Christina Perri Talks Jason Mraz Tour, "Tragedy", Favorite Books, Movies, and More
Wed, 11 Jul 2012 15:26:43
"I keep thinking about October because I'm making the new album, and I'm going to get a puppy," exclaims Christina Perri. "However, I don't want to rush the next couple months. They could be some of my favorite ever I can't believe I'm touring with Jason Mraz!"
On August 9, Perri fulfills a lifelong dream by heading out on tour with one of her idols. The pop singer and songwriter has come a long way, and unforgettable moments such as this are more than well-deserved. Perri's got an inimitable style that's simultaneously sweet and soulful. Plus, she also can rock when she needs to, and that's what makes her one of the most exciting singers in modern pop period. She's bound to be an icon, and this is only the beginning…
In this exclusive interview with ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino, Christina Perri talks touring with Jason Mraz, "Distance", favorite books, movies, and so much more…
Let's talk about "Distance"…
I'm very excited about "Distance". I was excited when I put it on my album but not even close to how excited I am as to making it a duet with Jason Mraz. It's a dream come true for me.
For you, has the song's meaning stayed intact even after adding Jason Mraz?
Yeah! When a song is born, there's one thing it's about or one feeling it gives for the artist. There's one feeling "Distance" has given me which is stitched up on my heart, but I think it's always up for interpretation from the listener's perspective. Jason and I performed it together one time because we were doing a radio show and we thought, "Let's sing a duet!" He said, "How about 'Distance'?" He liked it on my album so I was like, "Sure." We sang it together in San Diego last December. Something happened. Everyone in the audience felt it. My band felt it. Our managers felt it. It was like, "What was that?" There was a three-and-a-half minute journey we went on that was pretty magical. I'm a huge Jason fan so, of course, I felt it. The fact everyone else did probably proved it was something special. We decided to do it again at some other function we were playing together. I was going to put out as a single anyway, and the idea began to get dreamed up. Now, when we perform it, we still go there. I can't tell you where it is. I can't tell you why. I don't know what he's thinking about when he's singing it because I'm having my own experience. Wherever I am, he's there. That's what's so crazy about it. When you see a band play, everyone is in their own place. With Jason, when we sing this song, we go to this magical place. It feels really good to sing with him. I can't wait to perform it every night together all summer.
What's "Distance" about for you?
I wrote it about being in love with someone and not being able to tell them. All of my songs are so specific. They're a story in my life or something I went through which I pull from. I wrote this about the summer of 2010. I fell in love with someone, and we had to work pretty closely together. I had to pretend I didn't like him which was the hardest thing for me because I'm not good at lying [Laughs]. The song is about the feelings and swimming in that kind of tension when you're around someone and trying to keep it cool. That's what it means for me. Instead of telling him I loved him, I wrote it to him in a song. That's where I go.
Watch the video below!
Is it important for you to tell stories with the songs?
I would be doing this if nobody was listening. All of these songs would be exactly the way you hear them. They were all written in my bedroom. It's a way for me to get through life. I figured it out when I was 15-years-old. I was a super melancholy kid, and I was always really bummed out. I didn't even talk a lot which is so different from who I am now. I was waiting for life to begin. I turned 15, and I fell in love for the first time. I remember being so overwhelmed I didn't know what to do with myself. I could not handle the feelings of love. They were good feelings but I still couldn’t handle them. I taught myself three chords on the guitar because my brother played and I knew what it was supposed to look like. So I watched a video of Shannon Hoon and Blind Melon on David Letterman and learned a "C", "G", and "D". I wrote this song called "The Perfect for Me". As soon as I did that, it was like angels come down. I turned my switch on, and I knew what I was meant to do. It was what I needed. Some people work out. Everybody does something to release that, and I write songs. For me, making them really personal and having them all be love stories, I don't know how to do anything else. I try to stay authentic all the time.
Where did "Tragedy" come from?
That's my favorite on the album! It's the oldest song I have. I wrote that when I was 17-years-old. I always go back to "Tragedy" because I feel like if you could look inside my soul with something that could show who I am in music form it'd be that song. Maybe it's because I was just beginning and it was the first song I actually played for people. I was proud of it when I wrote it. It's who I feel I am on the inside. That's everything "Tragedy" is. I really love it. We play that live every show.
Do you read often or watch a lot of movies?
I'm a big book nerd. I'm always reading like four books. I try to split it up because I'm addicted to love in a serious way. It's what I write about. Everyone makes fun of me. If I wrote songs about spaghetti, I'd eat spaghetti all the time as my research. I feel like I'm in love in my real life or living through these romantic books. I'm always reading something cheesy and love-related. Then, I try to read something for my brain, whether it's something spiritual or Marianne Williamson—something bigger and more worldly about feelings. Then, I read textbooks on the vocal cords because I'm a total nerd [Laughs]. I love learning the medical side of singing. Normally, there's also something sci-fi. I'm always reading, but I also watch a bunch of movies. I watch TV. Boardwalk Empire is my new obsession. Last month, it was Homeland.
What are some of your favorite books?
My all-time favorite book is The Perks of Being a Wallflower. That's been my favorite since I was 13-years-old. I've probably read that 50 times. I'm excited there's finally going to be a movie this fall with Emma Watson. My second is The Alchemist. Star Girl is my third favorite. They're not Fountainhead or anything, but I love those books.
If Lovestrong were a movie or combination of movies what would it be?
What a cool question! I've never been asked that before! I would mash up Moulin Rouge, Empire Records, Twilight, and The Godfather in a blender [Laughs].
Have you already begun writing the next album?
Because I'm a songwriter and it makes me feel better, I write songs all the time. I started writing the second album when we were making the first one. There are also some songs we didn't put on the first that I really love. It wasn't a scary thing for me to think about. I'm like, "I hope I don't stop doing the one thing I love to do. All of this other stuff is awesome and goes along with it. The writing is something I plan to do forever. I've got 49 songs I've written I'm going to work on. I've got a top 16 I want to demo. I probably want about 10 more new songs before we start in October. I've got some time, and I'm certain I'll fall in and out love because that's what I do. I'm so ready for album two. We keep adding new songs to the set because we're touring all year. I've got two new songs I play live now. Every time we rehearse, we throw in another for us to start arranging. I'm very ready. It's going to go so differently for me this time. I get to stop and make it an album. My first album happened while I was pushing and making a single. It was such a bizarre order of things. I'm looking forward to a normal album cycle.
Will you be seeing Christina and Jason on tour together?
Visit her web site ChristinaPerri.com and check out the tour dates!