11 September 2003

 Louise Interview

 TM: Hi there Louise - welcome to Tiscali, do you use the Internet much?

 Louise: Thank you - I'm pretty useless with the online world actually. I've got two brothers actually who are always on it, they live by it. The only thing I've done is online shopping - the Waitrose service. It was fantastic - it arrived, the afternoon of the day I ordered it!

 TM: Are you happy at the moment?

 Louise: Really excited, really happy and really nervous - with the new single coming out. You just never know what's going to happen, it's a hard few weeks in the music industry the next few weeks, so I'm keeping everything crossed really.

 TM: I've seen the video and it looks great - how do you feel about your new raunchier image?
 Louise: I think it wasn't ever a purposeful thought to go raunchy, but the song really lends itself towards something like that. It was good fun to do - it was a little bit of a progression on. I didn't want to stay stagnant.

 And I'll move on again with the next single. I wouldn't have gone down that route if it had been a ballad; it happened that it was suitable for that song.

 TM: Did you enjoy wearing the high boots in the video? I've been asked to ask you.

 Louise: Yeah I did (she laughs), I was thinking they were going to be killers, because they were quite a thick heel, and not too 'stilletoey', so they were ok.

 TM: The song itself starts very beatsy and becomes more rocky as you move on, which is mirrored in the video as you break out onto stage towards the end of the video - what was the thinking behind this?

 Louise: Well, overall it's a pop record, but it's got a slightly more urban feel in the verse, and slightly more rocky in the chorus.

 TM: Where do you place yourself in the current music market? Are you still pop?

 Louise: Yes, I will always be a pop artist, and I'm not trying to rediscover myself and say 'hey I'm a major artist and I'm trying to win a Mercury Music Award', I just think just because you are a pop artist you can't move pop on into different areas.

 I've just played around with the pop element, and I've incorporated a little bit of rock and a little bit of the urban feel and I've married that together in a pop record. I just think otherwise it gets a little bit boring.

 So many people when I said that I was going to release a record this time had a preconception of what I was going to release. Now it's come out and it isn't what they've expected. It is different and I've gone against the grain and it would have been safer to come with a straight pop record, but...(she laughs) I wasn't feeling that!

 After 10 years, I thought it's about time I make music that I really, honestly like. I just have to hope that my tastes are the same as everyone else!

 TM: Was all the symbolism of the Greek Myth 'Pandora's box' integral to the planning of this new single, given that it is called 'Pandora's Kiss'?

 Louise: I didn't write the song, but Sylvia Bennet Smith (who I've worked with a number of times) did, and she's been really involved in constructing the whole album with me. What I didn't want to do on this album was just receive songs through the post and say, 'ooh I like those songs, I'll record that one and put it on my album', and so you end up with 15 or 16 songs in no man's land.

 So I got three different groups of people together, the American group of writers (Sylvia), Pete Martin and Mark Hill, and they are three very strong song writing groups, and they all new what we were writing for, and we all had meetings about co-writing and where we were going with it. So I don't know whether the writers of the track went quite as deep as the Greek myth but I think it was more the idea of breaking out of the previous mould, and doing something different.

 TM: Where are you in the label side of things?

 Louise: I was at EMI for 10 years made five albums, then I was at Ministry of Sound, and before I even recorded a record I was told it was no longer happening, so it was like 'oh, ok'... but we still continued to record the album.

 I'm actually with the same people I've been with since we recorded the first eternal record, Positive Records - we've always signed with them from day 1, but in the past they've always licensed it out.

 So in the past we've always done everything in house, and then licensed it out to a major. They haven't licensed it through a major this time, they've gone independent.

 For me this was great, because I had complete creative control.

 Before, we'd make an album and then you'd give it to a group of people who'd never met you before and they tell you what records should and shouldn't go on the album.

 Now we don't have any of that - but sometimes there's the feeling of missing that great will, that great force of a major behind you with an endless budget. Having said that, I'm not sure even majors are doing that now.

 It's exciting for me, I don't have to do anything I want to do! Especially musically, they don't go 'this song's a hit', and politically we want to work with this writer, so do it! And you think 'oh my god...', this time it is if we like it then do it, if we think it's the right direction then great, if we don't then we don't do it.

 It's nice having that liberty.

 TM: So you feel freer creatively?

 Louise: Yeah, and maybe it's come too late, because we are so used to a format of things we want to listen to in this country.

 It's hard to cross over to a new area. People really hate you moving over into different areas. For this record, I was conscious of that. I was still happy to make a pop record, just with a little bit more depth to it.

 TM: OK, some quick fire questions: first one - How does it feel being a sex symbol?

 Louise: I don't feel like a sex symbol. It's OK. I never think of myself in that sense - I really don't! I don't know what to say to that one.

 TM: Would you ever consider a lesbian kiss (a la Madonna & Britney)?

 Louise: Depends who with! (She laughs)

 TM: Who would it have to be with?

 Louise: Somebody very clean! No smelly breath.

 TM: Do you still see the girls from Eternal?

 Louise: I do still see the girls from Eternal, we do speak. We don't speak all the time. We've kind of got a very weird relationship - we're not all on the phone pretending to be best friends, but we've kind of got each other's backs a little bit, we do support one another.

 TM: When do you plan to have kids?

 Louise: Lots of people ask me that - now you can have children in the music industry and have a career. Unfortunately you can't just order them up, you know, you never know. So the answer is: I don't know.

 TM: The idea of celebrity - does that sit comfortably with you? The obvious comparison for you and Jamie (Redknapp) is with Posh and Becks, no?

 Louise: I think our celebrity relationship is quite low, when you think that Jamie has been captain of Liverpool and now of Tottenham, it's pretty low.

 We get by with a pretty normal life. In the early days it was a very conscious decision, we didn't want to exploit that - turning up together at things.

 And I think as the years have gone on, Jamie has had his injury problems, I've had a break from the industry, we've managed to slip into a normal way of living and still maintain the jobs we do, which is perfect.

 He has got absolutely no desire in this world at all to be a celebrity. He gets asked a lot to do a magazine or TV, and he just laughs! I've never heard him once consider it - even when I say 'ooh, that would be a good magazine to do something for', he's not interested. He'd say 'what for? I play football and that's it.'

 TM: Politics now. Do you feel safe in the UK at the moment in the age of global terror?

 Louise: I think we are as safe here as anywhere else. I think around Christmas time it might well be scary on the streets as they fill up. Having said that, I think the terrorist situation in the UK is nothing new really, we've had to deal with the domestic Irish situation for many years now.

 TM: And finally, if you had to choose to sleep with one person - Tony Blair or Gordon Brown?

 Louise: I have to say the sleeping thing doesn't come into my mind! But I would say that I'm a bit Tony Blair fan. I think he's got a great wife, a great family.

 I'm not saying that he hasn't made mistakes along the way. But I think fundamentally he's quite in touch with normal people...I do think he's a family man who has had things happen in his life. His son has been found drunk, his wife has made mistakes, and for that he is a man who is slightly more in touch with the average man. So I stick by Tony Blair and I am a fan.

 TM: Thank you for showing us your political colours, and your time today Louise. Best of luck with the single and the album.

 Louise: Thanks very much - bye!