ARE YOU CURRENTLY WORKING ON YOUR BOOK?
I'm not actively working on my book as a few other projects have taken precedence including finishing the the next Scarling. record. I have contributed quotes to several of my friend's books: Carrie Borzillo's Cherry Bomb giving tips on how to start a band. Carrie Tucker's I Love Geeks: The Official Handbook, Bonnie Burton's Girls Against Girls: Why We Are Mean to Each Other and How We Can Change, and Roman Dirge's Lenore: Wedgies (Issues 5-8).
WHAT MADE YOU WANT TO TRANSITION FROM MUSICIAN TO ARTIST?
Prior to being in Jack Off Jill I planned on attending art school. The band took off and my plans of being a full time (visual) artist were put on the back burner until recently. I have always seen the voice as a powerful tool. Each of us has an opportunity to use our voice to make a powerful impression, the way a painter uses his or her brush. I believe an artist is an artist, and as I continue my career—this time using a paintbrush rather then my vocal chords—I hope I can convey similar emotions to the ones I do when writing music. To me it's all a great release. Honestly, this is why I believe this transition to be a natural progression for my career.
WHAT ARE THE CURRENT CAUSES / ISSUES YOU FEEL STRONGLY ABOUT?
I have always been an animal lover and donate to local shelters as much as financially possible. I'm involved in supporting gay marriage nationwide. Living in California and recently getting married myself, the fact that 70% of my friends are gay makes this an issue especially close to my heart. Even as Californians gave 61% of their vote to Barack Obama, a majority of them, 52%, voted to discriminate against another kind of minority—gays and lesbians. For a brief window that began in the bridal month of June, California queers had the right to marry, thanks to a state Supreme Court ruling, and some 18,000 same-sex couples said "I do." Proposition 8, a ballot initiative that would amend the state constitution to define marriage as between a man and a woman, now says "You can't!" I support all 'No On 8' efforts.
WHAT DO YOU THINK ARE THE MAJOR DIFFERENCES BETWEEN SWEET HEART DEALER AND SO LONG, SCARECROW?
Besides the obvious line up changes I think the major differences for me personally is the head space I was in. Sweet Heart Dealer had me in a more melancholy unconscious extrospective space. I focused writing more about my experiments with hallucinogenic drugs in the period immediately prior to the band's formation, and various outside inspirations: the concealment and internalization of violence, the 1986 film River's Edge, and conflicting emotions concerning the loss of those I did not know inspired by the September 11, 2001 attacks. Where 'Scarecrow' is a more inner personal journey, focusing less on the outside world and more on inner personal friendships and the dissolution of the bonds, 'Scarecrow' differs from its' predecessor not only in length but also in terms of musical atmosphere. This is largely due to the switch in producers between the two albums — from former Nine Inch Nails member Chris Vrenna to Rob Campanella of The Brian Jonestown Massacre, and Christian Hejnal, himself. I admit I like both albums equally, they are just polar opposites.
YOU ARE OFTEN REFERRED TO AS GOTH. DO YOU WISH TO FOLLOW IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF ROBERT SMITH AND DISTANCE YOURSELVES FROM THAT TERMINOLOGY? OR DO YOU EMBRACE IT?
I would certainly prefer being called a Goth then being accidentally lumped into certain metal genres because of the reputation of my old band. I can certainly understand with why Robert Smith has insisted that The Cure are not and never were a 'Goth' band. Scarling. as a whole holds Goth culture as an influence, each member to varying degrees. I guess the real question is, how to revel in the pageantry of melancholy yet not be so closely associated with the term's cliche, and often embarrassing histrionics. I don't think I mind being called 'Goth' as long as I can achieve relevance in other genres as well. I'd be lying if I didn't say that I am excited that melancholy music is again making its way out of the underground again and achieving mass appeal.
YOU'VE BEEN THE SUBJECT OF SEVERAL WELL-KNOWN ARTIST'S WORK INCLUDING MARK RYDEN. DO YOU CONSIDER YOURSELF A MUSE?
To be an inspiration to any artist is flattering. To have it be an entrance into the art world, a world that immortalizes great people, places, ideas and things is an incredible bonus. Having someone who sees me as beautiful, not just superficially attractive and to have that person capture what they see in a painting is beyond belief.
AFTER LOSING SO MUCH WEIGHT WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON FATPHOBIA?
Looking in the mirror I finally realized I had crossed over. I had made the transition into a 'thin person'. Had I become one of 'those people' who never had to worry about finding the right size because everything fits? For some reason this realization still doesn't sit right with me. While going through my strange transformation I started doing a lot of online research on topics related to weight loss, crash dieting and fat phobia. I even delved a little bit into 'pro-ana' communities on the web. But I digress. While doing research, a few friends and I have kept up with the Junk Food Science blog, which logically picks apart media bullshit, leaving behind scientific and factual information. Have a look and draw your own conclusions after reading the blog, but the gist is this: fat isn't killing us. Cancer, heart disease, and the like are mostly the result of your genes. Dieting IS damaging our bodies. Diets don't actually work. Here's the 411 on medical fat phobia: the "war on fat" is harmful and deadly, especially to women, in several ways:
I'm going to make a somewhat scary admission here. To those of you who didn't know me before, I recently lost a lot of weight and I'm not sure how I feel about it. The reason I'm so passionate about the subject of fat phobia is because I was a fat girl (and proud of it). A fat girl fronting a band. A fat girl who loved her curves. I always saw myself as the alt.rock Tracy Turnblad. But lately I've been wondering if along with losing the weight, have I also truly lost my identity? Have I lived in Los Angeles for way too long and finally conformed to anorexic imagery and unattainable beauty standards? Let's face it: weight stigma is powerful and destructive. Stronger women than I have crumbled and conformed, starving themselves to fit a certain image. For the record, I am thin now and was told by a doctor I did have to lose weight for medical reasons but, in saying this, I refuse to let others express negative attitudes toward fat people. It will never be an acceptable bias in my opinion. Lately, the question that constantly plagues me (after reading countless studies online, having my own weight fluctuate greatly, and witnessing reactions firsthand over the past 10 years) is this: Is fat phobia so deeply rooted in our culture that it's being programmed into the minds of every child and teenager today? Was I the great white hope to FAT girls everywhere and now that I've lost weight have I sold out? Recently my doctors have declared me healthy. I have fantastic cholesterol scores, great blood pressure, and all parts are in better working order. But I am noticing fans of my bands stating .... "I liked her much better when she was fat!" Wow! After years of fighting against fat phobia, and being larger then most women in my musical genre, is my opinion on the subject no longer valid because I'm thin?
WHY ARE YOU A CUTTER? WHAT ARE THE REASONS?
The question might be, why did I cut myself so much? In Jack Off Jill I guess a lot of what did on stage earned me the title of "Patron Saint of Self-Injury". I initially started cutting myself at an early age out of frustration. Cutting tends to relieve anger. Many self-injurers like myself have enormous amounts of rage within, and are sometimes afraid to express it outwardly, we injure ourselves as a way of venting these feelings without hurting others. When intense feelings built, I became overwhelmed and was unable to deal with it. By causing pain, I could reduce the level of emotional stress to a bearable one. As a teenager it was an escape from the numbness that many of those who self-injure say they do it to escape from, in order to feel something, to know that they're still alive. You obtain a certain feeling of euphoria. Continuing abusive patterns later in life became more force of habit an adrenal rush on stage rather then a cry for help.
YOU'VE SAID IN INTERVIEWS YOU'VE EXPERIMENTED WITH DRUGS. WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE FOR THAT REASON?
I still think drugs can be a great creative tool when used in moderation and when I was younger I used them as an escape. Right now I have nothing to escape from and I feel very creative because of the people surrounding me rather then the substances I intake. I must admit, since those interviews were conducted, I've cut my drug intake down considerably. I've gotten to a point where I like my mind in the shape it's in right now.
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE MOVIES?
The Last Unicorn, The Breakfast Club, Pretty In Pink, Some Kind Of Wonderful, Palindromes, The Science Of Sleep, Little Miss Sunshine, The Wizard Of Oz, Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory, The Exorcist, Poltergeist, Phantasm, Whatever Happened To Baby Jane?, Sid And Nancy, Storytelling, Opera, City Of Lost Children, The Silence of the Lambs , Role Models, Suspiria, Female Trouble, True Romance, Human Traffic, Run Lola Run, Blue Velvet, Wild At Heart, Amelie, Pink Flamingos, Meet The Feebles, Ghost World, Stepbrothers, Freeway, Freaks, But I'm a Cheerleader, Willard, River's Edge, Rubin & Ed, Buffalo 66, One Hour Photo, Hedwig And The Angry Inch, and Mulholland Drive.
WHICH BANDS ARE TRULY INSPIRING TO YOU?
The Cure, Sigur Ros, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr., My Bloody Valentine, Babes in Toyland, Fleetwood Mac, The Pixies, Pink Floyd, Hazel.
DO YOU BELIEVE TWIGGY RIPPED OFF YOUR STYLE AND LOOK?
Like dogs who look like their owners after awhile, don't couples who are together for a long period of time start to look alike? I believe that he might have "borrowed" a few things from a few people, myself and Gidget Gein included. He copied my haircut, my thrift store dresses and stole my sanity. I guess these things helped create his signature look? I believe this is why over the years Jack Off Jill was constantly compared to Marilyn Manson.
WHAT KINDS OF THINGS TURN YOU ON MUSICALLY? I'M NOT TALKING BANDS, BUT WHAT DO YOU LIKE IN A PIECE OF MUSIC?
Noisy guitars with interesting tones, vocals that go from dreamy to manic, distorted bass, unique songs that are catchy enough to be pop but dark enough to be dirges, lyrics that make you wonder if the writer is a genius, on the verge of an emotional break down, or the criminally insane.
HOW OLD WERE YOU WHEN YOU STARTED SINGING?
I was 3.
Are you bisexual?
I am indeed bisexual. I'm bi-everything; sexual, coastal, political, controversial. I think if you find your comfortable sexual preference then that's excellent. Everybody knows that I'm a huge fan of gay men and drag queens and would not be who I am today without their help, support, and make-up tips.
What do you think of your fans?
I like them very much. The ones I met on tour made the whole experience worthwhile.
Is it true that Roman Dirge has tapped you to be the voice of Lenore in his upcoming film?
Yes. Whenever that film gets made I'll be ready.
Can I kidnap you and make you my personal sex slave?
Like I've said before... I'm religiously celibate except in Los Angeles, New Orleans, and Florida, because there is certainly no God in any of those places. So unless you live in one of those places I'm really no good to you.
What perfume do you wear?
Fresh: Strawberry Flowers.
Did you add the "k" to your name or were you born with it?
I added the "k" during my artistic rebirth. It's also derived from British occultist Aleister Crowley. Crowley alternatively spelled magic with a "c" and a "k" and saw magick as the essential method for a person to reach true understanding of the self and to act according to one's True Will, which he saw as the reconciliation "between free will and destiny".
Why don't you use your last name?
I'm not a fan of the person it belongs to so I became my own person without it. I'm officially an Addams now.
Are there any "special guests" on the new album?
Do the voices in my head count?
What happened to Jack Off Jill?
For a long time Robin and I had not been getting along. I honestly don't know for how long or why it started. She often felt like she deserved more credit then she received in JOJ. I know this frustrated her and because of our background and age difference we slowly began to grow apart. During the recording of Clear Hearts Grey Flowers our differences were starting to effect our working relationship. This is half the reason Michelle Inhell departed for the second time. Although maybe things could have been salvaged, the pressure of finishing an album, our record company's shady financial deals and imminent collapse, and her need to gain more financial compensation and recognition made the rift between us irreparable.
In early 2000—After trying to sell our band for ludicrous amounts of money to major labels, Risk Records filed for bankruptcy and handed our album over to their Atlanta office, 404 Records. CHGF was left with no promotion, no A&R ,no street team, no money—yet incredibly it still sold every single record that was pressed.
August of 2000—I'm frustrated with the record industry and vow never to be in another band. JOJ officially breaks up in 2000.
We then went our separate ways. I stayed in Los Angeles to form Scarling. and Robin moved to Detroit and got married. Later on, I found out that she still had a lot of hard feelings. That is a shame because I have no regrets except that I would have left that bad situation sooner. But there is something that really irks me at this point: the fact that she surrounds herself with opportunists that try to make the situation between us more volatile.
We all have to decide what makes us happy, I guess. The one amazing thing that came out of Robin and my split is that I reconnected with Tenni and Michelle from JOJ's original line up. We finally got a chance to air out a lot of our old dirty laundry and found that a lot of JOJ's problems stemmed from our old bass player's insecurities. But with that said, I still think the original lineup was quite magical. I wish more people could have seen it.
At what point in life do you feel you discovered your true identity?
Probably right when I started playing in a band. I was 17. In school I tried to keep it together for a while. I was even homecoming queen but felt so uncomfortable in my own skin when all of that occurred. I was pretending not to be suffocating in my normal high school roles. It was not until I started hanging out with artists and musicians that I found out who I really was.
Were you ever treated like an outcast by the so called "popular people"? If so do you have any advice for the people that are treated like an outcast and worse?
My high school experience was the opposite. I was eagerly excepted by the popular people but made fun of when I hung out with who they deemed to be the "losers, geeks, weirdos, and freaks". Eventually I figured out that weirdos were much more creative and that I fit in more with them then the jocks and cheerleaders. Just know high school doesn't last forever. The rest of the world doesn't play by high school rules. Your intelligence and creativity pay off once graduation day comes. The jocks and cheerleaders spend the rest of their lives revisiting high school memories because that's usually where they peaked and flourished. The outcasts shall inherit the earth or at least the cooler parts of it.
Do you have any favorite actors?
I really like Christina Ricci.
When Jack Off Jill split, what made you keep on in the music business and form Scarling.?
I can only blame my musical resurfacing on one person, my guitarist/husband Christian. He literally talked me into it. On the days I feel like quitting he truly keeps me focused and puts things in perspective.
What are your basic inspirations ?
Right now- here are the who's and what's that inspire me: Christian Addams, things that go crash in the dark, vintage fashion, Justin Pearce, sweets, poorly drawn rabbits, lemons, Sigur Ros, Charlie White, John Waters, blue pills, Jennifer Syme, cotton candy, tiny masks, Robert Smith, heart candy, Francine Shane, Mark Ryden, love, bruises and 3rd degree burns, Melissa Hirschenson, Babycat, animals who wear hats, wine, all night TV, Marion Peck, cold nights, rainy days, sleep, depression, Siamese twins, extra limbs, missing limbs, teeth, hardware stores, Kevin Shields, kittens, gay bars, LA opportunists, the movie Palindromes, director Todd Solondz, and daytime television.
Are there any bands that have had changed your perspective that have had life-changing effects on you?
Yes, The first time I ever saw Lydia Lunch perform it was a religious experience. Not only is she intelligent and beautiful but she actually understands how "my" brain works. This almost rivals my first concert: Cyndi Lauper when I was 12. She was so fascinating to me at the time. She made me want to dye my hair pink and start a band (so naturally I did). All of The Cure records have had a positive effect on me musically as well.
What advice would you give a young female trying to make it in the music industry?
My only advice is please be who you want to be and write your own music, music that touches you. Take risks, make bold statements, and be original, if you don't you'll always wonder what if and regret it. Don't be ashamed or afraid because you don't fit into what some people consider conventional beauty standards. There are too many women in music already conforming to the "Barbie doll" image. So many pop and rock singers who look identical to Barbie dolls and each other. People actually on university payrolls have taken time to calculate Barbie's measurements in proportion to the size of a real woman. One estimate gauged the vital statistics as 36-18-33 and 7 feet 2 inches tall. I don't know one woman who fits that and I know a lot of women.
Demand that they talk about your music not your ass and how it looks in jeans. Don't let anybody (labels, journalist, writers, fans) tell you about your appearance, music, or career... see it for yourself. Listen to yourself more often, you'll find you are usually correct.
A side note...although I believe you should always stand up for yourself, I've learned very recently to pick your battles wisely. You can't fight everyone and everything that may not approve of your art. You will get an ulcer. You can only chip away at mediocrity and hope that some intelligent people pay attention.
Are therE any female artists today that you WOULD consider A feminist? Do you consider yourself a feminist?
There are plenty of female artists that I consider feminist, Le Tigre, Peaches, Sleater Kinney, PJ Harvey—the list is endless. I think there's certain stigma attached to the word "feminist". I feel a lot of people confuse feminist with man-hater which is not the correct definition by any means. Webster's defines feminism as:
1 : the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes
2 : organized activity on behalf of women's rights and interests
So until people see the difference between a feminist and a man-hater I think there will always be a certain assumption when a female artist considers herself one and says it in print. Yes, I do consider myself a feminist and I am saying it in print.
WhAT is your all time favorite band?
If you weren't a singer / artist what would you be?
I'd be writing and illustrating children's books.
Do you believe in god?
No, but I do believe in the tooth fairy.
Punk rock, new wave, or rock and roll?
What do you think of your home town and the people who you left behind?
I'm definitely glad I made the decision to leave when I did. Everybody still looks sweaty, a bit sad, and high as kites. Not that any of that's bad on its own, but together it can be a lethal combination. It's the humidity; it rots your brain, sucks your talent, and ages you times ten.
How did you feel about what Manson wrote about you in his book? Do you still speak?
At first I was absolutely hurt and horrified that my involvement in his life had been reduced to a mere mention as a 'groupie' in LHROOH. I didn't think that that was all I was to him. I guess I didn't really see it that way because I had always considered myself a friend and musical equal more than a groupie. When the book was written, his ex-guitar player Scott joined my band (at the time Scott had a lawsuit pending against Manson.) I think because we hadn't spoken about it he took that as a slight against him. He (Manson) claims that he was furious with me and I had no idea. It also didn't help that my ex-boyfriend had become Manson's right-hand man and had always been insecure about my friendship with Manson. I believe these are the reasons why he wrote what he wrote about me. He called me right after Scott was no longer in the band. I know he believes that his influence was the reason Scott parted ways with Jack Off Jill but in essence his involvement had just run its course. I told Manson how hurt I was about what he had written; he explained that at the time he felt that I was no longer his friend and that while the original idea of his book was being thrown around New Orleans, I had asked him not to go into detail about my relationship with Twiggy. He felt that by omitting me from certain events in his life that he had kept his promise.
Now that Scott is no longer in my band, he has said that the would take it all back if he could.(I'm still waiting for that retraction.) I think if I had written a book 8 years ago there would be things written about certain people that I would want to set straight or retract after feeling fucked over by them.
As far as my current friendship with Manson goes... who knows? Maybe it will go full circle 100 more times before we die. What else can you expect from two VERY opinionated artists. The end result is that I respect what he does as an artist and I think he finally respects what I do, there is no competition, and even though we don't see eye to eye we can still be supportive of each other. I was lucky enough to attend his wedding to Dita Von Teese at Castle Gurteen in County Tipperary, Ireland with Christian while on tour with Scarling. It was beautiful and one of the last times I can remember seeing him happy. Even though their relationship did not work out, I'm thankful I was introduced to Dita. She is an incredible friend and an inspiration. She's certainly shown strength, beauty, and grace under fire.
Has your weight ever been an issue with the record companies?
First let me say I was a zaftig cherub and proud of it. Zaftig; a woman; having a full rounded figure; pleasantly plump. Cherub; usually a winged child in painting and sculpture; and innocent looking usually chubby and rosy person. I was never ashamed and didn't mind being called fat by people who were to shallow to see anything but fat.
Do you have any general advice for women who maybe don't feel confident about the way they look especially because they're larger and/or unconventional looking?
Even though I've recently lost a lot of weight for medical reasons, I sympathize and understand how it feels to be larger and deal with fatphobia. I know the grass isn't always greener on the other side of weight issues and I sometimes miss my curves. These quotes get me through the day:
We only have so much control over our genetics, let's not spend our lives hating what we don't have or trying to loose what we do. Self-loathing only makes things more difficult. Try take up as much space in the world as you can, because there are too many assholes who will if you don't. Support each other by supporting yourself. Remember what you see in magazines is not the norm, the standard, or the prerequisite for beauty. Big is fucking beautiful.
Everyone has personal insecurities I know I sure do and everyday it's an uphill battle to do my best to practice what I preach. I've definitely been guilty of having cocaine confidence and then the next day hate what I see in the mirror. Ask yourself: "What is the source of my self hatred?" If you think the source of the so-called flaws you see are based in prejudice then recognize that and don't give it credit it doesn't deserve.
How did you get involved in the film Ellie Parker?
I met actor/writer/director Scott Coffey at my birthday party through our mutual friend Jennifer Syme. We hit it off right away. He told me he wrote a short called Ellie Parker and thought there'd be a small part in for me. I told him I couldn't act and he said, "Perfect".
Describe your sound for someone who hasn't heard it before.
It's so hard to describe your own sound so instead of telling you what I think, I'll list some things others have said: