Live @ Carling Academy Oxford
September 29, 2007
Interview & Photography: Steve Bateman

"Achingly trendy, their stripped-down electro punk encapsulates London's seedier side." NME

"Sohodolls swim in the rock ethos and, judging by how they dress, the band wouldn't look out of place in Moulin Rouge. This band feel and live their music." UKMUSIC.COM

"Upbeat, disco-tinged without being cheesy, taking all the best parts from glam and adding them to a gothy, new century cabaret chic. Poppy, sleazy, dancey and dirty, they're songs of eyeliner and weekend clubbing. This is pure feel good music." MUSIC OMH

"Sohodolls deliver sugar-coated nail bombs." POPTONES

"There's nothing quite like the buzz of a Sohodolls show when it all falls in to place - and it does so often fall perfectly in to a beautifully delicious place - stimulating all six senses and far more besides." ORGAN MAGAZINE

"The majesty of rock, the mystery of roll. Sohodolls' ethos is one of bold creativity - riffs, songs, lyrics and intros that bands like The Who and The Stooges would dive headfirst into. They do humour, paranoia, rage, horniness and vulnerability in almost equal measure." SOHODOLLS PRESS RELEASE

It's been sometime since an electronic synth band has emerged, who not only manage to successfully blend seductive and velvety vocals, with pulsating futuristic glam rock, '77 British punk, blues, jazz, dub and hip-hop beats. But to discover one that has a dark, lush, icy-cool sophistication, and who can rightly be hailed as natural successors to the likes of Soft Cell, Depeche Mode, Goldfrapp and Ladytron, is indeed a rare and very special find!

In 2007, that band is Sohodolls, and in lascivious singer / founder, Maya von Doll, rock 'n' roll has a fascinating new starlet, who fittingly, has been labelled as "A Female Iggy Pop." And whose sexiness, burlesque wardrobe and sometimes risqué stage performances, accompanied by her partners in crime - a band who look as though they could have just stepped out of Dickensian England or A Clockwork Orange - have left a trail of wide-eyed audiences from London to LA!

Glitz & Glamour are very much back, with the inspiration behind the quintet's name, put down to one simple thing: "In a world of bland shopping-mall culture, Soho is a place haunted with decaying and desperate glamour, savagery and sex. We're the dolls that dance with the ghosts," proudly boasts their Biog. And, according to Maya's MySpace page, Sohodolls is her "Frankenstein… I made it out of many different pieces from different eras and from different genres. It came alive in London's music caverns in 2003 I think."

Originally forming through an advertisement placed by Maya in Loot, as with many groups, there have been numerous members / line-up changes along the way. From a three-piece, to a four-piece and now to a five-piece - Maya von Doll (Vox, Multinational Mongrel), Toni Sailor (Finnish Guitarist), Weston Doll (Portsmouth Keyboardist), Matt Lord (English Bassist) and Paul Stone (Camden Drummer) - which has resulted not only in the best line-up, but also in a much more rounded sound! And all five members who I'm lucky enough to meet today, are very friendly, sweet-natured, and equally passionate about the music that they make!

Although Maya remains the chief songwriter, Sohodolls are "most definitely a collaborative band," and believe that "the best music comes when you mix very different influences." Some of their early singles included, 2004's Prince Harry (Poptones), 2005's Stripper (Loser Friendly) - also re-recorded and reissued in 2006 - and most recently, 2007's No Regrets, My Vampire and Right And Right Again (Filthy Pretty / A&G). All of which preceded the release of the band's debut album, Ribbed Music For The Numb Generation, on September 24 - which is a record about "unrequited love, jealousy, violence, paranoia, weekends, joyriding and strippers!"

In reference to the LP's title, Maya has stated, "Extremes make our music ribbed. We don't fit easily into pigeonholes - not in music and not in life. We feel our generation has been cheated. Modern life has conspired to make us dumb, numb and unquestioning. We want people to tap into their primal senses again: lust, anger, love, fear, compassion, happiness and humour. Lyrically and musically, the songs on this album express all of these feelings and instincts."

When asked to describe Sohodolls live, Toni has replied, "sexy, sweaty, raw-power, style, blood and broken teeth!" With Maya pitching in, "We give a very energetic show, and Sohodolls is a band that must be seen live to fully understand and appreciate us. All the musicians in Sohodolls are very creative and skilled. We also go mad and we are on the brink of anarchy on stage sometimes! I've come off stage twice with broken teeth in Milan and London, and once with a bleeding knee in Oslo."

So, if you didn't know of Sohodolls' Underworld before reading this, just listen to their electrifying debut album and experience one of their mesmerising live shows for yourself, and you certainly will afterwards!

"Give me your attention, I'll show you all the Pleasures Of Soho," offers Maya on a song sharing the same name. And with an invitation like that, how could anyone possibly refuse?

Lucy: Your band have been quite quiet for the last few months. Are you looking forward to playing gigs again?
Katie Jane Garside: I think I give very obtuse ans

1. At what age did your love of music first begin, and when did you decide that music was something that you wanted to be a part of?
Toni: "Well shall I start? I was a bit late I think, I was about 13 or 14. But straight away, it was rock 'n' roll music that I was into, and I wanted to be in a band! So, I put a band together with my brother, and the first song we wrote was called, I Want To Be A Rock 'n' Roll Star…"
Matt: "Which Oasis nicked a few years later (laughing)!"
Toni: "Yeah, a few years later (laughing). The lyrics went, "And now I wanna, now I wanna, now I wanna, now I wanna be, a rock 'n' roll star…"
Matt: "That's excellent (jokingly)!"
Toni: "And we really thought we were fucking brilliant…"
Matt: "Which you weren't (laughing)."
Toni: "It just went to our heads straight away - from day one (laughing)!"
Maya: "How about you Paul? Oh sorry, I'll stay out of it, I'm being bossy (laughing)!"
Paul: "Me, I was on a train and I was listening to the radio on my Walkman, and Easy Lover by Phil Collins and Philip Bailey came on…"
Matt: (singing) "She's an easy lover…"
Maya: (laughing)
Matt: "But there's one drum fill in there and I just thought, "I want to play the drums!"
Weston: "Really (laughing)? Is that really true?"
Paul: "Yeah, it was that."
Matt: "Fucking Hell (laughing)!"
Weston: "That's good, I like it - it's quite touching."
Matt: (singing) "She's the kind of girl you dream of…"
Maya: "I think I always liked music (smiling)! My parents have got tape recordings of me singing on top of Blondie music, when I was about 4 or 5. I used to sing, "I am not the tiny girl," instead of "I'm not the kind of girl."
Matt: "Touching…"
Maya: "(laughing) So cute! But, I didn't really choose music as a career, until I was about 17 I think? I met Alex James from Blur, and I had a crush on him, and so I thought, "OK, I'm going to impress this guy, and start putting a little bit of my Classical training to good use!" So, I started writing songs, and then I discovered Britpop (laughing)!"
Weston: "Basically, when I was about 12 or 13, I wanted to learn how to play the keyboards, and I took organ lessons at a Yamaha Music School - to learn how to play a big church organ. And then when I was 14, I went for an audition in a Church, but I didn't get it, because I was too young. So then I wanted to be a DJ, and I was a DJ, and then I just wanted to do music production, so I did music production. And then I thought, "Nah, actually, I just want to be in a band," and now, I'm in a band (laughing)!"
Matt: "Oh don't worry about me, you've got enough - let's go onto the next question. Otherwise, you'll have too much - you're going to be typing this up for years!"
*I say I don't mind, that I'm interested to know*
Matt: "Oh OK, I was 5."
Maya: "And when did you decide to make it as a professional musician (looking at Matt)?"
Matt: "5."
All: (laughing)
Paul: "Was the band Five Star? Or Five?"
Matt: "Five Star, and the rest is history!"
All: (laughing)

2. Maya, you've spoken of the importance of having "A Provocative Edge" - do you hope to retain this throughout your career, and is it fair to say that with Sohodolls, the art and the artists are one and the same?
Maya: "Um (thinking), I don't think I'm going to carry on the provocative thing for the sake of it - it depends what songs end up getting written. Because we just follow the content of the songs really, and build the art around it. That's all we did with the album, we sort of thought about the lyrics (pausing), the album has a lot of London references, and it's dark and edgy, so we had a screwed-up looking London on the album sleeve. But is the art separate from the artist (thinking)? I don't know?"
Matt: "Do you live your music Maya?"
Maya: "I didn't really do that kind of Degree (laughing), I don't know how to answer abstract questions (laughing)."
Matt: "It's a damn good question mate, well done! It's one of the best questions you've had (looking at Maya)!"
Maya: "I don't know if I live my art (pausing), actually, I do yeah, because some of the songs are autobiographical - so I suppose that way around. But, I'm not imitating art, I think art is copying life, if it's that kind of question (laughing)."
Toni: "I do agree with Maya - it's not separate."

3. What has been the best thing that someone has said about Sohodolls?
Weston: "That it touches them, and it even touches them down below (laughing)!"
Maya: (laughing)
Toni: "Well quite often on our MySpace page, people say, "Finally, there's something New & Original!" And, I think that's one of the big goals and aims that I want to have with the music."
Paul: "Making monks wank."
Weston: "Yeah, that's what the NME said - that was awesome (laughing)!"
Matt: "It was a soundbite from their Sohodolls album review (laughing)."
Maya: "I liked it when someone said (pausing), I think it was part of a live review in Organ Magazine, they said I was like "A Female Iggy Pop," which I wasn't expecting - I love that (smiling)!"

4. Historically, males have dominated The Music Industry, with few female-fronted bands enjoying longevity. Would you like to be one of the groups that help to change this?
Maya: "Only if the music's as good - because it's all about the music! But I'm happy to see a lot of contemporary female-fronted bands out there, like Howling Bells, The Knife, Noisettes (pausing), there's a few others…"
Toni: "Ladytron, New Young Pony Club."
Maya: "I'm not really crazy over New Young Pony Club - nothing personal you know?"
Toni: "Gossip."
Maya: "Yeah, I like the Gossip!"
Paul: "The Cheeky Girls."
Maya: "The Cheeky Girls (laughing)."
Weston: "Yeah Yeah Yeahs."
Maya: "Yeah!"
Weston: "I love them, they're awesome - they're great!"
Matt: "What female-fronted bands have had longevity then? Blondie. They've had longevity, but they weren't really much without their producer, do you know what I mean? They were a bit dodgy weren't they, and then the producer really sorted them out. So maybe it's just getting the right people?"
Maya: "Oh, have you heard the before and after of Heart Of Glass? Oh My God (laughing)! You should hear what Heart Of Glass sounds like before that Chapman guy, I think, sorted it out. He brought in synths and programming…"
Paul: "He made it, yeah!"
Maya: "It sounded like a sea-shanty song before (laughing)."
Matt: "Yeah (laughing)."
Maya: "But it became this really sleek, polished, amazing track… I was shocked!"
Matt: "I mean there's been loads of females who have gone down in history, but female-fronted bands, I've never really thought about it. I mean in terms of females, you've got Nina Simone…"
Toni: "Oh yeah!"
Matt: "Billie Holiday…"
Maya: "Yeah - solo artists!"
Matt: "You've got all these great singers, but as for female-fronted bands, the only one that pops to mind, is Blondie. There must be more?"
Maya: "Yeah, from the past. But I think it's quite a recent thing…"
Paul: "I know she's another solo artist, but PJ Harvey's had a long career."
Maya: "Yeah, and she's got a new album as well. But I've been doing the circuit for like 10 years now, and I remember when I'd turn up at sound-checks, there'd be like 3 other bands, and there'd be like 20 guys and 1 girl, which I quite liked. But now, it's sort of about 30 / 70 - there's definitely so many more girls on the scene! Like all of the support bands on our recent tour, there have been quite a few girls."
Matt: "There's a really good singer called Sister Loretta something, she's got another name, but she's amazing, you've got to hear her - she's incredible! She had an acoustic guitar and a great set of lungs, and she was one of the first females to ever play the blues, and she had a lot more power than anyone else could muster. She's really good! Sister Loretta something. Look it up, you won't regret it - you won't regret it!"

5. What would you say the divide between talent and luck is in The Music Industry?
Toni: "Oh, good one!"
Maya: "There's one more divide missing, which is a fat record label behind you (laughing)! But I suppose that's luck?"
Toni: "What divides the talented and the lucky?"
Paul: "Definitely luck (pausing), well no, that isn't always true."
Toni: "There's just a few bands that can make it with their luck I think, but if you've got talent, you've got more chances."
Paul: "It depends what genre of music you're in. If it's jazz…"
Toni: "Yeah."
Maya: "Talent is more sort of long-term, and luck will only get you somewhere I think, in the short-run. But then, there are a lot of bands out there, that I don't like, and I'd like to put it all under the luck (laughing)."
Matt: "Put them on the luck pile, yeah!"
Maya: "Yeah (laughing)!"
Matt: "I mean there are so many people who have been struck by luck recently, they're everywhere aren't they?"
All: "Yeah."
Matt: "But talent - talent is a different thing."
Maya: "I do think there's bands who are unlucky, and bands that are lucky, but if the unlucky ones are talented, it's just going to take them a bit longer… or never (laughing)!"
Matt: "It's determination! It's different to luck you know? It's a different thing…"
Maya: "Yeah."
Matt: "So there's a third thing - there's talented, lucky and determined. Yeah, put that one in!"
Paul and Maya: (both laughing)

6. 2007 is obviously a very exciting time for you all, but if you could be magically transported back to any other musical year, which one would it be?
Toni: "Oh, another good one!"
Matt: "1930 for me!"
Maya: "Oh now you've got the double-bass, you're getting all vintage on us (smiling)!"
Paul: "We were at The Cavern Club earlier today, and I thought it would be great to go back to that first Beatles gig there…"
Toni: "When rock 'n' roll came to England in 1961, yeah! Maybe Medieval Times?"
Weston: "I'd probably say The '70s…"
Matt: "The '70s? Really (surprised)?"
Weston: "Or it was probably in the mid to late '60s, when Bob Moog made his first synthesizer - The Modular Synth. I would've liked to have been one of the first people to have had a go on that (smiling)!"
Toni: "If I look at my record collection, I think 1977 to 1978, was the best year for music, in terms of how many records I've got in my collection! But, I mean I've listened to it all my life, so I'd rather go somewhere else now. So maybe The '20s or '30s, or even thousands of years ago, back to The Stone Age!"
Maya: "When was Erskine Ramsay Hawkins (jazz musician) around? Was that The '40s? I would like that! Other than that, I like now, because it's exciting and we can actually contribute to it. But, I would like to go back to Ancient Egypt really - it was more civilised than The '60s and '70s I think."
Toni: "Yeah (laughing)!"
Maya: "Because then, people still got hung in places in Europe, and there weren't many rights for gays, and also women were still (pausing), there was the whole feminist thing and equal rights at work. So, I think we're living in good times in the UK, compared to the last 10 decades, in terms of individual freedoms. And that's important (laughing)!"

7. What inspires you outside of music?
Paul: "Wine!"
Maya: (laughing)
Toni: "Any other form of art - but mostly performed art I think."
Paul: "I love food (laughing)!"
Toni: "Food - definitely food! We're food freaks in this band!"
Maya: "I don't know if life is that inspiring (laughing)?"
Toni: "Well, life brings along situations you know, all sorts of things…"
Maya: "Yeah - that's quite general though isn't it?"
Toni: "Yeah, I suppose. For me though, food and any other form of art (smiling)!"
Maya: "But is food inspiring, or is it satisfying?"
Toni: "It's inspiring, I think!"
Maya: "But I don't think it's ever made me want to write a song (laughing)."
Matt: "No, I've never been inspired by a plate of food (laughing)."
Toni: "Yeah, but it doesn't have to inspire you to write a song."
Maya: "I don't know? I've got no life outside of music (laughing). I like Tintin comic-books in French, and Ancient Egypt… again (laughing)!"
Paul: "Stories are inspiring."
Maya: "Yeah."
Toni: "I love Latin America, food, travelling…"
Weston: "I suppose maybe people as well - people fascinate me! Even if I'm just sat there, just watching them do normal, everyday stuff. I find it quite fascinating, and, I tend to go into a bit of a trance kind of thing, and I don't quite realise that I'm just staring…"
Maya: "Yeah, you're really observant."
Weston: "Not that I go round just staring at people (laughing), or sit by the front window of a coffee shop, just staring out. But, if I'm with someone, like with some friends or something, I'll end up sitting there for like 10 minutes, just watching them to see what they do, taking it all in!"
Maya: "Yeah, you're really quite friendly when you meet people for the first time, and you have a genuine excitement from discovering new personalities!"
Weston: "Yeah."
Maya: "And I admire you for that!"
Toni: "Which is different to Maya…"
Maya: "Yeah, which is quite different to me! I think it's a really good quality. Yeah (laughing)!"
Toni: "The world and different cultures you know? I'm fascinated by different parts of the world and peoples' lifestyles!"
Weston: "Your shirt's quite inspiring as well (looking at me)."
Maya: "Yeah (laughing)!"
*When I first met the Sohodolls after their sound-check, both Maya and Weston kindly remarked how much they liked my shirt* [We want a photo! - Ed]

8. If you could be anybody for a day, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
Toni: "Oh right…"
Maya: "Oh My God (thinking), would you still know that you're yourself, while you're in the other person?"
*I say yes, as that would make it more fun*
Maya: "OK, I would be (pausing), who's like the biggest male star in America?"
Paul: "Jean-Claude Van Damme (laughing)."
Weston: "Sylvester Stallone."
Maya: "No…"
Matt: "He's on the comeback!"
Weston: "Bruce Springsteen."
Maya: "No, I'd probably be (pausing), who's really cool? Johnny Depp! I'd be Johnny Depp for a day, and for the whole day, I would call up all of the press agencies, and tell them what an amazing band Sohodolls are (laughing)!"
Matt: (laughs heartily)
Toni: "I'd be…"
Paul: "You'd be JFK for a day, and find out what happened on The Grassy Knoll…"
Toni: "No, no, I'd be the first man on the moon, Neil Armstrong…"
Matt: "He never went on the moon!"
Weston: "He was never on the moon (laughing), it was a hoax!"
Maya: "Yeah, yeah, I know."
Toni: "It wasn't a hoax…"
Matt: "Why didn't they go back there again then?"
Toni: "On that day, but not any other day, I would have been him, yeah! I would love to see the moon, and to have been the first one to see that, would have been amazing (smiling)! Or Elvis Presley!"
Paul: "Yeah, I'd go for Elvis!"
Maya: "Elvis' wife…"
Toni: "Priscilla Presley."
Weston: "I don't think you need me to say anyone, you've got enough answers."
Maya: "Actually, I've got a good one, I would be Priscilla the first time that she had sex with Elvis! Yeah, I'd be her!"
Matt: "But Elvis wasn't at his best then."
Maya: "Was he not? OK, fuck that - someone else then."
Matt: "Stuff Elvis!"
Maya: "Yeah exactly, screw him (laughing)! Not that I fancy him or anything."

9. Maya, when writing your lyrics, what is the ratio between inside / outside influences on your words, i.e. personal vs. observational?
Maya: "Oh, it's a mix of both actually. I mean like every song is different, some songs are based on observation, and other ones, there's a mix of observation and projecting your own imagination onto how you want the ending to be. Other times, I look for rhymes on the Internet (laughing)!"
Paul: (laughs heartily)
Weston: "What's that, Rhyming Dictionary.Com?
Maya: "Yeah (laughing), it's cool - I love it!"
Weston: "I've been on that loads of times! How many words can you get to rhyme with shop (laughing)?"
Maya: "Yeah (laughing)… cock (laughing)!"
Weston: "Or, disintegrate / plate (laughing)!"
Toni: "What?!?"
*Matt has to leave the interview*

10. Do you have any interesting tales from your time on the road, and what has been your most rock 'n' roll moment to date?
Toni: "Interesting stories did you say?"
Paul: "Well on this tour, we threw Toni on top of a bush!"
Maya: (laughs hysterically)
Toni: "That's not rock 'n' roll is it?"
Maya: "We caught it on camera (laughing)!"
Toni: "We've had a lot of fun on this tour so far!"
Maya: "Yeah, the keyboard stands went flying into the bush when we were parking at the Travelodge, so Steve (Weston) was then running through the bush trying to extract them, but it was this big monstrous bush and you couldn't see anything - it just swallowed everything up! And then our Tour Manager, threw Toni into the bush and he disappeared (laughing)!"
Paul: "It's alright, we're not a motley crew…"
Toni: "Yeah, we're quite sensible - we don't destroy things."
Maya: "I… (inaudible, but laughs hysterically)!"
Paul: "Oh yeah, that's a good one (laughing)!"
Toni: "I remember once - when I was in a different band I should mention - I was staying in a hotel and it was quite a high-rise building, and I looked out of the window, and saw this private swimming pool. It was part of some rich peoples' house, and there were big fences. It was quite late in the year (pausing), I think it was October or November, because it was quite cold, and we climbed over the fence with all of our clothes on, then jumped into the swimming pool and it was freezing! It was quite funny, but I don't know if it's rock 'n' roll?"
Maya: "That is rock 'n' roll actually!"
Toni: "Also, I threw a guitar through (pausing), we played in this huge cinema, and the screen was really wide and about 6 to 10 meters high. We played in front of the screen, and I threw my Les Paul all the way, about 7 to 10 feet, and it went through the screen and landed on the other side, and I got a £30,000 bill for it! So that was quite rock 'n' roll (laughing)!"
Paul: "I once had about 10 girls back in a hotel room (laughing)!"
Toni: (laughs heartily)
Paul: "That was in Slovakia."
Maya: "Was that with IAMX?"
Paul: "Yeah!"
Maya: "Oh cool! Paul used to drum for them (looking at me)."
Paul: "That was a good night! Happy Days (laughs heartily)…"
All: (laughing)
Weston: "On this tour, I went back and watched TV and had a cup of tea, while everyone else went out. Me and Maya stayed in - Maya went to her room and I went to my room. I thought that was quite rock 'n' roll!"
*I say to Weston, that that's probably more subversive*
Maya: "Yeah, it's the new century rock 'n' roll - drugs are so last century (laughing)!"
Toni: "We usually leave through the back door, order a pizza, and then go to our hotel room and watch TV. Yeah, that's what we've been doing on this tour (laughing)!"

11. What is your biggest extravagance?
Maya: "Um (thinking), I'm actually quite anti-spending, like I'm not into designer stuff really, unless it's like a really good keyboard. So instruments really."
Paul: "Yeah, the most money I've ever spent, is on instruments."
Weston: "My hair!"
Maya: (laughing)
Weston: "It's not really mine."
All: (laughing)

12. Sohodolls are a very stylish band - was it important to you to create a strong visual identity?
Maya: "I don't think we arrived at the studio in tracksuits and baggy trousers, thinking, "OK, let's get an image!"
Weston: "We pretty much wear what we've got on."
Maya: "Yeah, the boys especially! But, we do sort of tart it up a bit on stage, because it's so much fun you know? It's part of the whole experience (smiling)!"
Toni: "I've brought a little bit from my everyday normal life, but sometimes, I go out exactly the same way that I dress on stage! But I mean, I've been like this since I was aged 14, when I first picked up the guitar. Some days it'll be a little bit less, but I never go out in trainers and tracksuits. I do go out without make-up on - I don't have any on today - but it's part of me you know? It's always been there, with all of the bands I've been a member of!"
Maya: "You're due for a haircut tomorrow actually. Ahh (laughing)."

13. Which relatively unknown artist or band, would you like to see a music magazine run a feature on / put on their front cover?

Toni: "You've got some brilliant questions - they're really, really making us think! Which relatively unknown artist or band did you say? I mean The Knife have made it now, but a few years back, I was really into The Knife and nobody knew them."
Paul: "I'd say a band called Weird Love - they're quite experimental."
Maya: "I don't know? I like Trash Fashion, because they're lots of fun!"
Weston: "Any of the local Portsmouth bands really, because there's a few (pausing), well 6 months ago there were more, but yeah, maybe a Portsmouth band to break through. Like The Strange Death Of Liberal England - they've been touring around the UK (pausing), have you heard of them?"
*I say I have, because they supported the Manics who I absolutely adore*
Weston: "Yeah they did (smiling)! So maybe for them to get recognised a bit more, or maybe even another local band that I'm good friends with. Why not support where you're from (laughing)?"
Toni: "There are some bands who I discovered through Maya…"
Maya: "IAMX."
Toni: "They're relatively unknown, but Paul used to drum for them."
Maya: "You'd like them (looking at me)!"
Toni: "It's not that far away from Sohodolls is it (looking at Paul)?"
Paul: "It's a bit harder…"
Weston: "I think it's a slightly more electro, darker version of Muse I would say."
Toni: "But a bit more humorous and funny!"
Maya: "Yeah."
Weston: "A lot more extravagant than Muse, definitely!"
Maya: "It's quite dramatic."
Weston: "They're big in Germany."

14. As the NME sometimes asks, Who Is 'The Coolest Rock Star Of All-Time'?

Paul: "For me, it's Mike Patton! He's best known as the frontman of Faith No More, but he's done loads since then."
Toni: "I think it's got to be Keith Richards - it's got to be!"
Maya: "Ozzy Osbourne, because I like him, and I really like Black Sabbath!"
Weston: "I don't really know? Somebody with bigger hair than me!"
All: (laughing)
Paul: "Rod Stewart (laughing)!"
Maya: "Slash (laughing)!"
Weston: "No, Bowie's pretty cool I think."
Maya: "Ah yeah! Oh you bastard (laughing)."
Weston: "Yeah, David Bowie - he's a legend!"

15. Do you think the music press is still an accurate barometer of youth culture and pop culture?
Maya: "The mainstream music press (pausing), there isn't really enough of it. You only have the NME…"
Toni: "Who feature 4 bands for 4 months, and then they choose another 4 bands for 4 months. But they slate loads of new bands, and they haven't done anything for us…"
Maya: "Yeah, and I think there needs to be another weekly one, that covers music which doesn't get catered for by other music magazines or the NME. I find the NME quite narrow, so I think there should be something in-between. Because there's so much new music coming out, especially electro, there's electro this, electro that - loads of different things! And because of the technology, everyone can now make music themselves! I think the NME is like a bottleneck you know?"
Toni: "Luckily, there's The Fly Magazine, which supports new alternative music. But the NME is all about Pete Doherty really."
Weston: "I think big music publications, like the NME, should maybe have a little page at the back of the magazine, that lists all of the really wicked webzines, because it's quite hard to find a decent webzine…"
Maya: "Yeah."
Weston: "The only webzines that I know of, are the ones that people have recommended to me (pausing), I know some of them link to others, but perhaps not everybody realises that. So, I think it would be cool if big music publications helped webzines in that way."
Maya: "That would be cool!"
*At 10.15pm, Sohodolls' Tour Manager, Mikko, knocks on the dressing room door, to see if the band are ready to go into Oxford to find somewhere to eat, as they are due on stage as part of Oxford Academy's Transformation Club Night, at 12.15am. Weston and Paul decide to go, but Maya and Toni very kindly offer to stay and finish our interview, saying that they will eat later. Before Weston leaves however, he looks through my remaining questions and gives a few answers, which I will add accordingly. I then thank Maya and Toni for staying… Toni: "That's no problem. When it comes to food, when we're on tour, me and Maya - because we're the biggest food fanatics - it can take 4 hours to find a nice place or whatever. You know, sometimes when people get hungry, they lower their standards, but we don't like to, and because the interview is going so well, we can eat a bit later." Maya: "Yeah, I don't eat before a show anyway (smiling)."*

16. What would be your dream gig, if you could choose 1 headline band and 2 support acts?

Toni: "To go and watch?"
Maya: "Oh My God (thinking)."
Toni: "OK, it would be Elza Soares, who's a Brazilian lady (pausing), I've seen her once before actually, but she would be part of the line-up! She's a bit like Tina Turner - an old black woman (pausing + thinking). Do you want to say yours Maya, while I think more about it?"
Maya: "Um (thinking), I think I would like to see Nirvana support The Beatles, at one of their early gigs, and I'd like to stick another good band in there as well, so I'll say (long pause + thinking)… The Jimi Hendrix Experience. Yeah (laughing)!"
Toni: "Mine is going to be a very strange line-up (smiling). Elza Soares, The Clash…"
Maya: (laughing)
Toni: "And it would be nice for us to play there, because then we would get to meet those people personally…"
Maya: "Yeah, we've organised it (laughing)!"
Toni: "Yeah! I'll just come up with one more name (thinking). I really like The Rolling Stones - I've seen them about 6 times!"
Maya: "Led Zeppelin?"
Toni: "Um (long pause + thinking), The Beatles!"

17. Your live performances have been described as "Fiery," "Narcotic" and "Sassy." Do you feel a freedom comes to the surface when you're on stage, and what is it ideally, that you would most like people to take away with them after having witnessed one of your shows?

Maya: "Well freedom definitely does come on stage, because that's what we're working towards the whole time - because we're definitely a live band, as opposed to a studio band! So freedom comes, but sometimes it doesn't - like if you're really ill (laughing), which I have been on this tour. With some gigs, you feel a lot freer than with others, but it's kind of like a freedom of expression as opposed to a physical freedom, if you know what I mean (laughing)? Just to be specific (smiling)! What I would like people to take away from the gig, is just that they've been entertained, that they've had a sense fun, and that they've got our sense of humour. That we like to play with being sexy, and that we can then switch to being angry, or to being vulnerable. So, just the idea of a show, without it being too theatrical."
Toni: "And also (pausing), I mean you say (looking at Maya), "We beg, steal and borrow from different genres of music." It's not just electro and rock 'n' roll, there's hip-hop and jazz in there. We try to mix and combine all sorts of things! I mean we wrote a song called My Vampire, which is quiet, dark and hypnotic, and we also have a jazzy number called I'm Not Cool. So when people listen to our songs, they will hear all of our different influences, and will hopefully go home after a show having really enjoyed it, wanting to relive those memories through our album (smiling)!"
*Ribbed Music For The Numb Generation, was recorded in Cornwall and London between Summer / Autumn 2006. The LP was produced by Robert Harder (Babyshambles and The Sunshine Underground) + mixed by Steve Lyon (Depeche Mode and The Cure). Often, these two sessions ran concurrently, with Maya and Toni skipping to-and-fro between studios*

18. You've talked of creating "A Fantasy World," and judging by your MySpace page, you seem to have already attracted a devoted cult following. Does this please you?
Maya: "Yeah, if it's cult (laughing)! I don't know the difference between a following and a cult following though (laughing)?"
*I say that bands like Depeche Mode, Manic Street Preachers and Radiohead, have a devoted cult following - people who are extremely passionate about their music*
Maya: "Like a cool following? Oh yeah (smiling)!"
Toni: "Yeah!"
Maya: "I mean we haven't got hundreds-of-thousands of fans, or that kind of thing yet. But, having just been up-and-down the country for the first time in like a year, there are some really passionate individuals that we've met, and they're all really different, which is nice! It's a bit sort of scary sometimes, because you think, "Oh no, I've got to keep delivering." Maybe they don't really know who we are, but you are your music you know? But we're quite dedicated, so really, there's not much fear of that. But yeah, it's really great to be in a band (smiling)!"
Toni: "Yeah, there are some people who come to gig after gig, and they spend a lot of time and money, travelling between different places. It should all be really positive, but it kind of gives you a bit of concern, "Are we giving them enough?"
Maya: "Yeah."
Toni: "I hope it's worth it - it's all extra pressure - but so far, it's all working out (smiling)!"
Maya: "We have a big following in Europe, because we've toured there a few times. We've done Germany twice and Italy four times, and we've done the odd gig in Spain, France and Istanbul. But it's really sort of galvanised by MySpace, which is good, and we're gaining a lot of people electronically, who have never even met us before (laughing)!"
Toni: "We've done a lot of gigs in (pausing), mostly in Italy and Germany I believe, and also in Istanbul, Moscow and Belgium. But, we've only done 1 gig in France, and it was a small place, but already, it was a full-house! And the people who knew about us, were very interested! But recently, over the last year, there's a French band called Superbus - they're kind of a # 1 band in France - and they love us, and they even come over to England to watch our gigs and stuff! So it's quite interesting on MySpace, because everyday, we get loads of messages from France - there's really a lot of hardcore fans there! Just because Superbus have promoted us…"
Maya: "Yeah, they're a cool, sexy band - really good looking guys!"
Toni: "They've been doing a lot of good for us! Sometimes I get the feeling that they're like a French Sohodolls, not musically, because they're a bit more Emo. But for some reason, they've started wearing the clothes that we're wearing…"
Maya: "No (laughing)!"
Toni: "Well…"
Maya: "They tend to wear waist-coats, but it's strange, because she's been wearing black shorts and I've been wearing black shorts. But Jenn's so stylish - because she's French - so I don't think she would take any notice of me."
Toni: "Yeah, they just happen to be in the same outfits as us, or whatever."
Maya: "But I'm getting inspired by them as well (laughing)!"
*I ask about Sohodolls being invited by Playboy Russia, to exclusively perform at their annual Playmate Of The Year Party, in July 2006*
Maya: "Yeah, we played in Moscow! When we finally met Playboy, they said that they wanted Dita Von Teese - but then they were told about Sohodolls. But, I think maybe she just couldn't do it. So their first choice was Dita Von Teese, and then it became us. They just wanted a sexy band from The West, that could play live. So we went and did that, and it was really good! We were there for like 3 days - they paid for us to stay there, they took us round Moscow and showed us a good time! And then, we played at the Party - there were Bunny Girls in the front row, and we had to share a dressing room with them…"
Toni: "We got to share a dressing room with them (smiling)!"
Maya: "Yeah, we had to! We were like, "We haven't got a dressing room - we'll dress with you (laughing)!" It was funny, because they didn't want to give me any alcohol before I went on stage. It was like an amazing Villa just outside of Moscow, and it was full of the fastest, most expensive cars…"
Toni: "Hummers!"
Maya: "Yeah, and the food, and the champagne and vodka was on silver trays! But, they wouldn't give me any alcohol! They were like, "You can't drink before you go on stage." And I was like, "Yeah I can!" And then they said, "No, you'll ruin the show," and I just laughed. So they brought me a little glass of sweet wine, and I was like, "Get me some frigging vodka (laughing)!" Because it's quite daunting playing for Bunny Girls and men in suits really, it wasn't your average gig (laughing)! And your imagination runs wild, you just think, "They're all baddies," like in James Bond films - really sexy, powerful men you know (giggling)? I needed a couple of vodkas (laughing)!"

19. There are strong dance elements evident in your music, but which song would you call 'An Ultimate Dancefloor Filler'?

Weston: "I would say Justice vs. Simian - We Are Your Friends."
Maya: "Um (thinking), there are songs that I like to hear on the dancefloor, like The Knife's Heartbeats, and one of my all-time favourites is Soft Cell's Tainted Love - there would not have been the Sohodolls sound without that! SERIOUSLY! It's my # 1 favourite song of all-time (smiling)! I love it! In 15 years, I heard the song loads of times, and when I finally saw the video, it was nothing like I expected it to be at all, because you build up your own thing you know? It's so wrong (laughing), in a good way! It's so weird! So Dancefloor Fillers (pausing), what gets us on the dancefloor these days (looking at Toni)?"
Toni: Well personally, I get excited when I hear the riff from a classic song, like Paint It Black by The Stones. And Steve (Weston) also mentioned Justice vs. Simian - that's great!"
Maya: "Oh yeah, fantastic!"
*I ask Maya and Toni, if they saw The 2006 MTV Europe Music Awards, where Justice vs. Simian won the award for Best Video. And how afterwards, Kanye West embarrassingly stormed the stage, causing a real commotion, by saying that if he wasn't declared the rightful winner for his Touch The Sky video, "The awards show loses credibility."*
Toni: "I didn't, because I haven't had a TV for a couple of years - I gave up TV and all that a while ago."
Maya: "That's really cool that Justice vs. Simian won it (smiling) - we'll have to YouTube it! I think fame has gone to Kanye West's head (laughing). Ooh, another Dancefloor Filler that I just thought of (excitedly), is Blur's Girls & Boys - that is proper dancefloor, definitely!"
*I mention the Pet Shop Boys remix*
Maya: "Of that? I think I have heard it actually, in a club, and I liked it! But I haven't got it at home though."
Toni: "What's the Rage Against The Machine song (looking at Maya)?"
Maya: "Oh yeah (smiling)! That makes me mosh - "FUCK YOU, I WON'T DO WHAT YOU TELL ME!" (Killing In The Name). Amazing! It came on just after we'd played at Stafford University last Saturday, and I was moshing with all of these Metal teenagers (giggling)!"
Toni: "I think that's our Dancefloor Fillers for now."

20. If you were granted one wish, what would you use it for?
Weston: "More Wishes (laughing)!"
Toni: "Oh My God (thinking)."
Maya: "No more cruelty in the world… against children or animals!"
Toni: "Yeah, and I would say that everybody in the whole planet, would be Vegan! Because that's another way of reducing all of the cruelty to animals…"
Maya: "Yeah, and it's better for the environment!"
Toni: "It would probably involve organic farming and all of that sort of thing (pausing), it's a bigger thing than we think. I'm not going to go into it now, but I'll just say that I think everybody should be a Vegan."

21. Have you had any personal highlights / spine-tingling moments on your journey so far?
Toni: "Well, definitely the O2 Wireless Festival, which we played this Summer - we played on The Second Stage and there were 3,500 people watching us! It was absolutely rammed, and I think somebody said that the tent almost collapsed (smiling)! The gig was great, people loved it - we got a lot of good feedback - and lots of people were saying that the 2 best bands were Daft Punk and Sohodolls!"
Maya: "I like that Robert Smith from The Cure, likes the Sohodolls (smiling)! I've never met him, but we know someone in common, but it was really nice to hear! Also, the O2 thing, and we also like that Kasabian like us (laughing)!"
Toni: "Anytime we play at King Tut's for some reason - I mean I'm a fan of Scotland anyway, so going there is a highlight in itself - but playing at the King Tut's, has always been good! I really enjoyed Istanbul as well! So going to different towns is always a highlight, especially abroad! We're all like, "Let's go see this, let's go eat there" you know (smiling)?"
Maya: "Yeah (laughing)!"

22. Are there any musicians, producers, photographers or video directors, who you would like to collaborate with in the future?

Weston: "Dr. Dre, Timbaland and Daft Punk - all in one big mess!"
Maya: "Yeah, definitely! I would love to work with Dr. Dre - I really want to work with him! Oh My God (excitedly), photographers - David LaChapelle!"
Toni: "David LaChapelle, yeah!"
Maya: "If he could shoot Sohodolls, that would be amazing (smiling)! He's such an amazing photographer!"
Toni: "I saw an exhibition of his work in the Barbican Centre, about a year-and-a-half ago, and they also had a really big, heavy book that you could buy."
Maya: "His stuff is mad, it's so artistic and the colours are so vibrant!"
Toni: "He claims that his photographs are all real as well (pausing), well in that exhibition anyway. But because they're so surreal (pausing), the whole point is that they look very unreal, but I think he claims that as you see them, is exactly how they were taken, and no digital manipulation is involved. But, they do look like they've been digitally manipulated. I mean there was a woman, who was obviously made-up and looked amazing - it was just, "Wow!" And then she's holding her breast, and milk is squirting from her breast onto a spoon, and from the spoon it bounces onto another girl's hand, who's holding a bowl of cereal! I mean that can't be real? But still, his photographs are great!"
*I highly recommend Anton Corbijn's work to Maya and Toni as well*
Maya: "OK, Anton Corbijn."
Toni: "Cool, we shall check him out!"

23. What are your biggest hopes for your debut album, and for Sohodolls long-term?
Maya: "We want the album to sort of spread the word, to show that we're more than just a band who puts out cool titled songs, like Stripper and Prince Harry. I would also like the album to demonstrate that the band's got depth, a sense of humour…"
Toni: "That we're versatile!"
Maya: "Yeah, and that we're a band that's here to stay! We've got a good bunch of musicians now - after the different line-ups - Matt plays the double-bass, and he's the best bass-player any of us have ever heard! Paul is an amazing drummer, and Steve (Weston) is an excellent keyboardist, and we've all got so much to give now in this band! We've begged, stolen and borrowed from different genres, so the future for the Sohodolls (pausing), I don't know? Just onwards and upwards! And, we're desperate to get out of the UK, and start spreading the word across Europe and The World. Because we get so many people contacting us from France, Italy, Germany, the USA, Japan and beyond! So, it would just be good to (pausing), especially now as we're doing a UK Tour, there's like 34 dates, and I'm getting a little bit tired of…"
Toni: "Travelodges and service stations (laughing)!"
Maya: "Yeah (laughing), Travelodges and Moto service stations!"
Toni: "There is a lot of interest in Europe, and it would be nice if the machine behind us, could actually capitalise on that, or make it happen you know? I don't have any doubts, but that's in the short-term. But in general, continuity! I want to make music, I want to be on the road touring, and earn some sort of living from it…"
Maya: "Yeah, that would be nice (smiling)!"
Toni: "So continuity! And if that happens, after that, World Domination really (laughing)!"
*I say to Maya and Toni, that when I looked at Sohodolls' MySpace page last Summer, I couldn't believe how many UK Tour Dates were listed for the Autumn*
Maya: "I know (laughing)! Scrolling down, it was a bit like, "When's it all ending (laughing)?" But, we were all really excited and looking forward to the tour as it approached (smiling)!"
Toni: "I hate the fact that on Monday, we're halfway through. I mean if we had a few days off - because we don't really have any days off - we've only got a couple of Sundays off. So say if we do a 3-week tour, we have one day off here and there. But if we had 3 or 4 days off, I could do this for 10 months in a row you know? I'd love too (smiling)! So unfortunately, we're halfway through the tour…"
Maya: "On Tuesday we're halfway through - we have 17 dates left!"
Toni: "Yeah, only selected dates left, but we are hoping to go to France. Superbus really want us to play a few shows, so if the machine behind us can make that happen, then we'll be playing in France. And we're also talking about Japan and America at the moment, so if that happens (pausing), we haven't been to Japan, but we've been to America…"
Maya: "Yeah!"
Toni: "In Japan, we'll see a sea of short people all with black hair! So I'm going to dye my hair blonde!"
Maya and Toni: (both laughing)
*I ask Maya and Toni if they've seen Lost In Translation*
Maya: "Yeah, I have - it's fun! I liked her pink wig (laughing)!"

24. 'Be Reasonable, Demand The Impossible!' was a Situationist slogan famously used on a poster during The 1968 Paris Uprising, which also later found its way into Punk. Is there anything similar to this that you believe in?
Maya: "Yeah, I think that rings true to the Sohodolls' philosophy - especially to Toni, when he's trying to force people to do the sound-check properly (laughing)! Yeah, that is our attitude! Even though we know that we're up against a lot of opposition to that. But it's the spirit! And it's sort of like an amalgam of what Jarvis Cocker said recently, that "if you look at The Charts these days, you wouldn't know that there was a War going on." So it kind of sounds similar to that, because there's just so much conformity now in music. There are so many bands who have got a ridiculous amount of push behind them, like My Chemical Romance. It's always been like that (pausing), it was a shame when XFM lost its independence, because they started the station by playing a Sex Pistols song…"
Toni: "Yeah, it was the first track that they played!"
Maya: "But now, you just hear the same bands every hour! So, it would be nice again, for someone to be a little bit more daring. I'm not for one minute thinking that they might play Sohodolls more, but there's just so much going on out there. Like if you go to clubs, they're rammed with people watching a band that you've never even heard of you know? And then you go and look at an NME 'darling band' - when they do a gig in Bedford, and there's like 8 people there. So it's a bit disproportionate isn't it?"
Toni: "Yeah."
Maya: "It just seems that it's quite hard to get through to the mainstream. But I suppose that's what's good about the Internet - you can contact people directly, without having to go through an agent, or waiting for coverage from newspapers or magazines. So fragmentation of the market is welcome! Sorry, I went on a bit then (laughing)."

25. Lastly, chips or cream buns?
Weston: "Cream buns, just because I don't really like chips (laughing)!"
Maya: "Chips (without any hesitation)!"
Toni: "Chips, yeah!"
*I say that chips are usually the winner*
Maya: "Really (laughing)? Steve's (Weston) got a serious sweet-tooth!"
Toni: "Yeah, but for me, rather salty and sour stuff, than sweet…"
Maya: "Yeah, salty and sour stuff (laughing)!"

A very special thanks to Maya, Toni, Weston, Matt and Paul, to Sohodolls' Tour Manager Mikko, and to Junior @ Emms Publicity, for all of their time and help.

Oxford Set List

Trash The Rental
Prince Harry
My Vampire
I'm Not Cool
Right And Right Again
The Rest For The Wicked

"I know I can be forward, but you are way too awkward
If I can't convince, I will confuse"

wers to questions...It's never about looking forward to it. Actually maybe I should change the
script, maybe we are looking forward to it. (Laughs). It's difficult to say because the last few months have felt strange, it's felt like going down a plughole. I've got a real sense of vertigo at the moment. So I can't tell you that I'm looking forward to it. I will get through it and find where I land after that. That's what will happen.

Lucy: 'Taxidermy' and 'Drink Me' are quite drastically different in their musical styles, so what kind of sound can we expect from the 3rd album?
KJG: We don't know yet. We're playing a lot of new material tonight so you'll be able to judge that for yourself. When I'm this close up to it, it's really difficult to tell. I'm on a bit of a negative slant today, but usually with our music I can only hear the bits that have gone wrong rather
than anything that went right. When you reflect back on something it's very difficult to give an objective opinion, and I don't believe in objectivity anyway, I think everything's subjective. I just throw a deck of cards and
wherever they land, that's where she finds herself. I'm not really the one to explain my part in it, you must do that as the observer really, and of course that will reflect your part in the grand scheme of things.

Lucy: Do you enjoy playing live more than the creative process in the studio?
KJG: (Laughs) I don't enjoy any of it. It comes and it goes, ok? There's nothing like when you're writing and you manage to catch something by its
tail; when you're looking for those things underground that are skittering out of sight just when you're about to catch them. And when you catch them it is worth it, but it's a momentary pleasure. I've got so much noise upstairs, and I can hear things in my head that to me are absolutely devastatingly beautiful. I'm always trying to download them and get them
here, but they never get here in the right state, they're always very disabled and they don't even begin to imitate what I can hear in my head.
It's a frustrating process in the main.

Lucy: Your lyrics are simultaneously emotionally expressive and cryptic. Are you looking to be understood by your audience?
KJG: I'm always trying to understand myself, but it's like there's a point in the centre of the room, and there's a hundred windows to look at the same point from. All I can do is give you different angles on the same thing. God, you know, if I could find one conclusive thing in anything I would probably have something to put an anchor down on. But I cant, and I haven't met anyone that can. You can pick out anything you like in my lyrics, I don't seek to be cryptic. I love words for the sake of words, for me they're kind of free standing, and they don't really need to be explained. I think every word has its own character and colour and picture and the result you get with lyrics just depends how you put them together. You could just do it in a William Burroughs esque way, or throw the deck of cards, and you'd probably still find something that our tiny little minds would latch on to in order to gain some kind of emotional understanding. I don't think there's a constant, the only constant that there is for me is that there is no constant. I use myself as my canvas, I gut myself and fillet myself the whole fucking time, I'm always hooking myself out of the water, I'm always cutting my own head off and disembowelling myself, and as you can probably tell I'm quite angry about it at the moment. I'm very tired of it all, of my
process and how I find life, because it always seems to be about living and dying all in one breath. I'm getting pretty fucking tired of that.

Lucy: Do you think drugs stimulate or hinder creativity?
KJG: Well that depends on the drug, because I think most things arrive in the form of a drug really. I know in myself that if anything I am, much to my greater expense, an adrenalin junkie. My synapses don't work well enough to put pills in my mouth, I can't do that, despite popular opinion. I don't need any help breaking down, put it that way. There's not much holding it
together. If there was a drug that could put aline between two polar opposites and make them in to one thing I'm sure I would have it
intravenous, but I haven't found it. I think drugscan be a bit of a lazy way for creativity anyway, you're better off in the cold light of day in the mirror.

Lucy: As a band, you are distinguished by the extreme physicality of your live performances. Do you consciously make an effort to put on a show or do your performances just naturally come to you, and whatever happens, happens?
KJG: It's a bit of both, because you see, I think taking the stage is one of the most unnatural things anyone can do. In a way, just walking on stage actually creates an altered state - its not right, no one's meant to do that, unless you're a priest or a magician, or something like that. To put somebody who's very incapable in many ways in to that position creates a combustion reaction inside me. I know that, and I take the stage knowing that. Obviously there's all the usual things that affect my performance; if I'm on my 45th day of a tour I'm probably gonna be pretty fucking tired, so I'll be dictated by that. If I'm doing new material like tonight I don't
know what's going to happen, because we haven't built the train tracks yet. The beauty of playing live is when my drummer goes in to 5th gear or in to 10th gear, and for some reason there's something that hits me in the base of the spine and I'm gone, and that's Halleluiah for me. During the last few months a lot of strange things have been happening onstage, I think the process is changing. I don't know what's going to happen tonight, I've been having quite a tough time on stage, I feel like something's pulling me under, as if something's got me.

Lucy: So does the crowd influence your performances on stage?
KJG: Yes they do. I'm unkind enough to be pretty impersonal about how I do it, so I use them for me to kick against in effect, or to surf on, (I don't
mean physically surf). If you're in an empty roomand there's a couple of people at the back, it doesn't necessarily mean you'll have a bad show -
they might get the show of their lives. And then again when something's really heaving and going off, I get quite a distorted view of it, because I
can feel quite overwhelmed lose my sense of place in the situation. I lose control of myself. I don't know, I probably wasn't meant to do this, I
wasn't built for this. It wasn't a career option, I didn't start there and go there, I didn't pick up the things on the way. I've sort of gone round
and round.

Lucy: As the lead singer of the band, most media interest is focused on you. Do you feel pressurised by your position or do you enjoy being the centre of attention?
KJG: I've been here on this wheel long enough,(and I say this with a little bit of trepidation because I think you have to be really careful with this kind of thing, because the motivation to do it in itself I think is usually pretty corrupt) I'm not doing it for anyone else, I need a cheque through the door like anybody else does, you have to keep eating, you have to keep living. I'm looking for some sense of going home on my own terms, and people's critique of me is not relevant, whether it's positive of negative.
I do need a cheque through the door though, otherwise I'll have to go and be a butcher or something.

Lucy: What is the religious meaning behind the song "For I am the way"?
KJG: If you use the word religion in its truest sense, all it means is communion, it hasn't got any of the attachments to any written word. My
understanding of the word communion is loss of the sense. Another way of looking at it is you've got to get in to get out, and the only thing that I
know to be true is me, is this tiny little dot in the centre of the universe. It's the only thing that I know feels pain; I can see other people's pain and I can feel it in an emotional way, but not in a physical way. I find myself in the unfortunate position of feeling like I am the
centre of the universe and that everything is a projection, made by me - i.e. you two don't exist, you're something that I created. I don't wish that
sense upon anybody because it's not a good one. Through 'For I am the way' I'm saying that you've got to get in, because the only thing one knows to be true is oneself. And on a good day, if you stand on top of a mountain or go to the desert or stand in the ocean, and become completely inconsequential, linear time stops and you become everything and nothing. That for me is
communion, that's how I define religion. I thinkthere's a line in there which goes "Today the only bridge I have I burn" which sums it up really, because it is about cutting all lines of communication in order to really truly commune.

Lucy: Do you think that in the future your creativity will move from the sphere of music in to literature for example?
KJG: It's real hard to say. In a way, that sounds like a much easier life. But for all I know I'm deluding myself. I'm looking for someone to help me frame something at the moment, and someone is actually, someone's being really good to me. I would love to write, but I don't know if I'm good
enough to do it.