Smiling from behind sunglasses the size of small tennis racquets, Alison Goldfrapp, is talking about some of her famous friends. "Christina Aguilera was terribly sweet," the high priestess of pervy synth pop announces. "She wasn't guarded at all. Very relaxed. We have met a few lady pop stars and, you know, they can be quite guarded in the way they present themselves."
Is this a veiled reference to Madonna, who notoriously borrowed -- many would say pilfered -- Goldfrapp's pop dominatrix sound and Wickerman chic a few years back? "We met Madonna at the MTV awards. She was very charming," Alison demurs. "She and Guy Ritchie had previously asked us do do a score for her movie. I don't think we're fans of her music, but have a lot of admiration for what she has achieved."
Surely, though, Goldfrapp was a bit piqued to see Madonna -- christened 'Oldfrapp' by the press -- cribbing her look and musical stylings? "I have to say, there were a couple of occasions where I thought 'didn't I just wear that outfit last week or something?' A couple of things like that. But , you know, I don't know what Madonna listens to, I don't know what she does."
At least they still have a fan in Christina Aguilera. Last year, she contacted Goldfrapp and Gregory out of the blue, inviting them to hang with her in Los Angeles, and toss a few ideas around.
"She flew us out, she looked after us," says Gregory. "She was very sweet actually. She was with a very new baby. It was hard for her to do any work at all -- it was quite against her instincts at the time. But she did, you know."
One imagines Aguilera enjoying rather a bling lifestyle. "It was very un-corporate really," says Gregory. "We went in thinking, 'oh where are all the people?' It was her and an engineer. All in her little home studio. To be fair, she did have a lot of staff. She had a telephone where she had 'staff one, staff two, staff three'. She herself was relaxed and open."
So when can we expect to hear the fruits of their collaboration? Goldfrapp and Gregory glance at one another sheepishly. "We wrote her a song and that was the whole shaboodle really," says Goldfrapp. "We haven't heard it and don't know what's happening to it. That's about as far as we can comment. I think she's figuring out what she's doing. Whether it will ever see the light of day, we don't know."