Lydia Lunch

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Chain D.L.K.: When did you exactly start writing with diaries during your childhood or later and can you remember why? Did it have to do with an urge to speak out your own but was already “therapeutical”?
Lydia Lunch: I started writing at 12 as way to vent my extreme hatred and frustration. Literature was always more important to me than music. I had already started reading Hubert Selby Jr., Henry Miller and De Sade, so writing came naturally to me.

Chain D.L.K.: In France they compared your “crude and cynical” style to authors like Genet and Miller. After I’ve seen “Fingered” and after having read “Paradoxia”, the sense I had was that violence happened randomly or in an absurd way like in some of Albert Camus’ books above all in “The Stranger”.
Lydia Lunch: Violence is of an elemental nature. Nature herself is extremely violent. Violence can act as a magnetism. I believe in the charisma of both positive and negative forces. Yes it can be ‘random’, but more often than not it is extremely predictable, once you learn to recognize the warning signs you can decide whether or not to play into its hands.

Chain D.L.K.: Both in “Johnny behind the deuce” and in “Paradoxia” I’ve read about capturing “…/The transient fleeting second of purity etched deep within his innocent smile/” of a young boy. In my mind your words painted the image of a vampire looking out for blood. What do you think about it? Above all why have you been desperately looking for that “transient purity”?
Lydia Lunch: I have desperately sought purity, and have found it in young boys and been attracted to it, because it was the one thing I was denied at the hands of very early abuse.

Chain D.L.K.: I don’t know if you ever read anything written by Germaine Greer. With her latest book (“The Boy”) she’s had some problems with the public opinion for the fact she spoke openly about the fact young boys are not just “handsome” but unconsciously sexy. I repeat I really don’t know if you’ve read anything she’s wrote but somehow I happened to think your idea was similar. And I’d also like to know if you have an explanation for the fact that it all created a lot of polemics.
Lydia Lunch: I prefer the writing of Mary Daly. But to answer the question. Born out of an act of lust or love, conceived in the womb, squeezed out of the vagina, breast fed, yet forced to pretend sex doesn’t exist until someone else decides you’re old enough to legally have it (which itself varies from State to State, country to country) our true sexual nature is still in this day and age, either denied, manipulated, insulted, abused, chronically aroused, or perverted by the lack of understanding shown to our most complex emotion. That an older woman admits attraction to a boy’s natural beauty, and it causes an uproar, is pathetic. The media is full of barely post-adolescent pop porn princesses used as pawns to sell everything from cars to music. Flip it on its head and all hell breaks loose. Outrageous, really.

Chain D.L.K.: In the interview included in “Angry Woman” (by Andrea Juno), you say the most important step for a victim of violence is to get back to the present time since “past is past”. Don’t you think that on the contrary with your records and above all with your writings you somehow “perpetrate the pain”?
Lydia Lunch: If it seems as if I ‘perpetrate the pain’ it is only as a recourse to admit to it and get over it. My pain may fade, but new victims are created every second, often due to forces much larger than them, universal in fact, which I feel I need to give articulation to.

Chain D.L.K.: From your “Conspiracy of Woman” spoken CD to your reading in Genoa of the last year, I got the impression your performances have become more and more political. If it was not for your “brutality” it also reminded me of Jello Biafra.

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Lydia Lunch: “Conspiracy of Women” was done many years ago. I began speaking about the tyranny of politics in 1982. I have always bounced between the political and the extremely personal, which is just a microcosm of the greater imbalance of power. My main theme.

Chain D.L.K.: You give the impression of a determined person with a clear perception of what she wants and how to get it, but is there anything you regret?
Lydia Lunch: Regret…never. Nothing. Ever.

Chain D.L.K.: How do you think you’ve changed from your early days as a singer/performer/writer. Obviously becoming “mature” — whatever it means — you know better how to do things, but I mean, do you perceive any consistent changes in your approach, in the motivations, or just in the expectations from when you started?
Lydia Lunch: I have been on a lateral trajectory my entire career. I have always dealt with the same issues, and probably always will. Obsession. Power. Sex. War. All one in the same. My challenge is to find new ways to express the same universal and unending battles. Until the battle is over, which it never will be there will always exist prejudice, inequality, injustice, violence, etc. I will continue to battle on…

Chain D.L.K.: I’ve read lately you’ve been collaborating with Asia Argento and with Gus Van Sant lately. Is there anything else in store?
Lydia Lunch: More music, more books, more photography, more films and a combination in as many ways as possible of all the above.

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[interviewed by Andrea Ferraris] [proofreading by Benjamin Pike]


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