Peaches' Electro Shocks
By Noah Michelson
The self-proclaimed 'queen of electro-crap' took to her throne ten years ago when she unleashed her throbbing album-length lesson on sexual liberation, The Teaches of Peaches. Since then Peaches has kept class firmly in session, collaborating with everyone from Iggy Pop to Pink, waging a carnal war against Dubya ('Impeach My Bush'), and peddling countless merkins from her merch booth. Now, with the release of her fourth album, the suggestively titled I Feel Cream, the singer says she's no longer worried about being perceived as hardcore and instead she can concentrate on singing and rapping. The result of her new found sonic freedom? Songs like the gospel-tinged, electro-soul showstopper 'Talk To Me' and the hypnotic title track which is as close as she has ever come to dipping her dildo in the deep end of disco.
Out caught up with Peaches at the legendary burlesque club The Slipper Room on New York City's Lower East Side to chat about getting name dropped by Radiohead, the death of electroclash, and badly behaved groupies.
Out:Where was your head at when you started writing I Feel Cream?
Peaches: I decided that I had already made 3 self-produced albums. I did everything basically myself. I thought it would be fun for me and -- also a good learning experience -- to collaborate with other people. That's where my head was at -- I tried to not spend too much time alone.
You've collaborated with an incredible list of artists on their albums and you're always getting name dropped by huge names. I even read a rumor that Radiohead listened --
Supposedly they were constantly listening to 'Fuck The Pain Away' when they wrote In Rainbows.
Really? I never heard that. Actually once I was at an award show and I had to give Radiohead an award and they weren't very friendly.
Maybe it's because I acted like I won the award. [Laughs] That's funny. I never heard that Radiohead was a fan.
Do you find it strange or annoying that you have so many big name fans -- Madonna, Britney Spears -- raving about you and still you've never really been accepted by the mainstream?
I'm sort of the like the pioneer. The pioneer is always on the ground and everybody pushes off from that point. Personally, I like it this way. I don't really want to be Madonna or Britney Spears. I really don't want to be them. I'm happy they're them and I'm not. I know that in the past and throughout the years a lot of people, even record labels, have told their musicians to be like me -- a little bit, but not too much. I feel like I'm lucky because no one tells me what to do.
Let's talk a little bit about electroclash.
Yeah we can talk about electroclash because it's a genre that died as soon as it became popular. I never liked the word electroclash, but to be honest with you everything is electroclash. New rave is electroclash. Post-new rave is electroclash. Anything that fuses electronic music with anything is a clash of something with electro. The word sucks. I always called myself the queen of electrocrap because I just wanted to make light of it. It's all the same really. People think electroclash died and then hard electro came. It's all the same. It's all inspired by the same place.
Do you give a name to what you do?
I just call it electro. I don't care about a name. In a way it's funny because on this album I decided not to use any guitars at all so it's probably the most electro album I've made.
A few tracks, especially 'I Feel Cream,' are almost disco --
It's totally disco! Before this album, I made a conscious effort not to sing so much. I didn't want to be placed into that category. I didn't want to do anything too much. It was a conscious choice to be really minimal and really stripped down. I learned a lot by doing that. I was very hard on myself -- that's why I feel like I achieved more and more lyrically. It's funny because I sing more on this album. I rap more on this album actually. I also have different subject matter. I think I've established myself as hardcore so at this point I can do whatever I want. I didn't want to be anything but hardcore to start with. Now I feel like I can show more of my singing -- not even a lighter side, it's the powerful side too. The song 'Talk To Me' is really soul-electro. It's something I've always wanted to achieve from way back when I did 'Lover Tits.' It's sort of like my first soul-electro song.