The Evil Jam talks to Sia – From America To The UK

Sia Furler © RJ Shaughnessy 2007
© RJ Shaughnessy 2007

Australian singer Sia Furler discusses her career and recent DVD with us. Sia is a fun and cheery person to talk too and she laughs a lot. She rang me through her office in the UK, whilst Sia is actually on her mobile phone in New York walking around her neighbourhood. This made for a rather surreal interview in which Sia drops dog clothes off at a Dog Charity shop whilst she is walking her dogs, she then walks into a café and she proceeds to order her breakfast. Wacky, eh?

We have a discussion about the fact she is getting ready to take her dogs for a walk, and we then we attempted to start the interview, however with Sia things are never this simple, so here is what became of the craziest and yet one of the most memorable interviews I have ever conducted.

TEJ: I received a copy of your latest DVD TV is my Parent.

SIA: Oh good! Did you wonder why I didn’t brush my hair that day?


TEJ: Not at all! I own many concert DVDs and as soon I put yours on I knew it was going to be very different the moment “Buttons” came.

SIA: Thank God! *Sia Laughs*

TEJ: Can you describe or discuss the music video to Buttons with regard to your ideas and themes within it?

SIA: It was… er I, I mean no *Laughs* Sorry I was trying to take credit. My friend Chris was staying at my house; he is a director; and I had a spare room at my house in LA and he was trying to write a treatment and he showed me a guy with a pig’s face. Who had sellotape’d his face to look like a pig and it was really beautiful, interesting and funny all at the same time. He asked me, “Do you think that [person – name cut out due to inaudible] would let me do this to her face?” and I said “Yeah I think she is a rad chick. I’m pretty sure you could give her a call. If by any chance she doesn’t respond how about we do that for me in a video for me?” He was like cool and they couldn’t do it and I nabbed the whole vibe. The only things I bought to the video shoot were the condoms and the hair moustache.

TEJ: Yeah, it is a very different video there is nobody quite like that who has done that kind of thing, I think the nearest thing to it was done years ago and that was Sledge Hammer by Peter Gabriel.

SIA: Oh I like that, it’s a good video.

TEJ: But you have taken it to the next extreme and brought it into the noughties.

SIA: Thank you!

TEJ: We watched it here and we where like “Wow! That is so different.”

SIA: Oh good. I am so glad that was the plan, the plan was to do something a little bit different. To be honest, the plan was to make something that was really FUNNY. Yeah really funny, but we didn’t realise it then but we know now that people would find it kind of ‘fetishy’ because we just thought it was hilarious. We have garnered a whole new realm of fans with that video I tell ya.

TEJ: Well I would suspect not just Gothic and Emo’s but perhaps fans/people that are into things far more than those people.

SIA: Yeah people who are into pain! And that was very very unique.

TEJ: Moving along, what prompted the idea with the “Soon We’ll be Found” video and are you using Sign Language?

SIA: It is Sign Language. It’s American Sign Language which I learned and the idea behind it was due to the fact there was going to be a single called “Little Black Sandals” which is what I was told and I direct videos as well, as I have just directed a couple of my own and one for someone else, so I thought oh I’ll do it because I had a period were there wasn’t much going on so I have written a treatment that was a bunch of stuff about Sign Language and I thought that’s what we are going to do, a fabulous video that involves Sign Language and then they changed the Single, the time frame was different and I had started to lose interest because I have a very short attention span and I didn’t want to do it any more so I sent out a memo to all of the directors to write treatments that include Sign Language and Jodie Foster….But I was joking about Jodie Foster but some of the directors didn’t realise that at the time and I received various treatments that included her. And this woman Claire wrote the best treatment and that was the one that you see it included all of those Sign Language elements that I had included and I had been studying on Youtube and keeping the interest up! I was really happy with the way that turned out. Yeah it is Sign Language and I got to learn Sign Language for that song and I would like to learn more and it was really fun.

TEJ: It is a great video from the first moment that you dip your own hands straight into paint. That was quite a unique shock because you do not normally see people doing that in a music video.


TEJ: It’s not normally a theme in a music video that the main character would stick there hands straight into paint.


SIA: Well I think there are so many super boring videos out there at the moment and I don’t want to contribute to that and I have made some boring videos and that’s always a bummer! How some don’t quite work how you anticipated they would look because I have got lucky a few times with some really good ones and I am really proud of them.

TEJ: We also quite like the music video to “The Girl You Lost To Cocaine”.

SIA: Oh that was one of my most spectacular moments.

TEJ:  Well, you play so many different characters in it and it’s brilliant.

SIA: That was so really funny.

(Sia has to attend to her dogs which she is walking outside whilst conducting this interview)

SIA: Sorry about that.

TEJ: Well life takes over sometimes.

SIA: Yeah these days I try and schedule interviews to be at the same time as life otherwise I would spend a long time sat in one chair, in the interview chair in my bedroom and I’m kind of getting fat.


TEJ: I wouldn’t believe that at all.

SIA: I decided for me to go out and get about and walk the entire time I am doing interviews.

TEJ: Yeah, this is very different as I have been to recording studios or at management offices of artists to interview them and even conducted interviews with emails, this is different but fun, and I have never interviewed someone who is walking around what I assume to be New York.

SIA: Yeah I’m in New York.

TEJ:  You have been to Europe touring recently. Can I ask you about that?

SIA: Yeah go ahead.

TEJ: You were in France which wasn’t that far away. Why didn’t you come to London?

SIA: I am sorry. I have been to London already and it’s quite expensive to tour there but I had just done a whole UK tour. (Autumn 2008)

TEJ:  Oops, which I must of missed.

SIA: Yeah and I had never toured Europe before and I was trying to keep it small and affordable we were just trying to keep expenses down, it is super expensive touring and I have never made money from touring.

TEJ:  That is a shame.

SIA: Yeah and I am trying to find new ways to make that happen especially as there is a recession on, and it is all about timing and getting the marketing system together at the right time I did tour when I released the album in the UK and its just getting that side of the business together its just a timing issue.

TEJ: If you hadn’t have chosen music as a career what career would you have chosen?

SIA: Maybe a Dog Psychologist or a Reiki Master or a Director!

TEJ: Have you seen that programme on TV it’s called the Dog Whisper? Is that along the line of Dog Psychologist?

SIA: Oh yeah Cesar Millan he actually trains/teaches people he has taught only three people so far to become Dog Psychologists and one of those people came and took care of one of my dogs as one of them had behavioural issues and now they don’t. Cesar Millan technique works and that’s who I would want to study under and learn from, One of the guys Caser taught now teaches Dog psychology at UCLA and I fancy studying it there.

TEJ: getting back to music I have read recently that you have been working with Christine Aguilera

SIA: Yeah I wrote four songs with her which was fun

TEJ:  Is there anyone else you would like to work with?

SIA: Shakira as her next record is going to be amazing and I would like to work with Britney Spears.

TEJ:  Now that would be an interesting collaboration.

Sadly our allotted time on the phone together ran out and the call unfortunately ended.

Thank you to Sia Furler for perhaps one of the most interesting if not crazy interviews I have ever had.

Thank you to Helen at IE Music for making this possible.

To find/hear more from Sia go to The Official Sia Website