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Metro International - 15th June 2007

Dye another day
Debbie Harry shows her True Colors

INTERVIEW. Debbie Harry has a busy summer ahead of her. She’s touring with the True Colors Tour, promoting her upcoming solo album, “Necessary Evil” and touring Europe with Blondie. All this while getting back to her roots, literally. 

METRO: How are you?
DEBBIE HARRY: Good. How’s things in beantown?

M: Pretty good. Do you have a lot of memories here?
DH: When I was up there working with Seth Justman [from the J Geils Band] on one of my solo albums I spent a lot of time up there. In the winter, of all times, too.

M: But you’ve lived in New York, so you know what a northeastern winter is like.
DH: Yeah, but Boston is a little bit colder and a little bit damper than New York.

M: I’m talking about the weather with Debbie Harry. This is weird. Let’s talk about the True Colors tour. How did you become part of it?
DH: They invited me and it seemed like a good idea at the time. …Human rights issues are really important and I have always been involved with working for different AIDS organizations so in that respect I felt like I had a genuine relationship [with the gay community] and on the other side of that it just happened to work out that it was really good timing for me, and business-wise it seemed like it was a good opportunity for me to get out to an audience that was familiar with me. …I certainly had been playing for a long enough time and know that my audience is definitely a big mixture.

M: Speaking of mixtures, you have a lot of different things going on this summer, with your new solo album, “Necessary Evil” and a Blondie tour. How do you determine when you’re in the writing process whether a song is going to be a Debbie Harry song or a Blondie song?
DH: The songs on this new album I wrote with a writing team called Super Buddah. I think it’s a more direct emotional point of view for me. A lot of times when I was writing this stuff for Blondie I would write it based on conversations I had with people in the band so we all had a voice in it somehow.

M: So who had a heart of glass?
DH: No one. Chris Stein and I wrote that together.

M: I was never able to confirm through childhood and recent Internet research whether you say “mutual mistrust” or “mucho mistrust” in that song.
DH: Mucho! Mucho gusto!

M: Good. I like that better, but I’ve seen some Internet lyric sites that have it as “mutual.” Anyway, you’ve had some interesting duets recently. What was this mashup video I saw with “Rapture” and The Doors’ “Riders on the Storm”?
DH: That was some DJ who did that. …I think the mashup thing is very interesting but it really has to make it. I’ve heard a lot of them that are only OK, but then there’s really only one or two that hit the mark.

M: Does this one?
DH: Yeah, I thought it really did. And we sort of had a relationship with Ray [Manzarek, keyboardist from The Doors] from years and years ago. He used to come to Blondie shows at the Whiskey so we got to know him a little bit.

M: I saw you on “The Today Show” performing that with Lily Allen. Have you stopped dyeing your hair?
DH: I stopped coloring my hair. I wanted it to grow out. I have been coloring my hair for I hate to say how many years. So recently I said, ‘oh, I’ll just grow it out. I’m dying to see what color it is.’ I’m probably going to really hate it, but as soon as it does all grow out I’ll probably want to either shave it all off or bleach it again.

M: I know Blondie is the name of the band more than a nickname for you, but you have to be a little nervous that people will call you Grayie.
DH: My hair is a little bit gray on the sides, but it’s not too gray, actually.

Pat Healy

Link: Metro International - 15th June 2007


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