Boyz (9.5.98)

Issue 372
For Gay Adults Only


Sioux Survivor

The Princess of Punk. The Godmother of Goth. And Still As Spiky. Siouxsie Is Back. Howard Wilmot Peels Back The Pan Stick.

Siouxsie Sioux. Well, what can you say? Whether you thought her songs sounded like the cooing of angels or simply skates on ice, there's no getting away from th fact that Ms. Sioux is an icon. Emerging from the cozy Bromley in 1976, she became the first lady of punk and is probably solely to blame for the patchouli-smelling Goths still hanging out in London's Kensington Market.

So it's somewhat weird to see her stalking around the photographer's studio in boots, sadle-bag belt and a skimpy homage to a summer dress more than 20 years on. What makes it strange is knowing she was sooo influential. but not directly feeling the force.

The Banshees may have gone, but she's still doing Budgie, the Creatures and things her own way. Yep, with her own Sioux label, an abode in Toulouse and a nose in this shoot's styling, Siouxsie's a survivor extraordinaire...

Boyz: Business first: how do the Creatures differ this time around?

Siouxsie: It's like starting again because we've got rid of all the middle men. It took us a while to realise that it was pointless doing what we do in the music industry the way it is right now because it's so corporate, safe and conservative. It's time to do it yourself and I feel invigorated by that.

Why did the Banshees split?

Because of the situation with Polydor and there were internal problems as well. I saw the regurgitation of nostagia rear its ugly head and was scared we'd be lumped into a sad nostagia bracket.

OK. So you know I'm gonna go down a 'cheap and dirty' road with you...

Well, we all like a bit of cheap and dirty. I hate people who take what they do too seriously. Go on then.

Have you ever done ladies?

(immediatly) Oh yes!

Many, many times?

I haven't dabbled many, many times with any gender, I'm just fussy. But Budgie's an honorary woman. I always get on with men who have a strong female side to them--whether they're straight or gay or whatever. I don't connect with people who are scared of other people's sexuality. I just don't feel comfortable with them, because unltimately they're not comfortable with themselves. I just like to get close and intimate with people. Although I'm fussy, I'm not restricted by gender.

Goths are stereotypically into S&M.

We're more S&M than Goth. There's definitely Goths that have nothing to do with S&M, who just wear the uniform.

So do you have a torture chamber in you cellar?

Ooh, I'm not saying what I've got! Part of liking S&M is not divulging. It's about having this dark and secret world.

Are you a dominatrix?

Oooh! I'm not letting on. But I'm into switching around. It doesn't have to be all one way.

So is there an S&M scene where you live?

There is not, no! But you can create your own scene wherever you are.

Are you a freak show there?

I thought we might be because we're English and everyone there is dark-skinned, short and Spanish-looking. We certainly stick out like sore thumbs. But they've been surprisingly very accepting and I feel we get a better deal there than somewhere in the suburbs of London. I remember when I was growing up that whenever I came out of the house, the net curtains were twitching and everyone was like, 'You can't imagine what she's wearing todaaaay!'. It was just a red rag to a bull.

Did you get into music to be contrary too?

No, that was by accident--it was a matter of being in the right place at the right time. Punk wasn't just about music--it was a coming together of misfits and that made you more confident. It was an 'us against them' thing.

Do you remember feeling like a star?

It was just having a sense of pride and a sense of self-worth. Not feeling like you were the ugly duckling. But I've always loved glamour, though I hated the idea you had to have lots of money to be glamorous. What was fantastic about punk was that there was so much glamour on the streets when people had nothing. People did it themselves. There was a real rejection of buying in the designer world.

What's the most extreme reaction you've ever had?

I've been at knife point, I've had a cut-throat razors brandished at me and I've been punched in the face by a gang of guys.

How did you get away?

I was never like (putting on a sappy voice) 'Leave me alone!' I was always like, 'Fuck off yourself, you old bastard!' I'd fight them off but there were always more of them than me.

Did you think that's what gay men get off on about you:'I'm glamorous and I will not be downtrodden.'?

Yeah, in spite of pushed to the side, I'm there with my claws and teeth. But I always thought gay men like the Judy Garlands...

But you're a different type of diva...

I don't know. All I've been talking about is just standing up for yourself. I rejected feeling like I needed to be accepted a long time ago and even more so now. I don't feel the need to be part of those pop tarts.

Finally, what's the best make-up tip?

Hmm...always cleanse and moisturise afterwards.


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