My personal favorite [song on the TISL album] is Bombay Sapphire. When it says, 'I can see past you to the white sand,' that sentence right there is the whole reason for Bombay Sapphire. It means that I'm really trying to get over something, and though I'm freaked out about it I'm looking to the green ocean and can see past all of these problems to the incredibly beautiful white sand and the ocean beyond it. I'm gonna be OK because I am movin' past you.
And when Bombay Sapphire almost got pulled off the record because it
wasn't recorded right, I was horrified that one line was not gonna be on the record.
It's really important for me to tell people that if they're in an unhappy situation
they should not stay forever and be miserable.
[Now about the song "Bombay Sapphires" - has the
liquor company called to say " thank you' and sent over some product?]
No, they haven't, and it's not 'Bombay Sapphire', It's 'Bombay SapphireS! (laughs
) I knew people were going to hit me with that. I got the idea many, many, years
ago when we were talking about jewelry and stones, about tile and rubies, Bombay
sapphires.It's like a blue-gray kind of star sapphire thing, it's the color of
the ocean, and that's what I wrote it about. And I purposely put the 'S' on it
so that they wouldn't think I was writing about gin.Gin makes you meaaaannn! It's
definitely not a liquor I would have written a song about. (laughs )"
[Do you play any instruments on your new album ?]
[How was it producing the song yourself and singing with
Macy Gray?] It was easy, because it was exactly what I wanted to do. It
was done in one night. I really did have a vision for that song, and [on earlier
attempts to record it] nobody else saw my vision. The first time it was too R&B,
the second time it was too Wagner, dirge-like. The third time it was back to its
little funky reggae self.
Sapphire" is your favorite song on the album?]
I was looking outside one day and it was like I was almost seeing my past
as a little bit of something that I really wanted to leave behind for a while.
I was looking past the past, out to the ocean and how beautiful it was and how
white and inviting the sand was. I thought, I can see past you to the white sand
and a message back to me that you are moving on now, you really are moving on.
You are letting go of all that stuff that bothered you and you are moving forward.
So, for me, it was very important that that song be on the record. I recorded
that song two other times, and I didn't like it either time. I went back in for
a third time and played it myself to get it the way I had written it when I was
in Hawaii that night.
The only reason Macy [Gray] is on the record is because
we're managed by the same people. Originally I wanted Sting to sing that little
high part on Bombay Sapphire, but I chickened out on calling him and I asked Macy
to do it.
Her [Macy Gray's] vibe is so wild, so intense. She
walks into the room and it's like everything starts to move. She's like a walking
tornado. She's a total blast. We had a great time working on the song. Our voices
blended so well together.