Hello Anne, last year you said you would stop doing live shows, but it seems like the stage has too much attraction as you’re back on W-Fest. Will this be your last tour or can it change?
Hello Didier! A pleasure to speak with you...... The stage is my home! But sometimes events and circumstances force us to move. Health issues and continued struggles with the “industry” make it impossible for me to tour and work at the moment. I hope it will change. After events last year, I owe my true Belgian supporters this appearance at W-Fest and that is why I am taking part in August. I am very much looking forward to it!
You have a special relationship with Belgium as you live here. What’s your idea about Belgium?
I don’t live there – but I do spend a lot of time there and I do have a very special relationship with Belgium. I have had all my life. My oldest family friends are from Wallonie. My first concerts outside of the UK were in Gent, Antwerp etc....My best friends are Belgian. Coming from a rather bland and austere England, visiting Belgium as a child with my parents,discovering all those sensual pleasures of food and drink, the architecture of the cities of Gent and Brugge, the music and poetry of Jacques Brel, the culture of comics and animation, the general joy of being alive that seemed to prevail, the warm friendliness of the people – they all made a huge impression on me. (I sound like a Belgium Tourism promo! (laughs)
Talking about Britain, you were quite upset about the Brexit. Does this change a lot for artists?
I can’t begin to express here what “Brexit” means! Not just for me. Not just for artists. For every single person! This ignorant, arrogant act has done and will continue to do more damage than anything I thought possible from the selfish mentality of the English. And let’s be clear – it is mostly the English that have brought this about. I am sickened to my core by this lack of solidarity with our European family. In these times of such huge challenges and demographic shifts, Europe needs to be more united than ever – and “Brexit” not only turns its back on that but offers only a middle finger as an alternative. I am ashamed.
Many see you as a new wave icon, which you surely are, but in your career you made a lot of different things. Which albums mean most to you?
Oh, that’s tricky to answer! All of my work represents significant and different parts of my life. I do my thing and have done my thing for nearly 40 (?!?!) years now and over that time have been pulled into various genres. Indeed, Punk and New Wave were a major element but I also love classical, jazz and roots music and the philosophies and ideas behind those styles. My work, if it is about anything at all, is about trying to bring people together. To be curious about each other. Take and give influences and ideas. So really, I have no particular album or albums that mean the most to me. They equally mean something to me.
You are a poet. What comes first, the music or the lyrics?
That depends. Sometimes the words, sometimes a musical idea. I like to work with other people, so sometimes they will come to me with an idea or I will approach them.
You know work with herrB, how does this collaboration started?
I met herrB through the wonderful internet! It has allowed so may possibilities to come about, not just for musicians and artists. I came across his Soundcloud page and enjoyed what he was doing. People had been asking me for such a long time to return to a kind of electronic duo idea and the moment seemed right. At this point in my life it is important to not only collaborate with people on a professional level but also on a social level and we immediately had a great connection between each other.
In fact, with who would it be a dream to make some music with?
Well....David Bowie would have been a dream.....as would Tim Buckley....as for those still with us, I certainly wouldn’t mind considering a project with the amazing South African-guitarist, Derek Gripper
In fact you are an artist who has something to tell. What do you think of the current music scene and which bands or artist are you listening to these days?
I’m not really into music as a fashion. I’m into music for its depth and longevity. It can be current or it can be music from 500 years ago. It should be a companion in our lives through good and bad times. As for current bands I am a bit out of touch. I’m more into composers such as Olafur Arnalds, Nils Frahm, Ben Lukas Boysen and Derek Gripper, whose work I adore. The whole way we receive and handle music has changed so much in the past few years. It is quite amazing. I have always sought out the most obscure and experimental of artists. That used to be quite a challenge sometimes. Now, with just a click I can discover the most distant and amazing worlds of sound. I love that!
Any acts you want to see yourself at W-Festival ?
All of them! (laughs)What is Desireless doing these days?
What do you prefer on a festival : ice cream, beer or French fries ?
OMG! What an unhealthy choice!! In this case it has to be the Belgian frietjes ...... and a delicious glass of chilled white wine! (laughs)
What is your favorite record of all time and please state why.
That is an unanswerable question! You can check out this link for some ideas though!
With who would you want to be alone in an elevator for 8 hours and what would you do then ?
Now then! What kind of question is THAT?! (laughs)
The last words are yours.....
No – not my words – but these chilling words: “The more we do to you,the less you seem to believe we are doing it” These words are from an even darker period in our history, but with the current situation in the world, they become frighteningly relevant again......
Artist Interview by DIDIER BECU - Luminous Dash