Debbie Harry: Blonde locks and a ‘Heart of Glass’- INTERVIEW
blog by Kathryn Przybyla • August 22, 2013 @ 11:25am
She’s blonde, fabulous and coming to WNY.
Debbie Harry of Blondie is as legendary as they come when talking about female rockers. With classic hits like “Heart of Glass,” “Call Me” and “Rapture,” the front woman, along with the rest of Blondie is embarking on a new tour to promote “Panic of Girls”—the ninth studio album from the new wave group.
The “No Principals” tour kicks off in Hampton Beach and will then make its way to Niagara Falls for a show at 6:30 p.m. on Sept. 6 at Rapids Theatre. Tickets are on sale for $49 and can be purchased through TicketFly.
Although proud of the classics, Harry hasn’t lost touch with producing new songs and music with the group.
“We’re part of the future as well as the past,” declares Harry in an interview on the website.
“Making new music is really, really important for me and for the rest of the band. When we first got back together in 1997, one of the stipulations I had was that it not be just a review of Blondie’s greatest hits. I really felt convinced of and dedicated to the idea that we had to move ahead and do new music.”
We chatted with Harry about coming to WNY and some highlights of her career. Oh yeah, and she loves hot wings. Check out the interview below.
We’re excited to have you in WNY on Sept. 6 for the show at Rapids Theatre. Any good stories from the last time you were in town?
Debbie Harry: Well, I remember playing up there with a jazz band once and then also with Blondie. It was really great. The Blondie show was in the summer time and what can I say, it was really rocking.
After being in the music business for quite some time, what was the best advice you ever received?
DH: I think some of the best recording advice I ever got was from Mike Chapman. He in a way, was sort of like a method actor.
He employed what method actors do to get into their roles and really try and overstate the emotional, especially when you’re recording.There’s just the voice, no facial or body movements in a recording studio. It has to really all be put into the voice and he gave me that great advice.
You must have been to some amazing places over the course of your career?
DH: I think the most unique place at the time was Southeast Asia in Bangkok, Thailand in the ‘70s and it was amazing. It was so different and non-western at that time. There was still suffering from the Vietnamese war, a lot of curfews and a whole different world.
In North America, the cities are so different and wonderful in each way. I love Seattle, Los Angeles, San Diego is beautiful too. Arizona was really special for me too. The sort of touristy places too, Santa Fe, New Orleans, they have such a great history and that’s what Americans are really craving—a sense of history.
It’s fascinating and we’re so lucky we have all these really diverse cities. Like New York, a city that has so many roots and great stories to tell.
What are you most looking forward to on the “No Principals” Tour this year?
DH: We’re looking forward to a really good time and we’re excited to play with X. It should be a fun show, a good rock show and we’re looking forward to the whole trip. We just finished touring in Europe and did a lot of really big festivals.
With everything so available on the internet, people know what they’re getting into—except the party atmosphere.
Do you have a favorite song to perform live for an audience?
DH: I do and I don’t. I love a couple of the classics and feel really proud of them. I’m proud of a lot of the music really. “Heart of Glass” has really become our signature song in the U.S. and was a breakthrough rock-disco track. The other one, “Rapture.” I feel especially warmhearted about those two. It;s really great to perform both.
We have a pretty big catalog now and it’s hard to play everything. We recycle things and bring them around to add new stuff, bringing it up to today’s music. The creative spirit is very important.
Are you a fan of chicken wings at all?
DH: Well, I don’t know who isn’t. I go for the hot ones more often.
Do you have any songs you always sing in the shower?
DH: Oh gee, I don’t really shower that much. I prefer a bath to soak and really relax.
What advice would you give to an aspiring singer or musician?
DH: I mean, it’s like 50/50 being an artist and being a business person. So many talented people get lost in the business aspect. That is the difficult balance. Being a real creative spirit and an artist is the bottom line. But you can’t allow yourself to veg out in that area. You have to pay attention and the leg work is often tedious and not fun. But the pay off is that you get to do what you love.
Photo courtesy of Facebook.