“Um, my dog ate my homework. There was a flood… All those excuses.”
That’s Kylie Minogue, pop idol, gay icon, and global sequin ambassador, explaining why it’s taken her twenty-plus years to bring her live show to the States. It’s finally happening — a six-date tour is scheduled to start this fall — and EW got a few minutes today with Ms. Minogue at NYC’s Greenwich Hotel to chat about the good news.
In person, Kylie’s famously petite frame is every bit as tiny as you’ve heard, and her personality every bit as big. Charming and warm at the end of a long day of press that began with a Today Show spot, Ms. Minogue — holding a paper fan for air and emphasis — was all smiles as she shared the scoop on her upcoming tour, her American fanbase, and her thoughts on Paula Abdul’s new Kylie-inspired single.
Entertainment Weekly: Did you ever try to bring your other tours here?
Kylie Minogue: Oh yeah. We’ve discussed it many times. Financially, it made absolutely zero sense. Last year, I spent so long touring. And I’ve had a great time, and I have a band I’m just loving — we’re really just vibing. So, it felt like it was now or never. I’m absolutely thrilled and amazed at the response so far.
Is there a possibility that more dates could be added? It seems like it’s going to be a whirlwind tour, and they’re already selling out.
I’ll try, yeah.
The title of the tour is For You, For Me, is that right?
It was For You, For Me. And maybe that’s going to stick, I’m not sure. I just thought: it’s not for an album. I’m not promoting anything. It’s for you, for the audience. And actually, it’s for me, because it’ll be an absolute pleasure to be here and to share a show with you.
Is that going to be a new single or anything? “For You, For Me”?
There’s thinking! Hmmm… [laughs]
So what kind of set list can we expect?
You’ll have the hits, for sure. Many of which will be remixed or in different versions. I’ll take you back to the beginning…
Is that embarrassing?
No, no. It was, but it’s not anymore. No, I mean, I’ve done these amazing, cool, cutting-edge shows; at the end, they’re all yelling for “I Should Be So Lucky.” I do it in the old-fashioned way, complete with [she makes a record-scratching noise] ah-ah-ah-ah. The crowd go absolutely nuts.
Give the people what they want!
That’s what I’m here for! Maybe a couple covers, like I normally do in a show. Something unexpected. Sometimes we have to do the old medley, because I’m very pleased to say I’ve now got enough songs that, short of being on stage for way too long, we like to just almost scratch them in at certain points, which is something we started doing on the Fever tour. I’d love to bring back “All That Scratching Is Making Me Itch,” that kind of thing. So, we’re all madly thinking about it at the moment. But we’ve got such a wealth of pieces to pick from to make a kind of “Best of” of different tours that I’ve done, and some new stuff. And then as a whole, it will be really new.
It must be tough to cut down your catalog.
It’ll be weird, because I’m so used to starting with “Speakerphone” now, but I’m not going to give you the same beginning to the show.
Some of the venues aren’t huge. How are you planning on adjusting?
Well, we’re kind of used to doing that. Last year, we had the beautiful huge skull that I descended on. It’s a shame but it’s a reality that you have to make compromises. And to be able to tour South America, for example, I could not have done that if I took everything with me. So, you just scale it down and do a B show. In certain places we did a C show. But in the end, I think it doesn’t take away from it. It creates a different show—some were more like a gig than a show. And you get a different dynamic. And I think they’ll work. I don’t mind it. It kind of changes it up for me.
So are we going to just get you on a stool with a guitar? Or will there still be a little spectacle?
Yeah, yeah, there’ll still be the razzle-dazzle, don’t you worry. It’s not going to be me with a banjo.
Some of the costumes you’ve worn in the past have been so funny and over-the-top. Have you ever seen something and said, “Nope, that’s too much”?
Yeah, but I’ve been coerced into wearing it. Let me think. Well, there was one dress I wore to sing with Robbie Williams at one of his concerts. And there was not a lot of this dress. And when I first saw it, I said, “You’ve got to be kidding me. No.” [pause] But I had two queens in my dressing room, so I ended up wearing it. It was a futile fight.
You can’t argue with two queens.
I couldn’t! And I guess they were right. And it looked good. But, yeah, very often — well, not very often, sometimes — I need a little bullying to get into something [laughs].
How do you pick the costumes for each tour?
It’s a balance. It starts with a set list, and then what kind of segments we’ll have. Which really seems to work, because I’ve got to get off and do a costume change. I mean, I have more quick-change anxiety than [anxiety about] the show. Because normally my costumes are not fully ready until opening night. Sometimes I’m just thinking, “How am I going to do that?”
Recently, I don’t know if you saw, but Paula Abdul was on American Idol…
I haven’t seen it! I’ve heard all about it.
She performed an unreleased track of yours that was leaked online last year.
“I’m Just Here for the Music“. Yeah.
Did you know about that?
That’s just what happens with songs that are demo’d. I demo’d it, and it wasn’t on my album.
A couple months ago, she announced that her first single was going to be “Boombox,” which is the title of your new remix album.
I know! What’s going on? [laughs]
My editor asked me if Paula was Single White Female-ing you.
If she comes out with feathers on her head, or in a leopard catsuit… [laughs]
The press likes to make it seem like America is your white whale. Is that the case?
It’s not my intention. I mean, I’m going to the places where I definitely have a market and where it’s a no-brainer. I mean, I’m not going to sell myself all around America, you know what I mean? It’s where I feel that I’ll be welcome, and where they get me. As always, I’ve maintained that, if things took off here and if I’ve got the time and I’m not doing other things, then I’d definitely come over.
We’re glad to have you.