SEVERIN 2000

 
 
  Steven Severin I came across a bit of text about Countess Bathory that was disturbingly close to the lyrics to 'An Execution' but  pre-dated them. Why wasn't the real author credited in any  way on the 'Cities in Dust' sleeve or in the 'Tinderbox' CD?

Here's the quote from Raymond McNally's Dracula Was a Woman:
                                             
'There she saw a horse held fast to the ground as some soldiers slit open its belly. Three of the soldiers then grabbed the guilty gypsy and shoved him inside the horse's belly until only his head stuck out of the dying animal. Another soldier armed with a huge, long needle and coarse ropelike thread sewed up the culprit in the belly of the horse'.

Here are the lyrics to 'An Execution':
'
This is what she saw ....... The unsuspecting horse was held fast to the ground, whilst some soldiers slit open its belly. The guilty gypsy was shoved inside the horse's belly with only his head protruding from the dying beast, another soldier, then sewed up the wound with the culprit inside, condemned to die, along with the putrefying animal, screaming.'

Is it right to claim to be wholly responsible for the output when you seem to have borrowed so much?  (SCO)

What does Siouxsie say after that bit. The young countess ...(An Execution)  What's that part?  (Jonathon)

You are asking the wrong person. Siouxsie wrote the words for 'An Execution' - I wrote the intro music and we both wrote the outro. Nevertheless it is based on a myth not a work of fiction so I don't think it's that much of a theft. In fact Siouxsie's version is far more poignant & poetic. I think the final phrase is 'The Countess grinned - barely restraining a giggle' ;-)

The Banshees albums were quite different from each other and yet often shared a 'Banshees sound'. To me, that is a sort of ominous, bass- and drum-driven sound that runs through, for example, 'Israel', the live recording of 'Pulled to Bits', the opening of 'An Execution', and 'Scarecrow'. Do you feel there was and is a Banshees sound and indeed a Severin sound? If so, how would you describe it and/or what would you call it?

Of course there was a 'Banshee sound' but I like to think that it evolved over the years. The tracks you mention are obvious examples of my bass in overdrive but there were two other 'styles' - the melodic ('Ornaments of Gold', 'Ghost in You', for instance) and the chordal rhythm style ('Christine', 'Preacher Man'). I tended to mix and match depending on the ability or temperament of the guitar playing. Losing John & Kenny forced me into writing songs on the bass - using it as a rhythm guitar - 'Desert Kisses' is a good example.

If I remember right (and I may be wrong here), 'Peepshow' was the only album whose songs were credited to an individual rather than to a couple of people or the entire group. Why is that? Was the group working differently at that time?

This is regular mistake. We intended to highlight who wrote which lyric. It was a regular bugbear of mine that people assumed Siouxsie wrote all the words (as is common with  many singers). The songs on 'Peepshow' - if you look closely - are credited to the band as always. As a result of this the layout for the subsequent albums went back to before.

On your web site, talking about one of the bands or would-be bands you've collaborated with, you made a joke about not wanting to be seen collaborating with a 'goth Bananarama'. I laughed along with you at the phrase, and yet I find that idea strangely intriguing. After all, this seems to be an age of boy- and girl-bands. Have you given any more thought to Severin becoming a Svengali?  (Nocturne).

What do you mean 'becoming'? ;-) The idea is intriguing , I agree. I think I said I didn't want the first thing 'post- Banshees' to be a svengali thing. Whatever, their hearts weren't in it & no matter what you think of boy/girl bands somebody in the band has to have talent. Unfortunately that wasn't in great supply where 'Jezebel' were concerned.

I met and spoke to Severin when he came to Ottawa for a panel discussion on the old punk scene.. I was just wondering how his daughter is doing? :) simple, boring, but what can I say?  (Hollowsound)

She's lovely, thank you. She's 4 in April.

I have a video promo of 'Tattoo' and I'm convinced it's not official and is a bootleg, can you enlighten me and have you seen it?  (Petah)

I've seen this mentioned but have never actually seen it. It's a bootleg.

Why was the decision made to segue the two Royal Albert Hall shows together for the Nocturne release I was at the first show and feel a video release of just one of the nights would have captured the atmosphere better  (Petah)

Possibly, but like the album some songs were better performed or filmed on different nights. A good example of a Banshee gig from start to finish is the Rockpalast show in Germany in 1981.

Nocturne Video Click Here For Bigger Scan

Was 'Torment' specifically written for Marc Almond, was there ever a chance that it would be a Banshees song?  (Petah)

No. Marc asked me to write a complete song for him but I only had time to do a musical demo (no words). I stole some time during vocal auditions for the Glove so I have a great demo of me & Robert. I thought the Mambas murdered the song.

Was there a video for the single 'Melt' & what were your ideas for it?  
(J Brandli)

Who hasn't read my FAQ page? No there wasn't but it would have involved a giant ice phallus!

Was 'New Skin' planned the movie 'Showgirls' or was it recorded before? 
(J Brandli)

'New Skin' was written specifically for the film.

Showgirls Soundtrack Click Here For Bigger Scan

And since D. Morgan hasn't asked yet, what the hell...any news on the B Side Box set? How is Polydor cooperating lately?  (J Brandli)

Mr. Morgan is too busy rearranging the running order of 'The Rapture' (again). I think Budgie has answered the B side thing. Suffice to say it is not on Polydor's schedule - yet.

Here's a surprise:  What is his birth date/time/place?  (Glaucus)

25 -9-1955 4.00 a.m. LONDON (Highgate) - Sun sign Libra, Virgo rising, Moon in Capricorn

Why was 'Song From The Edge Of The World' excluded from the 2nd singles compilation? do the banshees not like it? (please put somewhere if you release another collection)  (Witchiepoo)

Why do you think you had such a hard time with your guitarists? and how did the 3 of you stay together so long, but the guitar men were sent packing every so often? (Witchiepoo)

Dear Witchiepoo - Read my FAQ page!!!!!

Steven Severin's FAQ

best wishes

Steven.