Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Riot girls & Revolutions!

Would you mind Introducing yourselves?
Paul St Paul.
The Brass.
Lady Frog.

What’s your favourite colour?
The Brass: Electric blue.
Lady Frog: Green .
Paul St Paul: Pink .
What’s your favourite food?
The Brass: Fermented cheese. Anything with a bit of mould on it in my fridge is a God send to me.
So do you like black bananas?
The Brass: I love a brown banana.
Lady Frog: Sushi.
Paul St Paul: I like raw foods such as fruit.
I plead ignorance but you seem to have come out of nowhere. Where have you come from?
The Brass: We started earlier this year and i think we just got really good high profile gigs in the beginning. First of all at the Caberet Maximus in March and then we kinda of got picked up and rolled with it really.
Lady Frog: The funny thing is that we met like a week before and then I went to the first gig which was very new to me as I’ve never performed or sang in my life before.
How did you guys meet?
The Brass: I met Paul about five years ago and we’ve always shared this major obsession with early nineties riot girl bands. We’ve always wanted to form a girl band that was made out of trannies and so literally we got it together this year with Paul helping produce it, so that’s it really.
I noticed you play over a backing track why is that?
Paul St Paul: Well we’re a punk band and as the spirit of punk is doing things that people are afraid to do. So we mime when we should be playing live and we play live when we should be miming and that’s kind of the punk attitude.
Transexuality has normally been portrayed as larger than life but always with an emphasis on femininity. You are combining transexuality with a much more masculine expression (punk) is this done with intent?
Paul St Paul: Well we see ourselves very much as aligned with the early nineties riot girl movement as The Brass said. In riot girl it was all about rebelling against the idea that women should be pretty and gentile and kind of innocent bystanders while men do all the heavy lifting. We think transsexuals, transvestites; gay men should have the right to be as masculine and as aggressive as straight men.
If that’s the case then why dress up as women to be masculine?
Paul St Paul: Well we believe that gender should be free from any concepts, you know it’s actually about freedom. Transvestism and transexuality is actually about freedom.
The Brass: Gender is just a constructed idea; we’re all playing a role of male and female at the same time.
Yes I see we all got our blue blankets and pink blankets, you just stitch them together.
What can we expect from you in terms of releases? Record Label? Further shows?
The Brass: We have a gig at the offset festival and we have gigs lined up for the rest of the year and some early next year. We’re recruiting new members so we can form a transsexual rock revolution that will lead to thousands of transgender angry men and women on stage with us.
What’s role does transexuality play in London at the moment?
Paul St Paul: I think people get a big kick out of it because their deeply repressed. We don’t, we just do what we want to do and if someone else wants to make it there fetish by all means just buy the record.
For the record, just buy the record.
The Brass: I think transvestism and rock ‘n’ roll go hand in hand, i think they were born from the same planet. You know people have said its revolutionary trannies doing punk rock, really?
Paul St Paul: Little Richard was a trannie.

Are you aiming to stay in London or will you go abroad?
The Brass: Next year we wanna be doing queer festivals and major European festivals. As well as getting out of the London performance drag live scene and just take our Ladynoise voices to Sheffield or something.
Paul St Paul: We want to do a tour of working men’s clubs.
The Brass: Yeah!

I’ve heard one of you is a performance artist, how much of that side of expression do you employ in your live shows?
The Brass: I think there’s energy of what i do as Ryan Styles in The Brass. The Brass is kind of a character I’ve formed using my experience of performance. I mean I’ve always been a live performer who generates really interesting stuff when there on stage, which is exemplified when i do Ladynoise.

Would you say then Ladynoise is more of an Artistic movement than a band?
The Brass: Definitely.
Paul St Paul: But any band that doesn’t think of themselves as artists shouldn’t really be in a band.

Your songs seem very aggressive for example (a song i love) ‘chop it off’. What are you so angry about?
The Brass: Well i think in queer society in general gay men are perceived to be really camp and funny and that’s not the black and white of it all.
Paul St Paul: I mean we love camp but what we don’t like is the modern straight appropriation of camp. We wanna take camp back to its roots, it’s revolutionary.

What do you think about metrosexuality?
Paul St Paul: Well I know Mark Simpson, he’s cool. (All laughing)
The Brass: It’s just a word.
Paul St Paul: I’ve always had a thing for the Swiss guards; I think they’re pretty camp. So if there are any straight men out there who wish to work for Ladynoise just get in touch.
Thanks To Ladynoise.
Interview - Darragh O'Meachair
Photography - Princess Julie (colour) / Tom Medwell (B&W)