Prince’s first interview in four years

Already can’t wait until tomorrow night to get the rest of the conversation.

That always seems to happen when something gets so good and suddenly, you’re out of time.

I always learn so much with these things and its always a pleasure to see Prince in an interview situation.

It took me a little while to get back down to the present, though, because the past few days, I’ve been trying to finish listening to the Come album. The only problem is the weather not cooperating. It’s been 90° outside for the past three days and somehow, warm and sunny doesn’t quite fit with the dark, depressing music of Come.
Just to make things fit with the weather, I’ll finish out the album tonight after I’m finished this. And I probably will check into The Gold Experience starting tomorrow. Before I move onto Emancipation (I know the perfect day/night for it), I’m going to listen to the two albums back to back to get a feel for the “SLAVE” era.

I had to bring myself back to the present as I said before. The Prince that we know now is different from the Prince from back then. He wasn’t even called Prince back then.
I had to turn up the volume on my TV to make sure I heard everything that was going on, everything being said so I wouldn’t.

Earlier, I managed to catch the short clip on ET to see what the whole buzz about it was. It seems that a couple of the lyrics from “The Sacrifice of Victor” indeed had some truth to it. I should have believed what it said on the album cover, next to the lyric “epiletic until the age of 7,” that this was true.

The story, which he recalled maybe five minutes into the show, was that Prince was born epiletic and naturally his parents were nervous about it, not knowing what to do. He doesn’t remember saying this, but supposedly one day (when he was around 7), he told his mom that he wasn’t going to be sick any more because an angel told him.

The two went in so many different directions, but Prince seemed very cool with the whole thing. The two have known each other for at least a decade, so the atmosphere was very relaxed.

Because I don’t remember the exact order of things, I’ll list them as they come.

There was a LOT of talk about his father and his life growing up. His father was very strict in some ways, including telling a number of things not to do (“never get married”) and teaching him how to really know how to play music. He’d been drilled quite a few times on the piano, being told that he wasn’t playing correctly and had to be shown how it was meant to sound.
And because of the strict atmosphere, that’s how Prince created his own world. Created his own rules for himself that he would live by. Surprisingly, he is STILL a Jehovah’s Witness and managed to stick with that. It’s been at least 8 years now, but could be more. The fact that JW’s don’t vote was brought up and Prince seems in support of Obama, saying that he means well.

There was a lot of a emphasis about people relying on each other and having to do so because things are going to get rougher.
One of the most interesting/intriguing conversations was about the idea of critiquing. Prince made such comments as that he likes getting constructive criticisms from “smart people,” and how he always wants to get better. Getting told that we’re not feeling what he’s doing. Then he made a comment that he really doesn’t like it when people judge his work based on his personality and his past work and wants them to take the work as music.

Intrigued as I am, here I started to worry a little about what it is I do here. Granted, I don’t judge his music as harshly as a lot of the people on .org… I’ve been kind of harsh on a couple of albums and songs and I always judge the music on his personality. It’s not really negative, though, unlike most. I try to make very balanced in my judgement, not tearing him apart for the things I don’t like.
There are a lot of cases where I just don’t get what he’s writing.
I’ll have to give MPLSound another listen to be more sure about it, but I would say to him, should these opinions stand, that I’m not feeling what he did on the album. A lot of what he did just wasn’t him. It didn’t sound as original as his work can be. I could even say that his heart and soul wasn’t as recognizable in the music… but I haven’t heard it more than once, so I can’t be a proper judge for that.

From now on, I’ll try to be a little more lenient, but it’s going to be difficult to judge the music as it is rather than connecting it completely to him. Saying this is an example of why he is such-and-such.

The Rainbow Children review that I did a few weeks back was probably the most authentic review I’d done in a long time. It’s along the lines what he’d probably approve of because I’m looking beyond the religion. I’m looking at the music as a whole and its message.
The other comment he made in this conversation was the fact that he can’t improve on himself if the music’s getting judged by his personality. He writes about the world through his eyes and wants people to take away from the music and tries to enlighten them to how he’d like to see people interact with one another and the planet.

A lot of the music is introverted and about him so I guess I can’t do that with everything. With albums like Musicology and The Rainbow Children and maybe bits & pieces of 3121  and Planet Earth, he’s tried to promote certain messages through his music.

He talked a little bit about his childhood and how he was teased. His solution to that was going “into self” and he discovered that self through teaching himself music.
Another interesting part of the conversation was how there’s a separation of church and state here unlike London (which was talking a lot about the Bible on TV, apparently). But he doesn’t think there should be a separation between state and morality… now I just gotta figure out what morality is, lol

“Everyone is talented, that’s what makes the world go”
I don’t quite remember where this conversation ended up because Tavis might have cut him off to take the conversation somewhere else.
Right now, I haven’t been quite as able to focus on my writing with finals coming up and the fact I’m spending so much time with my friends lately (had myself a hell of a weekend).

Creative Writing has taken me away from the work that I do best, though it has given me a lot of good ideas of what I can put into my writing. There’s something about finding your own style, your own place in your work that I haven’t quite mastered yet.
One of the comments that followed is that you can’t be taught art by reading about it, its something you need to experience for yourself and find for yourself.
I’m still in the self-discovery phase.

The people on .org, I’m still see more and more that the majority of them don’t see things the way Prince does. They’re doing a lot of things, according to him, are not the right way.

Tavis made an interesting comment in asking why Prince ended up cool and collected as he did with the strict childhood rather than mean. Hilariously, he made a comment that he does have a mean side and I got to thinking “don’t we all know about that?”
But he always tries to reach out through love and understanding rather than calling people out.
Even more hilarious, he made a comment about people talking behind his back and of course he gets a little hurt by that. The comment that started this conversation started something like good critics and people you should surround yourselves with give you respect when you’re not in the room. People have respected him to his face, but talk about him behind his back either because they think it won’t get back to him, he doesn’t care and he’s above it, the list goes on.

Looking at Prince and the way he was talking and behaving on the show, it makes me think of past interviews and roles I’ve seen him in. The way he looks has changed quite a bit over the years, but his mannerisms, tone of voice and even his sense of humor, that hasn’t changed at all. It takes me back to whenever.
Once I see something once involving Prince, I never forget it. It’s always in the back of my head somewhere and it takes familiar visuals and sounds to bring it to the front of my mind.

I’ll make more comments on tomorrow’s continuation of the interview, but right now, I think I’ve learned a lot already. I swear I could watch one of those shows for HOURS and I wouldn’t get bored. Since the beginning and I started considering the idea of the two of us meeting face to face, I’d love to get into conversation just like that. Sticking with the music, but maybe going a little outside of it to discuss our principles and stuff. An hour wouldn’t be enough, lol

15 more minutes isn’t enough either.
I get so absorbed in these things.

The strangest thing is… I don’t think I’ve ever seen Prince in an interview any more upbeat, in that good of a mood, with that much of a smile on face. He’s gotten so much more open and seems to be in a great place as far as his faith is concerned.

The other three songs talked about were “Colonized Mind,” “Feel Good, Feel Better, Feel Wonderful” and “Ol’ School Company.” With each, he mentioned different people in his life that influenced certain lyrics of all three. Colonized Mind is his current mindset and goes with everything he said the other night. We all need each other and to hang onto each other in the state of the country. The second song was about the same thing and it makes a reference to a record executive.

This goes into a whole conversation about the record industry and how its an example to him and other artists he’s close with of things not to do when it comes to releasing a record. He also says something about not signing 360 contracts or something of that nature unless you’re crazy… 90% of contracts, he doesn’t seem to believe in.

An interesting comment he made that made me nearly jump out of my seat was about his ballads. He said he likes to use his upper register because it reminds him of the female voice. He also said that he’s not so much into male singers. Either because he prefers the opposite sex for obvious reasons or he thinks that they are the better singers. In a way, it makes sense when females are known more for singing and having beautiful voices. Very few guys can get in touch with their feminine side quite the same way.
I have more male artists in my album collection for the obvious reason… but maybe I see things the opposite way. I dig them because their voices have a unique sound, all of these artists have a different voice.
Jesse McCartney, I singled out because he had the most amazing range of the members of his old boyband. He’s been working on that falsetto and has a wonderful range. His work has its own something extra that tells me its one of his.
Nickelback, I singled out because the unique voice of their lead singer, Chad Kroeger, and even his gruff voice can make certain ballads resonate.
Just to give a few examples, but maybe like Prince is in touch with his femine side, I have something similar because I’m a tomboy and seem to have more in common with the opposite sex than with my own.

Ol’ School Company seems to go all over the place with its message. It’s a tribute to the music he grew up with (as if the whole Musicology album didn’t do that, lol) and it makes references to the redistribution of the wealth and how we need to take care of our own when the government is letting us down.

People at .org definitely going to tear him apart because he brought Larry Graham into the conversation… I can hear the eyes rolling now. Everyone blames him for the JW conversion, but Prince was the one who sought HIM out to know about what the faith was about. He liked what he heard and bam…
But in this part of the conversation, a really, really lively Prince came out as he was telling a story about Larry’s mean side. The Family Stone was going to open for Hendrix, but on their way to the venue, they got in a car accident and Larry flipped out on the guy they either crashed into or crashed into them. Extremely giddy, Prince had to ask who won: The Family Stone or Hendrix and supposedly The Family Stone kicked butt.

Hilariously, “Guitar Hero” was brought up in the conversation and its clear that we’re not getting a Prince edition of the game any time soon. He likes it so long as the people playing don’t have the time to learn the instrument, but he’d prefer it if people picked up the actual instrument and learned to play. “It took me a very long time…” he said when he talked about learning to play and it was frustrating (as anything else you first take up)…
Now I try to imagine Prince not being good at guitar…. he got his first guitar when he was maybe 12, so I’ve heard. He got his record deal when he was 18. I can’t make a good call on whether “For You” was a good example of guitarist-ship. I read someone say that the riff in “I’m Yours” sounded forced as if he was trying to make it sound like he can rock out.
I haven’t heard the original version of “Bambi,” but that would be the next likely candidate to determine whether or not he was a good guitarist by that time.

All we know for sure is that his first brilliant display of guitarist-ship was in the infamous “Purple Rain” solo. It was performed/recorded in August of 1983 when he was 25… I can always save this discussion for another time. How long did it take Prince to master the guitar?
If I take “The Word” to all seriousness with all intents of getting it released (I might actually have to self-publish it if Prince tries to block me otherwise, lol), I might finally buy myself a guitar to do a little comparative-analysis.
It might have to be acoustic. If I’m seriously serious (and a bit crazy), I’ll invest in a Stratocaster, but electric guitar isn’t the way I want to go right away. I can’t imagine how bad a bad note on an electric guitar would sound in comparison to an acoustic.
Then I’ll have to learn everything of guitar terminology so I actually know what I’m talking about. I’m barely getting by on knowing the names of the main models Prince uses just cuz I’ve heard them repeated.

And so tonight was also the first time I got a look at Bria Valente. That name just rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it?
She seems very nice and genuine. I haven’t listened to her album yet, but am a bit intrigued as to what it would sound.
The fact I’d listened to the other two albums out of order, I’m starting to regret a bit now because I won’t be able to go into them with this renewed sense of… whatever you call this.

The interview really makes me want to listen to the new music and see what I can take away from it as far as the message goes. The trick I’m going to try as I work to write my very first Lotusflow3r review is listening to the album while looking at the inner message of it and trying not so much to relate it back to Prince. In the personal tracks, it might be easier said than done.
Interestingly, more of the ballads found a home on MPLSound, the album Prince seemed more adament about promoting.  He said that any track could go on the radio. I might be a little harsh on that one, but I’ll try to come in with an open mind next time.

If I remember anything else, I’ll be sure to post it here, but this is the best I can remember.

Thanks for coming out for a great interview, Prince. You should do more of those.

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