Interview: Lydia Lunch


This was one of those horrid phone interviews, with Lydia Lunch calling from New Orleans to Provo (which she’s probably never heard of). Thanks to all those folks who helped set up the interview…

SLUG: How long were you in the studio for the new album?

Lunch: A week.

SLUG: How many times have you worked with Rowland S. Howard?

Lunch: I’ve worked with him on and off for the last eight years. We did an album in 1982 called Honeymoon in Red and we did an EP, Some Velvet Morning in 1984 and then we did this (shotgun wedding). 

SLUG: And did you like this one?

Lunch: I love working with Rowland, he’s a delight, a true original.

SLUG:You did something with Jim Thirlwell too?

Lunch: Many things.

SLUG: Isn’t there a new single out?

Lunch: Yeah, “Don’t Fear The Reaper.”

SLUG: How long has that one been out?

Lunch: I don’t know, because there is always a difference between the time something is finished and the time it sees light of day. When my work is done, when I’ve created something, as far as I’m concerned it’s finished when the record company gets it out. That’s something I can’t be chasing after. Especially with, y’know, 2 or 4, or 5 things coming out a year, it is very difficult. 

SLUG: Did you do any touring for the new album?

Lunch: Yeah, in Europe.

SLUG: Are you planning anything out here?

Lunch: No. 

SLUG: Never?

Lunch: Not now. 

SLUG: Have you done any touring within the last 5 years?

Lunch: Not musically in this country. It’s too difficult. I have only done spoken word shows in this country. It’s far too difficult to do musical presentations here. First of all, the clubs suck, the sound is terrible at most clubs and there are no lights. Treatment is atrocious and it’s too far to traverse. It doesn’t make sense. I pity young bands coming up that think they have to tour this country. I mean, I’m sorry for the fans and the people that would like to see some of these performances but, for instance, there are many performances I do one time time only in Europe with music that could never be done here because of either the budget, the situation or the people involved. I am not into playing skuzz rock clubs. Why should I? If you want to hear the music you can buy the record. 

SLUG: What are your current interests right now? What do you do usually?

Lunch: I am now working on a college spoken word tour. 

SLUG: Is that all over or just…

Lunch: Yeah, that’s for this country. I don’t know. This spring, end of fall. I mean, I feel especially with the upcoming elections it’s important to try to tell people what is really going on instead of what they’re forced to hear about.

SLUG: How long have you been in New Orleans?

Lunch: A year. I like it. No bands play here, so it’s very nice. 

SLUG: It’s one of those cities you don’t hear much about. 

Lunch: That is why I moved here—not much goes on here. When I’m touring or creating there is enough chaos. It’s time to lead my day to day life in the delta or the desert. No threat of distraction.

SLUG: Did you live in New York before?

Lunch: New York, Los Angeles, all the same.

SLUG: Didn’t you do some books?

Lunch: I did a book with Exene Cervenka called Adulterers Anonymous. I also have another coming out in a few months on Last Gasp called Incriminating Evidence.

SLUG: What is that about?

Lunch: That’s just a compilation of plays, stories, poetry and prose. A lot of stuff that I don’t really have a format to perform live in. Therefore, the written word is the most appropriate form.

SLUG: Is it difficult getting published?

Lunch: Well, not if you go to Last Gasp, I guess. I don’t tend to deal with the bigger companies for anything. I don’t find I need to. 

SLUG: Have you done any films lately?

Lunch: I’m doing another film with Richard Kearn this spring in New Orleans.

SLUG: What’s that about?

Lunch: It’s about a woman that marries a cop to set him up for a drug scam that she’s running with her brother. Blames him and then takes off. Kinda Ma Barker.

SLUG: Have you started work on that yet?

Lunch: Yeah, we started writing it. This is the first time I’ll be doing a film that deals really with fiction. 

SLUG: What have the others been about?

Lunch: Feminine abuse and the psychology behind it and the propagation of the cycles of it.

SLUG: What are the titles of these?

Lunch: Right Side of My Brain and Fingered.

SLUG: Are these hard to get a hold of?

Lunch: No, very easy. Just write to DEATH TRIP Films. P.O Box 1022, NYC 10019

SLUG: Well thanks for your time. 

 Lunch: Good luck.


For more from the SLUG Archives:

Books & Literature: December 1991

Record Reviews: February 1991