beauty
Yes, I was in the MISS AMERICA pageant. There you go
honey, it's all making sense now.
It does make sense.
that's kind of what JESSE wants to do with this show that we're
trying to do. He wants me to come out with this crown and the MISS
NEW HAMPSHIRE sash and sort of play with that.
at the liner notes, this project looks like it was recorded rather
You have no idea how quickly it was recorded. I think
I had two days in the studio. I'm really proud of what I did. It
wasn't 'stop' and 'start' and nothing was dropped. It was pretty much
singing the songs from beginning to end and the band all played live.
The album isn't spruced up with special effects or anything like
that. It's got a real clean sound.
Are you acting
Yes. It's weird because my acting is starting to happen
again too. I did a movie in November. There's going to be a screening
for it pretty soon and I just finished doing a play for six weeks in
Melbourne, which was an incredible experience for me and now I've got
three projects that are all about to happen or may happen; a few
films and one series. One is a horror film and the other is a
thriller so it's kind of a good time for me where things seem to be
happening. There was a lull for many years but it seems to be my time
How long have you lived in Australia? You've
acquired an accent.
I've been here a long time. Nineteen
years. I'd like to say half my life but it's not. It wonderful here,
you'd love it.
I heard a rumor about a new 'V' project
called 'V: THE SECOND GENERATION'. Would you be interested in doing
Oh yes. It's weird that you say that because I got an
e-mail form KENNY ('V' creator KENNETH JOHNSON) yesterday. We've been
e-mailing each other back and forth. I was telling him that it
was weird that I'm doing a pilot for a new series. It's a sci-fi
series and my character's name is DIANA. In a way, the series
creators are playing on that even though I'm just playing the nice
mom of a teenage son. Right now, KENNY says he's working really hard
to make 'V' happen in the movies. For 'V', a series is not really in
the works. What seems to be happening is more of a movie. I don't
know how close he is right now. You hear rumors, but who knows. If it
would happen, absolutely I'd do it. It's not anything really deep or
profound, but if KENNY was doing it - who was involved in the
original mini-series - it would be worth doing it and I think it
would be very special.
What do you want a person to come
away with after they've heard 'THE DEVIL HAS MY DOUBLE'?
a very good question. I'd like them to come away thinking a little
about their own sort of sexuality, their own fantasy life, a bit of
fun, a bit of whimsy and a bit of titillation.
best answer I've ever had to that question.
No one ever brings up sex. You'd think they would with something
I think that's all I talk about. It must be
my age or something.