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MINX Deluxe 2024

A gatefold remastered double CD edition of the 1985 album Minx will be released 26.7.2024

The 40th anniversary set expands the album into a deluxe 2CD edition for the first time. CD1 features the original album with two bonus tracks available on the 1985 cassette & CD formats only plus two non-album B-Sides, two extended 12” versions, and a 12” remix

CD2 contains 16 rarities of which 14 are previously unreleased: an unheard album session demo “The Fight” and a 7” Remix of third single “World In Action”, two previously unreleased home demos of “Perfect Day” and “School’s Out”, recorded by Toyah and Joel Bogen in the spring 1984, two previously unreleased instrumental demos of “All In A Rage” and “Snow Covers The Kiss” recorded by Joel Bogen and 8 previously unreleased backing tracks of “Minx” songs


1. Soldier Of Fortune, Terrorist Of Love
2. Don’t Fall In Love (I Said)
3. Soul Passing Through Soul
4. Sympathy
5. I’ll Serve You Well
6. Over Twenty-One
7. All In A Rage
8. Space Between The Sounds
9. School’s Out
10. World In Action
11. America For Beginners
12. Vigilante


13. Snow Covers The Kiss
14. Kiss The Devil
15. Don’t Fall In Love (I Said) [Extended Mix]
16. Soul Passing Through Soul [Extended Mix]
17. World In Action [Action Mix]


1. The Fight [One-Take Demo]
2. Perfect Day [Home Demo]
3. School’s Out [Home Demo]
4. All In A Rage [Instrumental Demo]
5. Snow Covers The Kiss [Instrumental Demo]
6. World In Action [7” Remix]
7. America For Beginners [Backing Track]
8. Soldier Of Fortune, Terrorist Of Love [Backing Track]
9. I’ll Serve You Well [Backing Track]
10. Over Twenty-One [Backing Track]
11. World In Action [Backing Track]
12. Kiss The Devil [Backing Track]
13. Don’t Fall In Love (I Said) [Backing Track]
14. Snow Covers The Kiss [Backing Track]
15. World In Action [Extended]
16. America For Beginners [Nocturne Blue Redux]

Warrior Rock 2024 
Don't be depressed, that's a distraction
Use your voice, if you want action
Go, from the hills, you've got to wake up, go!

The reissue of Warrior Rock is out now

Still hailed as one of the best live recordings ever the much loved fan favourite double album is remastered and expanded
on CD and vinyl including 26 previously
unreleased bonus tracks

Order the 3CD Expanded Edition HERE

Order the 2 LP VINYL Edition HERE

For all of the details see Official Toyah HERE

Watch Toyah announce the release ↓

New In The Archive

Check out all of the new stuff in the

PARKINSON, BBC1 October 1981
GET SET FOR SUMMER, BBC1 With Peter Powell July 1982
SOUNDCHECK Issue 1, 1983
HARTY, BBC1 8.3.1983
BBC RADIO ONE With Annie Nightingale and Sting 3.10.1983
BBC1 LIFE AND TIMES With Vanessa Feltz 2000
E4 THE LATE EDITION With Marcus Brigstocke 24.3.2005
BBC RADIO 2 With Rylan Clark 23.10.2021
BBC RADIO SCOTLAND With Billy Sloan 30.10.2021
METRO 60 SECONDS 2.11.2021
OK MAGAZINE 22.11.2021
MY TIME CAPSULE With Michael Fenton Stevens 24.1.2022
ON RECORD | IN CONVERSATION With Satnam Rana 12.5.2022
CHOOSE 80s @ CHILFEST 2.7.2022
HOW TO BE 60 With Kaye Adams 29.7.2022 
LOUDER THAN WAR With Nigel Carr 9.8.2022
BBC RADIO 2 BREAKFAST SHOW With Gary Davies 16.8.2022
XS NOIZE PODCAST With Mark Miller 25.8.2022
VECTIS RADIO 18.6.2023
ABSOLUTE 80s 22.6.2023


Interview by D. Fischar, A. Brannan, C. Nightingale

DF: What made you decide to star a group after acting on stage and films?

TOYAH: It’s something I’ve always wanted to do but never had the guts to actually get up and do it. I lived in Birmingham until I was eighteen and one night at a New Year's party I met some musicians and I said “look, I can write music, would you help me out? We started rehearsing for a year and the chance came to become professional so I did

DF: Did the punk explosion play an important part in deciding to start a group?

TOYAH: It was important to me because it was a form of recognition of my strange taste of clothes. I used to like wearing weird things. I started off about two years pre-Sex Pistols. I had pink hair and used to wear great big Andy Pandy outfits

Punk came along and it sort of justified my taste because everyone thought I should be put away in a mental home. It sort of saved my life. It did help, it gave me a lot of encouragement. I used to doubt my own sanity. I came along and helped me

DF: Did you attract a following straight away?

TOYAH: More thanks to "Jubilee" (film) than our actual music. The band has always had a following and it’s always been a strong punk following but we don’t consider ourselves a punk band. When we started off I used to be really outrageous. I used to be permanently drunk and I wouldn’t be able to stand up or say anything

I just used to stand up and fall over throughout the set and I slowly got myself together because I was just so nervous of singing. The following became a much stronger one. It was much more musically influenced rather than people just coming to see us out of interest

AB: You said you don’t call yourselves a punk band. Why not?

TOYAH: Because what is punk? I’ve never really known what is punk. A lot of bands, which call themselves punk, seem to be into just making a noise or a kind of music to move to, whereas we don't class ourselves as anything because we don’t really know what we’re aiming for yet. We don’t know the sort of music we categorise ourselves under so we like to remain free of categoratisation

We are thought of as heavy punk because I look like it. I’ve got the hair for it but it’s just out of personal taste. I hate black hair, which is my natural colour. If you’re going to dye it why not go the whole way

DF: How did you get the part in "Jubilee"?

TOYAH: I was at the National Theatre and at that time I was causing quite a stir because no one could understand what the fuck I was about. (The director) Derek Jarman happened to appear at the company and he wanted to make a punk movie to kill all other punk movies. I went to tea with him and he offered me the part. It was as simple as that

DF: In your interview with "Sounds" in ‘79 the band said they didn’t like that. Why not?

TOYAH: We signed to Safari in February last year and we had to get an album out and the band as yet wasn’t ready. We weren’t happy with the drummer and we weren’t happy with the bassist so we sacked them both. Due to contractual problems we had to borrow a bass player and a drummer and we weren’t really a band. We were not happy and to us the music sounded terrible

And me personally - I couldn’t sing, not as well as I can now. It was lack of experience. It was also overproduced. Too many ideas were coming from outside of the band. It wasn’t a band creation at all, really

This album we’ve just done, which will be out in May, is going to be called "Blue Meanings" and it's just fucking super against the quality of the A.P (Alternative Play, the EP "Sheep Farming In Barnet") because of the energy there. We’ve managed to put onto vinyl what we are like live rather than trying to be visual on vinyl. I mean there’s no one to look at

DF: Did Safari contact you or did you go to Safari?

TOYAH: Safari came to us after a review of a gig we did at the ICA
(Institute of Contemporary Arts, London), which appeared in "Record Mirror". Safari flew over from Germany to see us at rehearsals and we signed that day

We didn’t want to go to a bigger company. We had offers from bigger companies like Virgin and we just didn’t want to go because we were such naive little bunch of kids at that time

DF: What do you think about having your voice compared with Siouxsie Sioux and Kate Bush?

TOYAH: I think it’s a load of shit. I mean my voice is nothing like theirs

DF: You said you hated hearing your own voice. Why?

TOYAH: Because when I sing I sound different. When I listened to it, it destroyed the illusion I had of myself. To me my voice sounds so much like a little girl and I always think of myself as being big and strong. It just breaks down what I think of myself

DF: I think your voice plays an important part in the music, like at the beginning of "Danced"

TOYAH: Oh, right. I mean I’m not just a vocalist stuck in a booth. Another thing about the A.P. is that my vocals are too overindulgent and they block certain aspects of the music. On this present album my voice is more restraint with the band rather than just a vocal stuck on top

AB: You said you didn’t want to sign to Virgin. Do you believe in all this stuff about selling out?

TOYAH: Oh, no - I didn’t want to sign to Virgin then. We are going to be moving hopefully within a few years to a bigger record company because you can outgrow a small record company so easily and therefore you are blocking out your own career in other countries

AB: So you think it’s more a stage of growing?

TOYAH: Oh, yeah. If we went to Virgin I think they would have killed us completely. They would have been too heavy for us because we didn’t understand how dirty the record business could be. Virgin would have wiped us out completely. I don’t think Virgin would have been patient with us like Safari have been

DF: Don’t you think they’ll make you change your music or style?

TOYAH: No, they can’t. Record companies aren’t allowed to do that now

DF: Will some … (?) big labels because they might be pressurised

TOYAH: Only if that band is not able to get a deal together. It’s a general myth. Record companies do like choosing your producer and the artist to do the cover but if you really objected to do it then you can say “no, I refuse to do that” and you can make the choice. It’s only bands who really don’t know what they want to do that get fiddled about with

DF: I know you admire David Bowie. Does his music influence yours?

TOYAH: He influences my imagination but I don’t go "Bowie did this so I’ll have a got at it". He is the one person that can trigger my imagination when I’m feeling really down and uninspired. David Bowie’s the main influence but I’m really into beat music. Not the reincarnation of Mod but the real beat, musically

DF: I heard somewhere that the album tells a story. Is this true?

No, it doesn’t but the forthcoming album will do. The album from Germany was an even bigger embarrassment than the A.P because it is the A.P plus something like three other tracks. A lot of kids were buying the album thinking it’s going to be totally new material, which is a bit of an embarrassment to us

I mean OK, the album sold really well considering. It’s better quality than the A.P but it wasn’t advertised enough that it was the A.P and some tracks

DF: How come it was pressed in Germany?

TOYAH: Because Safari is a German based company and the album was purely for Germany but it was requested to come over as an import so to make it cheaper we had it moved over here so that it wouldn’t go up to £7 or something

DF: What’s all this about Nostradamus on the back of the German LP?

TOYAH: It’s all related to WW3. Everything on the back of the album is just things that could possibly happen. It’s just things that make you think. It’s nothing that I'm preaching and saying will come true

DF: Has it got anything to do with the music?

TOYAH: No, it’s just an avid vision

DF: Where do you get your ideas for songs from?

Very bad nightmares, usually. I have a fabulous time in my sleep, it’s really bizarre. It’s only a matter of remembering them. Usually a good argument starts off the best in me. It’s usually my life in general. If I have a bad day then I’ll write something really horrible

There’s a number on this new album called “She”, which I wrote when I had a really big fight with this old slag who I really hated. It’s the nastiest piece of music I could have done. I ? on because it was so perverse

In the "Sounds" interviews you contradict yourself. In the first interview you said that you help write the songs and in the second you said that you’re there just to sing and the band can do without you at rehearsals

TOYAH: I didn’t say that. The band said that and they’ve been severely talked to for saying that. The trouble with the band is that they are very paranoid that I get all the publicity and when they are included in interviews they just keep blowing it

I wrote “Victims Of The Riddle” and since then the band hasn’t forgiven me for how popular it has been and it’s just a band problem. The band said that, I didn’t. We have two rehearsals. A rehearsal where the band can jam for hours on end and a rehearsal where I come in and we get down to some self-controlled work

DF: How did you get the band together? Were you all friends?

No, Joel Bogen (lead guitar) and me are the original members. We formed it about three and a half years ago and then we advertised for a keyboard player. That’s when Pete Bush came along. We completed the rhythm section when Steve Bray (drums) came along

Do you prefer singing in front of a live audience or acting in front of a camera?

I like both. The reason why I do both is because I like them. I only do what I like doing and I’m not doing it for any other reason really. But I prefer singing to a live audience than in a studio

DF: In the "Sounds" interviews from ‘79 you said acting was your first love and the band was something you did just for fun

TOYAH: Yeah, that’s when we didn’t really have a band together. Now I can equally appreciate the band because it is a band now and not a bunch of arguing musicians - which we were then

DF: Do you still think that (about acting) after considering the band’s recent success?

Acting is my first love because it’s so much easier for me. It’s more natural for me whereas in the band I really have to work my fucking guts out because I’m having to keep up with four other men who are so much stronger than me in a way

They’re physically stronger and they can really take more than me but I enjoy the challenge. It’s the challenges that keep me going. I love challenges

DF: When you’re on stage you’ve been described as provocative and blatantly sexist. Do you think this is necessary to sell records?

TOYAH: No. It’s because I’m not a paranoid feminist that has to go “ooh, you’re a man, I hate men so fuck off!” I hate feminists because a real feminist, when she sees a man, freaks out on the spot. That isn’t what it’s about. Women are too intelligent, women are the superior race and women do not have to be so paranoid at the presence of a man

On stage I just take the piss out of men's sexuality by showing them I have no inhibitions. If they want to grab my tit they can but they’ll get a good kick in the bollocks for it. So I just provoke them and teach them that sexuality is nothing. It’s all up there (points to her head)

You said you want to change that now because of people who come to see you just because of that

Oh, it’s great. They shout “get your knickers off!” and just ignore them and let them get frustrated. I like to think I’ve ripped those people off because they’ve come to see me take my clothes off and they won’t (see that)

DF: Given the chance would you play in big places like Hammersmith Odeon, because most of the gigs are in small places?

TOYAH: We’re not that big. We’re not such a big band really. We haven’t had a top twenty hit, which is what really puts you in Hammersmith Odeon. I’ve never really thought about it

The thought of being that popular really does appeal to me. If we did play the Hammersmith Odeon I’d like to have a big budget. I’d want to put films on as well and really make it a big show

I’ve only ever seen one band at the Hammersmith Odeon, the Pat Travers Band and I just happened to be there at the right time. They were playing and I thought they were fucking awful. I just didn’t like the set-up because I was right at the back and you couldn’t see a thing. I prefer playing colleges to clubs

DF: Because of the atmosphere?

TOYAH: The audiences are so much better. The audience are all on one level and they can all see you because colleges have better facilities whereas in clubs you can jump and knock yourself out on the ceiling. Especially here in London

DF: You said you like your stage show to be full of lights and effects. How come you didn’t do this on your recent tour? I saw you at the Harrow Tech (8.2.1980)

TOYAH: Do you know what happened at the Harrow Tech. They had two plug sockets and I spent £200 getting a generator for the night and it could only just power the PA. The lights at the front weren’t allowed because there weren't any bouncers to make sure the audience didn't steal them

We had lot of problems at Harrow and apart from all that I had gastroenteritis. I was running to be sick everywhere. It was a bad gig

DF: How come your show at Harrow was so short because people were complaining at the end?

It was cut short. I collapsed after that gig. I was in hospital so that I could do the Music Machine (in Camden the next day). I was very ill. We cut out about four numbers because I just couldn’t go on. I was in fucking agony

AB: At the gigs you get some Mods because of "Quadrophenia" and you get a lot of skinheads who go round beating people up

TOYAH: I don't know why we get skinheads but we do. In London there’s a thing where you get a certain gang of skinheads who latch on to you (the band) to try to recruit people to the British Movement. It’s quite a big thing. They’ll go round using bands to recruit people. There’s nothing you can do about it because they’re so fucking good at it. It’s a real drag

DF: At the end of the Harrow gig all the black people were getting beaten up. How do you feel about violence at your gigs?

TOYAH: I can’t stand it but you can’t do anything about it. Especially us because we're not a big band. If I had had heavies (bodyguards) - we normally do - then they would have been stopping it. I do fucking hate it

I’d preach about it on stage if we saw it happening. We’re not a political band and we’re not going to get up there before any trouble has started and start preaching that it shouldn’t happen. That’s putting it into people's minds

CN: Did you enjoy making "Quadrophenia"?

TOYAH: No. I hated it but I got this feeling of having to do it. It was another challenge for me. It was the first time I worked with people of my own age. I was physically fucking exhausted throughout the whole thing because we’d been up at five and for doing a lot of riot scenes in Brighton. We’d have to run on average ten miles a day to shoot those particular scenes

We were ordered to run across the street (above, Toyah in the middle) and there was no one blocking the cars. A few people got run over and trampled by horses. I did enjoy it but at the same time it was fucking agony. It was at a time when the Mod movement hadn’t started off, which made it so much nicer and so much better because it wasn’t cashing in on a fashion

It was creating something that happened, like creating history rather than saying “oh look, Mods. Let’s cash in on it” sort of thing, which is what it turned out to be

CN: How did you get the part in it?

TOYAH: Thanks to "Jubilee". The director Franc Roddam saw "Jubilee" the night before he had a casting session and he asked me to to do it

CN: Did you find after "Shoestring" (TV series, Toyah played a singer called "Toola" in an episode called "Find The Lady" that aired 2.12.1979) that your success was boosted?

TOYAH: Oh yeah, it was really incredible because I didn’t think anybody would watch it because of the Gala performance (
Royal Variety Performance) on the other side. Instant success came for the band more than anything else

The audience capacity just tripled. The audience liked us before we went on and we had to prove ourselves not realising how interested the audience was in us because of "Shoestring"

CN: Did you enjoy doing it because it was a mixture of singing and acting?

TOYAH: Oh yeah, it was fab being able to combine the two because it’s so rare being able to do it. I really enjoyed doing it. Our bass player had pneumonia so we had to have a stand-in bass player

DF: You do remember the songs you played in "Shoestring"?

TOYAH: We started off with “Neon Womb”, then “Waiting” and it ended up with “Danced”

DF: Do you play a big part in the BBC production of "Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde"? (1980) (Toyah played a servant girl called "Janet", above with David Hemmings as "Dr Jekyll")

TOYAH: It’s not a massive part at all. It’s about the same as "Quadrophenia" but more important

AB: Would you like to make a film with the band?

TOYAH: Yes, we are going to (do that) in September. It was a film that was scheduled to be made in America and has now been brought over here. I’ve been offered the lead part in it

I’ll actually be doing all the music to it with a producer called Steve James, who has done the A.P. and the album which is about to come out and the band will be appearing in it. They might even get acting parts

DF: What’s the film going to be about?

TOYAH: The film is not supposed to be a musical, it’s a psychopathic murder thriller in which there’s a sort of rapist going round and it turns out to be me. It’s a really fucking good horror story and that’s why we’re doing it. The music just happens to be in it. But I haven’t signed anything yet! It might all fall through!

DF: Will you be putting new songs into it?

TOYAH: Totally new. We won’t use any of the old stuff. When we re-release singles I hate to release singles from the album and the B-side will be something totally new. So for the film we’ll be doing totally new stuff, which you’ll be able to get separately as a single track

DF: How did you get on to the Old Grey Whistle Test? (Aired 4.3.1980)

TOYAH: That was thanks to the album “Sheep Farming In Barnet”. You have to have an album to be on that and then you’re invited to it

DF: What did you think of your performance on it?

Awful. I think it was bad. My voice was terrible on it and also we had the greatest bad luck to do it in Glasgow. It was the second ever Whistle Test done in Glasgow and you got all the Glaswegians going “what do we have here? What knob do we twiddle?”

They just didn’t know what to do. And the lighting - we were saying "no, take it down. Let’s have moving lighting and coloured lighting" so it was an incredible battle against these Glaswegians but it was good fun

DF: Do you think being a woman had hindered your success in any way?

Well, put it this way if I could start all over again I would come back as man. I’d really prefer it because I hate people saying “oh, you’re a woman” and sitting back and waiting for you to fail

DF: You are obviously succeeding so aren’t you triumphing over them?

TOYAH: I’m triumphing over them but I’d still like to be a man. I always think of myself as a man and when people grab me around the tit I think "oh, God! I’m a woman". That’s how I am on stage - ignoring my sexuality

DF: What’s all this about a death wish?

TOYAH: I’ve got this death wish. I like teasing Dr Death and getting away with it. Put me in a car and I’ll crash it and if I survive I survive but if I die it doesn't matter because I have to go sometime anyway. It’s that sort of attitude. I like daring myself and if I fail I’m determined to do it again the next day to succeed

CN: You you dare yourself in the record business?

TOYAH: Oh, totally. They way I keep progressing is by dare that I don’t think I’ll achieve and it’s because of the fact that I’m so frightened of falling I manage to do it and I like that. It’s the permanent adrenaline that keeps you going. You don’t need drugs 



MAY 1985
By Antonia Willis

Toyah's video for her new single "Don'T Fall In Love (I Said)" shows a raunchy, aggressive side on a woman who enjoys and encourages a reputation for walking a bit on the wild side.

She also likes to project an image of quiet domesticity and is happy to talk about evenings at home doing sewing whilst her boyfriend of five years standing watches TV. This is a false image - as indeed is the other.

She is, above all, a dedicated woman. I suspect there is little life for Toyah outside her work. Her appearance is as much as publicity requirement as a personal expression, and despite the mane of red hair and the purple eye-shadow the first adjective that springs to mind is not outrageous or striking, but simply pretty. She is self-effacing, and eager to be taken seriously.

The old days of Toyah as a hell-raiser and well and truly over. I expect that she was probably much more fun to know then but a certain amount of "fun" has to be sacrificed in the pursuit of success.

I asked her is she felt she had become more professional in the part year ...

TOYAH: Yes, definitely. Until recently I was aiming for a kind of superficial fame than for a standard of work. Then I sat down and thought about what I wanted out of life. I wanted to be remembered as a singer and as an actress.

I wanted privacy. I wanted health - I've given up meat and alcohol - and I wanted lasting success.

What attracted you most: fame or money?

TOYAH: Oh, fame. No doubt about that. When the band first made it we didn't know what had hit us. We didn't even collect our cheques. We were so poor that we walked to the BBC, for Top Of The Pops ... I've got myself organised now. I've got plenty of money, but not much time to spend it.

When you do have time to relax and enjoy your millions, how would you like to live?

TOYAH: I'd like a great big country mansion with helicopter pad and a swimming pool and every room decorated as a different style. There would be an Art Deco room, a Georgian Room, an Elizabethan room ...

I rewind slightly before this nightmare vision. What period would you actually like to live in?

TOYAH: Oh, 2400 AD. By then we'll have sorted all our problems out. I think we'll all live away from cities. There won't be any wars, technology will be so advanced as to hidden and there will be no prejudice.

What makes you think this will happen?

TOYAH: For a start, people will travel more and more, and get to know what each other are like. They won't care so much about their own political systems.

Do you have any political instincts to change the world?

TOYAH: No, I'm very politically naive. I read all the papers - from the Guardian to the Mail - but I just can't make up my mind. I think you change people by giving them a sense of pleasure; by entertaining them.

You are obviously irrepressibly optimistic. Why?

TOYAH: Partly because I'm not worried about what happens to us all when we die. You see, I know that there is some kind of parallel world that we just drift into. I realised this when I once heard my Dad say that he was frightened of dying and I just couldn't see why.

Are you still close to your family?

TOYAH: Yes. They always laugh about things. When I first dyed my hair, my Mum got a bit uptight and clocked me - I had dyed it white at the back and she thought it had all been shaved off.

But when I let it grow back to its normal colour last year, she told me to dye it back. "You'll never sell your records looking like that" - she said.

Did you have a wild time in Birmingham?

TOYAH: Oh, indeed I did. I was in punch-ups all the time. It's much more normal up there. I got a big shock once, though, when I was twenty. I went out drinking with my first boyfriend, and there was this fight in the pub. I lashed out all over the place, and then went home and passed out.

The next day I went round to see my boyfriend; his nose was broken and there was blood all over the sheets. "Oh My God!" I said. "Who did that to you?" "You did", he answered. So I've been a bit careful ever since. I've learnt to keep my mouth shut, for a start.

Is that a quality your find yourself in need of?

TOYAH: It is. People bother me all the time. For instance, after I came back from France after filming "The Ebony Tower", the press kept wanting to get me to tell them bits of unpleasant gossip about Laurence Olivier (above with Toyah, Greta Scacchi and Roger Rees)

But here simply isn't any, you know - he is truly one of the most kind and remarkable people I've met.

Did you become very close to him while you were living together on the set?

I saw him a lot, because I used to stay behind at the chateau while Greta and everybody else went off to the town; it was incredibly provencial, and my red hair attracted a certain amount of hostile attention.

So I couldn't go out much, and Laurence Olivier used to stay behind to keep me company. He was like that; truly considerate.

Did you feel at tall tempted to identify with the part of "Freak" in "The Ebony Tower"?

TOYAH: No, not at all. It was just apart. The chateau had an incredibly seductive atmosphere, though. I almost cried when I left.

What's your next big project?

TOYAH: I'm going to tour again. I want to get back to the music world; it's important for me to juggle the two careers. I'm going to tour America, where I've never been. We're going to do both coasts, but I'm not sure about middle America.

I wonder how you'd go down there. Last time I was in Texas the best selling song was "Drop-kick Me Jesus Through The Goalposts Of Life"

TOYAH: Yes, that sort of thing's really pagan. I'm looking forward to the west coast, though.

Won't you find it exhausting?

TOYAH: I expect I will. I always lose the upper range of my voice during the last few days of a tour, and that really scares me. It's like asking a guitarist to go on stage with only two strings.

How do you like to relax when it's all over?

I paint, or just sit in the garden thinking. And sometimes - not often - I like a good night out on the town. The other day I went to the White Elephant Club, then on to Tramp, and I loved it.

There were a lot of press people, though, and that makes me a bit nervous. The media operates under its own rules, and they are very tough.

Did you ever feel you've been misrepresented?

TOYAH: There are times when I can't even recognise myself in the things that have been written ... but I don't particularly mind. Life's so busy and if you need publicity, you take the knocks. I enjoy myself. We all have a certain amount to put up with and I have a lot less of that than most.

I could believe it; there was something quite disarming about her which probably stemmed from the fact that she was so obviously enjoying life.

"We all thrive on pleasure", she said. "But you have to work at knowing what gives you the greatest enjoyment. It's not drugs, or sex, or parties for me. It's my acting and singing and when I'm too old to do either of those, I'll paint. It's a good life." 


IN 2023

From the DVD of The Changeling Reissue 2023

TOYAH: 1981 ended on such a high. It was the ultimate point in our lives at that particular time. It was extraordinary but we were really exhausted. We were exhausted by the sheer amount of people who needed to talk to us, be with us. We needed to do things. I remember in the lead up to Drury Lane the little things like signing 10,000 Christmas cards, and only having a week to do it in and also doing eight to 14 interviews a day and concerts. Dealing with an incredibly cold winter.

I know just before Drury Lane we played Milan, and we were outside. We were in a tent but it was still outside and this was December '81. I can remember the band could not physically feel their hands.

Every band will tell you that when success comes a great deal of pressure comes with it. And you do want to please everyone and not let anyone down and don't let yourself down.

So by the time we did the last number at Drury Lane (below), and we all retired upstairs for a drink at the bar it was a massive release. Well, yeah, I suppose that's a Freudian slip - it was a massive release. But it was also a relief that we were going to have a breather.

The year before, exactly 12 months before, we made “Four From Toyah” with “It’s A Mystery”, “Revelations” and “War Boys” so we didn't have Christmas off. We knew that we were going to have until the New Year off and then we had to start the next album.

We were in a state of elated exhaustion. But also retrospectively looking back we didn't have the luxury of time that we had to write “Anthem” in. The pressure was really, really on. The pressure was on Joel. We were being pushed into new technology with digital recording. We had to explore all of that.

We did know very early in the year that we wanted Steve Lillywhite on the project, because all through touring around Europe, through Germany, all we ever played was Steve Lillywhite’s production music from Peter Gabriel, right through to everything else he was producing at that time. We knew we wanted to work with him but we hadn't got one song written.

So finishing the year with Drury Lane was the happiest time of my life but also we were staring into the abyss because we weren't quite sure what was going to come and what was happening. But one thing we really did know is we wanted to up the age of our audience. There was no pressure on us whatsoever.

We kind of had creative respect, but there was a lot of dynamics going on that made the creative flow very, very difficult. We were having management problems. I can't remember exactly what those problems were - whether it was creative pressure, or just distraction.

But it was a big problem for me and Joel. Halfway through recording “The Changeling” we changed management. We had to. Joel ended up hating the manager. I felt harassed by the management. You've got to remember back then a woman was almost an object. You were pushed around. You were manhandled. I remember going alone into a management meeting and I was told to pack a suitcase. I was never leaving that office and I was never going back home to my boyfriend.

So there were very extreme situations going on. I don't feel that anyone was interfering with the creative process because Joel and I really made a very solid decision that we wanted to be a bit more of an adult band than the audience we won over with “Anthem”. There's also the positivity in that we were going to take that age group with us as they grew older. So we were consciously avoiding pop. That was a decision we both made.

At this time Phil Spalding, the bass player, was very much part of the band. (Keyboardist) Adrian Lee left the band just as we started recording to start his solo work and he met his wife Lorna Wright. Simon Phillips came on board, which was an absolute blessing.

Simon had the airy, creative openness that we were craving so badly, that we’d experienced with “Sheep Farming In Barnet”, with “Blue Meaning” and with “Anthem”. He just brought the joy of youth back into the room.

So I'd say that the pressures we were under when we were doing “The Changeling” were dynamics. There was a huge problem with dynamics around both me and Joel. Joel prewrote most of the music on a four track recorder and he didn't involve me. I can't remember whether this was because I was making a programme called “Dear Heart” for the BBC. I just wasn't available because of the endless interviews.

What I will say we never had that time in a studio, in a rehearsal room with a band, to play the music in. We never had that time. That is a problem with success. So that could have isolated Joel in his creativity, which meant, again, similar to “Anthem” I laid the top lines and the lyric lines over the top of what Joel had written.

So by the time we got into the studio, Joel and Steve Lillywhite (below with Toyah) already had quite a pronounced relationship. I felt really isolated from that relationship. I think Steve Lillywhite wasn't a female producer. That said I think the production he did was absolutely amazing. But it's taken me a good 30 years to address this album and revisit this album - just because I was in a really bad place.

There were other things going on. My brother was one of the very few Harrier fighter pilots ever to have successfully be trained. The Falkland war broke out and the whole of my family were having sleepless nights that he was going to be called up. That affected me very, very badly.

So there's all these dynamics going on, that weren't friendly dynamics, within 1982. So, I wasn't going to war, I wasn't sending a son to war, but the energy caused by Thatcher and the Falklands War was destroying lives.

Joel and I really wanted to write something quite deep and wanted to avoid pop and in retrospect, I think that year really needed the lightness of pop. But what we did do, I think, is a really substantial body of work at that time.

In the writing process of “The Changeling” I didn't gel immediately with what Joel was writing. Joel wanted to make the songs much more complex. He comes from a background of loving jazz, and being very accomplished in that field. I came from a background of learning on my feet through punk and musical development was a lot harder for me. I'm a top line writer. I'm a lyricist. I hear melodies in my head but it doesn't mean I hear the complexities of key relationships and all of that.

Joel was presenting me with songs that really demanded a lot more from me as a writer. Because of that you've got the blessing of growing and broadening in the process, but it's also a painful process. So with things like “Castaways” he went back to what is almost a similar structure to “IEYA”, where the verses alternate being longer than the one before.

With “Castaways” every verse was longer than the one before. So when I was writing that lyric I had to have a continuity of story to justify that verse being two bars longer. So that's much more demanding.

When I sat down to write “Anthem” I was being slimmed down by the industry. I was actively on diet pills to be below a certain weight for Top Of The Pops every week. I would take my diet pill and write the lyric. I'd be in absolute 7th heaven because the whole of that thing that the amphetamine was carrying me along. By the time we got to “The Changeling” I had to move from my heart as a writer into my head.

I'm always creative through movement, because movement unlocks my creativity purely on a very basic level. It makes my synapses work as a dyslexic. I was having to use a kind of academic part of my brain that has always been underdeveloped because of dyslexia, and it made it a lot harder for me.

But looking back when you look at the imagery and the depth of the lyrics and the journey Joel took musically, I actually think this is one of the most substantial albums of my career because of that difficulty and that stretching. I suppose people do it. They'll run the extra kilometre when they're training. They'll lift that extra weight when they're training. For me I had to go beyond my comfort zone in a big way.

The history of 1982 affected the writing very, very deeply. Looking back, you can just see it all. The need for escapism, with things like “Castaways”. The examining of druid culture in “The Druids”. “The Angel & Me”, the examining of my own sanity under this pressure.

It was a very deep, dark year of, I think, my generation, who always expected a Cold War, suddenly seeing a real physical war. None of us wanted it and none of us relished or enjoyed these people fighting over this island. It was just ridiculous. It affected everything.

I don't voice myself through politics, I voice myself through emotions. That's what came out in my writing - deeply emotional things. With “Creepy Room” I think what it was about was the absolute anger I was feeling of the industry and almost the opinion of other artists of being unsupportive at a time that wasn't very politically correct. And me just going “I'm different to you. So fucking what?!”. “Creepy Room” is about allowing the demonic forces in and just being badly behaved as a form of protection.

The decisions at this time were mainly by Joel and myself. We were still the driving force within the whole of the project and how the band went forward. We've always loved Steve Lillywhite’s work because of the journey of the musicianship and the journey of the vocals. When you listen to Peter Gabriel's first two solo albums - which are politically brilliant, but they've also sonically never been bettered.

We felt that Steve Lillywhite would be the right person to put us in front of the original punks we played for in “Sheep Farming” and with the sophistication of “Blue Meaning”. We wanted to bring that audience back into auditorium as it were. We felt that Lillywhite was the only person that could have done this.

What we didn't realise is really how instrumental Peter Gabriel was in his own albums. I know Peter now. My husband, Robert Fripp worked with Peter. Peter is someone that will wipe an entire track. He’ll wipe entire album if it isn't sonically right. He will allow himself to take five years to write an album. We had three weeks to write an album and another three weeks to record it. That put us all under pressure.

Another pressure that added to this is we went digital, which is a far harsher, unforgiving sound than anything we were ever used to. It was harsher for the vocalist. I suppose it's like someone hearing their voice for the first time. They never like what they hear. Suddenly, with digital you have this hard edge sound, which I found very uninspiring. I found it brutal. It was brutalist in everything that we put to the digital machine.

There was also another problem that every time I was near it, it would break. I have this strange thing about me. I break watches, I break phones, apps will just go crazy when I'm near them. These machines - I got banned from being in that corner of the studio.

So I would have to walk into the studio, circumnavigate around the master desk and just stay as far away from the recording material as I could. The people who built the track system said that I have some magnetic relationship. This used to happen near the 24 track as well, that if I went too close it would blank the tape.

So I just had to stay away, which was really alienating. People were firstly seeing me as someone who has stay at the far side of the room, and secondly is the artist. So it's very bizarre to be banished from your own creative processes. Another technical thing that I found quite difficult in the very beginning was we were recording at the Roundhouse studios. There's one huge main studio, then a narrow corridor, down about six steps and then you're in this big live room.

So in the beginning, I had to stay in the live room to not break the recording system. So I was having to communicate through the class and eventually they'd let me into the room when we had enough tracks down. So all of that kind of alienation really ate at me as a creative process and having not had the live rehearsal room process to play the tracks in. I was genuinely struggling on this album as a singer.

What the technology affected for me was I couldn't experiment the way we did on the other previous albums. The previous albums had so much joyous experimentation. “Let's try this backing vocal. Let’s try this sound.” We just didn't dare do it. We were eating up so much time with breakdowns in the studio. Going back to “Anthem” what (the producer) Nick Tauber would do was give us, in the headphones, the fully produced track.

So you've got this rich, beautiful event coming into your ears. What we had with “The Changeling” was harsh, brittle, almost painful to listen to. It was the raw sound.

So if I wanted to try something with the backing vocal ... it just fell flat. It never lifted. There was very little experience on “The Changeling” album when I listened to something. That lifting, that emotional lifting of the spirit just held you up. In fact, as an experience of performing that album, I've only ever felt that lifting in this millennium when we've actually performed it live.

You feel that the arrangement of “Castaways” and the build actually lifts you as a performer. “Angel & Me” lifts you as a performer. “The Packt” - I mean my God (what it's like) to perform that live! I've only experienced that emotional lift in the live performance. Never in the studio. It was very strange.

In 1981 the band dynamic was beautiful. Everyone in that band was family. Adrian Lee, Phil Spalding, Nigel Glockler (drums), Joel. We were just so happy. Nigel Glockler got approached by Saxon and Joel and I feel that the management were not supportive. The management were gearing me up to become a front solo singer and we were no longer a band.

Adrian Lee I think had to make a really difficult decision to move forward as an independent artist, an individual artist, who could also produce. I think the management weren't supportive to him and he just broke free.

Also, Joel writing everything pre the album musically on a four track and not really inviting the others in to contribute to the music. It was like “this is what I want, this is what it is”. It meant the others felt even more like a backing band. What saved our morale, I think, was the arrival of Simon Phillips, who arrived with a great big open heart.

He was a beautiful replacement for Nigel Glockler because Simon had this vast array of equipment, vast array of creative ideas. He lifted life into the demo tracks and we could see how they were going to work live. I've never ever been 100% comfortable in the studio anyway. I feel music when I'm performing live, but Simon Phillips made those tracks work.

Having guest players on the album was really uplifting and exciting because they brought in outside influences. There was a feeling within the mixing room, which didn't feel like Abbey Road. It didn't feel like Marquee Studios. It didn't feel like the Battle Studios. It felt like a dead room and that is what studios are. They're dead rooms. I need ambience. I need natural reverberation.

So when guests players came in, like Andy Clark and The Haircut 100 boys on brass, they brought in outside life. This is the album also that reconnected me to Simon Darlow, who I started as a songwriter with and have been writing songs with ever since and will continue in that partnership. The outside people brought in very necessary outside positivity at that time.

I was able to undergo vocal training during that album because I wanted to expand my abilities as a performer. I studied opera at school so opera wasn't new to me, but the training of the voice was so it didn't get destroyed while touring, because it's very common for singers to just give over 100% per night and not have anything for the next night. So it was really important to train. I think what it would have done is anchored me down to the beat and I always used to sing across rhythms and sing across beats.

I mean for goodness sake if you look at “Victims Of The Riddle” and you look at “Sheep Farming In Barnet” I'm not keeping basic timing. I'm just moving with how I am emotionally moved. With “The Changeling” and also working with Adrian Lee, because Adrian Lee started to anchor me down on “Anthem” and with “Thunder In The Mountains” - I was starting to place myself as a singer within the structured bars and the vocal training really helped me do that. It helped me have confidence in my singing.

But I have to say while singing on “The Changeling” what I was working to in the cans was impossible for me. It just was impossible. I can't remember who the engineer was but up until that point I was working with engineers who understood what a singer needed. I wasn't getting it through the cans so I ended up singing as best I could from memory from rehearsing in the morning. It’s as simple as that and that can happen. It happened to me on “Desire” as well.

I never got what I needed in the cans to amount to what the finished track would sound like. So it's working to kind of basic sound structures. A really great singer, who knows the song really well, could sing just to the drumbeat. But I was singing to new material I'd never performed live so I needed more information. It was just challenging.

Going back to “Anthem” that was an album that inspired quite a few European writers. There was a book that came out, a French writer and it's called “The Fury”. He dedicated it to me and to the lyrics of “Jungles Of Jupiter.” So there was always a lot of interest in what I was writing with filmic people. Films constantly are going into development that never get made. So I wouldn't say I was writing for a horror film or writing ever for stage production. I was writing what the music inspired in me and made me feel.

So let's look at “The Packt”, which is the most perfect song for a horror film. It's a very dramatic piece of music that I was presented with. Very structured that completely made me see in my head good against evil. The battle of oneself within oneself, voices in the head and the battle of being a woman in this industry. So within “The Packt” there's this story going on of the devil killing femininity.

The evening it was written I was in a health farm. I locked myself away to do the lyric writing so that I could just be away from my home environment, which was not good at that time. There was a massive storm going on. It was about nine at night and doors were blowing open. At one point the windows actually blew open. The storm was that bad. It was a spooky room. That kind of lent to the information and the colour and the imagery within “Angel & Me” and “The Packt”.

I have no idea why only one single came out because the album sold really really well. It was about this time that Joel and I felt that we were receiving disinformation. It could also be about this time that (the record label) Safari was moving into First Night Records which was all about Western musicals.

I think we just weren't a priority anymore. It's very, very strange, that time, because we had to find new management and then eventually, I think two years later, we left Safari and I went with CBS Portrait. It was just a difficult year. It was a difficult year for everyone.

When you look at the album single wise, I'm not sure what could have been another single off that album. “Brave New World” was actually a very brave choice because it's a very adult song when you look at the history of my singles. It's a very grown up song. It’s beautiful. My goodness when we play it live today the audience go crazy. “Castaways” could possibly have been a single. “Run Wild, Run Free” could have been a single. It would have been very brave to release “Angel & Me”.

I just don't think the team who promoted the album and the record label understood the album. It went on to inspire many, many new bands. Joel’s sounds on that album - you can hear the influence in U2. You can hear the influence in other bands that followed it. It's a very inspirational album. I think it was at a time and people didn't know what to do with it.

Creating the imagery for the single artwork was really great fun. I loved it. I was in a good, creative, ongoing relationship with (hairdresser) Robert Lobetta, who created the hair. We wanted to move away from the pink hair pictures and the crop hair pictures. We wanted to go in a far more extreme image environment.

We brought in Carolyn Cowan, who was a watercolour artist but also a makeup artist. She came up with this idea from having heard the track and me telling her it's about breaking away and starting again and it’s all about new beginnings and trusting the future so the future can come and find you.

She had this idea of my face being the sky and putting clouds on and painting birds on. She did that as an actual watercolorist. She did it in real time. It took 12 hours. We didn't shoot until late in the afternoon. So Robert Lobetta created the hair, Carolyn Cowan created the face and we shot it, I think, literally in an hour.

I wanted some extra shots. I wanted something that kind of broke the mould of just having head and shoulders. So I said “can we go outside and just improvise with the camera and just mess all this up? So that it's not so precious and not so pristine.”

So we found an alleyway and we found all this rubbish that hadn't been collected. We threw it in a pile and I just dived into this pile of rubbish as if I'd been thrown away and discarded. The whole physical idea of this was I was a doll and the doll had been discarded. The child had grown up and didn't want this doll anymore and threw it away.

That's how we got the back cover. The day was just fabulous. It was so wonderful to kind of recreate and go through all of that process. We were a really good team.

But by the time the single came out, “Brave New World”, we knew the concept of the album and obviously “The Changeling”. Not fitting in, not being accepted, being an outsider, which is very much the entire theme of the whole album. Standing outside of the opinion of others and living by their received opinion.

It's part of the punk ideal of standing outside, but it's also - I found as a woman, and as a woman who didn't look like a supermodel - I was constantly on the end of received opinion and mockery. So “The Changeling” is like saying “well ... you think I don't have value, but the changeling has greater knowledge than you.”

So it was me just being really defiant. When it came to creating the idea of the video I wanted to really play on the concept of this. We had to shoot on Hastings beach about seven in the morning so my makeup went on at midnight, because we did what's called a 24 hour shoot.

We put the makeup on in the studio in Wandsworth, then we drove to Hastings. The idea was that I had to walk backwards into the sea so that film could be reversed so it looked as though I was coming out of the sea completely dry to give my character otherworldliness.

We then had to drive really fast to get to the studio in Wandsworth to shoot that really short sequence of me walking across two islands, across water and I'm surrounded by white rabbits because we only had Battersea Power Station for one hour. So the crew had to be a double crew that went ahead. So we have one crew in the studio and the second crew was setting up at Battersea Power Station.

I wanted to be seen riding on this very large white horse even though I had no riding lessons. I think I've only ever been on a horse once before and I just had to brave it. I couldn't say “I need a bit of time on this horse”. So the horse hadn't been fed and they put the horse box with the hay in about 500 yards away and it just bolted so the camera had to keep up with me.

By the end of that sequence I'm actually shouting into camera “how do I stop this!?” Get me off his fucking horse! I'm out of control! I don't know what to do!” And then we went back to the studio and finished off the cityscape shots. So it's a long day but it is a fantastic video.

(The photographer) Bob Carlos Clarke was a huge inspiration to me. His work was dark, it was experimental. It had depth of field like no other depth of field. He also would hand tint and I just really liked that he could probably take me into a different space. He was complex to work with. He always felt very pressured by life and let's face it, he ended his own life.

So he was complex to work with but utterly brilliant. I said to him I wanted to be the outcast within the cover. I've been outcast, I've been banished from the society thus the castle in the background. I just want to be the rebel outside of everybody else's lives.

So he came up with the concept of sitting on the rock. We also arranged together having the horns made and I think (make-up artist) Pru Walters might have come in for the body painting on this. I don't think it was Carolyn. We just set about making it happen. It was one of the worst days of my life because he did something to me that I think in today's society you wouldn't do to anyone.

When I arrived he took me into a room with his book collection and said "have a look at this". It was a book on everyone who'd been beheaded by the guillotine and it was a before and after book.

In that moment I died. I'm an empath. I tune into people. I experience what they experience. And in that moment I died. It took me years to come back from that moment. We then went and shot the cover and I was in a very bad place. No one could understand. There's there was no one I could tell. There was no one in my life I could talk to and I was haunted by this for a very long time.

So as usual I get up, brush myself off and I'm a survivor and I get on with my life. But I would easily say that was the worst day of my life and we had to move on from there. It just took a long time to get back from where that imagery put me.

The title for me came from the discovery of folklore and within folklore what a changeling is. A changing was a child that was swapped in the cradle. The fairy folk would go into a home and take a baby and swap it for one of their kind. A changeling. That just really related to everything I felt about life.

I had a very difficult relationship with my mother. She very famously within our family, when I was born - and I was conceived and born in the same bed at home - she said to the midwife “this is not my child”. And she would tell people “this is not my child.”

It wasn't until I actually became successful in 1980 that she accepted me as a human being. So “The Changeling” came from how I was brought up. I had a mother who had me exorcised when I was 14. She had me put in religious education when I was 14.

She thought, because I was never christened, that I was possessed and she was just absolutely convinced that there was something very wrong with me. That's where the title comes from (laughs)

I had no strength of conviction of what was coming out. I think it was a very masculine environment. I had no one I could talk to. There was no empaths on that album. I certainly didn't talk to Simon Phillips even though he was a great friend. I put all the onus on myself that I was in a bad place. I had conviction in what I was writing as a lyricist. But my confidence was eroded by lack of positive feedback.

When Simon Darlow came into the studio, it was just a ray of sunshine. Because he came in knowing me and knowing how I work as a writer and how I work as a singer and that was really gorgeous. But what I will say is yes, I was in a dark place. I don't have happy memories of that album but it is a bloody astonishing album and I think Steve Lillywhite did an incredible job.

But you have to remember things were happening to me. During this time the isolation was tremendous. I was told to come in at 5.30 one day to put a vocal on and Joel (above with Toyah) and Steve Lillywhite didn't arrive until about seven. They’d been out to dinner with their girlfriends and hadn't told me.

I was just sitting, waiting in an empty studio. It was emotionally a very, very difficult time. There were dynamics going on that I couldn't articulate or understand. But I'm a fighter and not a loser. So it just made me a stronger person.

I do look at “The Changeling” very, very differently. It's still a very painful album to visit. It's like when I wrote The Humans’ “Sugar Rush”. My father had just passed away and all the grief is in this very brilliant album. But it takes me right back there. With “The Changeling“ performing it and listening to it takes me right back there.

The bridge that has bridged me to this body of work are my fans and what it means to my fans. You cannot ignore the fans opinions because they live something from your life experience and they give it a new interpretation. So I just know that this album is incredibly important to my loyal fans who have stayed with me for 45 years and that is why I respect this.

The extraordinary thing about touring this album in 1982 was the effect it was having on live audiences. So even though it was a difficult album to make and I was living terrified of losing my brother to the Falkland war … the live shows were iridescently brilliant. We had Simon Phillips on drums. The pedigree that brought to this band was amazing, but to actually have the dynamics of a song like “Angel & Me” and the audience loving that song.

Performing “Castaways”, which lifted the whole energy within the auditorium. Performing “The Packt”, which the audience love the sheer storytelling and drama of. The touring was much happier as an experience that year than the making of the album.

Performing the songs live I have utter respect and so much respect for Steve Lillywhite. Nothing has changed my emotional journey while performing them. I'm profoundly uncomfortable with that album. But you've got writers who would have chopped their fingers off writing a book and yet it's their best seller.

I totally understand that within creativity ... creativity doesn't have to be easy as long as the end process has an audience and the end result has an audience. I have utter respect for everything about this time in my life.