Tiffany – The Rocker Inside The Pop Icon

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TiffanyTiffany might be best known for her big 80s pop hit “I Think We’re Alone Now”, but there’s so much more to the flashy red head than people might realize.

Set to release her new rockier sounding album “Shadows” later this year, Tiffany rushed out a new single “Hey Baby” on collectable vinyl, available now.

Tiffany joined us for a phone interview to let us in on a little of her Hollywood rock side.

Tiffany: Oh my goodness, Canada. How is it? How’s the weather there right now?

Well, I’m lucky because I’m in Windsor, which is right across from Detroit. So basically, I’m almost American right?
Yeah. (Laughter)

Detroit is actually north of us. It’s the only place that’s really south of the continental US.
Oh, yes. My family is from Dearborn and my dad actually worked in Detroit at the Ford Motor company for many, many years. I’ve got tons of family in Detroit and some in Dearborn. It’s lovely. I know the borders are closed right now – positive energy and positive vibes out there for everyone.

Let’s start off with the new 12 inch limited edition picture disc that just came out. I love it because picture discs are not only retro and cool, but they’re also collectible. Why did you choose to release the new song and re-recording as a picture disc?
Exactly that reason – they’re collectible. Team TIFF has expanded and I’m new to all of this stuff. I’m not really a social media guru, but I’m getting better by the day, because this is part of what’s happening now. Also, COVID made me think outside the box. You’ve got to make people feel like they’re stretching their dollar a little bit more, and having something that’s one of a kind with retro colours is perfect. Having a song like “Hey Baby, and then attaching the revised, new version of “I Think We’re Alone Now”, it was the perfect pairing.

“Hey Baby” is one of the highest energy songs I have. I think it’s great to come out full force and start swinging right away. I just love the package, I think that it’s gonna’ be a great Collector’s Edition. Having that merch is special for the fans. I’m really excited.
COVID just made me tap into a lot of different areas of myself, from music to my own boutique in Nashville called Tiffany’s Boutique. I still have my own company Radikal Redz, which is my online clothing line and I’ve now moved into beauty with Radikal Redz Beauty. I think COVID just made the artist or anybody for that matter, start thinking outside the box. Now we’re just connecting all the dots.

I do have a lot of really cool things planned – some live streaming for people all around the world who I might not get to see this year. I just I think more than anything for me, I don’t want to take anything for granted. I want to live in the now. I just want to experiment and try things and give my fans the best. And you know, we’re even doing a documentary behind the scenes. I haven’t done that ever. And we’re doing some more live footage and stuff like that. I haven’t done that since 1986. Live from Japan – it’s long overdue.

Tiffany - albumYou mentioned “Hey Baby”, as one of the stronger, harder songs that you’ve recorded. When I first hit play, and it came on I didn’t expect this cool rock stuff. Where did the rock side of you come from?
I’m born and raised in LA, so it’s always been there. (laughter) I’ve always been a rocker. Growing up in high school even before I was famous, I was listening to Scorpions, AC/DC and Led Zeppelin, so I was always “that girl”. Of course I’ve always liked all different types of people and music.

So I’m a mishmash, but I think when you really sit down and think about it and you think of the 80s, there’s Tiffany and Debbie Gibson. I was always a little bit more hair band and I was always representing that kind of earthy, gritty, down home L.A. kind of Sunset Boulevard, vibe, because that’s how I was raised. That’s where I was going. I was going to the Rainbow at 18. I was hanging out with people like Lita Ford and Bon Jovi, even though I was so young. To me, that was cool, like I’ve really made it, you know. Meeting Stevie Nicks for the first time – this is all ingrained in me, I was twirling around my bedroom wanting to be a girl in front of a band when I was nine years old, listening to Stevie Nicks. For me, it was the coolest thing to have women fronting bands like Ann and Nancy Wilson. So that’s kind of my upbringing. I think it makes sense and it’s taken me a long time to get here.

“Hey Baby”, and the upcoming “Shadows” album, when you see it, and hear it in its entirety and as we release single by single, you’re going to hear that rock edge, but you’re also going to hear a little bit of a wink back to the 80s. “Hey Baby” has a modern sound. The layered guitars like Foo Fighters, a little bit of Ramones and The Go-Go’s give it a kind of punk sound. It’s really cool to have a sound, if you will, coming out again, and for people to recognize my voice not just as a singer, but that I do have that attitude and that edge about me that makes it believable. I want to come out fun, toe-tapping. It’s summertime and we’re all getting back into our lives. I just wanted something that was flirty and fun.

The next single coming out in July will be with L.A. Guns actually. It’ll be Tiffany and L.A. Guns do Rival Sons. We’ve done a remake of “Keep on Swinging” and I’m going full force with it. I hope that people just go “Wow, it’s this is so believable”, like I was meant to do this. It’s an honor when people say my voice can really hang. I get all giddy and excited. We’re gonna’ keep releasing single after single and there’s so many great cuts off this album. I’m so proud.

I love all my albums, but I have to say this one is really special to me. I’m gonna go old school – we’re gonna’ take our time, we’re going to really enjoy each song and each single that we release, and go out there and do as much touring as we can. We’ll do special stuff to just get music in people’s hands.

You mentioned L.A. Guns, and as soon as you mentioned that, I tried to picture the combination of the band with your voice and it works.
I appreciate that. Mark Alberici has been friends with Johnny Martin for a while and then I’ve met Ace and Johnny and they’re awesome. I had never met Tracii before. On the original project, Tracii was over in Denmark doing his own stuff and the band was doing some reforming here, so we just worked with Ace, Scott and Johnny. We went into the studio and I didn’t really pressure Tracii to be involved yet, although the invitation was there. So we went in, we recorded it at Sunset Sound in L.A. and just knocked it out. Then it was played to Tracii and he wanted to lay down the guitar solo, so he did it. It was a real big high five to me, for my spirit, because that’s validity right there. I really appreciate and respect his opinion, and to have him to be a part of it officially is amazing.

I had to prove my worth a little bit, which was totally cool. But I think that’s what it’s been about. I’ve been doing the ultimate jam with a lot of people there – Chuck Wright and on and on. They all took me under their wing for a while, even though I’m an L.A. Girl, and I’m Tiffany. It didn’t really mean anything until you can really bring it, so I think at first people were like, “yeah, okay, well, let’s see where this goes”, and then I’m up there killing songs. It’s really an honor to work with L.A. Guns. I’m a big fan of them as people because they’re wonderful guys. It’s amazing, to again, come full circle, and I’ve always loved Rival Sons. I think the song is perfect – isn’t that the whole thing that we’re doing right now in life, just get out there and keep on swinging.

You’ve mentioned Tiffany as almost a side character at times, does it feel like that? Is there is a Tiffany, the person and a Tiffany, the performer?
Maybe. I think we look at Tiffany as that 80s girl, but more and more as people start to get to know me, talk to me, do interviews like this, they go, “Oh, okay, well, she’s got some depth to her. She’s not just some pop girl still spinning around or trying to live off “I Think We’re Alone Now””.

30 years later, there is no sad story here. She really likes what she’s doing. She’s been up and down and lived through it. She’s been a mom, she’s a real person just excited about doing music and growing and the ups and the downs and she lives publicly. It is what it is. I think for me, I’m very comfortable in my own skin. I still get nervous to go on stage and still have all those butterflies and things. There’s a shitload of stuff that I’m still working out, but I get up and I’m very excited to be here. I’m very excited, very thrilled and grateful to be doing this 30 years later, and people are still interested. And to now be doing the new music and they’re still interested. I enjoy it more now, it’s more hands on work. I’m learning more, and it is more one on one.

When I started the new record going in a more rock direction, we were doing, literally, crappy rock clubs and punk clubs all throughout Europe. Prior to COVID people were like, “what is the Tiffany name doing up on this stage just like skid row one week and then Tiffany the next, what’s happening?” But they came to my show and I’d have some rocker dudes come and sit in the back. I knew that they were there to judge me, but they’d move closer and closer and closer to the stage. Then I would meet them and they’d be like, you really got it. I really like your music.

TiffanyYou can tell when something’s authentic. When it’s authentic, there’s a magic and it sounds like there’s a bit of a magic going on here.
It’s very important to me. I think there’s a cool feeling almost like when I first did, “I Think We’re Alone Now”, I was only 14, I didn’t come from the music industry, I didn’t come from money, and I didn’t have any expectation on their pressure. We were trying something, I loved music, and I love singing. So whether it be in front of a coffee shop or on a main stage, I was doing it because I loved it and I had no reference. COVID blew everything up, literally, we’re starting in small venues again, it might be in this field, and it might be in front of a coffee shop.

I’m doing a thing called “Let’s Food with Tiffany” which is my food company, and that’s been getting me through COVID, where I go in and I host an evening with one of my signature dishes or one of my rocktails, which is a cocktail that I have my own recipes for. I send that over, and I host the evening of food, really, but we always play a couple of songs, so you get a little bit of a precursor to the tour. That’s been kind of what I’ve been doing. The shows are called “Tiffany Takeover”, so they’re not band shows and they’re not really TIFF shows, but they’re still an experience of food and music, because, it makes people happy. That’s what’s been getting me going a little bit.

When you first hit number one way back in the 80s, all of a sudden things changed. It became fast and furious. I’m sure there was tons of pressure on you. How did you cope with that? Did you even get a chance to enjoy the 80s after that?
Yeah, I still enjoyed the 80s. It was a whirlwind for a little bit. I didn’t know what I was doing. Every day was filled to the max and the biggest impression was touring around the world going to places that I’ve never even really dreamt about, like, Germany, Australia, and all these different places. It was cool. It’s made me a well rounded person. I love all cultures and people and respect different mindsets. I was just discussing it over breakfast, and I think that’s made me have such a great fan base all over the world and to just be a better person and a better songwriter.

Mega Python vs. Gatoroid - Poster-minYou mentioned branching out and doing other things as one way to be successful. I wanted to touch upon a couple of those. Personally, I was drawn to the Mega Piranha and Mega Python vs. Gatoroid movies. I love the campy movies and I love hearing about the experiences of being on those films. So tell me about your experience with those movies?
Saving the world is very serious!!! I’m just a huge Sci-Fi fan, so to be able to be invited to work with the Sci-Fi family was a great invitation. I’ve done some acting in the past. I was doing all of that as an L.A. Girl before I got a record deal – acting, modeling, dancing, all of it. So to tap back into that sounded like a lot of fun. As for Mega Python vs. Gatoroid and Mega Piranha, who doesn’t want to be part of that? I was like, this is so silly, and I have to do it.

My son’s a huge Sci-Fi fan. To get Debbie in on Mega Python vs. Gatoroid was awesome – we had a blast. Everybody always thought we would do music together. We’ve done some touring together, obviously, but it was really cool to do a movie that was Sci-Fi and funny and kitschy. We’re like iconic 80s artists, but now we’ve got like this whole Comic Con following now. So we’re in a different family. I think that’s really, really cool that we’ve kept that legendary stuff going. On set, they had some doubles coming in here and there because they didn’t want us to get hurt, but we were having so much fun. It was great to see Debbie every day on set and just to have that time to hang out and talk as girls. There’s this whole thing about us being rivals, but that was never true. I never got a chance to really sit down and talk with Deb. It was always red carpet for five minutes or take a picture and go the other way. I really felt like we developed a friendship on the set of that movie.

Jetsons The Movie - Poster-minThe Jetsons was an iconic cartoon franchise. Tell me about being Judy Jetson in the movie.
I didn’t know what I was walking into. I’d never done voiceover work and to work with Hanna-Barbera and have them there and coaching me; It’s a lifetime experience. I went to the drive-in theater when it came out and took my sisters and that’s how I watched the movie because we didn’t have a big premiere or anything at that time. It’s great to be part of that iconic cartoon series. The Jestsons, I mean, you don’t get any better than that. I still sign all the dolls that come out. It’s very cool to write my name, aka Judy Jetson.

I’ve spoken to quite a few women that have posed for Playboy and half of them regret doing it. The other half passionately loves what they did. What are your feelings on that now that it’s almost 20 years away from that whole experience?
Funny enough, I’m going to be 50 this year and I’m doing a calendar. So I’ll be shooting that at the end of July. It’s not going to be full nude or anything, but it’s going to be a little bit like the Brigitte Bardot vibe that I wanted with my Playboy shoot. I love Brigitte Bardot and we can make my makeup and my hair kind of like that. I want to carry on that vibe, so we’re gonna’ do a calendar or a little coffee table book.

I loved my Playboy experience. I’m very proud to be part of the Playboy family and I’m very proud that one of my issues was very high selling. At the time, I kind of chuckled because just being a woman, I was going through a divorce and what’s a better way to say goodbye to somebody than that? (laughter) Sorry, I’m on the cover of Playboy… Bye. That’s just the redhead in me.

Some of my family is a little conservative and that was a little weird for them, but for me, as a woman, I was treated fabulous. I don’t have issues with the body. I’ve spent a lot of time in Europe, which is a different mindset from North America. I think that my pictures were done very classy.

I think sometimes we can get a little too crazy with this stuff though. It’s weird now on social media – I think there are a lot of girls giving it up for nothing; they’re not getting anything out of it, you know, they’re not making a career out of it. They’re not getting paid at all for the pictures or any of it. That’s a little much for me. I think there was, and still is, a whole lot of class behind Playboy. So, for me, it’s been a great experience. I want us to celebrate that on my 50th with me going back to feeling comfortable in my own skin and representing just beauty from the inside out.

I think we’ve gotten to a point now a little bit better in our culture and in our eyes and in what we think is beauty, it’s not just always the blond haired blue eyed beauty. I’m from California and for me, that was looking like a Barbie. I think beauty firstly comes from inside. You’ve got to feel comfortable in your skin and then that’s what makes you sexy. I’m hoping to really show that on this new 50 and Fabulous edition that’s coming out.

I’m currently on a ketone diet, working with a company called Prove It, that I’ve taken under my wings a little bit and they are helping me meet my goals. I love that, I love the energy on the packets, I love the way I feel, and I’m incorporating exercise and some keto in there. But it’s really helping me make my weight goals in a healthy way. I’ve already picking out some things that I want to wear and we’re going to be shooting on the beach here in Flagler.

You sound very grounded, in control and empowered. You sound very at peace with yourself.
I am at peace with myself. I appreciate that. I just get up and I live my life. I’m very appreciative of what I have. I still have lots of things that I want to accomplish. I think that as people, we get so hard on ourselves and we have to process it and just do the best with what we have. I have the ability to change things and I try to do that with my life, with my music and with my career; with all of it. That’s kind of my mindset I have and it’s freeing.

You were in those movies, there’s a rock album coming, and you’ve got a new calendar celebrating your 50s – this is incredible. I absolutely love this. You’re passionate, you’re excited and that makes a big difference.
I feel really, really lucky and I’ve enjoyed the recording process of making the new music in Rockfield Studios over in Wales. The experience there, riding in the hills of the countryside and recording the songs in the same place where Freddie Mercury’s piano is when he wrote Bohemian Rhapsody, is incredible. You don’t get any better. If the walls could talk at Rockfield, they stories they’d tell. You just walk in and you feel that magic. I definitely think it made me a better musician as well, because there is that type of vibe there. Everything from Led Zeppelin to Coldplay – all this music created right there.

In that structure and on those paths, anything can happen. All of a sudden, a song like Yellow comes out because they looked up at the sky and there’s little yellow lights by Rockfield. It’s just stories after stories, and to be a part of that is a dream itself. That’s how I felt with my music. We could work and stay there on the property. I’m literally sleeping in the same room that Freddie Mercury slept in – it’s just a trip. It’s amazing. Having that kind of experience really made me a better artist.

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