Last summer we featured Kylie Minogue on the cover of our August issue to celebrate what we were calling the Australian pop star's first official foray into America with her latest and -- it must be said -- incredible album, Aphrodite. Now KM is about to set out on her second American tour -- this one much larger than the one she treated us to in the fall of 2009.
We -- along with a group of several other journalists -- recently caught up with Kylie via teleconference to find out a bit more about the upcoming tour. Here's a bit of what she talked about along with a preview video of the incredible road show.
What's your favorite part of the Aphrodite: Live 2011 Tour?
Kylie Minogue: There are so many different elements in this production. I'm sure you're all aware that we are unable to bring the exact same production to the states, but we're bringing everything we can squeeze into the venues. But the shows we're doing here have so many different elements. It's a massive spectacle. The stage is kind of mesmerizing. It's so technically advanced and all that kind of stuff, but I genuinely think the best part is the emotion within the room. So however we create that emotion doesn't really matter; it's that we get to it.
Your past tours have always placed a huge importance on playing with gender roles and alternative sexuality. Can talk a little bit about the importance of using gender play and exploring those sexualities in staging your songs, especially in relation to the new tour?
I don't think it's ever been a particular standpoint to take. In my life, that's just the way it is. These are people I associate with. This is what I believe is right. So we just represent what feels appropriate for that song or that visual representation of the song. It's always been important. It's great that I can play with that. And it can resonant as deeply or superficially as anyone in the audience wants to take that. I mean there might be someone in the audience who sees how we represent sexuality and who people are and who they want to be, and that can have a profound effect on them. There might be someone's nanny in the audience who just thinks they're lovely costumes. So it works on many different levels. I've never even had the thought that any of that would have to be banished from my show because that's a large part of my show.
It's no secret that you have a huge gay fan base. How much do your gay fans influence what you do, whether it's what you do in the studio or what you do on tour?
It's just a great influence in my life. I mean people I work with really closely, particularly Will Baker, who is my gay husband. I'm surrounded basically. If I wanted to try to run and escape, it wouldn't work. It's kind of hard to qualify that because an influence is an influence, and I don't very often segregate my gay audience from my extended audience. It just is, and I think that's why it's really harmonious and why it works. If we are talking about boys in little, tiny toga outfits and sequined hot pants opening a show, OK, we make an allowance and say, 'I think the boys are going to like that.' But I don't know. It's a tricky question for me to answer.
What is your favorite thing to do here in the states that you can't do anywhere else in the world?
Really crappy diners. [Laughs] I love a good, crappy American diner. I don't know why. Really terrible coffee. As we say, 'Water with a bean dragged through it.' Just something I would never have. I'm not really a junk food consumer. Something makes you want a stack of pancakes or something. So you know you're in the states. There is truth to that, but I guess other things I can do in the states? I can walk around and not be recognized all the time, which is refreshing.
How do you mentally prepare yourself when you're going on tour whether in the United States or elsewhere?
Aside from sleepless nights, total anxiety and excitement? [Laughs] I think it's really demanding mentally. The physical kind of fatigue when you're rehearsing is something you can understand: 'I did too much of this action, and this is why I hurt.' But the mental execution of the show before you really know what the show is is really difficult, and I guess it's the same for everyone who's helping to put this show together. But it's the same every time. Now, with experience, I at least understand that process, and I know that we can only do as much as we can do until we run a show with an audience and then a lot of your questions are answered. So I think that it's almost a cruel twist of fate that your very first opening is the night that gets the most reviews because it's the first night for you as well. You can do dress rehearsals and perhaps rehearsals with family and friends and things like that, but it's not the same as having an audience in. So I try to stay calm, then I realize I'm not going to be calm. So then I try and balance it out.
Are there any rituals you do prior to going on stage?
A shot of Scotch helps. [Laughs] I just know when my tour manager comes around, he starts doing his call at 30 minutes with his little megaphone. By the way, he doesn't need a megaphone -- but he likes his little megaphone. So he calls '30 minutes, everybody, showtime 30 minutes,' and that's when I start to go, 'OK, right, I really need to get a move on and get my makeup going.' I do my makeup, and I find that's a good part of the process as well. And by the 10-minute call, that's it. I normally haven't done everything that I'm supposed to do and those last few minutes before it's time to make the walk to the stage, it is like going through the Narnia closet or something like that. You change from being the person you woke up as to the person who is aware of all the nuts and bolts behind the stage and basically is the person that people are expecting to see.
To read our August 2010 Kylie Minogue cover story, click here.