When you think of Siouxsie and The Banshees, you immediately associate them with Punk and Goth music genres. But Siouxsie herself prefers to defy categorisation, as she explained in this phone interview from 1993, recorded before they headlined Brisbane’s Livid Festival in October. The Banshees also played gigs in Sydney and Melbourne that year. It was their first Australian tour since 1983.
Siouxsie’s impressions of early Eighties Sydney weren’t pleasant: she recalled how she and drummer Budgie narrowly missed being attacked twice around Darlinghurst’s Oxford Street, while trying to experience the city’s gay bars.
“There’s a song on [the 1984 album] Hyaena that’s about being in Sydney for the first time called ‘Running Town’ and it’s not a pretty picture,” she said.
Asked about punk and its effect on women in music, Siouxsie said it was more the media making a big deal of it. For her, punk was all-encompassing and never about gender.
“Me being a female doing what I was doing … I was never reminded by the people I was working with.”
And of Nineties female artists, Siouxsie cited Madonna as damaging any positives for women in music, saying, “She’s responsible for perpetuating this myth of female artists that need male management, male intervention”. Back then, Siouxsie was more impressed with k.d. Lang and Bjork, who she felt didn’t play up their gender to get somewhere.
Siouxsie wasn’t above second-guessing her own creativity, though, revealing they’d have to remix their new album (their final work, 1995’s The Rapture) because “the spell got broken” between recording at her home in France and mixing in London. She was also concerned they’d disappoint fans at their Australian shows after so long.
By 1996, The Banshees had dissolved, and Siouxsie and then-husband Budgie revived their Eighties side act, The Creatures, which continued until 2005.
Interview and story: Virginia Muzik
Sydney copywriter and non-fiction writer, Virginia Muzik has written music features for newspapers and street press. She contributed to the anthology, Product 45: Australian Punk/Post-punk Record Covers (Inner City Sound, 2015) and writes music memoir for the Stereo Stories website. Find her at virginiamuzik.com and Twitter: @writeNOISEComms.
© Words and interview audio are copyright Virginia Muzik 2022
6 October 1993 – Enmore Theatre, Sydney
9 October 1993 – Livid Festival, Davies Park Brisbane
*1993 – Siouxsie and the Banshees, Beasts of Bourbon, Ween, Andy Prieboy, Ed Kuepper, The Clouds, The Falling Joys, Tumbleweed, Kim Salmon and the Surrealists, Headless Chickens, Cosmic Psychos, Robert Forster, Caligula, Dave Graney, You Am I, Underground Lovers, The Dreamkillers, Head Like a Hole, Front End Loader, Screamfeeder, Chopper Division, Rubber Bug, Budd, Fur, Midget, Melniks, Clag
11 October 1993 – Metro Nightclub, Melbourne
Siouxsie Sioux at The Reading Festival