What music first captured your ear and got you interested in music?
Musicals my mother took me to see, Led Zep, Sabbath and the Police which my older brothers were listening to, Toyah and Adam and the Ants.
What is it about the bass in particular that attracted you?
I started playing it out of necessity. We were auditioning bass players in my first ever band, I picked it up to have a go, the light bulb flashed on and I’ve been playing ever since. I like that it puts me right at the center of the music, it’s intrinsic to our sound, and what makes us function as a unit as opposed to me being solely the frontperson.
Do you come from a background of training in the arts?
My mum’s a classical pianist and my older brothers had a band while I was growing up. I did grade eight piano and then clarinet too. Everything else I’ve learnt by ear. I went to Chelsea School of Art in London and have a degree in fine art. It was during this time I started up a band seriously.
How did you start working with Die So Fluid?
By a series of progressions. My first ever band was a three-piece called Flinch, I became friends with Mr. Drew at this point and he even managed the band for a bit. We were NME magazine darlings. Then we had interest from EMI and made a few adjustments forming the band Feline, bringing in Mr. Drew on guitar and making it a fuller sound as a four piece. He’s my best buddy in the world and Feline didn’t survive all the A&R shakeups going on at record companies during that period, so we went away to mastermind our next venture, which was to become Die So Fluid.
We went back to the three piece, streamlined what we were doing, and wooed Al away from another outfit to complete the picture. After a few experiments under different names we hit on what felt right. Basically, after throwing out any ridiculous ideas or suggestions of going more ‘pop’ or doing this or that to be fashionable, we realized this was our opportunity to make the music we would love to hear with no one to please but our own desire to make music of value and meaning.
What was the inspiration for your album “The World Is Too Big For One Lifetime”?
To me it’s a reaffirming theme. As usual with our titles there’s positive within the negative. We’ve all been through the kind of changes that make you ponder the different paths you could have chosen in life. What would have happened if you perused a certain relationship, different career route, said something different that night……. You can’t do every single thing in the short time you’re given but you can damn well do your best to make a difference with the talents you have. It’s been said that to be a rock musician is a selfish pursuit, I beg to differ! Boy have we worked hard, all to leave something of worth behind. Within the band we’ve recently experienced marriages, family deaths, I took the decision to relocate to America. We’re blood brothers in DSF, it’s one thing we won’t sacrifice, and when we see each other go through some new personal development it just renews our respect for one another.
You've also worked with Ozzy and Kelly Osbourne, what was that experience like?
That was a long time ago now, I had fun. Most memorable were the nights at Knebworth supporting Robbie along with Moby, Ash and The Darkness in front of 127000 people. I guess what sums up that time for me though is when Kelly heard my band and said, ‘why aren’t you guys really big’. The irony almost choked me given that hardly anyone back then would give us a leg up, but everyone wanted me as a backup. I’d ended up playing piano for the ‘Changes’ duet single on Top Of The Pops for Ozzy and Kelly, and for charity on Pall Mall for the Olympics Torch Ceremony. Ozzy really liked me, and Al when he met him, but Sharon wouldn’t help us out with an Ozfest slot. It was all that session work that paid for the first DSF album to be made and kept us afloat. Today I’m proud of what we’ve achieved purely on our own merits, ingenuity and the strength of our material and live performance. Times have changed because thankfully now we have management, independent investment, and a label who believe in us, and while I smile graciously when everyone says ‘I always knew you could do it’ I will be remembering clearly who didn’t give a shit back in the day.
Do you prefer playing live or recording?
I love both, as long as I get to perform. In the studio the audience is always with me in my mind-because that’s who will hear it in the future. Recording has the added enjoyment of being able to perfect your performance. We push ourselves hard. I love that process and become more and more perfectionist all the time.
Where is your favorite place to perform?
London homecoming gigs rule. We filled the Scala last UK tour and the vibe was amazing. Having said that I enjoyed performing at Tavistia in Helsinki recently. It had that perfect combination of great lights, great sound, great audience, great night!
Has anything crazy ever happened at a show?
Oh several…. Played a festival in Italy once and just as the sun was setting this biplane swooped down and flew really low across the audience which was kinda hair raising. Stuff happens like my heel got stuck in a hole in the stage, so I got rooted to the spot for a song. Fans do stuff like show me their tattoos by exposing their bare-naked ass on stage. The worst was when I got a full on electric shock that halted the show in Wales.
What projects do you have planned for the future?
Mucho touring of this album, as it’s out now in the UK and Finland, but it comes out November 5 in Germany and the rest of Europe. We’re in some interesting discussions about the US for early 2011. In between we’re writing new material for the next album, because we’re going to get very busy.
Are there any other creative mediums you work in?
I am Miss Creative, some would call it Miss Fidget. I’m constantly writing, melodies and lyrics, and I’m in ‘The Back And Blue Orkestre’ with Tom DiCillo (film writer/director) and Will Crewdson, on bass and some backing vocals. We record via e mail as I’m in LA, Will’s in London and Tom’s in New York! When I’m not doing that I design and make clothes (I make my own stage outfits) I customize clothing and furniture. I draw and paint. I’ve just made a slinky snake-lady catsuit and I’m currently working on a new tattoo design.
What do you like to do for fun?
I’m lucky because I enjoy what I do. I know I’m lucky, so I just do it a lot. On top of that I go to quite a few shows to check out bands, and also art exhibitions/weird museums-I’m slowly turning my house into one. I love film, most genres if it’s good, in particular horror. I like to have adventures, see new places. I’m learning to drive California style right now and then I’m looking into bikes. I don’t drink anymore because I had pancreatitis, so I have more energy to do the types of things that at one time would’ve remained pipedreams.