Music & clubs

A chat with Lydia Lunch

Confrontational no wave and spoken word pioneer Lydia Lunch returns to Berlin, this time with Big Sexy Noise, her collaboration with longtime English imbibers Gallon Drunk. Prepare your collision course for Thursday, September 26 at Wild at Heart.

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Photo by Veronica Ibarra

The confrontational no wave and spoken word pioneer Lydia Lunch returns to Berlin for the second time in a little over a month, this time with Big Sexy Noise, her collaboration with longtime English imbibers Gallon Drunk. Prepare your collision course for Thursday, September 26 at Wild at Heart.

You’re a real wanderer, currently based in Barcelona.

I’ve lived in Barcelona for eight years and love their pleasures and joyous spirit, but I will move to Kentucky soon: it has a great deal of interesting museums and architecture. I loved the Southern Gothic feel of New Orleans. I love being in the woods, doing pagan rituals. I’m a romantic, I enjoy life and every beauty – when you create something and you are not terrified to be yourself – is important to me.

Who are you today? Have you changed much?

I’m a positive nihilist, a faggot truck driver embracing contradictions. I refuse to shut down or censor myself. I’m not miserable, and have become the No Wave Nostradamus. I’m an ancient ‘hysteric’ driven to reclaim what’s been stolen from women, when nature was worshipped. At 12, I had a voice to speak the truth: The Female Perspective. My energy hasn’t stopped – now I am more seductive.

And you’re alive. Did you think this would last so long?

At the start it was only for survival so, yes, I’m surprised it’s lasted till now. It’s fun when the world goes to hell and we rock and roll. I have done a great deal of dirty things without falling down. I keep my deviants behind closed doors.

You’re constantly on tour. 

Yes, with [scum rock supergroup] Retrovirus and Big Sexy Noise. I’ve known James Johnston and Ian White of Gallon Drunk since 10 years: we are noisy, dirty, raunchy and rocking hard.

You like it hard.

I am a fan of Monster Magnet. I popped one of their cherries when he was 17 years old.

You ate him for lunch, living up to your identity.

I arrived in New York,  poor and hanging out with Willy DeVille. From my job, I used to bring him food to CBGB. He would yell: “It’s LYDIA with LUNCH.” Russ Meyer, who didn’t know who I was, said it’s the greatest name in the porn business. It is my identity, but it’s only a fucking name that wasn’t even my idea. Today, I wouldn’t call myself that.

You support the Conspiracy of Women, a political party run by women for women.

Yes! A planet for women without male dictators. This world is run by patriarchs who push the class system of sexual segregation. Our job as women is to use our voices to encourage others not to be terrified. The US government is my main target as they cause most of the world’s stress. We need to get rid of the ‘God gland’ in our brain in order to progress. I see myself as Cuntfucious, the humanist. I don’t have anything against men; I love men.

What have been some of your most successful and intense collaborations?

I loved recording with Rowland S. Howard in New Orleans. Jim Thirwell and I shared a perfect vision as a couple, geniuses with egos. I followed the Birthday Party to Europe, even though Nick Cave didn’t get me artistically. On Richard Kern’s and Beth B films, I needed to explore brutal situations derived from reality. My collaborators must be disciplined and organised, though spoken word is my favourite self-expression style because it is intimate, direct and ancient. I don’t judge people.

Big Sexy Noise f. Lydia Lunch & Gallon Drunk w/ Jon DeRosa and DJ Wildball Thu, Sep 26, 21:30 | Wild at Heart, Wiener Str. 20, Kreuzberg, U-Bhf Görlitzer Bahnhof