RS: I've always seen shows where people go over to Japan, they just totally treat you insanely well and they just want to take your picture everywhere you go.
Tina Novak: Yes, I mean it's definitely different than New York <laughing>. I mean they're so grateful to have an American artist over there, that we travel that far in the first place. They're so accommodating and want to make you so comfortable in their country, because they really want you to go away with a good feeling of being in their country and I totally did. Before I could even need or want anything, it was there, Even the people that work at McDonald's, they have their shirts tucked in and pressed and fold your bag and bow when they hand it to you. It's just incredible and so different than here.
RS: So how did you meet up with Ray Roc?
Tina: Ray was going to remix one of my songs on Been Around The World, but it didn't end up working out. Then when Ray heard that the whole Arista thing didn't work out, his manager was friends with someone and we knew someone in common. He dropped a line to them seeing what I was doing at the time. He asked if I was looking for a new project to work on. Ray was interested in working with me from my last project and it was exactly the right time, just a few months after the whole Arista thing went down.
RS: Well I heard a story that you recorded the original demo for "Never," is that true?
Tina: Actually, I wasn't allowed to talk about a lot of the things that I was doing at the time because I was under contract with Arista. You know, we singers, you can't keep us out of the studio. So, I did record it a long time ago and that's another reason why it was so funny the way the timing went down with the whole Arista transition into the Roc project. The song started doing well and then I said well at least we already got it recorded.
RS: So basically he found you and he gave you the song and you sang it, and then someone else recorded it and another version came out with you singing it.
RS: It's just wild how it all works.
Tina: Politics. You've got to play by the rules I guess. That's what we tried to do and it's working out in our favor.
RS: It was so funny because when I first heard about Tina Novak singing "Never" at the KTU Show party I was like OK, it's supposed to be Tina Arena, but he had to find another girl named Tina to sing it.
Tina: I know, it's the weirdest thing because it just so happens that we both have the first name Tina. Then it's also funny because when I do performances, I hear all these sort of things like you got married and changed your name or you signed a new deal so you have to use a new name. I've heard all kinds of different reasons why there is Tina Arena and Tina Novak, but it's kind of funny, they're actually very creative.
RS: It was actually sort of funny because your manager referred to you as Tina Robles, I was like oh God, they've found another girl for the act.
Tina: Yeah - see what I mean - creativity, it's a great thing. It's funny, I laugh about it now.
RS: One more question in that direction and I'll leave it then. Has anyone every asked you to perform Chains at one of your gigs?
Tina: No, that hasn't happened yet, I am surprised. Yes, I have been asked to sing Been Around The World, which was kind of funny.
RS: So speaking about touring, are you touring a lot right now?
Tina: We're just releasing a new single so it's slowed down for a minute in-between the end of "Never" and the beginning of "Déjà Vu." Things were pretty wild there for a while. With "Never," I was touring a whole lot and it's just now starting to pick back up with Déjà Vu. It's a slow build with dance music, starting in the clubs and then dance radio, so you get little bit of break there for a minute but it's definitely bouncing right back.
RS: What's your tour like, when you perform the song live?
Tina: It's so much fun, a lot of people have said to me that our show is so much fun to watch. I think it's partially because I have the best dancers in the world. They're so awesome and I love them, we talk all the time even when we're not working or touring. It's definitely a fun show, with a lot of interacting on stage and having a good time with great choreography. I love best to do our full show right now, with all four dancers and Ray is up their spinning and a percussionist up there playing so you get that totally live feel. People come up tell me that they get that feeling from it, because we definitely are having a good time.