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Fiona Apple

Fiona Apple


Fiona Apple has a reputation as a maverick. She won a Grammy for her 1997 hit "Criminal," yet that same year proclaimed "This world is bullshit" to the record industry at MTV's Video Music Awards. More recently, she sparked controversy when her album-in-progress was leaked on the Internet, sparking rumors of label squabbles. We caught up with the very down-to-earth Apple just before the start of her summer tour promoting Extraordinary Machine.

How are you? Your voice sounds a little ragged. I just woke up. I was out really, really late last night. I went to a reading--and then I went out and drank. I had a lot of red wine during the reading. That was fine. But then I had vodka, and that tipped the scales.

Tell me about someone gay or lesbian who influenced you. There isn't one particular person, but my dad [actor Brandon Maggart] starred on this TV show called Brothers, which was one of the first that had regular gay characters. I remember an episode where a character came out to his father, and the father didn't accept him. I was 8 years old at the time, and I went right home and prayed to God--and I don't come from a religious family--that I would have a gay child.

Your dad also stars in the infamous 1980 B movie Christmas Evil. Are you a fan? I've never watched the entire thing because it freaks me out so much. We used to have these great promo T-shirts from that movie. It was a drawing of my father, done up in the Santa garb...with a big shiny knife in his hand!

How did you react when the unfinished version of Extraordinary Machine wound up all over the Internet? It was strange, because I had just gotten a computer. I couldn't resist temptation, and I did a search on my own name, and [the leaked album] was the first thing I found. It was horrible. I just remember my stomach dropping out of my body. I felt like, You have no control over anything, ever.

Early on you enjoyed a highly publicized friendship with Marilyn Manson. Did you attend the nuptials of Manson and burlesque star Dita Von Teese? No, but I saw the pictures in Vanity Fair. I haven't heard from Manson in a while, but I would be delighted to. He's such a cool guy. And I met her recently, and she was very sweet and so beautiful.

Speaking of romantic partners: Your ex-boyfriend, illusionist David Blaine, regularly risks his life in public. How do you cope? I don't watch. I knew [the "Drowned Alive" stunt] was happening, but I wanted to wait until it was all over. It would stress me out too much. But I did look David up the morning after [he surfaced] to see how he was, and I'm glad he's OK. I love David, and he is still one of my favorite people.

30 Years of Out100Out / Advocate Magazine - Jonathan Groff & Wayne Brady

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