The night of Cher's performance of her new single "Woman's World" on "The Voice", she sat down with veteran journalist Mark Steines for a chat about her new album, a possible new tour, and what Cher could possibly do next. SFGN contributor Michael Cook was lucky enough to attend the conversation, along with other journalists and fans, (and got in a quick question with Cher herself)!
Cher, what took you so long to come back?
You know it's funny, I didn't do a record for eight years and that was ridiculous. I know that I was supposed to, I just didn't' want to. I was a little "off" I guess [laughs].
In 1995 you released "It's A Man's World" and now on this album your lead single is called "Woman's World.” Is that a bit of a contradiction?
Not at all. "Man's World" is a beautiful song, but "Woman's World" is a different thing, they just happen to be friends. "Women's World" is a gutsy song, while "Man's World" really tugged at your heartstrings.
"Believe" has some of the same qualities as "Woman's World" and as we all know, "Believe" was a huge record for you. How do you spot a hit song?
Something happens really. I've had songs like "Song For The Lonely" and "Strong Enough" that I thought would be hits. When you hit certain songs, they just kind of grab you by the throat. "Believe" was tough, it was hard, people were trying to fix it and I wouldn't let it go. When I got "Woman's World" I didn't know what I felt about it because the demo was so different from what we ended up doing. At the end, it really sung itself. I had one other experience like that with a Diane Warren song, "If I Could Turn Back Time." That's another one that basically sang itself; I just happened to be there.
So what can you tell me about the new album? Can we expect a tour possibly?
I really don't know, my record company should have drop-kicked me a long time ago! [laughs]. They told me to go into the studio when I was done in Las Vegas, and I didn't, they finally told me to get serious or there wouldn't be an album. Then I started to get some cool songs, and then some great ones! Pink gave me two, Lady Gaga and I did a song together also. I think the song with Gaga is brilliant, but she doesn't like it, so I'll just be playing that one for my friends. My friend Jake Shears of the Scissor Sisters is on "Take It Like A Man" also. The songs are good, they're dance songs, with titles like "Dressed To Kill.” Some are sad, one is a track Pink gave me, it's called "Lie To Me,” it's really hot and really up there, kicking ass. On the bonus tracks, there will be a song written by Diane Warren as well.
As for the title, "Closer To The Truth" is a line from one of Pink's songs. To choose a title of an album, you just kind of sit and think about it and something comes to you. "Woman's World" is too obvious a title.
From the Cher catalogue, do you have a favorite song?
Well I have one! [laughs]. "Song for the Lonely" is one of my favorite songs, actually. There's a song on the new album about 9/11 called "Sirens" and there's a song that my friend and I wrote about vampires to originally get on "Interview with a Vampire" and they didn't want it. There were no other vampires around at that time! [laughs].
What do you think the magic is that you have to make you stay relevant for six decades? I mean, you've had a number one record for six decades in a row!
I know! I really don't know the answer to that actually. I haven't got a clue. It seems like I got off doing what I'm working on, and if it’s a good product at the end they say "oh she's back"! If it's a bad product, they say "Oh she's still alive?”
So this year you are heading to New York City to head the Pier Dance for NYC Gay Pride!
[Giggles] I sure am! Those guys are my boys. I'm definitely going to be nervous, for sure! I am definitely excited though.
Do you think of your "lovelies" on your website and on Twitter as your friends in a way? Ever get into trouble on Twitter?
You know, I kind of do. Some of them come, and some of them go, some of them talk to me and say they can't understand what I say, but they think I'm really funny! [laughs]. Have I gotten into trouble on Twitter? GOD yes! I didn't know etiquette, people wanting to start wars, things like that. Like, I kept seeing "MDNA" all over Twitter and finally I said on Twitter "What the F**K" is MDNA"?! It was what "Madge" (Madonna) was calling herself at that time and I didn't know it! [laughs]
Do you think you would ever make a return to television, like you did in "Sonny and Cher" and "The Cher Show" in the 70's? Or maybe take a turn on one of the judging/talent shows?
You know, I don't think people would accept a variety show now, its so out of the norm, with all the reality television that's out there. I don't think people would get something that moved so slowly like "Cher" or "Carol Burnett" did.
As for judging, I mean I don't know if I would do that. I wouldn't be mean, I know that. I'd try to make it kind, and I don't know if I'd lie, but whatever I would see the contestant do, I'd try to give constructive criticism and make what they do better. I'd try to make whatever I say positive. I don't think you have to demolish someone because they wont have a career at the Met.
What's next for Cher? Another movie maybe?
I don't know. I really want to do another movie. I want to do something gritty, off the wall, maybe an independent film, really raw; so "Un-Cher"! I'm writing a series for LOGO with my partner also. There are just so many things I want to do. I love directing, doing "If These Walls Could Talk" was a great time. I'd love to direct Morgan Freeman, I just love his work, he's so honest and he has such depth.