Near verbatim transcription of a Jim Steinman and Andrew Lloyd Webber interview on GMTV - June 1, 1998.
Lorraine (the interviewer):
Andrew Lloyd Webber is certainly the biggest name in musicals but you
may not have heard of his new partner Jim Steinman, although you will
know his music take a look at this...
(Clips of Bat Out Of Hell, It's All Coming Back To Me Now, I Would Do Anything For Love)
Lor- Andrew and Jim is this an unlikely partnership?
Jim- No I don't think so. We are both desperately hoping to replace Scary
and Ginger Spice.
Lor- You could be...?
Jim- Well, I could be Scary.
Lor- Well that tie's certainly scary. The project Whistle Down The
Wind, how did you both become involved?
ALW- Well we have kind of known each other for a long time. As you know,
Jim writes very theatrical songs - he writes for Meat Loaf...
Lor- Ummm you sure don't get much more theatrical than Meat Loaf.
ALW- We actually talked about doing Phantom Of The Opera together 14
Jim- 14 years ago.
ALW- But Jim was tied up with doing a Bonnie Tyler album and it never
Jim- Not a very good decision on my part was it? Because I think Phantom
did pretty well.
ALW- the thing is we met again in LA, I was working over there and we
kind of got talking about projects and I said Whistle Down The Wind was a
kind of interesting idea but it didn't work because it was set in
England. We came up with the idea that it might work if we set it in
Louisiana and would be more interesting.
Lor- I remember the film vividly. Here's a clip.
(Clip of kids finding man in barn)
Lor- Those children's performances were amazing. It's about a bunch of kids
who find a criminal and mistake him for Jesus isn't it?
ALW- Yes they mistake him for Jesus, and they think that he's come back
to earth and they have to protect him as all the adults close in because
they are after the convict. It's a very moving little story, and in the
end it's kind of about redemption because the man does something that
makes you wonder whether in fact he possibly could have been Jesus. We
thought Louisiana was a great place to set it.
Jim- Yes, it's totally faithful to the movie. I love the movie too. I
may have been the only American that saw it, but I saw it twice and
it's completely faithful to the movie. I mean it's just the setting. I
don't want to be pretentious but West Side Story didn't portray Romeo
and Juliet when it's in New York and this doesn't portray anything to
the film, it just opens it up to a world that's very magical and musical -
which is Louisiana.
Lor- And is it very more rocky than the kind of stuff you've been doing
before because of Jim's influence?
ALW- Well its certainly rockier than say Aspects Of Love or Sunset
Boulevard but I guess in a way...
Jim- There is a lot of rock n roll
ALW- Yes there is
Jim- It's not because of me, a lot of people don't realize what a rock n
roll freak Andrew is. I shouldn't say freak, what a rock n roll fanatic
he is and this is his rockiest score in a long time. I've been a huge
fan of all of them but this one really does rock and it also soars, its
a great mixture of all of Andrew's qualities, operatic, theatrical and
rock n roll.
(clip of rehearsals with interview over the top)
Lor- Andrew, you don't have to do this do you? You could just sit at
home and have a very relaxed life. What is it that makes you want to keep
on making these productions?
ALW- I love musicals, the point of doing them isn't really whether they
are successful or not, its the joy of creation. We just did our final
run through and its just wonderful when that happens and it all comes
together and that's the thing.
Jim- That's very true, I've worked with a lot of people and of any of
them Andrew is the most like a little kid.
Lor- Even now you still have that enthusiasm?
ALW- Absolutely. I mean all I want to do is get this thing on the stage,
we did it and its frustrating, now we have two weeks to sort out the
technical things like whether the stage works and boring things like
that. One just wants to get on and see it.
Lor- And will you be bothered by the critics?
ALW- The point is, if you are pleased with something you have done that's
all that really matters. I am very pleased with this on. Sometimes you
have a time in rehearsals where you say well we'll fix something when we
get to the theatre, but touch wood I don't think there is anything in
this one that we want to change at all.
Jim- No, it's all going beautifully, and critics opinions are just like
anybody's opinions, you care about everybody.
Lor- You were saying you desperately want a hit single from it and we are
going to hear the one that could be it. You remember Tina Arena she's a
brilliant singer who had a hit with Chains, remember this?
(Clip of Chains)
Lor- That was Tina. Tina great song now you've got this one. It's the title
track to Whistle Down The Wind is it?
Tina- Yes it is, absolutely it comes out on June 15th in stores. It's
quite a contemporary version of the song which is quite an integral part
of the musical, obviously.
Lor- Well you've flown all the way from Australia to sing it for us so
take it away Tina.
(Tina sings Whistle Down The Wind)