No. 1 (May 28, 1983)
HELLO, HAWAII YA?
PAINTED BIRDS surround us. A small finch sings in the background. Primitive jewellery and clothes adorn the walls. Where are we? In a Kensington hotel, of course, and I'm talking to The Creatures, Siouxsie and Budgie. The subject is their new LP, 'Feast', which carries on the rich promise of the Banshees' last recording. But let's start at the dawn of The Creatures evolution.
ALL THINGS BRIGHT AND BEAUTIFUL which tells of cups of tea and things...
Siouxsie: "We formed about two years ago. There was never really a decision taken, it was something that happened by accident. We were rehearsing 'Ju-Ju' and John and Steve happened to go out for a cup of tea < although it could have been any of us. Anyway, Budgie and I just started doing this thing around some lyrics. It worked and so we recorded 'The Wild Things' EP around the same time as 'Ju-Ju'. Steve and I always argue about whose idea it was to carry on with The Creatures as a separate thing."
Budgie: "Actually, it was my idea."
Siouxsie: "We're just drums and voice, so I have to work a lot harder to make the most of the format. We use overdubs on my voice a bit, like we used to on the Banshees. But then you couldn't hear them half the time 'cos of bleedin' guitar. There used to be some right old battles between guitar and voice, I can tell you. For me and Budgie, though, it's just a really different way of working, it's very simple."
Budgie: " There are less compromises involved with The Creatures because there are fewer things involved. The decision is always just between the two of us and we kind of like that. I think the end product with The Creatures is very close to the original idea."
SHE'S A CARNIVAL where we have fun in sunnier climes
Budgie: "Just going out to Hawaii itself was great. We had no idea that we'd end up doing an album. The whole trip was put together in just a week. We were looking at all the recording studios and a map of the world. Suddenly we saw this little island surrounded by loads of water. We thought that'd give us some peace, get us away from all this yap yap yapping over here."
Siouxsie: "I think we'd have come up with something good wherever we went, but the atmosphere of the LP was definitely affected by the surroundings. Everyone's idea of Hawaii is Honolulu and dancing girls, but it wasn't like that."
Budgie: "It's quiet, and it's different from anywhere else we've been. Everything about the light and colours hits you. And it's stunning. We were able to sit down and work out ideas we had buzzing around in our heads. We couldn't do that in London."
Siouxsie: "The people out there reacted as if they didn't know who we were, or what we were. 'Leather. What, in this weather?' was the sort of reaction we got. But it was never hostile as opposed to other more westernised places like southern America, where disbelief is sometimes very unfriendly, instead of curious."
Budgie: "We weren't staying in the touristy places anyway. We hid ourselves away in two small villages. One was run by Mormons and the other was full of people who just sat on their porches all day, playing guitars and drinking."
CREATURES GREAT AND SMALL
Siouxsie: "I've never hated anything as much as those ****ing mosquitoes. If they bit you, then you'd come up in whopping great lumps. There were so many of them that you just couldn't do anything about the buggers. I wouldn't go anywhere without a can of repellent. I hated them."
FEASTING and other ways of making albums
Siouxsie: " We didn't use any proper backing musicians on the album. We'd just go in and make all the noises ourselves. But there was one lyric, 'Morning Dawning', which we wanted to base around vocals. We'd heard about these people who were ethnic chanters, so we invited them along to the studio. They sat around in a circle and started banging out rhythms to get a round going so they could play off it. And it was such an amazing sound. So, we got them to play on tow more as well. At first I didn't want them to be involved - I thought it would be stating, 'This is a Hawaiian sound' - but it was just so powerful."
Budgie: "There was another track where we got Mike Hedges to set it all up, and the we'd put all these people in the studio to sing."
Siouxsie: " I had to conduct. I'd make sure the tape was running, because there was nobody behind the desk, then I'd sprint round and start waving at them. Unfortunately I kept getting it wrong."
So there are The Creatures. It doesn't look like they'll be playing live yet, so we'll have to make do with the album. Like any Siouxsie record it achieves its sophistication through its simplicity. So concentrate < or you'll miss the girl.
Contributed by Bonnie Bryant.