Word (October '04)

Word of Mouth

Siouxsie Sioux - Former Banshee, Creature and now soloist on tour

MUSIC: I can't be doing with polite music. Give me something with a bit of strength, for God's sake. It can be something classical like Gorecki's Symphony No. 3. It's beautiful from beginning to end and it pushes out this amazing power. I play it when I want to shut everything out and stop all the madheads going on inside my head. That or Shostakovich, Stravinsky, Prokofiev - my auntie used to take me to the ballet when I was young so I heard proper, angry, Eastern European and Russian stuff early. And watching Fantasia got me into Mussorgsky - all that music behind Mickey Mouse. Also, buy the BBC Radiophonic Workshop CDs. They track this amazing electronic music used on the BBC in the '6os and '7os. The Dr. Who theme's silly? No, don't think that! It's amazing, the sounds, the noises, the theremins. I love it! And I never get bored of Iggy Pop's The Idiot. After the Stooges, we thought, what the hell's happened to him? Then he emerged and it was such a shock. This stuff that was so different, but still so raw. I saw him play Paris in '77 in a big circus tent, and that voice. Good voices are few and far between. The one I feel saddest about losing is Jeff Buckley's. I came across Grace quite late but God, when he died I thought, why couldn't they take one of the bloody others?

FILMS: Onibaba, this black-and-white Japanese film by Kaneto Shindo. I saw it on BBC2 when I was about nine. There was this great repeated scene: every night, this girl would run through fields of long, swooshing cane in the rain to her lover, but this demon would appear and it would scare her away. This kept happening until one night she ran past it. When she finally went home to her family and opened the door, the demon was crouching in the corner. It turned out the demon was her mother who'd worn a Samurai mask to scare her away from this boy, but the mask had got stuck to her face. It made such a strong impression. I still remember the sound of the cane now, and the looks in their faces. Japanese film amazes me, which is probably why I loved Kill Bill too. It wasn't that gory, it was more like a ballet. I loved the idea, the story, the humour - it's sick but not gratuitous - and I loved the women fighters. I was on fire after it. It was like having an injection of speed or something.

BOOKS: Anything by J.G.Ballard, but Crash is his best. It was the first properly erotic book I read, but it was also pathetic, really summing up this very American obsession with cars, with speed, with size- these empty symbols of power. Ballard's hit this nerve about what modern living can do to you, how you can become obsessed with getting into this cocoon-like state. He questions it, but he also acknowledges how seductive it is, and how appealing these symbols are. The film was good too, really sexy. It was different to proper porn films which are dull as bloody dishwater. At least this made you think.

SIOUXSIE SIOUX will play at London's 100 Club on 5 and 6 October to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Banshees' first gig, and the Royal Festival Hall on 15 and 16 October.

Contributed by Bonnie Bryant.

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