Debbie Harry reflects on 40 years of Blondie, details new album

Blondie
Blondie, who are in town for an appearance at the Minnesota Zoo's Weesner Family auditorium on June 11, 2016 (Danielle St. Lauren / Courtesy the artist)
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In advance of their sold out Twin Cities performance on June 11, Debbie Harry, the iconic frontwoman of Blondie, talks to Program Director Jim McGuinn about the history of Blondie, working with Mike Chapman, and upcoming collaborations with some surprising names.

Listen to the full interview by clicking the audio link above.

On the "philosophy of Blondie":
"Our philosophy behind it was that we would work with musicians and inevitably include their influences and style and playing, and so far our style and influence evolved with the musicians that we worked with through the years."

On working with Parallel Lines producer Mike Chapman:
"We learned so much working with Mike. He really knew how to make a record that was radio-friendly, that would sound good. He had all these tricks and ways of mixing and doing things. He was a task master and made us be a little more scientific about what we did. I think that we were very passionate and he made us be more careful and clean about what we were playing. For a bunch of untrained musicians like us, it was really like going to college."

On "Rapture" and its influence popularizing rap as a genre:
"I feel very fortunate that we were under the influence of the people like Grandmaster Flash and the Funky Four Plus One More... and we were loving everything they were doing and brought it into our world. Up until that time, rap did not have it's own songs, it usually just used rhythm tracks from other artists like Chic, with scratching and turntables. When we did Rapture, we built rap into and around the song, so I think that was our contribution to the whole thing."

On being a role model to women in music:
"It varies day-to-day. Somedays I think it's great and appropriate and wonderful, and other days I think it's hilarious and ridiculous."

On potential collaborations:
"We almost had a chance to collaborate with Kanye West, which would have been great, I just think he's a very creative guy. But as a matter of fact, our new album is a series of collaborations and songs we've recorded by other artists, like Charli XCX, Sia and Dev Hynes is one of the artists. [It will be out ] hopefully at the end of this year or the beginning of next. We just finished recording and we're going to start doing the mixing."

On Blondie's four-decade career:
"Playing music is a dynamite experience, and I feel like I'm the luckiest person in the world to have this has my life."