Men's Fitness: It's cold outside-why should someone leave their heated home to buy your new album, Anniemal?
Annie: Well, I think it's quite different from what's out there now, especially in the U.S. There is a lot of rock and a lot of hip-hop, but there's not really much proper pop music.
MF: Proper pop music?
Annie: When I say that I mean stuff like old Madonna, and I don't think there's really been much out there, but Madonna for me is like the obvious pop sound-you can't get much more pop than that. In England you have Kylie and stuff like that, but here in the states there hasn't been that much classic pop music.
Of course there was Justin Timberlake's pop album, but there haven't been many girls doing it. I am very inspired by old New York disco from the '80s and a lot of strange electronic music. On the melodic side, I am pop, but on the production side, it's kind of a mesh of a lot of different stuff.
MF: Why would a Norwegian girl find herself in love with the New York sound?
Annie: I don't know-I've always been into the New York stuff. It's just the sound of it is really dirty; it's a sexy sound. And I am really into that when it comes to the production. So I really try to combine that with pop melodic sound and music.
MF: Overseas you're a huge hit-how stressful is it to replicate that in the states?
Annie: I was really shocked when I started getting popular in the states. My sound is really European to me, and I thought there wouldn't be any interest at all here. And then they started to talk about it at Pitchfork, and lots of different Internet places were writing about Annie. And suddenly things happened, about four months after the album came out in Norway. I am just happy to release the album in the U.S. and see what happens.
MF: Changing gears . . . what do find sexy about men?
Annie: I really like nerds. I've always been fascinated by guys who are really, really good at one thing. You see that they work so hard for one thing-that's really sexy.
MF: What if he's good at being a porn star?
Annie: Yeah, well if he's working that's fine, but I would prefer something like mathematics or whatever. Especially if he's good at something that I am not good at. Of course, he has to have some sort of humor, and intelligence, and have some knowledge about music. I am so into it that it's hard to be with someone who doesn't give a shit about music.
MF: What would you say is your best asset?
Annie: Probably my belly; I am quite happy with it. I try to work out, but I don't have much time to do it, actually. There is a gym at this hotel, so maybe I can do something here.
MF: What's the craziest thing a fan has done to get your attention?
Annie: A really nice thing happened last week when I played in London. I was playing at this place called Coco, and when I went backstage a woman was saying, "The flowers are there now." When I got backstage, there was this huge arrangement that a fan sent up to me with a picture of himself and a note attached that said "You can reach me at this address."
MF: So what happens in those situations? Did you call the guy?
Annie: Actually, I couldn't keep it, because I don't live in London and I was going to leave the next day. So I gave it to a good friend of mine. I actually should call him and thank him, because the flowers looked a bit expensive, and it was very nice.
On my Web site we have this Annie forum, and I made this song called "Chewing Gum" (which you can view on the site), so this guy saw my video and asked me if I could give him the jeans I was wearing in the video because he is collecting famous people's jeans. And I didn't want to get into that.
MF: You have some interesting song titles-do you write your own music?
Annie: I do, but there are actually two songs that I didn't write on the album. Like "Chewing Gum"-it's about men who think they are chocolate but they are actually chewing gum. They think they're really good, but I just take them in my mouth, chew them, and then spit them out.
MF: Is that from a personal experience?
Annie: Maybe sometimes, but I tend to meet people who think they are chocolate but they are actually chewing gum.
MF: So any chocolate in your life?
Annie: Well, right now I am traveling all the time, so I don't have time for that sort of stuff. But one day...