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Sharleen Spiteri: ‘I blew my drink at Paris Hilton. We ended up nose to nose’ | Sharleen Spiteri

What was your best memory or high point of your career so far with Texas? RainbowEden47

Having another hit album [2021’s Hi], all these years in, feels poignant, because the beginning feels like yesterday. There’s been amazing moments like Glastonbury or playing to 175,000 people in Valencia, but the funnier stuff makes for great stories as you get older. Once we were in Clint Eastwood’s daughter’s vintage Mercedes and a handle came off in my mate’s hand, so she hid it in her handbag. When I was 15, if somebody had told me that I’d have Debbie Harry and John Taylor from Duran Duran in my kitchen, I’d have melted. Debbie actually lent me the Heart of Glass dress. I never wore it because I’d never look like fuckin’ Debbie Harry in it. Well, I wore it secretly, in the house.

David Brent once stated he was sure Texas couldn’t run and manage a successful paper merchants. Do you agree? JackJackals
I loved The Office so when he said that, I phoned everyone I knew. It was one of my proudest moments. I’d have a shot at running an office, but David Brent could absolutely front Texas. He’s as mouthy as I am.

In the 90s music journalists seemed more focused on gossip, your looks or the way you dressed than your music. Do you feel this kind of narrative has changed nowadays? BadRegina

It hasn’t changed. It’s just better hidden, but as an interviewee, you can change the narrative. I might start to answer that sort of question but then veer off and talk about something else entirely. If someone’s really rude I tell them to fuck off.

How did the collaboration with Rammstein come about? CF2013

What were your thoughts when a collaboration with the Wu-Tang Clan was suggested? CornShonnery

Till [Lindemann] from Rammstein called me and asked. A collaboration should be something you’d never do with your band. It was the same with the Wu-Tang. Our manager got talking to a couple of them in New York and when he told us they liked us, we’re like: “Go back! See if they want to do something with us.” The night we recorded [Say What You Want (All Day Every Day)] with them, ODB had just been arrested, so Method Man had to write a whole new rap based on his idea that Scottish people were pirates. We all got chucked out of the studio and our manager in Glasgow got a call saying: “They were in there with guns and doing angel dust.” I’m like, “Er, none of that happened.” It was a strange, weird, wonderful time and we continued our friendship. RZA told us we were brave to work with them and we’re like: “Are you kidding? You’re a major hip-hop crew but you made a record with a band from Glasgow.”

Does the state of current UK politics fill you with joy or dread? STATIONTOSTATION2020

You’d have to be living under a rock if it filled you with joy. What are these clowns doing? I’m actually terrified by what’s happening. There’s so much anger and hatred. Instead of separating, we should come together. As a musician, I’m ashamed that we’ve left the EU and can no longer travel freely. Before, a young band could break into Europe by just chucking everything in a van and fucking off for a year.

What’s your favourite song to properly belt out? (Not necessarily your own.) jesswilkhull

My sister has banned me from using her karaoke machine because I’m a “professional”. Outrageous. Basically my job is a giant karaoke machine, so at karaoke I do the cover versions we do live. So River Deep Mountain High; Suspicious Minds. I have been known to do Highway to Hell. Karaoke is so relaxing afterwards – it’s like meditation. Everyone should belt a song out.

From one-hit wonders to bona fide stars, what kept you all going in the “in between years”? JAYJ1111

A one hit wonder has one hit and it’s over. We’ve been going for 34 years! Those moments where you can’t get arrested can be soul destroying, but you keep going because it’s what you love. Luckily we’ve always been allowed to keep making records. If you haven’t got a record out people think you’ve retired.

Can you tell me about your run-in with Paris Hilton? SpikeTheCat

The Paris, Texas moment? I was at a Vanity Fair party wall to wall with celebrities and Paris Hilton wouldn’t stop dancing on my mate’s coat, so I filled a straw with liquid and blew my drink at her. We ended up nose to nose. Someone took a photo and it went all over the papers. I had to phone my mum to apologise, but everybody loved it. Taxi drivers beeped me, going: “You fuckin’ tell ’er.”

I preferred Texas when you sounded more bluesy, Americana … the shift to soul since the 90s felt more calculated. Do you understand that some people (like me) feel this way? StijnA

If you liked Texas in 1989, you’d know there was always a soul element but we hadn’t honed it. So it was a natural progression, absolutely not calculated. Everyone has their opinion – some people went “how dare you” when we did the Wu-Tang record – but we’ve always mixed it up. Staying like we were in 1989 would be like wearing the same old clothes.

What motivated you to write Halo? My interpretation is that it is about an unconditional love, with religious references. SaraLus

I rarely speak about lyrics because every listener has their own interpretation, but I’d been going out with Jakob Dylan [son of Bob] from the Wallflowers. When we split, he sent me a song called She Has a Halo. I was so fucked off. I thought: “Fuck your song!” and wrote Halo in reply.

I really enjoyed the show in Manchester but was surprised at the amount of effing and jeffing. Does that happen at every show? Oldintown

I don’t swear [laughs], but sometimes you just have to tell people to fuck off. Once this woman was shouting so much that eventually I asked someone to get my purse from the dressing room so I could give her her money back. The cheeky so-and-so still watched the show, so eventually I just said: “Look, fuck off!” and everyone was cheering.

I’m interested in how you keep your voice in shape as it changes over the decades? foCus07

Since getting laryngitis 10 years ago I’ve tried to look after it, so the night before a gig I won’t go to a party and smoke loads of fags. Pavarotti’s vocal guy told me I’m allergic to cleaning fluids, so now in my bunk on the tour bus I have a piece of plastic tubing like you’d get on a tumble dryer leading out of the skylight into the fresh air. Very hi-tech.

How on earth did you become good mates with Thierry Henry? Gooner_7

I’m an Arsenal season ticket holder. After I met Patrick Vieira at a dinner he invited us into the player’s lounge, where I met Thierry. He’d just moved into the street behind us, so I offered to show him around. The night my daughter Misty Kyd was born, he scored and pulled up his shirt to reveal a dedication. The FA fined him £30,000 for making a “political gesture”, but Arsène Wenger told them it was for a newborn, so they waived it. Thierry became Misty’s godfather and we’re still mates to this day.

Texas start a two-month UK tour at Caird Hall, Dundee, on 7 February

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