Jane Badler Sings
Jane Badler is a legend in the history of television sci-fi. Nick Smith talked to her about her iconic role in V, and the release of her debut solo album.
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As part of the Sci-Fi week here at Polari Magazine, Nick Smith had the great pleasure to speak with the Alexis Carrington of the genre, Jane Balder, who played the maleficent lizard queen Diana in the original series V as well as in the recent ABC reboot, and is releasing her debut solo album in September.
The album has a wonderful feel about it, so many different styles, how did the concept come about?
Well, in life nothing is very easy. I had a record company in Australia and they wanted me to do a covers album after the two albums I did with Sir. I declined and said I wanted to write my own album and they dropped me thinking how can she write her own album, she’s never written before! It’s been 3 years and the most difficult thing I’ve ever done, but it’s so rewarding to have come from me.
Did you write all of the tracks?
I didn’t write ‘Black Dove’. I LOVE that track and that was written by Byron St. John. He originally recorded it but my version is completely different, and I changed some of the words. It’s the whole idea of returning to the spirit world to find someone you have lost. It’s a very spiritual track. Also, ‘Volcano Boy’ was written by Matt Thomas who has won awards in Australia for his songwriting, but everything else is mine.
Of all of your acting, why do you think people remember V and remember Diana so much?
Well without a doubt it was the most popular thing I did, as far as viewers go. Even though I did Mission Impossible and Falcon Crest, they never had the same numbers. Also, science fiction is a genre that people just never forget. Once they love you, they love you forever. The fans are wonderful and very loyal. Either that or I’m the first crush!
Well you were probably one of my first crushes, I have to say!
I love that!! Now, I have to say, at my age, I have become a really good actress. I’ve really done the hard yards, I’ve tread the boards in Australia, had a one woman show. I’ve just finished a Spanish comedy, a big silly Spanish comedy which was wonderful. It’s about a group of young, beautiful lesbians and I play a woman who is obsessed by a young woman. This is a big funny comedy.
Is music, writing and recording something you have always been interested in?
Not really. I’ve always sung, since I was 5 and always performed at school and in bands but I was like a cover singer. Then I stopped to concentrate on my acting. About 12 years ago, I took it up again doing jazz and cabaret and I was approached by Sir and they wanted me to be the singer for their first album. And that started it all and I became like a bulldog, like a fucking Rottweiler!
You can tell with the record that the passion is there. Every line you sing is from the heart. Some of the lyrics are just brilliant. My favourite is ‘Fame’.
That song I pretty much wrote myself and it came from going to a fashion show with my friend, being pushed aside so they could take her picture, getting the 8th row in the back! Fame is really fucked up and I’ve tried to get in touch with Jean-Paul Gaultier and he ignores me, so I decided to just say “Fuck You!” It’s definitely the song that’s most out there!
The general mood of the album is quite dark, themes of loss, revenge and redemption. Was there any reason for that?
Well, I won’t go into personal details but yes. I had a big crisis in my life a few years back and I think the doors just suddenly opened, the pain, but then ultimately the power. Am I going to be a victim or am I going to be a survivor.
The video to Losing You is really rather exquisite. It’s got a very Sophie Muller/Shakespears Sister feel about it. How did that concept come about?
Everything to me is about collaboration. I worked with the extremely talented Jesse Davey and his great gift is post-production. All I had was a door and a floor and all those weird extras, everything else was created in post-production.
What do you think the main differences between the TV/movie industry and the music industry are?
I think they’re both very hard. This music industry is changing at a ridiculous rate! Much more so than the movie industry, although in the music industry you can pretty much do a lot yourself, the problem is just money. Record companies don’t tend to have the money anymore to promote you that they once had. I’m really lucky that I can hire PR people that respect me and my vision. For the first time, I feel like my product warrants good promotion as it’s something I’m very proud of.
Nowadays, in the TV industry, there’s a lot of reality shows and I have twice been invited to appear, but declined. I was very much thinking of it because that is the allure of those shows, but the exposure you get can really backfire. When I perform ‘Fame’ though, I dress up as one of those housewives! And I am so over these talent shows too, because these people have not lived! They might have a nice voice, but there’s nothing else!
What led you to the title of the album?
We deliberated a long time with various ideas, perhaps Diamond Crimson Blood, but I thought Opus is a great tongue-in-cheek title, as it means my greatest work and I thought that was cool, like wink wink, but maybe not!
Any plans to tour the album?
Well, I’m a little tired from the PR from this film and I’m going back to Los Angeles and probably going to just sit back and see what happens with the record.
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