Tomorrow I will be interviewed about Tori Amos, one of my favourite all-time artists and a staggeringly gifted musician. I’ve interviewed Tori twice – once on the threshold of her fame, after the release of her masterpiece Little Earthquakes, and just after the release of The Beekeeper. Other than my (ex) husband, she was the first person I told of my pregnancy. I remember the surreal feeling of sharing the news with her as we gazed at the glittering expanse of Sydney Harbour. My daughter, then infinitesimal, attended her first gigs in utero at the Opera House that week. Backstage, Tori promised me to play Little Earthquakes. She was magnificent.
The interview below is appalling – the editor dumbed it down beyond recognition – but the quotes are real.
“Zilio wonders if the ‘return’ of the mask – as symbolised by the filtered, edited selfie – heralds a deepening unease borne of ‘the proliferation and exponential diffusion of faces since the invention of photography.’ And then there is this: masks liberate their wearers, creating a space in which judgment is suspended. In the place of self-knowledge, the mask issues a command for self-completion. We may start with a selfie, she writes, and create ourselves from there.” 🍎
Below, an excerpt from my interview with alt rock star Marilyn Manson, whom I interviewed in 2007. Here he calmly discusses choking, spitting at and hitting his mother. I’m actually writing about this sort of thing at the moment in my new book Apple: Sex, Motherhood and the Recovery of the Feminine, which will be published early next year.
Manson sounded relatively sedated throughout the interview and only became annoyed once, for which I was thankful. Other than the domestic violence towards his mother, substance abuse, general perversity and abusive incidents involving minorities, he was actually kind of charming.
You can find the full interview in MOUTH, my anthology of interviews with an assortment of scoundrels, wastrels, monsters and heroes.
MOUTH is available as an ebook here and through all the international branches of Amazon 🍎
“That doesn’t fly with me – The gear, the green, the infinity pools You’re dead from the heart up, Embalmed in a sarcophagus of cool …”
From Dead From the Heart Up, my very first song with Gavin Ldn, music by the wonderful Alex McGowan – aka Captain Future – from The Future Shape of Sound. So subscribe subscribe subscribe and send it as a gift to someone you love – or used to love – during lockdown.
I draft the vocals for my next song in the studio next week (music by John Robb of postpunk heroes the Membranes).
Lockdown has been complicated for every musician I know – no more crowds or live performances – but we’re all working a way through it.
The good news? It has allowed me to passionately focus on my upcoming book, Apple: Sex, Drugs, Motherhood and the Recovery of the Feminine, which will be published early next year. More on Apple soon 🍎
“Farrow’s response to their affair was agonised but also calibrated. By focusing on Allen, she didn’t have to address the far more threatening narrative contained in her daughter’s choice of partner: that Soon-Yi did not like, love or respect Farrow and may have had good reason for doing so …”
“Last year I instructed my daughter to write a critique of the Oscar-winning Vittorio De Sica film Two Women. When we reached the rape scene, she said, ‘I don’t think this is PG, Mama.’ It was rated R. ‘Oh, well,’ I said. ‘The sex is contextual.’ And that became our starting point – war as experienced by women. The point is this: get creative …”
If you find yourself at a loose end during this super-peculiar time, browse – and share share share – my podcasts. I interview composer Magnus Fiennes, punk icon Jah Wobble, Ese from Ese and the Vooduu People and addictions visionary Chip Somers among others. Some of the musicians play live. And I run through some exquisite music by everyone from Sevdaliza, Unloved and the Pistols to the Dandies, Iggy Pop and Ma Polaine’s Great Decline 🍎
As I’ve just signed the contract for my new book, Apple: Sex, Drugs, Motherhood + the Recovery of the Feminine, I’ve had to temporarily quit my show on Boogaloo London in order to write it but but but have uploaded links to some of the wildest shows here.
Apple was first mentioned in The Telegraph (UK) a couple of weeks ago. It’s going to be the boldest and most confronting book I’ve ever written.
There’s just so much going on at the moment – all of it absolutely wonderful – that I’ve not had a moment to update this site but MAJOR CHANGES will be implemented very soon. In the interim, here I am with my darling friend, the Godfather of Britpop Alan McGee; Martin Glover aka Youth of Killing Joke and lawyer Paul Darnborough on a brilliant summer afternoon 🍎