Kim Wilde Special

26 September 1990
Nordic Channel (Sweden)

30 minute Kim Wilde special featuring an interview and a few music videos.

Well if you’re gonna support anybody you may as well support someone like David Bowie, and the last time you were here touring with Michael Jackson.
Yeah, I mean there’s certainly a lot of people that I wouldn’t open for but obviously Michael Jackson and David Bowie aren’t two of them.

Have there been any differences in touring with these two different people?
Of course there are differences. I mean, I’ve had much more contact with Bowie in the past three days than I’ve had in three months with Michael Jackson. But the excitement is still pretty much the same, you know. Going out and opening for someone like Michael or David is always a challenge. It’s been going down great because I’ve had a lot of success on my own behalf, so…

Have you found any differences in the audiences, the David Bowie audiences compared to the Michael Jackson audiences, and their reactions to your music?
I think there would have been more if David Bowie was going out and doing his latest album and he would have had a more sort of hardcore following. But because it’s his greatest hits, it’s a more diverse audience, in the same way that Michael had a diverse audience. And obviously both of them have had very long careers. But mine has been quite long too, Although Bowie has been in it for 25 years, I’ve been in it for over 10. And so it works quite well. People just enjoy listening to the old songs, and I think it’s great he’s going out and doing them really. For whatever the critics may say, I think that it’s good that he’s going out and celebrating the wonderful songs that he’s had out. And it’s exactly what I’m doing.

What have been your favourite Bowie songs?
Well, I’ve fallen in love again with ‘China girl’, which he just does great live. But they all sound wonderful to me. In fact they all work better live to me than they do on record.

I saw you yesterday evening here in Stockholm and I really got this impression that Kim is better than ever. You seem to be enjoying it more, working on stage more, the whole thing is really so tight.
Yes, it is, isn’t it? You have to want to be there, for it to work. You can’t… It doesn’t work unless you want to be there. And I had so much experience after the Michael Jackson thing and I’m so happy with the new album and I’ve become very proud of what I’ve achieved in the past. So I feel 100% about going out to a public even though they are not specifically there to see me. As you would have seen, the audience were very glad I was there, so I was very very pleased to be there.

Have there been a lot of changes in your band?
I did a few, I still have the same guitarist – because I’m still his no. 1 fan and he’s still in my band, Steve Byrd, who I’ve co-written a few songs with,  and Jeff Hammer, who is still my keyboard player. We’ve got a new rhythm section and they were recommended to us by my guitarist who I listen to and respect his opinion. Some fresh input, I think it’s important to keep that going. Because things tend to get rather stale.

You mentioned Steve, that’s interesting because he is in many ways a key person, you work with him a lot. He’s one of the people outside the Wilde family that you work with. A lot of people have the impression that it is very much a family affair, but it isn’t, there’s people like Steve and Tony Swain.
Tony Swain, who produced Close and who’s co-written half of this album with me. We have people who work for us on the other side of the fence, the business and professional side, who aren’t related. So it’s not a completely incestuous situation, it’s rather healthy I think.

How do you look at your working relationship with your brother Ricky? Has it developed during the years?
Initially Ricky and Marty were writing all the hit records for me, which was great. I hadn’t started writing then and I didn’t really have any ambitions to write at the very beginning, and then gradually I started turning on the radio and listening to songs and thinking ‘I could do this thing better than that’, you know, and that’s when I began writing. It was about four, five years into my career, right about four years into my career, and so gradually now I most of the songs on my album with Ricky, instead of Marty. But you know, Marty will still write with us in the future, he’s still a fine writer and I’m still his biggest fan. And of course there are other people like Steve and Tony Swain. And in the future I’m really looking forward to other writing projects with other artists.

As you say, actually, your dad isn’t named anywhere at all on this album, it’s the first time, I think?
It is, yeah. He was there in spirit, you know. There’s no saying that he’s not there on the next one. He just didn’t feel like writing last year, which was…. he put it all down to us then.

(Music video for ‘Can’t get enough (of your love)’ shown.)

You seem more confident now than ever before. Have I got the right impression?
Well, I certainly feel very confident. I’ve a lot to be confident about. Especially with the ‘Close’ album having done so well, and just being a generally positive thinking person, really. I’m not sort of brimming over with confidence all the time, there are moments when I doubt what’s going on, what am I doing, but they’re only healthy emotions I think, you can’t be completely forthright in your thinking, you have to question it constantly I think.

The ‘Close’ album was not a turning point but an important point in your career I think.
Very much so, yeah.

‘You came’ was played all the time everywhere. It must have been a fantastic feeling.
When we do it on the Bowie tour, the reaction is always brilliant. The reactions are always brilliant to ‘Kids in America’ as well, and ‘Cambodia’ and all the old songs. That really I find very amusing.

Is it easier to sing the old songs or the new songs?
Well it’s really strange because to me they don’t feel so old. A song like ‘Kids in America’ is still very contemporary. And I don’t feel like I’m sort of dragging up the past and dusting it down. I don’t think that it needs dusting down. With the new band and the energy that they create with the new songs it just makes it a brand new song all over again.

So actually your music isn’t subject to fads or trends is it?
No, it hasn’t really been. We haven’t jumped on fads over the last 10 years. We’ve pretty much gone on our own direction. Well obviously influenced by pop music and what’s happening now, we don’t sit in a box and just do our own thing. We love pop music and that’s our inspiration. But we do our own thing. We have our own expression. I’m glad we have.

All the other things that people do are influencing you. A lot has happened in British pop music particularly lately.
All the dance rhythms and the rap and house music, that kind of stuff. I mean, obviously it influences us to a degree, but we have our own attitude towards making music. I’m very excited about what’s going on in music at the music. I especially enjoy De La Soul, and I really like Was Not Was.

(Music video for ‘It’s here’ shown.)

Looking at ‘Love moves’, the latest album, you’ve branched out a bit to new themes. One of the best songs I’ve ever heard I think is on that album, not just your songs but period, ‘World in perfect harmony’. Has a nice message to it as well. Particularly perhaps you were thinking a bit about environmental things, more so then the sort of things with the Gulf Crisis and everything now. It’s an appropriate song maybe today.
I know. It’s a very idealistic song, and perhaps naive in so many ways, but I can’t help but have positive feeling towards the future. When you’re surrounded by children, I have an 11 year old sister and a 9 year old brother, and plenty of us have children, you know you have to be positive about the future, you have to have an attitude that says ‘I’m going to make this work’. You have to. It hard though. Look around, there’s not much to encourage you to bepositive about. And that song is very, very positive. But there’s a song on the album, called ‘Who’s to blame’ which has probably a more realistic, much more melancholy, sad appraisal of the world’s situation. I think that’s why I put the two songs on the same album. I think it would have been wrong just to have one attitude on it, you know it would have been a bit naive, really.

Another song that represents maybe new themes is ‘In Hollywood’.
‘In Hollywood’ was inspired by when I was in Japan and I was constantly watching CNN – CNN, dear me – because I had a lot of time in my hotel room, you know, and there was all this stuff about Tyson and Givens and they were in a sort of battle around their divorce and their personal relationship. A ridiculous scenario, to have Robin Givens’ mother on there and I just thought it can only happen in Hollywood, you know. Terrible place to have a relationship. So really that song is about that.

Will this be something for you in the future now, that you will write more about other things than boy-girl relationships?
Yeah, I mean, half the album ‘Love moves’ is not written about love. Half of it is, but half of it isn’t. I think it’s a really healthy sprinkling of subject matter, really.

Last time we spoke, we spoke about things like clothes are very important. What were the things that determined the choice of clothes on this tour. What sort of clothes are you wearing?
As you can see, I’m still addicted to wearing black clothes. I can’t seem to shake it off. So there you go. And also you have to wear stuff that you can move in. Stuff that is flattering. I’ve been buying clothes long enough to know what works. Clothes I wear on stage are slightly different to clothes I wear off stage. Because you know you have to move and to my terrible embarrassment I’ve been on stage a few times in totally inappropriate clothes and fallen out of them, and had dresses that kept moving right up here, and I spent the whole of the show pulling my dress down. So you very quickly learn what clothes work, and look good at the same time.

Leaping around on stage and things, what do you do to keep fit?
Well I don’t smoke, and I drink little. Not a great deal. I’m not a sort of fanatic. I’m not a vegetarian and I don’t do a lot of exercise. Terrible isn’t it?

You do your training on stage?
Being on stage is a workout but I’m not on stage a lot. I tour a very small fraction of each year. But the rest of the year I might swim, and I’m a very keen skier as wel. I’m a bit of an outdoor girl really, although I might not look it.

(Music video for ‘Never trust a stranger’ shown.)

An appropriate question I would point at this point in your career. You were born into a showbiz family. At this point, when you think about ideas that you had about this business before you went into it yourself, have many of the things come true for you or have you had a lot of surprises, things you didn’t expect?
Mostly surprises. I didn’t really get into this business with any preconceived ideas. I was really brought up with it, showbusiness or whatever you call it, the record industry, the pop world, whatever you call it, there was always a reality, it wasn’t something I’d had fantasies about. So I didn’t have any fantasies about meeting famous people or being in glamour situations, being in the back of a cadillac or doing any of those things really. For me it was always work. That is how I saw my father approach it. I knew he was in love with music, he still is, and I too am, but it is a job after all, I’m not just floating around on this earth having fun, I have a job too. Like you, and like you (looks into the camera). So I do my work and I do my job and I separate the two.

We love to see your job turning out so well Kim. Like I say it was a real pleasure to see you yesterday, great album, thanks very much for talking to us.