I've had my ups and downs, and I definitely have a sense - in America, especially - that once you've made your mark and gotten your Rolling Stone piece and your Grammy nomination, that they're on to the next piece of meat, and they don't necessarily like to follow the twistsand turns of an artistic career. Throwing an opera at them is something they have to notice. There's nothing subtle about it.
New York is not the centre for American culture and art that it once was because of the forces of conservatism. Giuliani, capitalism - and then there was 9/11. I really believe that if I leave, it will suffer! Maybe that's why I love it here, because I feel wanted.
I definitely was always expected and encouraged to be a songwriter from a very young age, ... But really it's because, as a child, I thought I was Judy Garland. And when I started out, I was a little nuts. I thought I was a classic, legendary superstar when only 10 people knew who I was. I feel in some ways that my confidence is misinterpreted as arrogance, which is understandable. But I've also always thought that false modesty is evil.
The Germany I was enthused with was more old fashioned and kind of romantic. I just got there, and the next thing you know, I had this huge gilded album. It was kind of an amazing experience because I didn't intend it to be that way.