ic Southlondon (9.10.04)
Q. WHAT sparked the decision to finally go solo after more than 25 years in a band?
A. It's simplifying matters for everyone out there. [Shortening our title to Siouxsie] happened quite lot throughout The Banshees career anyway. We kept trying to say "No, Siouxsie and The Banshees is the full name". We kind of realised after all this time going out as The Creatures [her splinter group with former Banshees drummer Budgie, and her husband since 1982], apart from the die-hard fans, a lot of people were unaware of who The Creatures are. Really, it's stupid, we're cutting out a huge audience who would be interested. There's going to be a new album coming out. And that's going to be under my name only.
Q. So what can we expect from your Dream Show?
A. [We will be] doing a selection of songs from The Creatures past, The Banshees past, and my future. Throughout The Banshees career we've done a lot of brass and string arrangements with a lot of material and the same with The Creatures. So it would really be great without any restraints to have all those colours performed live. I'm looking forward to that.
Q. What's this about branching out with new musicians?
A. We've geared it to incorporate Leonard [Eto, ex-Kodo Taiko-drum master]. We've got a keyboard player as well. We saw a tape of The Doors playing live. I was just really impressed there was no bass and the keyboards covered all the bass end. It was a really great sound and it was really open as well. And I kind of thought 'I could see us doing that because that would work really well in the set up with The Creatures, as we do a lot of keyboards and the kind of obscure Banshees tracks that I want to do are B-side, so we'd never use bass guitar.
Q. Will there be any special treats for fans?
A. [I will be] doing something that is a personal favourite that we've never done live before. I always like to bring an element of me doing something for the first time. Whether it's an obscure B-side or a cover version we've never done. Or a song we've not played for 20 years or something. Or finding a new way of doing something.
Q. Obviously, as Siouxsie Sioux your image is an important part of your persona - will you be taking steps to funk up the Dream Show orchestra?
A. It depends who these people are. We might have to get some bags made for them if they look horrendous [laughs]. I don't know.
Q. So, what can we expect from the forthcoming new album ?
A. It's kind of a full circle, reappraising the different areas where we've used brass strings, and The Creatures' most minimalist as well. So it's really kind of simplifying everything and putting it under the heading of Siouxsie. [The album will be released] either before the end of this year or the beginning of next. Prior to doing The Seven year Itch [their recent tour of Japan], we'd been working on this material, and it's nearly finished. We've got some overdubs left to do, a few bits of recording and a bit of assessing. But we've listened to it, and we're very confident with it.
Q. Will you be using other musicians on the album?
A. Yes, we will be. That's the next stage to come, we've got the songs and a lot of our performances could stand up as they are, but we want to actually bring in other musicians. It just feels right for this music that's been written. And even in one track I can hear a gospel element.
Q. So what's the way ahead for Siouxsie Sioux?
A. I think this is the way forward - looking at the whole spectrum and bringing all those elements together. And that's going to be the challenge and the fun. With The Banshees we were limited to what we'd just done, there wasn't enough going back - that was a lot to do with politics in the band, people had personal dislikes or areas.
Q. And can we expect to see more of you performing live?
A. Live is the last kind of bastion where a performer or artists can really express their difference. You can get all kinds of trickery in a performance on a recording. I think artists that have got all the industry propping them up, fall flat on their faces live. I think there's going to be a demand and a need to go and see something that's not what everybody else is doing, that's got that character, that's got that instant intimacy.
Q. So you're not aiming for the charts then?
A. Artists like me feel pushed out in the recording industry because it's all about hype and the big labels really getting behind an artist financially. The hype of the video, the promotion materials and the marketing - it's bombardment hell. All these pumpkins lying around need that propping up with all that finance are going to stay pumpkins, they are never going to get their Cinderella moment. But using your imagination [live on stage] is something that you can't teach people to do. You don't need a lot of money to use your imagination.