Grammy darling takes on midgets, Matt Lauer and her favorite mistake
Crow still wants to have some fun, but that's not all she wants anymore.
The sultry hippie chick from Kennett, Missouri, has done a lot of growing
up since 1993, when she burst onto the charts with Tuesday Night Music
wrangled with Wal-Mart (which refused to stock her second album over
its anti-gun lyrics), conquered depression, moved to New York, romanced
the crème de la Cream (Eric Clapton) and been linked to Jakob
Dylan and even--gasp!--Matt Lauer. (She's currently stepping out with
actor and Rushmore screenwriter Owen Wilson.)
important, at 37, Crow has developed into a notable artist. She recently
picked up her sixth Grammy, beating out Hole, Dave Matthews and Garbage
to nab Best Rock Album for The Globe Sessions.
soon she'll test herself on the big screen, with a role in The Minus
Man, directed by Blade Runner screenwriter Hampton Fancher.
even talking about becoming a mom. But that'll have to wait--at least
until she finishes the current tour.
start with the important stuff...why did you cut your hair? Looking
for a new image?
No. I'm not a person who's too terribly interested in the whole image
trip--we still haven't had a photo shoot since I cut my hair, so it's
not like I'm really capitalizing on it. I just got tired of having long
hair. I had it for so long, and to be perfectly honest, every time I
saw a poster of Madonna, I felt like I was looking at myself!
also moved to New York City. What drew you there?
I find that in New York I'm out all the time, whether I have plans or
not. I'm constantly meeting people and doing things. I'm constantly
seeing people play, which I don't ever do in L.A., where you just sit
at home waiting for someone to call.
part of Manhattan do you live in? I picture you in SoHo for some reason.
I live downtown--but I'm not going to tell you exactly where. [Laughs.]
Not SoHo. And not Tribeca, either, although I was actually trying to
move into that area--but the co-op board wouldn't even meet me.
They didn't want any celebrity types. I think they were afraid of having
another John F. Kennedy Jr. in their apartment. That was a new, interesting
experience for me.
did moving to New York influence the songs on The Globe Sessions?
Wherever you're recording, influences seep in. Certainly on the second
record, when I was in New Orleans, a lot of those influences surfaced.
The experience of moving to New York was all-encompassing, because I
was moving everything I knew to a new situation where I didn't know
that many people. But I think New York gave me enough time to get some
perspective, and I think that's really what the album was inspired by--perspective.
Globe Sessions is certainly a lot more personal than anything you've
I think it's kind of clinical sounding. It has this strangely out-of-body
kind of feeling, the feeling of somebody who's moved enough to talk
about the pain of having relationships.
know you don't normally like to talk about those relationships in interviews,
but I have to ask: Who is "My Favorite Mistake" about?
It's probably about several different people. I could safely say I've
had a couple of relationships I really enjoyed, that I knew right off
the bat were not going to be, in the long run, constant.
the names Eric and Jakob be on that list?
Jakob Dylan? Well, if you're talking about rumors, then you could also
mention Matt Lauer. I was engaged to him at one point, I understand.
There are a number of names you could certainly throw in the pot. And
the thing about it is the deepest and most long-lasting relationships
I've had were with people who are not famous.
still dating Owen Wilson?
Yeah, we still go together.
sort of person are you attracted to?
I'm really attracted to funny people, who have a big laugh and a good
sense of humor. A lot of times when you run into people with a sharp
wit, that comes from intelligence, so I guess that's part of it, too.
I'm very attracted to people who are curious and expressive. I wind
up with people who are either musicians or writers.
a hidden track at the end of The Globe Sessions (referred to as "Subway
Ride"), which seems to be about the Clinton sex scandal. What's
your opinion on the outcome?
I think it's a real low point in history. It put the country in a bad
situation, and I was sick of seeing it in the press. I'm still sick
of it. For me, it ruined the Oscars. I got sick of every joke being
about politics, Monica Lewinsky and cigars. I think it's dragged us
through the gutter enough.
first album you recorded for A&M was never released. What was wrong
By the time we finished, I felt the songs had been flogged, beaten up
so much. And I didn't really like the production. It was very immature.
It didn't really represent who I was. And it really worried me about
putting it out. It was so slick it was never going to sound good onstage.
It was very lush, like Sting--not to knock Sting, but it wasn't the
kind of record I wanted to make.
Luckily, my label didn't force me to put it out. But I hear you can
still find bootlegged copies of it in some places, for, like, $100 each.
never really talked about Kevin Gilbert, with whom you wrote much of
your first album. His death by autoerotic asphyxiation must have been
a huge shock. Can I ask how it affected you?
I still, every once in a while, dream about him, about seeing him somewhere.
It was a real waste. I feel that way about people who die young--like
Michael Hutchence--who have so much they haven't accomplished yet. In
Kevin's case, it made me really sad. What people didn't realize was
I had real strong feelings about him. Up until he died, we still had
a relationship, although it was always very up and down. I read some
really nasty stuff. For a long time, I didn't do any interviews, because
I found the press to be so heartless. I read in a San Francisco newspaper
that I was responsible for his killing himself. He actually didn't kill
himself--it was an accident.
interesting you mentioned Hutchence. His death was eventually ruled
a suicide, but there were initial rumors that he died the same way as
had just spent a summer with Michael in Europe, and he had so much energy
and enthusiasm. But I think he had dark energy, too, and that was also
true with Kevin.
read that you went on antidepressants years ago. Are you still on them?
Well, no, I don't take them. But I think at that time, it was very beneficial
for me to get myself out of a very bad state. I have the propensity
to get down--not necessarily because of any event but because of my
chemical makeup. I understand it better now, so it's not as frightening.
It doesn't throw me into the depths of despair when I feel that sort
of low coming on.
you think it's hard being a woman doing what you do, or is it a nonissue?
It's becoming a nonissue. What has prevented women from having the careers
that men have had is the fact that they are the matriarchs of the home.
They're what keeps it together. A man can go off and work on an oil
rig for months at a time, but the home nucleus stays together because
the woman keeps it together. But now that women are having the careers
men have had, they're starting to have the longevity in music men have
had. And seeing women taking their children on the road challenges the
you ever want to have kids?
Yeah, absolutely. I love kids. But I'm three years away from 40, which
is probably when I'll start entering a real danger period. I'm just
a person who believes that what's gonna happen is what's gonna happen.
next for you?
Right now, I'm focused on this tour.
a little different for you, isn't it? You're playing some bass?
Yeah, that's different. But also, we've brought out really interesting
production stuff we've been working on--using Super 8 film and a lot
of projection stuff. It's very artful and interesting. The last few
years, we basically had a couple of curtains we drew up and played the
giant inflatable dolls?
No. No dancing midgets, no pyro and no stripping, either. [Laughs.]
I'm not even taking my top off.
: E! 1999