LONDON Singer-songwriter Natalie Imbruglia kicks off her "Acoustic Tour" this week, performing 26 dates across Europe.
The 42-year-old, who found fame in the early 1990s as an actress in Australian television soap opera "Neighbours" and later as a singer with 1997 hit "Torn", will first play Moscow on Saturday and then travel to more than a dozen countries before wrapping up in Kolding, Denmark at the end of May.
In an interview with Reuters, Imbruglia spoke about the tour, her plans for a new album, and why she's drawn to songs originally performed by men. Here are excerpts:
Q: Why choose to tour now, is this like a comeback tour?
A: "The fabulous word 'comeback'. I've already had about four comebacks. Any opportunity to get on the road and tour, it's my favourite thing to do. I was just really excited to have the opportunity to do a more intimate show for the fans."
Q: How do you prepare yourself for a tour?
A: "Well you know how artists have their rider of all the things they want, mine is so basic. It's like lemon, honey and...avocado, some carrots - I'm quite healthy when I'm on tour, so it's not very fancy."
Q: How hard is it to keep fresh in the music industry and how do you feel you have changed?
A: "It's a very different industry now to when I started, I just feel really grateful that I'm still working and still touring and writing...I think if you love what you do then you keep doing it."
Q: Where did the idea come from to cover male-led tracks for "Male"?
A: "I was in Connecticut working with (producer) Billy Mann. We were making a covers album...and I just got the idea to do all-male artists. There's something about when you flip the gender, it's a completely different interpretation of the songs. I just found it more interesting and more fun and all the songs I was drawn to were by male artists anyway."
Q: Do you have fans asking for original material?
A: "I don't have a problem doing covers from other people but it's actually really hard to find enough covers for a whole album that actually express who you are and that make sense to you...I've always ended up writing again anyway just because part of the experience for me is storytelling...I'm definitely writing new material and there will definitely be an album coming, hopefully next year."
(Reporting by Reuters Television; Editing by Mark Trevelyan)