FIONA FLANAGAN (obviously Irish background) more known as simply just "FIONA" to her fans, are just about to return to the melodic hardrock scene after quite some time w/o recording any new material (her latest album "Squeeze" came in 1992). Her recording career more or less started out on the soundtrack for the film "No Small Affair" with the track "Love Makes You Blind". This song would also be included on her self-titled debut album 'Fiona' at Atlantic Records in 1985. Two more albums at Atlantic, "Beyond the Pale" (1986) and "Heart Like A Gun" (1989) and appearances on the big silver screen (Miami Vice and the movie "Hearts Of Fire" alongside Bob Dylan) made her one of the front-figures of female rock in the eighties. She's quite busy at the moment though -working on her yet untitled "comeback" album [or perhaps we've found the perfect title, yeah? ;)] and we'll certainly get back with more FIONA when the CD is finished. For now, here's Rapidfirequestions with's favourite 'Jersey Girl'...

What's it like to record new music in the year of 2011?

Fiona - Thrilling and easier.

Did you ever expect or plan on returning to studio-work at this time?

Fiona - No

Would you say it's a continuation of the "Fiona sound" or perhaps a gangsta-rap album?

Fiona - Definitely a continuation. I know what I want to do.

How much material have you done so far and who'll be working with you this time? (Laura McDonald?)

Fiona - I am working with Robin Beck and James Christian (House Of Lords) and Tommy Denander. Four songs so far completed more underway. I hope Laura --that would be amazing. Here's a pic of us from a year or two ago (see right). We went to see A Very Twisted Christmas on Broadway. It was fun to see those guys. Twisted Sister. 

Any favourite songs and titles (lyrics) from the upcoming album that you can share so far?

Fiona - I did a bit of yeah--eah--eah--eahhhhhing on the endings. I love that
stuff. The ends of songs.

How about "Irish Confetti" as the title of your new CD? The music will hit ya' like a brick over the head :)

Fiona - Done.

On your first three albums, did Atlantic interfere much regarding your sound and songs, considering what's 'hot and not' in the eighties?

Fiona - You mean interfere physically, like with my private parts? (Urban - Ehem, no... but now that you've mentioned it...)

Your excellent 1992 album "Squeeze" ended up as No.8 in staff albums list of the year. Are there any 'crazy'behind the scenes anecdotes from these sessions that you can share with us?

Fiona - I enjoyed the photo shoot very much. I think you should talk to Jimmy DeGrasso. [Nah, we'd probably end up killing him in a rage of envy :)].

Did you ever feel like the record label (Geffen) supported you enough afterwards? (promotion-wise, tours, etc.)

Fiona - The people who worked in the rock department at the label were great and decisions that were made were made. I was grateful for the opportunity. I didn't spend as much time with those guys as I did with the Atlantic crew. Those were the days!

You know, I was catching a re-run of the Miami Vice episode "Little Miss Dangerous" just recently. Very flashy! very eighties! very nice!!! Any fond memories from hours spent waiting at the set?

Fiona - The director, Leon Ichaso, was a riot. Amazing. He drove me all around Miami. He drove me onto the runway at Miami International Airport. I thought
I was going to die. I mean really die.

Are you fed up with people asking you about 'Boring Bob' Dylan? (since you worked together in the "hearts of fire" movie)

Fiona - Not many people ask. My cousin's son, Kyle, did a paper about him in his English Literature class and he asked me a few questions. Then he asked me how I knew the answers and I had to explain that I had worked with him (Bob). I think his parents just told him to come over and he didn't know why. It was very funny. He got extra credit for using a first person source. Anyway, Dylan wasn't boring at all. He was hilarious!

Who are your influences and heroes? (vocal, music-wise)

Fiona - As for influences I like all the singers that go for it up really high full
voice and don't sound screeching. I like that open sound. It really gets to me.

What's your favourite 80's albums?

Fiona - Off the top of my head Foreigner 4, Whitesnake, Pyromania, the second Ratt LP. Song: I know it was 1991 but Black by Pearl Jam. Guitar Solo: Headed for a Heartbreak by Winger.

How much of a 'Jersey girl' are you on a scale from 1 to 10 (where "1" = haven't got a single Springsteen album and "10" = you end every conversation with the words: 'bada bing').

Fiona - I have Born to Run, I swear sometimes but I don't have breast implants so I'm not sure where I fall on your scale. I do live there. Here. New Jersey. That counts. It must. Right?

What 3 words describe you best?

Fiona - You tell me. [Ok, fair enough, but... that's actually three words: 'you tell me'. Anyway, here goes: 'Mysterious, Intelligent, Beautiful'. I should get extra cred for the middle word, no?].

If there's anything you'd like to say, add, promote, please do:

Fiona - I have a Volvo. This is for Sweden, right? I'm coming this summer! On tour! What's for dinner? Hi to Joey Tempest. I have a website now. Who knew? My brother-in-law, Andrew Greto, took my new pictures. I met him first and he married my sister. He owed me.

interview by Urban 'Wally' Wallstrom 
Photos from Fiona and from her album covers.

12 January 2011
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