( music playing )
Announcer: It's the "Idol Hour with Billy Idol."
Hi, I'm Billy Idol. I'm here with my late-night show.
And tonight's guest has the longest legs and the shortest skirt.
And her album is out right now. Miley Cyrus!
- Thank you, Billy ( bleep ) Idol. - Whoo!
- Good to see you. - She mastered the "Rebel Yell."
- Yeah! Yeah, yeah - Yeah!
- Thank you, thank you. - All right, so I have some questions for you, Miley,
because Miley's got her album coming out "Plastic Hearts,"
and what excites you most about "Plastic Hearts?"
The collaboration that I have with you,
and the collaboration that I have with Joan Jett on "Bad Karma,"
working with Dua, working with Stevie Nicks.
I think it's just been this kinda merge of the past,
the present, and the future
because we're paying tribute and homage to records from the past.
We're also making something that I feel is really current.
Just even in the kinda topic lyrically,
I think that we can find it very relevant to now,
but also creating something that-- that lasts.
I mean, really, when you're making music that you have made,
you are making something that would last.
That's like going into the future.
And that's what I think you have to do to have music that lasts
is definitely don't be listening to the radio and go,
"I want to make something like that."
You gotta think of the next thing that hasn't been done yet,
so I think that there's a reinvention here that I'm really proud of.
Well, I think with someone like Andrew Watt,
you've got the perfect producer to make music that will last.
I think he's at the top of his game.
I agree, I agree. And I think he's got this musical knowledge
of anything that I could throw out,
he will be able to give me some sort of element of what I love about it
because, you know, sometimes when you listen to a song,
it'll just be a bass line that you're really attracted to
or some background vocals or, you know, "Plastic Hearts,"
me going, how do I do some of those, you know, Freddie Mercury harmonies?
I want to stack 'em up, and there's something kinda doo-wop about it.
And so anything that I've ever thrown out
and he's never doubted me or my ability,
and that's what I think changes it in a producer of going,
"Are you sure?" Like, "I'm not sure that that shoe fits."
He will let me try on a million pairs
until I find the ones that suit me best.
He never says no to trying anything.
If you could check out the spectrum of sound
that we played with for this record,
it's gone from everything to crispy pop sounds
to the dirtiest, grungiest rock,
and somehow in the middle, we found something that was my own,
is personalized to me.
What's it like to work on an album
with someone like me whose got a bit of history in this business,
and then someone whose sound is new and still evolving like Dua Lipa?
Well, the greatest part with working with you directly,
it's instead of trying to imitate it, you know,
really get to recreate it with who invented it.
And then working with Dua, because it's someone that is new,
there's a freedom there that you can really kind of be fearless with what you try.
How do you want your fans to take those tracks from "Plastic Hearts" in?
I think there's an idea that this album
is some sort of reinvention for me,
but this has been what I've done.
It's not been the music that I've gotten to make personally,
but it's been what's inspiring me--
having this punk rock fearless attitude
I really learned from people like yourself.
And so I want people to have less fear in their own life to be authentic.
Maybe want them to get a sense of freedom.
And go to the leather shop and buy some pink alligator creepers.
If you want to wear something really crazy and freak your friends out, do it.
If you could see one band or artist live from any era,
who would that be and why?
I have to say Elvis because I think--
- I would have love to have seen Elvis. - Right?
Sometimes there's a standard of that there's a divide
between rock and roll and pop culture. And I disagree.
Elvis is proof of that. You're proof of that.
Even if he never became Elvis Presley, king of rock and roll,
and he just, you know, worked a regular job,
people would still be pulled into him
just because there's something special.
He's like a true superstar.
And to see that firsthand would have been next level.
Yeah, I think one of the great things you can watch,
I watched in alphabetical order-- I was about 18,
his performances of television '56 going into '57.
And you watch go from being the hillbilly cat...
- Yeah. - ...to the king of rock and roll.
'Cause he starts off-- he comes on in, like, some gangster outfit.
- Right. - And it's just-- you go like, "Who would wear that?"
- Yeah. - That back then, you know, it was incredible.
My grandma actually went and had Polaroids,
and she has pictures from being, like,
I think she probably waited in line for three days.
- Apparently-- - What era Elvis?
In the early '60s. And she has all these incredible photos.
And I think that that maybe could have been--
- He was still the king of rock and roll. - That coulda been dangerous
if we would have met. It's probably a good thing.
I would hope that I would have been his ex-wife or something sitting here.
So, "Plastic Hearts,"
Take us through your writing process for this album.
Where were you finding inspiration?
Who were you listening to and how long did it take?
You know, actually, I think you and I had talked about this maybe a year ago.
We talked about me losing my house in the Malibu fire.
And I had three records already.
I'm always ahead of myself, so I had three records already in my back pocket
that I had made that I was gonna do this kinda EP series
because, I mean, you know this, too, from making physical copies
that a lot of the time, by the time your record
actually gets into the hands of your audience,
you've moved past it, and you feel less attached to it
because you've probably written 30 other songs
by the time anyone hears the record you made.
So I had the idea to do this EP series,
and then when I lost my house,
all those songs went with my notepads and my computers.
And my producer still had them, but it was almost like life tried to give me a gift
in saying, "These aren't for you."
And so I never really looked back at them.
And so over the last two years, it's actually an anniversary coming up almost to the day
of when I lost my house two years ago.
And between that two years, I-- my story had to
be written all over again because I no longer related to the music that I had made.
So I really found inspiration from starting from zero.
From kinda losing, including those Polaroids of Elvis, by the way.
- Wow. - All those Polaroids of Elvis went.
And I had-- that's the worst part. It's like, take the house.
And so I had those Polaroids of Elvis.
I actually had an entire Elvis shrine that I said good-night to every single night.
It was right before my bed, and I, like-- my dad had given me a replica
of his cars and motorcycles growing up.
And those are the things that, yes, they're Elvis.
They're precious, they're valuable,
but it's the relationship of I got them from my dad.
They were passed down to me. A fan had given them to my dad in the '90s.
And those things that you can't replace.
And once I lost that, and having kinda nothing and no ground to stand on,
That was the greatest inspiration I could have ever been given.
Is rock and roll Miley here to stay?
You know rock and roll Miley has been here.
I had hair just like yours probably five years ago
rebel yelling my heart out.
So you know that she been here,
and of course she's here to stay.
I think the great thing is you haven't really gone, like,
hard rock or anything like that. You've done it in your own way.
That's what I'm hearing. Whether with "Night Crawling."
- Yes. - You've done it in your own way.
- We keep it glamour. - Yeah.
We've got to keep it glamour, and that's what you and I were just talking about.
I remember when I was first probably maybe 16
and I really started loving Joan Jett,
really started loving The Runaways.
And I threw everything out of my closet that had any color.
I only wanted to wear black leather and spiky bracelets.
And then I started seeing images like
you in a baby pink trench coat, and I'm like,
you can still wear your personality.
You can still have fun with fashion.
You don't have to wear armor.
And Debbie Harry, that's why I love her so much, too.
She wanted to be The Ramones ( bleep ) Marilyn Monroe and had a baby,
and there's Debbie Harry. She's like, "Why do I have to throw away my sexuality
or my sex appeal to be a rocker?"
Yeah, you can't deny whatever it is about yourself.
You have to be true out there, honest. You have to be real.
- Yeah. - I always felt Lou Reed and people like that
were saying be-- you gotta be you. You gotta be yourself.
- Yeah. - And that's actually the biggest challenge.
- Right. - Is to be-- and that's what'll come out and your music
- will make it your own. - And especially when you have idols
not copying and pasting what they've done and become them.
- Yeah. - That's the hardest thing because my room's been filled
with photos of-- whether it's Bowie or Mercury, or no matter who it is,
and you go, yes, those are inspirations,
but do not become replications of them.
If we recreate it, and that's-- I agree with you,
that's the biggest struggle is
where's the line between inspired and mimic.
- How do I reinvent it? - Got it. How do we break through that
- and sort of amalgamate it all into one. - Mm-hmm.
I think that's what's great. I think you're enjoying doing that.
- Yeah. - And that's fabulous to see. It really is.
Tell me what you think of someone like Joan Jett,
another voice on this album, that's another strong woman's voice in rock.
She is just a trailblazer and a revolutionary.
You know, she really went to war for people like me sitting here.
She's the one that had to get that door slammed in her face
and say, "Mm, it's good, but we don't have any room on our roster
for a girl with a guitar." I mean, really she--
speaking of armor, she is like a full soldier.
That's the reason why I can sit here in my miniskirt and fishnets
is 'cause she went out there and did not distract people with her sexuality.
She went out and created stability for herself
using nothing but her talent and her unwillingness to settle.
And one thing that I really love about her is she kind of was able
to tap into her sexuality once she knew that she had proven her point.
You know, and I really like that because there was some sort of almost, like,
master manipulation there, you know?
It's like I'm gonna get you to take me seriously first
in my jeans and a t-shirt, and then I'm gonna come out in these skin-tight leather pants
and hair and a lot of eye makeup, and she's-- she again,
I mean, she's always stayed Joan, but she's really reinvented herself.
And her longevity and her sustainability
is what inspires me the most. And, you know, of course I feel this way,
but I'm sure you feel this way. Joan feels this way.
This is the longest she's gone without being in front of an audience in her entire life.
- Wow. - You know? And she's been on tour since she was 16.
And now for everything coming to a halt,
she has not stopped creating.
She didn't go, "Just 'cause I can't be on tour right now
just 'cause--," she has not stopped sending songs and getting in the studio.
If you love what you do, you never work a day in your life,
but you can still work hard and be dedicated.
But she stayed in love with it.
You have especially taken to "Heart of Glass."
You've performed it with such fire.
What is it about that type of music
that brings out such an impassioned performance?
I think just wanting to make the artist really proud.
Like, I know that some of my audience won't know
Blondie as well as I do, and so to have that kind of introduction,
I feel like it's a gift to the people,
not my version, but to then go, you know, "Where'd she get that?"
And then to be able to discover Blondie, it's a gift from me to my audience,
and then just really wanting to make Debbie proud.
Well, you really made that your own.
I really thought that your version of it is beautiful.
- Your voice is so strong. - Thank you so much.
It's really different than Debbie's version, too,
so that, again, takes a little bit of bravery.
That's right. What is it about a certain song that makes you want to cover it?
Hearing my story in it. You know, I'm a lyrics person.
I always ask people what do they hear first. Like, when you listen to a song.
What do you hear first? Do you hear the melody?
Do you hear the guitar? You hear the lyrics?
Yeah, it might be-- might be the melody or something.
I'm a bit of a melody person. And then I'll put the lyrics with it, you know, of course.
Well, people are really, I think, drawn to kinda one of the other.
Like, you hear the melody and then you dive into the lyrics.
I'll write lyrics just almost spoken word kinda things, you know?
- Right. - And so when I really look at the lyrics, I mean,
I do that with every song. I will look at the lyrics immediately,
and that will determine if I really like it or not.
- Right. - And sometimes I'm like, "Oh, that guitar is so good,"
you know, but I really resonate with lyrics.
So that's what happens. I find myself in the story,
which is hopefully why my audience, you know, likes my music.
What made you want to cover Hall & Oates "Maneater"?
Because I am one.
What about "These Days" by Nico and Jackson Browne?
That's one of my favorite. I've got that album, the "Chelsea Girls" album.
That is one of my favorite records and speaking of Watt,
for my birthday he got me a photo of Lou and Nico hugging each other
that Mick Rock took. I just got that for my birthday.
And I was tripping out because I think that reminds me a lot of that relationship
and I guess just what I was going through at that time making that record.
I really felt attracted to Velvet Underground.
And I also, I mean, second to your interviews 'cause you have some good ones,
Lou's one of my favorite to watch being interviewed also.
- Yeah, fantastic interviews. - Those interviews are too good.
- They're always off the... - I love it so much.
And when someone's like, "I can't believe you said that."
I'm like, "Just Google Lou Reed interview and you will think
that I am America's sweetheart."
Is there a cover you've wanted to do, but haven't?
Well, I guess this is a good time to ask you.
Next time we get to perform together,
"White Wedding" is an obvious,
but I want to do "Eyes Without a Face."
( fake gasping )
- All right. - What really resonates with me
is because you represent toughness and strength
and power and fearlessness.
And then for that just to really let the vulnerability of those lyrics
and the sonics of it, it just really inspired me big time.
What does 2021 have in store for Miley Cyrus?
I'm hoping a co-headline Billy Idol/Miley Cyrus tour
when everything goes back to normal.
- That would be fun, yeah. - You know what I mean?
Or we just sit our asses in Vegas and don't move.
We just have a residency.
We stay there, we party, we play.
We party, we play. That's the schedule I want to be on.
- Party, we play. I like it. - Yeah.
Have to call my new album that.
"Party, we play." We'll get tattoos.
( growls )