Fiona Apple’s First Interview in Seven Years Is Required Reading

The reclusive singer cold-emailed Vulture from a Hotmail email address and gave a sweeping interview covering everything from new music to Billie Eilish.
Chicago, US
fiona apple
Photo by Sachyn Mital via Wikimedia Commons

It's been a long time since we heard from Fiona Apple. The famously reclusive songwriter put out her last album in 2012, the best-of-the-decade candidate The Idler Wheel…, an LP that still hasn't lost its allure after all this time. She also hasn't done an interview since she memorably smoked hash from a Champagne flute and drank grape Zevia soda with Vulture in 2012. But now, after a long hiatus, Apple has decided to have a wide-ranging and ridiculously entertaining chat with Vulture's Rachel Handler. The profile is full of surprising details, like the fact that Apple reached out via a Hotmail address and actually asked to be interviewed.


The reason the extremely private artist wanted a profile in the first place stems from a bizarre and problematic incident involving the movie Hustlers. Apple had licensed her song "Criminal" for the film, donating two years of her future royalties to the refugee-assistance organization RAICES. But when writer-director Lorene Scafaria was interviewed about it by Variety's Twitter, the publication strangely overdubbed the audio of her mention of "refugees" and made it seem like Apple was just giving her profits to the movie. Variety deleted the tweet and called the mistake a glitch. Handler tweeted about the weird mishap and Apple emailed her using a "nondescript Hotmail address" to give her side of the story, writing, "They overdubbed the word ‘REFUGEES.' No one seems to think this is a big deal, but I think it is, and I’m wondering if you'll write something about it. Email me if you want to talk."

While the two do talk about Variety's inexplicable flub, their conversation touches on a variety of fascinating topics and Apple's responses are blunt, charming, and frankly amazing. There's even a story where she recalls the time she saw Jennifer Lopez's butt accidentally knock over a champagne bottle. It's great to hear from an artist who has spent most of the past decade keeping her life and art private. Below, are some of the best moments and quotes from the interview, which you should read in full over at Vulture .


On the time Panic! at the Disco tried to sample "Every Single Night" and she said no:

"I was like, 'Wow, I can’t believe they even asked me.' Usually, people just go ahead and use it. I was just trying to not shit all over somebody else’s sampling of my song by doing it twice, but [Brendon Urie] called me a bitch. Which I think is hilarious."

On her upcoming and unfinished new album:

"I was supposed to be done a million years ago. And I go off and I take too long making stuff. I’m hoping for early 2020."

On the state of the entertainment world:

"This Variety thing totally made me think, this world is bullshit. And not talking about this entire world, but just the showbiz world."

On showbiz:

"It’s the bull who ate that shit and then shit it out again, and then ate that shit and then shit it out again, and then ate that shit and then shit it out again, and then ate that shit and then shit it out again, and now it’s that bullshit."

On if she listens to Billie Eilish, Billie Lana Del Rey and Maggie Rogers:

"I don't really follow, uh, I don't. I feel bad. But I don't."