I read that you had a vocal crisis that required surgery after the first album. True?
Peyroux: A vocal crisis: yes. I did lose my voice somewhat for a while, and needed to start over in a few ways to get myself into shape again. It took some research and a lot of patience, and finally a great singing coach. I hope to be seeing this teacher for the rest of my life.
After the release of the first CD, did you feel like the attention and hype were too much too soon? Were you surprised by the response and attention?
I don't think that I was very afraid of the attention after Dreamland. But I did need time to make a transition, and I guess that is why so many things came together at once. The reality of this recording business is that making a record is only a fraction of the work that I do, and I actually spend most of my time playing live. I love that part of what I do right now, and I think I have hit a stride in that area. I continue to discover more room to grow and in the studio. I look forward to exploring things further next time around!
The New York Times said you're "oblivious to fashion," yet both your sound and look, in videos and press pictures, is so artistically charged and evocative of a mood. Is this something that comes naturally or is it something you've learned?
I think that you are asking about the great divide between art and fashion. One is permanent, the other temporary. I guess sometimes they both matter as much, equally, in the moment, since we all are challenged to be creative with what we have, if it is with our old jeans and sweaters or with a glamorous gown. But I have always been more interested in finding out what lies beneath the clothing. I guess that is just the way I am. There is no judgment either way.
Which do you prefer, France or the U.S.? The freedom of busking or the routine of planned concerts? Performing live or recording in a studio?
The funny thing is that all of these are a part of what we do as musicians and artists to be who we are. So I don't think any one location is better to perform, or any one schedule. I don't really have a bias about it because they are always different and exciting things to do, since I am doing this thing I do: music.
There is a strong connection in music to everything - a universal language - so playing overseas really tests that part of the music for me. However, it's also challenging being at home in the U.S. and playing this American music, songs that span the last century, with echoes of so many cultural and historical connections that cannot be totally understood everywhere else.
Of all your travels, which place feels most like home?
I am a traveling musician and I have become accustomed to the road, but I do feel at home here in the U.S. I love the music that comes out of this country.