When Icons Collide: Jake Shears Interviews Cher, Talks About New Collaboration

cher-jake-shearsWhen V Magazine landed an interview with Cher for their annual “Heroes” issue, they knew it was a big freaking deal. So big, in fact, that they wrangled perhaps the most appropriate person on Earth to interview her: Scissor Sisters frontman Jake Shears.

What happened next can only be described by metaphor—an interview so inherently fabulous that young gay children will bask in the glow of its countless verbal glitter bombs for years to come. Two modern icons, separated by generations, one influenced by the other, meeting and speaking to each other as if it were the last conversation ever to be had.

Okay, okay. Maybe not that major, but you have to admit Jake Shears is a pretty awesome candidate to interview Cher, a legendary Queen V magazine rightfully praises as the “pop deity.” The pair worked together on Cher’s upcoming album—a collaboration on the track “Take It Like A Man”—and chatted this week about her fears, her dreams, and that pesky tattoo on her butt.

It’s great fun:

Jake Shears: Let’s talk about the new record, which I’ve gotten to hear a lot of and absolutely love. You sound amazing. What were the biggest challenges of making it?

Cher: Getting into the studio. I haven’t made a record in 11 years. But I think my record company was just about to blow me off, ’cause you know, I would have. They just said do it or don’t. So the first thing we did was “Woman’s World” and they seemed to like that. Then I pretty much over-recorded. I’m really enjoying this, but I have to say that it’s a little bit different. I’m singing higher notes and I’m singing better, which is kind of freaky, because I should be having to bring down my keys, but these are the highest songs I’ve sung.

On movies vs. music:

JS: How would you compare playing a really intense concert to filming a really emotional scene?

C: That’s a hard one, because you’re really worn out either way. In one you’ve done a great job and everyone’s had a really great time, the other is that you’ve been crying for three days and you just want to stick needles in your eyes. Meryl [Streep] and I once had a scene, in Silkwood, that took a long time to shoot. We started fighting in the kitchen and then in the living room, then on the porch. Then we sat on the swing and we were crying. It takes a while to do that. It’s a different thing. One is being really exhausted from fun and the other is being exhausted from being so emotional that you want to rip up your whole house.

On her idols:

JS: This issue of V is about icons. Which people have really been your idols? 

C: Elvis and, well, there have been different people at different times, but it’s really weird because mostly they’ve been men. When Joni [Mitchell] was making Court and Spark I was with David [Geffen], so every night when she would come in we would hang out and talk. I think Joni’s a genius. And there are great performers. I love K.D. Lang. It’s hard, you put me on the spot, and if I walk away from this telephone, hang up, I’m going to think of 50 people.

JS: I think K.D. Lang and Elvis are pretty amazing.

C: They’re the same person, right?

On Jake Shears making all his gay dreams come true:

JS: When you called me to sing on “Take It Like a Man,” I was so excited. When all your dreams come true, is it hard to create new goals to work toward?

C: I don’t think that we are born with a finite number of dreams. One thing about dreams is that they can be whatever you want them to be, you don’t have to put a limit on them, you don’t even have to know them. You might have a dream that you don’t even know yet, you know? When I got a chance to direct If These Walls Could Talk, I didn’t really know that that was a dream. My sister said, “Tell them you want to do it, tell them you want to act in it but you don’t want to do the second one and you want to direct the third one.” And I was like, Okay, that sounds good. I didn’t even know it was a dream, and then it was.

You can catch the full interview here.