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Chris Isaak: Ring Cycle.

9 December 2002 | 1:00 am | Jake Stone
Originally Appeared In

Crooner Or Later.

Chris Isaak plays the Brisbane Convention Centre on Monday.

This morning I have to talk to Chris Isaak, a man whose flowing tunes have been the subconscious soundtrack to my most intimate and weep-making sex dreams. Remember the one where me and Björk were making love in a sugar house in Stuttgart just before she turned into a menacing Night Wizard and sucked out my soul in slow motion?

If Chris Isaak's mouth was Elvis' toilet, The King would have squeezed out all his vocal inspiration directly into it before the effort of the pushing involved caused him to die. After walking into the bathroom to rub stolen moisturiser into his chins, Roy Orbison would have chanced upon his friend's body and, in his shock, accidentally dropped his lovely voice into the bowl as well.

Chris' singles Wicked Game, Blue Hotel, and Baby Did A Bad Bad Thing have been featured in films like Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut and David Lynch's Wild At Heart. He has made numerous film and television appearances in shows like Twin Peaks, and is currently in production for his own Larry Sanders-esque series, The Chris Isaak Show.

He is attractive enough to have frolicked on a beach with Helena Christensen, and has just released a new album called Always Got Tonight. When we talk, he is on a house boat eating sardines. He has the kind of American accent that makes saying things like "oh boy" sound cool. So how can you keep a phone on the house boat?

"We live in a modern world. I have a damn hot tub on this houseboat! I'm in Vancouver in the middle of town. This ain't Gilligan's Island, man. We're living it up here. I'm shooting the Chris Isaak Show here in Vancouver."

You like the water, huh?

"I love the water. (his voice takes on an odd sense of sexual gravity) You know, the water to me is a symbol of fecundity."

(missing the joke) Ah, a fabulous word. So, you are going for a long period of time without playing?

"I am playing. I did a USO Tour to Afganistan. You try and be entertaining because they are bored to death, so even if they don't like my music, they will put up with me. They're like, 'hey, this is something that will break up my day, go ahead'."

A song on the new album called Notice The Ring sees you distracted by monogamy. Have you recently used your powers for evil, Isaak?

"I think the problem is that I've been very good. It's just not natural. It's actually causing a painful build up of tissue. The song started because I knew this beautiful married girl who kept telling me that we should go out. It's usually ex-spouses who end up doing violence to someone. It's always; (cop voice) 'If you turn Mr Isaak's body over, you can see that he continued stabbing long after he was dead’."

With all the success, do you think about your life much?

"I constantly think about the course that my life has taken. I love playing music. I am happy. I have great people in my life to work with. I have to say that if I could go back with a magical trip or something, I would go back to the time that I was with my first girlfriend. I had a dream years ago that I was fifteen years old and I was riding my bicycle over to see her. When I woke up, I was in Germany on tour with this hit record and I felt so sad that I wasn't back there with my girlfriend. Everyone has some regrets, but like Sinatra says, too few to mention."