10 May, 2010


HOST: She’s worked with film director Derek Jarman, acted with Katherine Hepburn, sung with Adam Ant, had a Top 5 hit with "Thunder In The Mountains". She’s also wrestled, got her jaw broke in a stage fight, become a Buddhist, married Robert Fripp and what else? A new band, I mean what else can we throw in here?!

TOYAH: Oooh, everything! Forgot to use the kitchen sink!

HOST: You have done a tremendous amount of stuff in the last while, haven’t you? Is it because you have so many talents you want to keep going this way and that way and that way or is it that you just don’t know what you want?

TOYAH: No, I do know what I want. I want to act and sing and I’d like to involved with anything encompassed under that umbrella. So basically I’m just a performer who likes to work and I think that’s why my biography just looks ridiculous.

HOST: It’s amazing, isn’t it!

TOYAH: I know and it’s also very confusing because you know, I just go off on tangents and I think the habit there is that I like to do things that are a challenge, I don’t like to do things that I’ve already done before so I always look for new things.

HOST: Was Janis Joplin someone ever that you were keen on? As a singer?

TOYAH: I loved her as a person, um, the singing for me left a lot to be desired because her voice was actually incredible before she was famous and by the time fame had caught up with everybody she was actually kind of ruined by drugs and alcohol and that incredible voice of an angel had gone a bit. I just - I like vulnerability and Janis, even though you think of this incredibly strong female, I think she was incredibly vulnerable and that makes her really lovable and accessible.

HOST: I do wonder, while you were saying, this, you know strong character with a vulnerable streak. Can you see yourself at her?

TOYAH: Erm ... Well, I’m not a druggie! (laughs)

HOST: No, no I didn’t say that, I said a strong character with a vulnerable streak?

TOYAH: Yeah, yeah, I use vulnerability. I think vulnerability, if you’re in control of your own vulnerability, it’s the best part of you to exploit. It’s the most attractive part of anybody … so yeah, I have a lot of respect for that and I hope I am, I hope I’m not a tough cow!

HOST: How did you ever become a Buddhist? Change your outlook on life?

TOYAH: Well, I’m not a practicing Buddhist really. I just think I have Buddhist values. My father was a Buddhist. I don’t chant and I don’t meditate or anything like that. But I do like the humanitarian side of Buddhism. I don’t really like the Westernised side of Buddhism, it’s not a commercial religion for me at all, it’s something that comes from deep in the Tibetan hills. And I like the history of Buddhism.

HOST: Is it something that Robert (below with Toyah) enjoys as well?

TOYAH: Robert, oh he’s a confusing one! I think he’s a Gurdjieffian, part of the Gurdjieff people -

HOST: Gosh, I don’t know -

TOYAH: Which is an Eastern based thing as well, but he is really disciplined, me meditates every morning.

HOST: He’s an extraordinary individual to interview as well!

TOYAH: Yeah! (both laugh)

HOST: Totally different people you are! How the two of you came together is quite extraordinary, isn’t it?

TOYAH: (with a girlie voice) Oh well … (both laugh) Opposites attract!

HOST: Very much so! And you see so little of each other!

TOYAH: Yeah, that’s a bit of a bummer! (laughs) Erm, he’s on a world tour at the moment, he’s in Japan. I was supposed to see him last week, he was at Paisley Park in (Minnesota) Minneapolis and I went to get my ticket and there was a marathon on in Minneapolis so I couldn’t even fly within 50 miles of the city! So I’m afraid I’ve missed the boat on our three week curfew.

HOST: How long have you been married now?

TOYAH: Seven years.

HOST: Is it – is it – does that keep it alive, the sort of, like each time you see each other it’s sort of romantic all over again because you don’t see each other very often?

TOYAH: I think we’re very romantic, I’d like to think that if we were together more we’d still be romantic. Erm, we’ve never tested the water there. There was a tragedy this summer, his mother died and he was home for three months and it was lovely. I mean we knew she was dying so we accepted that but what was really nice was we could be together as three people.

Before poor Edie joined the angels as it were and that was just the most amazing time for us, it was very special indeed. And I kind of know that if a time comes when we’re retired and we’ll be together every day, erm, I think it will work really well.

HOST: I’m sure it will. Now, you got yourself a new band here?

TOYAH: Well, this is Friday Forever, they’re a band in their own right. We start touring on Friday and we’re playing the Borderline on Saturday. This is a … rock band for the want of a better word … (asks the band) Would you agree with that?


TOYAH & HOST: No! (both laugh)

TOYAH: They’re a very good band! (all laugh)

HOST: But they’re not a rock band?

TOYAH: We’ve just finished making an album together called "Leap!" which is coming out in the New Year. So we’re just off on the road.


TOYAH: Doing real rock venues. Do you want a number?

HOST: I think that would be great. What do we go for ... ”Now I’m Running”?

TOYAH: Yeah!


They play "Now I’m Running"

HOST: I don’t think you mess with this woman (both laugh) Definitely!

SONG: “Ouf The Blue”

HOST: New song from Toyah Willcox, "Out Of The Blue" and an album coming out, that’s "Dreamchild."

TOYAH: "Dreamchild" is a dance project, it’s a kind of conceptual project which "Out Of The Blue" is off, just to let you know.

They play “Invisible Love”

HOST: (Recites the lyrics) “Someone needs you.” Nice. I like that. "Invisible Love." Who’s that for? Come on? It wouldn’t be down the telephone line to Minneapolis or anything like that, would it?

TOYAH: Actually it’s a bit of a tearjerker, I wrote it the day I was told Lawrence Olivier died.

HOST: (Intrigued) Aaah?

TOYAH: And I only worked with him once but I was really very fond of him.

Toyah’s ‘Dreamchild’ album, first released in 1994, is reissued as an expanded “Special Edition” CD in June 2010 on Cherry Red Records.


You can also listen to the interview HERE


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