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Mirwais live interview on France Inter : "I didn't think It's So Cool would end up being such a mess."

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Great interview this morning on one of the top cultural radio shows, on public service France Inter. Here are the best bits.

About Taxi Girl: "Back then, we were the best band in the world (...) We weren't friends, that's what was interesting"

More insights about his work with M !

He reminded that Music, the single, was one of the first major leaks in history.

"I see her as a friend but we don't hang out together, we'd tear up each other's face."

"The way she speaks of our relationship in interviews always makes me laugh. In Mojo, she was talking about me and it felt like we're two lunatics in the studio pitting against each other, for two lines, for a chorus..."

"She has a lot of input"

-

What is a good song according to you?

It's close to you, close to what you are.

When do you both know that a song is good enough?

When she stops arguing, when I stop arguing. I can be worse than her.

(blabla about songs taking too long to produce)

So how come a good song is shelved? Does it happen really?

It happens, yes, it does, for a lot of reasons. It's a matter of timing, often it's not the right moment, you have to feel it, and sometimes there is no real vista. Why does she ditch a song? Because in the production process, she can be wrong, maybe because someone didn't confront her enough, or because she made mistakes or the producer himself. You miss things, it happens.

(Then, Augustin Trapenard, the host, plays "It's So Cool", the unofficial acoustic demo.)

It was supposed to be on American Life, what happened?

Most people don't now that, but there was this movie project, maybe with Luc Besson, covering different historical periods, from the 30s through the 80s. So we had to work on a few tracks from the 70s, and I wrote that song. For the record, her big hit Hung Up came from the same session with Stuart [Price]. But it felt more 80s!

The track leaked online ten years ago and it's still there. Why?

It's because of Warner. From when she left them. They don't care about her back catalogue a lot but they'll end up paying attention to it. There are real nuggets, real good stuff. There are songs like this one, extraordinary.

(Blabla, then he trashes Spotify.)

(Then, Augustin Trapenard plays the Celebration version. Mirwais laughs out loud.)

I think it's a failure (cackles).

What does it take it to fail?

When you don't have that vista... Not seeing the potential, not seeing the core of what it is.

But when you hear that version from the Best Of, what does it sound like? Do you feel dispossessed?

No, I've approved it. But I didn't think it would end up being such a mess.

It makes you laugh in the end... (they both laugh)

Yes, you know what, you have to let go...

(Blabla, then he basically trashes Spotify again, because of some other artist called Mirwais who does "shitty trance music", with that stupid "Mashed Potato" song and people think it's him)

In the beginning, what did you want on that song?

Something very folk. The Kinks! Madonna has the perfect 70s voice, you know.

Was she aware of what you figured for that song?

Of course! We made it together! Wait a minute, do you sincerely believe that she wouldn't know? That woman is a living sensor! She's like me, she's more into the future than the past. But she started digging into it. Because like I said about The Retrofuture [his new album], I have a theory that for the first time in the history of art, the past looks better than the future. Honestly, what is the next thing in music? Auto-Tune all the way? It's bullshit.

You're one of the pioneers though. That's what got Madonna into you.

Besides Cher, and that's a long time ago. But I bet you won't find a track entirely sung on Auto-Tune before Naive Song. It was the first. And that's what caught her attention so we did Nobody's Perfect, the first track by a major star entirely sung on Auto-Tune, in 2000. Then we did James Bond [Die Another Day] on Auto-Tune... Then some other folk goes "I invented Auto-Tune in 2006" [poking at Kanye West]". Wrong! Man, James Bond was in 2002!

(blabla)

You have to be sincere in life.

 

Listen to the full show featuring Mirwais new track 2016 - My Generation here : https://www.franceinter.fr/emissions/boomerang/boomerang-23-octobre-2020

 

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Edited by discohub
many edits to improve the translation

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18 minutes ago, wtg1987 said:

Turns out "Its so cool" not so cool then ? Never liked this song or any of the other outtakes from AL (Miss You, I'm In Love With Love, If You Go Away) I still think hes a very limited producer but im sure i will get shouted down for saying that !

Hey, nothing wrong with having an opinion!  Personally, I like most of the stuff she's done with Mirwais.  I agree that the outtakes you listed aren't great (though I'm pretty sure those were from that musical that never happened).  American Life DID have (IMO) some fantastic outtakes (The Game is incredible, and Set the Right is pretty decent).  I think her missteps were the Hard Candy album, since at that point everyone and their cousin had worked with Timbaland, and I really don't get the fuss about Pharrell.  Like at all.  I also think that MDNA, in spite of the occasional great song, proves that she shouldn't work with William Orbit again.  I love ROL, but he's really repetitive IMO.  Falling Free is a beautiful song, but it's Orbit by numbers.  Plus he's basically done the same song with her 4 times (the Liquid Remix of Ray of Light, Beautiful Stranger, Amazing, I'm a Sinner--all of these are practically interchangeable).  All of this is, of course, my humble opinion, so take it as you will, lol.  Also, thank you @discohubfor posting this, it's so great to hear the artists/producers actually talking about the MUSIC!!  I find that severely lacking in most Madonna interviews.

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Quote

 

The track leaked online ten years ago and it's still there. Why?

It's because of Warner. From when she left them. They don't care about her back catalogue a lot but they'll end up paying attention to it. There are real nuggets, real good stuff. There are songs like this one, extraordinary.

 

The way he dragged Warner Bros. Yikes!

When even musical producers mention this in interviews like this you know it's bad, LOL

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2 hours ago, wtg1987 said:

Turns out "Its so cool" not so cool then ? Never liked this song or any of the other outtakes from AL (Miss You, I'm In Love With Love, If You Go Away) I still think hes a very limited producer but im sure i will get shouted down for saying that !

except a very few tracks, I absolutely agrre with you

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As I already wrote on another topic, I think that the Mirwais sessions are among the best of her career, her voice sounded wonderful, she sounded very much in control of what she was singing and the message behind it. Mirwais has always had radical, left wing political views and I guess that Madonna relates to him on that level.

Miss You, The Game, It's So Cool, Set The Right, I'm In Love With Love, Is This Love (Bon d'accord) are great demos, I'll always be curious of how they could have come out if the movie project or whatever had gone through.

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11 hours ago, wtg1987 said:

Turns out "Its so cool" not so cool then ? Never liked this song or any of the other outtakes from AL (Miss You, I'm In Love With Love, If You Go Away) I still think hes a very limited producer but im sure i will get shouted down for saying that !

If You Go Away is a cover and she did it with Leonard.

Mirwais a limited producer? He's probably the more versatile producer she worked with. The stuff she did with him for Confessions has nothing to do with the stuff they did on Music/American Life, same for Madame X. You can dislike him of course, but saying he's limited  as a producer doesn't make sense. He's not Orbit who uses the same loops and sounds on basically every song.

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It's So Cool (2009) is probably the only Madonna/Mirwais collaboration I strongly dislike. But I passionately loath Paul Oakenfold's version - just awful, one of the worst records she's ever put out. It's So Cool (2002 with choir) is great, there was absolutely no need to turn it into some uptempo dance record, just wasn't asking for it?!?!? I don't get why out of all her unreleased they chose that. Hard Candy's shelved tracks would've worked so much better, I'd love to hear Mirwais' or Oakenfold's take on Across The Sky, Animal or Lela Pala Tute. 

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I wonder if the "We need love" chorus in the Celebration version was created by Oakenfold in studio using a line from the verse (but changing key). This part is missing in the 2002 demo but also in the Mirwais 2009 version:

 

But her voice in the original demo is so pure and clean. I miss this voice so much! Mirwais is right when he says that Warner should release this material: "il y a des perles"!

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13 hours ago, luluthecat said:

It's So Cool (2009) is probably the only Madonna/Mirwais collaboration I strongly dislike. But I passionately loath Paul Oakenfold's version - just awful, one of the worst records she's ever put out. It's So Cool (2002 with choir) is great, there was absolutely no need to turn it into some uptempo dance record, just wasn't asking for it?!?!? I don't get why out of all her unreleased they chose that. Hard Candy's shelved tracks would've worked so much better, I'd love to hear Mirwais' or Oakenfold's take on Across The Sky, Animal or Lela Pala Tute. 

Probably her idea.

Broken, which was also made for Hard Candy was there at some point.

I wish she revisited some of the old tracks more often.

I quite like ITSC, both the original (w/choir) and the released version.

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On 10/24/2020 at 6:04 AM, luluthecat said:

He did a really cool concept mix of it, sadly it's off-key in lots of parts, I guess it would've had a new vocal. 

This coulda been on Madame X if it was properly mixed. 👀

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