Interviewing the Spice Girls is a fairly remarkable experience, for several reasons. First and foremost, nearly every answer is delivered in a five-part cockney harmony. Secondly, there is no doubt that the Girls — who reunited in June and are in the midst of a sold-out world tour — exist on a different plane than, say, 98 percent of us, which only makes it more surreal when they decide to weigh in on real-world issues.
Take, for example, this exchange in response to the question "What do you think about people leaking your music to the Internet?"
"Who's Lee King?" asks Scary Spice, a.k.a. Mel B. And she is not kidding.
This is, of course, followed by 30 seconds of intra-group chatter, where it is determined that we are not talking about a person but rather a problem that is plaguing the music industry. And at this point, Sporty (Mel C) grabs the microphone and delivers the following:
"The record industry has changed, and it's still changing dramatically, really quickly. And there's some really great things about the Internet — so many more bands can get ahead, you can get your music out there. The unfortunate thing is, music is very expensive to make, but it's quite worthless with sharing files and everything," she says. "So sometimes younger, less-established bands do suffer. We're very, very lucky because we're able to do great big shows like this, and that's really where the money is now in the music industry. It's very difficult to sell records. So we feel lucky that we're not in competition with anybody anymore."
And it's sort of shocking, because she almost makes complete sense. And then to offer a rebuttal, here's Ginger (Geri Halliwell):
"Although, a counter to that: I remember when I was a little kid and the radio was playing, I pressed record on my blank tape, so I was downloading too," she says. "It's just moved on, so I don't resent [downloading]. I did it."
This is also a valid point. Of course, this quickly devolves into a playful tussle between Halliwell and Posh (Victoria Beckham), which then becomes an impromptu duet.
That's sort of how things are for the Spice Girls these days. There's no real concern for trivial matters like album sales or piracy or anything of the sort. Basically, they've earned the right to not worry anymore. They're on a reunion tour, playing the hits, hearing the cheers. It's pretty much all gravy, all the time.
Which explains their answers to the question "How have things changed for the Spice Girls?"
"Our priorities have changed, and that's why when we're [onstage], we have even more fun," Baby Spice (Emma Bunton) said. "Because we know that after that, we have to go home and feed children. We love being onstage together."
"It's kind of transcended 'Girl Power.' I mean, it's still there, in the sense that we're not perfect. We're just women living our lives. We've got families, we work — our jobs are different than most — but we just do the best we can and just enjoy things," Halliwell added. "And we've learned to celebrate the differences between then and now. I mean, I'm 35, and I think, 'There's not much longer you can wear those hot pants, girl. Do it while you can.' "