SIOUXSIE 03/07/01

  Siouxsie34 Q's & A's !! (1 -15)
Petah wrote...
I have advised that it's unlikely we'll get a response to a Siouxsie questionnaire, but I said I would try......
34 Questions!
A response was highly unlikely but .....what the heck! 
Just don’t expect this to happen again, ya hear!!
Purrs and Bites,

Are there any songs in particular by other artists that you think to
yourself, I wish I'd written that? (Petah)

No songs in particular but I think a natural response to songs that make a connection, no matter how brief, is to wish you’d been the composer. Impossible to name all, so a few droplets from the vast reservoir...  ‘Lithium’ by Nirvana, ‘Overcome’ by Tricky, ‘Riders on the Storm’ by The Doors, The Man who Sold the World’ by David Bowie and ‘Witchcraft’ by Cy Coleman/Carolyn Leigh.

Siouxsie & The Banshees/The Creatures Top Of The Pops appearances were like nothing else on Earth, 'Fireworks', 'Mad Eyed Screamer' & 'Spellbound' spring to mind, who if any, of your contemporise do you feel had a similar impact. (Petah)

I’d have to mention the artists that impacted on me via that British medium; David Bowie with ‘Jean Genie’, Roxy Music - ‘Virginia Plain’, Sparks - ‘This Town Ain't Big Enough For The Both Of Us’ and T. Rex - ‘Get It On’.

Is it true that you, yourself had a particular dislike for the Swimming Horses video and if so would you like to elaborate? (Petah)

Yes. There was always collaboration and trust when working with a producer in the studio, you continued working with them because you had no worries concerning their abilities to understand and attain your ideas and this was no different when working in video. We’d already done a few videos with Tim Pope and in this instance he decided to work with a new cameraman, assuring us that he would be fantastic. At the screening - apart from the shots of the horse in water - I was very disappointed by the shots of the band and myself , 90% of the video! They were nothing like we’d discussed in detail and at great length, prior to filming and were a failure to capture the mood of the song. Because of the friendly nature of our relationship with him, there was a reluctance from everyone to be vocal about this - but not from me - I wanted a re shoot!  Finances, deadlines and democracy meant that we kept what we and finally Tim weren’t happy with. Ya boo sucks! In the end we remained friends and worked together again with no further problems.  Ironically, the TOTP’s performance is gorgeous by comparison. Well, that’s life and now you know.

Swimming Horses Video

Are there any circumstances where you would feel it appropriate or necessary for the Banshees to reform? E.g. re-release of back catalogue? (Petah)

If we all wanted to reform then it would be very appropriate and necessary. Under what circumstances - who knows? Maybe an uncontrollable urge to play those songs again - they’re certainly in our blood. Things were looking to be going well again with Polydor, nee Universal, making available and remastering our vast history of recordings, the ‘B’ side treasures being my particular crusade but as of yet, their response has been mind numbingly slow. I think we’re all agreed that it would be a criminal waste to abandon our efforts in making this happen, but the situation would try the patience of a saint!

I was always amazed at what I perceived to be the control you had whilst signed to Polydor. Is having your own record label all you ever dreamed it would be? How does Sioux Records compare to the Wonderland label? (Petah)

How times change! At that time Polydor were happy to leave us to our own devices - Wonderland was not a label in the true sense of the word, simply a form of identity within the conglomerate - which ultimately proved to be very good business sense for Polydor, as they did very well out of this relationship, believe me! Only when they started interfering did it all turn sour.  The realities of actually running a label are worlds apart from the situation at Polydor, though the accomplishments immensely rewarding. I would dearly love ‘SIOUX’ to just get on with its creative talents without the financial worries getting in the way. For the time being, surviving and learning to thrive in this inhospitable climate, is a defiant finger to the bloated, stupid and faceless ‘music industry’.

You have now committed to vinyl duets with yourself and Morrissey, yourself and Marc Almond, are there any burning ambitions to work with any other singers? I would love to hear the combination of your voice and another female vocalist. (Petah)

For various reasons, way too bitchy to mention, it’s not something I’m gagging to do at the moment. I did toy with the idea of approaching PJ Harvey or Johnny Cash ( ‘A Boy Named Sioux’?) to record ‘Murdering Mouth’ with. ( at some point in the future a studio recording of this song is a must) For the time being I’ve put it on the back burner and am concentrating only on new material. The sound of another voice that compliments is not that easy to find, but when it works, it’s fabulous. Who knows what will turn up?

Which of your videos did you most enjoy doing? (Mzary)

'Peek A Boo', which remains my favourite. A new video director, plus I was bursting with ideas for how this should look etc. and he ( Peter Scammel ) understood perfectly. He was responsible for finding a new camera man, John Mathieson ( later of ‘Gladiator’ fame ) an important component to help realise this video. I also got to watch ‘the boys’ go through their dance routines, under the guidance of Toby the choreographer. Hilarious!

Peek A Boo Video

'Peek A Boo' is in Sir Mixalots the peek-a-boo game song. Was this a mutual agreement with the Banshees? how did you think the song turned out after hearing it? (J Brandli)

I remember Geffen sending us the ‘Sir Mixalot’ version for our approval. We approved it with no fuss. We’d never heard ourselves sampled in anyone else’s material before, which was an amusing novelty. To be honest, I can’t remember how this ditty ( apart from our sample ) goes!

Peek A Boo Single

Are The Creatures going to write more B-sides for y'all's current Creatures album? Are the singles going to be released in the USA as 'domestic' rather than "UK import" via the USA Instinct label??? (David Morgan)

Of course! The Instinct deal was only for the one album and it was their decision not to release any singles, we’re about to sign a new deal - though it’s not necessarily with Instinct.

If the Banshees were to do a reunion tour, which of the many Banshees guitarists would you like to summons for stage duty? (GQSioux)

John McGeoch was my favourite Banshee guitarist, though that was a long time ago. My first choice would be Knox Chandler, who played on ‘The Rapture’ tour and on ‘Anima Animus’ and small U. S. tour at the end of ‘99. I always thought it a pity he joined the Banshees just as we decided to implode.

Do you speak any other languages fluently? I know you've recorded in both German and French and have lived in France for many years now. Also have you thought of recording and/or re-recording any of your albums in French as well as English (Skellington77)

Languages are an on going learning process, ever ready to trip you up or leave you speechless.  Living in the country of origin certainly helps. I used to have a fair grasp of Spanish - ‘El Dia De Los Muertos’- which I get to dust down now and again on our trips south. I’ve never considered re-recording a past album but I’ve certainly had thoughts to do some future recording in French again.  Nothing definite yet though.

What is your opinion on the Cure's and Depeche Mode's music of late? (I bring this question up not only because both bands share a similar fan base with you but also for over a decade they've been considered your peers.) (Skellington77)

Peers indeed! Off with his head!  Apart from quite liking ‘3 Imaginary Boys’ & ‘Violator’ at the time, I can’t really comment as I have no interest in either's’ music.  Isn’t Radiohead’s ‘Pyramid Song’ lovely though?

I read in a magazine a few years back that you and Budgie considered adopting a child. Is that still a wish or are your kitties enough? (Skellington77)

No bloody fear! Seeing friends that have become parents is enough to put anyone off.  I think our cats are divine.  I think our cats have brainwashed us.  The future’s purrfect. The future’s feline!

The question everyone seems to ask: There was talk of you writing your memoirs, any news on that topic? (Skellington77)

I’ve had no end of people approaching and telling me to write my memoirs down and for a while my tail was twitching between yes & maybe, when finally I took the plunge and said No! I get to exorcise many demons and visions writing with music, so unless there’s a burning need to do so I don’t see the point. I have agreed, along with Severin and Budgie, to participate with an official Banshee book. I have about 25 years of diaries which I’m sure will come in handy!

Speaking of the "Fireworks" TOTP appearance, it's said in ENTRANCED that you were wearing dead starlings for earrings that day. I have the show, and they do indeed look like dead birds. Were they? If so, why? And, who was the designer? (Killingjar)

Well I just had to make use of the generous gifts my neighbours pussy bestowed on me.  No silly, they’re just some turkey feathers I found and wound into my hair with rubber bands ( or were they starling guts? ).

Fireworks Top Of The Pops

What would you (the both of you) go on record as saying were the best, worst, and most memorable shows the Banshees/Creatures ever put on, and why? (Killingjar) KISSES!!!

There are so’s a couple!  Back to Feb.’90 at Exeter University for Creature’s worst moment. The first official show by The Creatures and the beginning of first tour. It was just the 2 of us - high on adrenalin and expectation - and our technology completely faiked us! Our first experience of being at the mercy of temperamental machines!  End of March that year at ‘Iguanas’ in Tijuana. A fantastically visceral experience and an about turn on our earlier virgin catastrophe, the machines found themselves at our mercy and we took no prisoners!

Aside from being a singer what profession or occupation would you be most inclined towards? (Swansong)

An architect/interior designer/set designer, a botanical garden expert, a forensic detective/profiler, a vet/conservationist or a dancer/choreographer.

You've mentioned your love of books, what type of books do you gravitate towards? fiction, bios, historical books on meditation...religions...? What s currently on your 'reading agenda'? (Swansong)

Mainly fiction, sci-fi and biographies. Most notable recently were, ‘Ulysses’ by James Joyce -a hefty but extremely rich tome (an influence on Burroughs?) and Graham Greene’s ‘The end of the affair’ which had me consumed! One of my favourite writers is Samuel Beckett, who often wrote/adapted his work for the stage. Back in’81, I was hugely impressed and affected by footage I saw of the performance of ‘Not I’ from the 60’s, which centers, by use of clever but simple set and lighting design, exclusively and unusually around the mouth! Billie Whitelaw, his favourite actress, was the mouth and his often used muse for his productions.  I’ve just started a book of short stories by Anton Chekhov, another favourite.
Who is someone you admire?? Famous or infamous...and why? (Swansong)

My list is continually added to in varying degrees of whimsy and importance, so I’ll go with a recent up-date. I just got back from a trip to London and whilst there caught up with a lot of movies. ‘Blow’ opened, which I saw and thoroughly enjoyed, which prompted me to wonder at the body of work Johnny Depp has accumulated. I can’t think of another actor/actress ( to be honest I don’t have a lot of respect for today's ‘celebrity’ profession ) that’s made so many good and diverse choices of projects to get involved with. I imagine his impressive talents are constantly undermined by his good looks.

'Silver Waterfalls' mentions 'Indian sunrise' and 'ghostly buffalo'....  'Fury Eyes' has a sort of Indian tom-tom sound....and Siouxsie being your name...have you read a lot about native American cultures??? (Swansong)

I wouldn’t say I’d read a lot about native American culture, though obviously some. The influence is more subliminal and sub conscious. Budgie has also been drawn to this culture - Silver Waterfalls is his lyric. My name harkens back to my childhood attraction. Growing up surrounded by cinema portrayals of cowboys and Indians (which later gave way to more harrowing and informed depictions in films like ‘Soldier Blue’) and unlike the rest of the local brats, sided and dressed up as a native American.......Die Cowboy Die!

Are you the Lady on the 'Hong Kong Garden' 45 Sleeve? (JBrandli)

No...... it’s my Mum!.......Not!

Hong Kong Garden Single

Where is the crystal ladybug in your house or did you let it fly? (JBrandli)

The sweet ‘lil crystal ladybug is perched a-top our studio console for good luck. When things get a bit raucous she likes to be put back in the safety of her ‘Swarovski’ swan box.

What was it like recording 'Flesh'? I picture a bunch of people at a picnic or family party outside in a semi-wooded area (JBrandli)

Pretty close! It was actually a big excuse to have a big party on the last day of recording in the studio and was the very last thing recorded. Microphones were concealed about the premises (which was set in Hawaiian jungle) and as guests flowed in and were relaxed by the lethal punch we’d made, the scene was set for the soundtrack to ‘Flesh’.

The Banshees/Creatures have always incorporated different cultural styles of music, such as East Indian, Asian, and Middle Eastern into their work. Do you have a preference to a particular culture or style of music? (Christine)

I’m not limited to appreciating music from any one style or culture, though for some reason my ears are most seduced by the Eastern Scale.

In many different photographs you've taken on the look of different cultures, (Such as American Indian) Have you always had a fascination with "the costume" as part of performance? Also, how do you feel about masks? Is it true that you collect them? (Christine)

I’m just a sucker for dressing up and always have been. I don’t believe in copying exactly whatever’s inspired me, but like to customise by mixing/matching whatever I can get my hands on at the time to make something else. It’s much more fun and personal. Yes, I have quite a collection of masks that I got into collecting on our Banshee travels during most of the 80’s. I still may pick one up but I find that I think twice now, maybe I have enough or maybe I don’t want the hassle of flying long distance with them.

Miss Siouxsielia - Who, in your educated opinion, makes the very best blue red/blood red lipstick? And do you think you're better off with a drugstore or a department store brand? (Bonnie)

Blue blood is perfect but if you can’t prick a royal, mix it yourself from leftover bits of red lipstick and shades of blues and purples (like a painters palette) or failing that Christian Dior’s ‘red holiday’, wherever you can get it or on your next Xmas list to Santa!

I asked last September on the Australian chat who you and Budgie would like to play yourselves in the eventually BBC movie about yourselves (you answered, quite logically, Doris Day and Tigger with a body wax). Now, continuing on that thought, whom would you want to direct this production (living or dead) and whom would you choose for the score/soundtrack? And most importantly, what would the title be of your monumental and harrowing biopic? (Bonnie)

AH yes I remember.....If it continued to be Doris Day or some other Happy Families starlet, then my choice of director would have to be the sadistic talents of Alfred Hitchcock or task master Erich Von Stroheim, you see I would want the experience to make her act as she’d never acted before, right out of her skin! I can just see it now, Erich or Alfred with crop in hand, shouting ....’For fucks sake Doris, (whack!) put a bit of conviction into it! (whack!) And don’t you raise those baby blues to me like that!! (whack!) Stop blubbering!!!’ (whack, whack, whack!) The score would be by Bernard Herman and the title would be ‘ONE GALLON INTO A PINT WON’T GO’. After its release (I’m thinking bigger than the BBC, but they could fund it ) it would be boycotted and picketed by the acting profession on grounds of ‘CRUELTY TO ACTORS’.

If the right project and opportunity arose, would you be interested in collaborating with Bjork? (Bonnie)

Only in an Alfred Hitchcock or Erich Von Stroheim capacity.

I was thinking about Bonnie's question about who which musicians we thought were influenced by Siouxsie...  My question to Siouxsie is who does SHE think has been influenced by Siouxsie and the Banshees and is there anyone that seeks her advice and tutelage? (Glaucus)

Direct influences are obvious and easy to spot and don’t need mentioning. The less obvious are more interesting though not something I think about. I’d be surprised if anyone asked for advice or tutelage.

I have a song called 'Shadows', which is rumoured to be an outtake from the 'Kaleidoscope' sessions, is this a genuine Banshees song or a fake? (Petah)

I would say a fake. Send us a copy and we’ll let you know for certain.

'Star Crossed Lovers'.  Does it exist? (Petah)

Yes, but I haven’t grave robbed it’s resting place since its inception and swift cot death.  It’s brief life was during the Hyaena sessions. Maybe I’ll get my bucket and spade, dig it up and see if time’s been kind to it, though I don’t hold out much hope.

Siouxsie, I know you 'hate fashion and MTV' but apart from Pam Hogg, Jean Paul Gaultier and Cyberdog what other designers/labels have the privilege of covering your skin? (Sergio)

I have some Vivienne Westwood, Issey Miyake, Karen Millen and some recent items from an L.A. based company called Lip Service who have been very generous to Budgie and myself. As you know I’m not to be dictated to by fashion, I usually have an idea in my head of the kind of thing I require. Often I’ll re-discover something I haven’t worn for ages and everyone’ll ask where I got it - if the label’s cut out I usually can’t remember!

Last year Budgie wrote: 'Siouxsie was also flexing her lovely larynx around a familiar tune in an unfamiliar way for that little collaboration we mentioned'. What happened to that? (Sergio)

That’s exactly what I was asking about 9 months ago! After I finished the vocals April 2000, the potential of the song was very exciting, then much later they sent a completely different re-working of the track which I thought was crap. Maybe they’re sulking or just can’t get it together. We recently asked them, if they weren’t going to release it, could we release it via the Gifthorse?  No reply yet.

Last but not least, have you ever been to Portugal (not mentioning live dates)? (Sergio)

We drove the length and breadth of Spain, staying at local Paradors searching for the perfect location to record Boomerang. In order to get from Santiago de Compostela in Galicia to Ciudad Rodrigo we passed through Porto and the surrounding countryside, very pretty except it was pouring with rain! Apart from then and the touring, no other time. We’ll have to do something about that!