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INT: Julee Cruise

Nov. 7, 2003by: The Arrow

The Arrow interviews Julee Cruise

Singer Julee Cruise's collaboration with composer Angelo Badalamenti gave birth to two exceptional albums: "Floating into the Night" and "The Voice of Love". Ms. Cruise also contributed songs and acted in "Twin Peaks" and "Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me". She now has a new album out called "The Art of Being a Girl". Personally, I have to thank singer/actress Julee Cruise for touching and inspiring me via her angel-like voice and poignant music. I had the chance to talk shop with Julee and here's how it went down.

ARROW: What’s your favorite horror movie?

JULEE: Psycho.

ARROW: When do you write your best work? When depressed or in a chipper mood?

JULEE: It doesn't matter what mood I'm in to write sing act or perform. It is my  refuge, it is where I live, so to speak. I've been doing it all since I was 3 or  4, it's a form of escape from a world that I don't like much.

ARROW: A Into The Night', did you find it hard to disassociate yourself from Lynch to solely be "Julee Cruise- singer" as opposed to "Julee Cruise- singer for Twin Peaks"?

JULEE: I hope I am not disassociated from David Lynch. Everything I have done since  (see discography on ( www.juleecruise.net ) is just more of what I've been doing all my life. But I have to say, I'm very proud to have been part of a groundbreaking sound, which many singers have imitated since (another compliment). Twin Peaks was also ground breaking to television, it's like being in an episode of the Twilight Zone. My work with David will always be something I made my mark in this world with. And even though I've done so much work of many different kinds since, it will probably never be as special and as known as my work with him. He taught me many things, and gave me the courage to be "beautiful".

ARROW: Your last album 'Art of Being a Girl' sported a very different sound than 'Floating into the Night' and the 'Voice of Love'. What was your main incentive to take that musical direction?

JULEE: I wanted to make a different kind of "lounge" CD, and produce something that shows yet another style of my singing. I wanted beauty and humor, and I wanted to prove to myself that I could make another unusual CD, write it, produce it, manage it and do something new. Use my people to collaborate with. I've done so  much for other artists, I wanted to do something of my own, with integrity and grace. I'm very proud of it. I have many different styles of singing. What is my  true voice? It's all approached as an actress.

ARROW: How has collaborating with Moby fulfilled you as an artist? Would you say you’ve learned something off the man?

JULEE: HA! I am good friends with Moby, but I wouldn't say I learned anything from working with him. Maybe he learned something from working with me. HA! That's a dear, but funny question.

ARROW: Singing live or in studio? Which one do you enjoy the most and why?

JULEE: Singing live. The stage is where I live, and always will be. I am a very intense performer.

ARROW: You also act. You’ve played the "Queen of Hearts" in "Alice in Wonderland" and your last on-screen gig was as the Road House singer on "Twin Peaks". Do you have any intentions of hopping back on the acting train eventually?

JULEE: My last acting gig was at The Public Theater (New York Shakespeare Festival) in New York playing Andy Warhol in Radiant Baby, directed by George C. Wolfe, a Pulizer Prize winning director. (Angels in America, Bring in the Noise, Bring in the Funk, among many others) I did that all last year, it was headed for Broadway as most of the Public Theater's plays are, but The New York Times killed it, except for me, thank God, and David Geffen pulled the money. I also just finished a film last year called "The End Of The Line" which will be expanded and will star Danny Devito. I will be putting up a trailer for the film on my website soon (all kinds of film and video). But really, all my work, is acting. No one, including my husband, really knows who I am. Only my dogs. I let them see the real me, they are my gifts.

ARROW: Have you ever cried while singing one of your songs? If so, which song?

JULEE: Yes, I cry to The World Spins and Falling, if I keep my eyes closed, my voice won't tighten. It's not acting, it's real.

ARROW: When she’s not working, what does Julee Cruise do to relax?

JULEE: I play with my dog Sally, my Lab Marty died this summer, and I've never felt such grief in my life. I'm still in it, but I know he's happy now. At least I got the gift of having him die peacefully in my arms to some of his favorite songs, which are from Floating into the Night, The Vet came to my country home at sunset and we had all the fires and torches lit. The vet said, his heart should be stopping by now, and I said he was waiting for the very last beat of the song, and he did. Sally and I watch Cops and Forensic Files, City Confidential, Parole Board and American Justice. I turn off the phone and eat chocolate chip cookies with my pillow, all candles lit. I also shop like a crazy woman, and love that too. I don't like social events, they frighten me. I'm pretty much a loner.

ARROW: What’s next on your plate? Are you working on a new album?

JULEE: I am mixing my new CD and getting ready for a one woman, multimedia show, going to Europe to tour various projects I'm involved in and writing another CD. My agent is waiting for a good film to come my way. But I'm always busy with my work, and I'm very grateful that my "playtime" as a little girl has turned into a business. I live a charmed life in that respect. I am blessed with a gift and still going strong. But when I leave this world I will have left something very special which 99% of the population can't say. I am so grateful for that.

I'd like to thank Julee for her time and for the delight that is her music.  And here's some free Arrow advice for the people reading this: If you're feeling blue and want to revel in it, get a glass of Southern on the rocks, light a smoke and put Cruise's "Questions in a World of Blue" tune on. Life will make sense. Trust me. NOTE: This is my 100th interview. Top of the world, Ma! Break out the Champagne!

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