Creatures Feature

Details, May 1990

The first time I ever encountered Siouxsie and The Banshees off-stage was at a party for them, around six years ago. They entered the room and sullenly marched to their own roped-off space in the middle of the room, the crowd dutifully parting to let them through. The result was that the band was at the party but not part of it. The rest of the guests, feeling betrayed by this seeming display of one-upmanship and assuming it was the band's idea ("They're assholes") started getting ugly with attitude. This resulted in the then local character/comedian now international movie star Rockets Redglare making some humorous remark to the band's bassist Steve Severin. Soon fists were flying. The crowd, already feeling snubbed, naturally sided with Rockets ("They're DEFINITELY assholes").

Well, now I've had an encounter of a second kind, talking to Banshees' singer Siouxsie Sioux and drummer Budgie about their sometime offshoot musical project, the Creatures. These two, at least, are definitely adorable, in both looks and personality. They were friendly, relaxed, and so well in sync with each other as a couple that, like twins, they were constantly finishing each others' thoughts and sentences. Strange, I walked in expecting Natasha and Borris and left feeling like I had just spent time with Ozzie and Harriet. Come to think of it, in their early days together, Harriet was the singer in Ozzie's band.

The inspiration for the Creatures came in 1981 during the recording of the Banshees' album Juju. "Like all the best things that happen, it wasn't planned at all," Siouxsie relates, clearing what sounds like an incredibly tired voice. "John [McGeoch] and Steve popped out for some coffee. Budgie and I tried working on this song that I had and they came back in and we all agreed that it didn't need anything else and it was great with just the drums and voice."

There were already enough songs completed for Juju, so except for inclusion in live sets and a double-sided EP, the twosome didn't formalize the arrangement until Feast was recorded in Hawaii in 1983. "The Banshees toured and we were a bit sick of each other," Siouxsie explains. The album was released and well liked, but Siouxsie and Budgie got so caught up in guitarists and managerial problems with the Banshees over the following six years that they never gave the Creatures another thought. Then came the unexpected worldwide commercial success of Peepshow. "We really needed to consider the next step we were to take," says Budgie. "The next Banshees album has got to be at least equal if not...." "Better," continues Siouxsie, "and different as well."

There was also the need to escape the group thing again. "We were straining at the leash, just wanting to strip things down again and not have to travel with a bunch of people," Siouxsie explains. "After a while, being part of a group, part of a gang, is not so appealing, I think."

What was appealing to our thrill seeking duo was to take another walk on the wild side of civilization. "Even going somewhere like Hawaii was so alien to us. There we were in our leathers and they were molding with green caked stuff on them," Siouxsie remembers with a cringe and a laugh. So off they flew to the northwest coast of Spain with their mobile recording equipment, hired a car and spent nine days traveling around until they found the perfect place -- a small community surrounded by miles of sunflowers, with a gardener who also ran the local church, desolate convents, castles, and bull farms. "The people who we were living with, the purity and simplicity of their life is what touched us," explains Budgie. "It's a very powerful, very pungent place to be," muses Siouxsie. "Certainly an experience," adds Budgie. "I wouldn't want to repeat it, but it was pretty much on the edge. We only just managed to get what we needed to do out there done. We had to struggle..." "With the elements," Siouxsie continues. "The ups and downs were really quite scary, but it was very stimulating."

From: Allan Bolt <jinxb@CITYNET.NET>
Subject:      Details Interview w/the Creatures
Date:         Sun, 9 Nov 1997 19:18:10 -0500

The transcript is from an interview entitled "Creatures Feature," which appeared in the May 1990 issue of Details Magazine (pp.79-80). Story by Anita Sarko. (photo is from Boomerang inner sleeve -- Siouxsie and Budgie back to back). This is the interview as it appears, verbatim. I have added no commentary of my own.

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