When the phone rings and it is Macy Gray asking if you want to ride shot-gun somewhere near Albuquerque, N.M., the logical response is "yes." Being a logical person, it is probably no surprise that was in fact my answer as well.
With about a month left in her international tour, Gray is looking better than ever and her offbeat humor is both disarming and endearing.
The release of her new album Covered, a collection of songs Macy personally chose to reinterpret adding her own distinct style, left her more than comfortable to discuss anything I wanted to ask with an ease and grace that speaks to her ability to capture audiences, allowing them to fall under her spell time and again.
According to Gray, Covered takes on material largely drawn from indie rock songs from the last decade.
Interpretations my fans will be familiar with as I have been performing them live over the years. With Covered I believe I have made edgy, contemporary choices and approached them in an innovative and uncompromising way.
In addition, Macy recently wrapped filming with director Lee Daniels of Precious fame for his forthcoming film The Paperboy with an atomic cast including John Cusack, Nicole Kidman, Zach Effron and Matthew McConaughey.
As the tour bus barreled (safely) down Interstate I-40, I took the opportunity to spend a little quality time with Macy in one of the most enjoyable and irreverent question and answers I have had to date.
What is the first thing you are going to do when you finish this tour?
I need to get me daughter ready for school. She is off to Pratt and her mother needs to get her good and ready.
What song(s) do you sing when no one is looking?
I am all about the Black Keys and "Everlasting Light."
Is there risk involved as an established artist doing an album of cover songs?
The industry seems to think there is, but they are fun and the fans seem to really enjoy them.
You Just wrapped filming with director Lee Daniels for his new film The Paperboy. What can we expect?
Paperboy is an insane and incredible movie. It is nothing like the movie Precious.
What do you think is the greatest misconception people have about you?
Biggest misconception? Some people don't believe it when they hear I'm an alien.
It was a wild and wonderful ride with many twists and turns in both the road and the conversation. Not surprising, considering she's spent her career challenging expectations and redefining musical boundaries.