Q. You were touring with Coldplay — what was that like after not touring for so long?
A. It was really a lot of fun. It was surprisingly easy. I was thinking about 10 years ago, when I opened for big bands like that. I used to hate it — it was always in these huge places, the sound was really weird, and the people don’t know who you are, and the ones who do know don’t like you; they’re talking through the performance. But everything I hated about it was exactly the reason I wanted to go out this time. I was using it as a ruler to see how I handled things because I used to not handle it so well 10 years ago.I guess the big difference is that this time, everyone knows who you are.
I have no idea who knew me out there, but they were pretty responsive. The main thing that is different is I’m so much more about satisfying myself. I’m having fun, enjoying what I do, rather than hoping that everybody is (approving) of me. I learned the hard way that you can’t go out there and make people feel about you the way you want them to.
The new album was your best debut (on the charts. Does that define success to you?
I feel successful the times in my life when I can look around at the people I have working with me and know that there’s not one person I don’t absolutely adore individually, that I don’t absolutely trust and respect and admire. That makes me feel really smart and savvy, even to have surrounded myself with such wonderful people.
Just wondering — why “Columbo”? (During a long battle with her label, she reportedly sat around in a bathroom watching “Columbo.”)
I really, really love Peter Falk. I had never been into that show. I had heard of it, but they started rerunning it on Bravo. I watched one, and I was hooked. It became like my teddy bear, my comfort.
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