JO GOOD: I've just literally poured out my heart to Toyah. We've been talking about my flat, we've been talking about me having my phone on (Toyah laughs) The producer's come in an said "why is it not on silent?" But you understand, don't you -

TOYAH: It was me calling you  -

JO: She came in and Toyah went "it was me calling you". Well, she needs no background but let me just read this: “In 2008 Toyah released the album “In The Court Of The Crimson Queen” and now she's back! She is re-releasing the album with 5 additional new tracks" 

She has obviously had a career spanning music, songwriting, acting, producing, writing. Later in the year she's going to be back on tour. She'll be coming in the Islington Academy in October

I know her also as an actress. I've interviewed her on stage in Chichester. I've interviewed you everywhere
and you are always ahead of the game! I was just talking about social media ... Are you a big social media fan?

TOYAH: I have all the social media outlets and I provide the content but I employ someone, who I met when he was 4 years old, a Toyah fan, who was considered to be my youngest fan. He's now just hit 40 and he now manages my archive, my social media, he's even the executor of my will

He knows more about me than I do and he runs all my social media for me because I don't have management. I manage everything, which is exhausting and very time-consuming. So I need that person that can do and keep an eye on the social media. Otherwise I just couldn't get things done

JO: But do you totally trust him then if you've known him all those years because trust is everything, isn't it?

TOYAH: I write to him every week and I say “did I ever write this song?” and he says “yeah yeah yeah” and he sends it (to) me. He actually knows more about me than I could possibly know. So I can go to him and say “I think I did this in '78?” “No no no, you did it in 1980”. He just puts everything right

JO: What a gift -

TOYAH: It is a phenomenal gift -

JO: Did you always manage yourself or did you use to have managers? 

TOYAH: I've managed myself since 1990. My life turned around in 1990 and I think it's this thing that only you know yourself. Up until that point I was living off £30 a week and having huge success. The minute I started managing myself I acquired wealth and was able to start investing in property and stuff like that

But it changed my life around in every way because I had to be responsible for myself. It's not ideal because at the moment I'm going through a huge resurgence and I'm finding that I really need to be an artist - not a manager! But I can't just find that person who's willing to work 20 hours a day, which what I do. It's a very busy time -

And also who has all the knowledge -

TOYAH: Yes -

JO: All the history in their head of what you do and what you can do and when you're available and what you've done in the past. It's so essential, isn't it? So to plug someone new into your life ... But, Toyah – you look good on it. Whatever you're doing ... you really good on it

TOYAH: Thank you very much!

JO: So you're re-releasing the album with 6 new tracks?

TOYAH: Yes, the album has only been available to my fans. I do, right round the year, four shows a week. This is how I keep my voice in tip-top condition so we are actually touring now. The fans have always had access to this new music

And then about four years ago a London musical called “Crime and Punishment”, based on Dostoyevsky's play, came out at the Scoop Theatre at Tower Bridge and they used all the music of this album

This album has had a life but it's not had what I call a public rock'n'roll life. So on my 60th birthday on May the 18th last year my fans - who are very aware of what I do, because I play in front of 100 000 people or more a year – downloaded me to number one in the charts. I was an unsigned artist and I couldn't get radio play because I was unsigned and there I was at number one ... 

JO: Power to the people -

TOYAH: Yeah! Power to the people. We very luckily got a record deal. That allowed us to put live drums, live bass, re-record certain aspects of it, write five new songs and re-release it. And really it's a brand new release because only the chosen few knew about it

But it's had an incredible life already. Some of these songs have been in movies. “Sensational” - which you just played, was the theme song for a Weight Watchers campaign for quite a while so it's had a life but it now deserves a big audience -

JO: And “Crime and Punishment” - did you offer it to them or did they ask you?

TOYAH: Phil Willmott, the writer of this incredible script – it was one of the best adaptations I've ever read – just wrote to me and said "I want all the music on this to be your music"

And for some strange reason everything I've ever written fitted into the story. He made it fit so beautifully and it was a joy to see this. I was in tears to see the music been given such respect. It worked and then it promoted the album yet again

People wanted to have it and they wanted to get hold of it. Now they've got this beautiful double CD that was released today on one of the biggest download sites ever. You can get in one of the biggest internet shopping sites as well – I don't want to be commercial on a BBC station. And tomorrow is International Record Store Day and you can get the vinyl version of it in independent record shops -

Don't you just love that?

TOYAH: I do love it -

JO: What's the most recent track on it that you've written?

TOYAH: “Dance In The Hurricane” was finished in January and that's the opening track. It's a very passionate track to me because it's about surviving grief. I wanted to write the whole album from where I am at this age. I don't want to be pretending to be thirty, I don't want to be pretending to be twenty. I'm a magnificent 60, going on 61 year old at the moment and my life has been rich and I want to write about that

“Dance In The Hurricane” is very much about trusting the world again, trusting life again, trusting love again after grief. For me, while I writing this album, both my parents passed away and my co-writer Simon Darlow's father passed away and there were many times over the past ten years we stood in front of the microphone just crying. Because we wanted to express that depth of feeling

“Dance In The Hurricane” is probably one the most positive affirmations about how we continue to love life and we honour the people that brought us into the world by loving life. So for me it's a really important song

JO: Gosh, I'm just listening to you, because like me you're child free, aren't you?


JO: And we've been banging on about "Fleabag" (a TV series) Have you watched "Fleabag" at all?

TOYAH: No, I don't get time -

JO: When her mother dies she just says “what do I do with all this love?”
And I just thought oh, my God! What an extraordinary line to write! She's a lot younger than you and I, Toyah. She's like in her thirties probably and I just thought how do you know that at that age? I guess you do though? Grief is grief, isn't it?

TOYAH: It's a such an important thing in our lives. It's not something to be swept under the carpet, it's there for a reason. I had someone in tears with me two days ago because of living with this loss ... I say to people you learn to live with the void being present. There's this void but you learn to live with it and it enriches you in a very strange way. It is what do you do with this love? 

For me the biggest thing was I never got on with my parents the way most people do but I really loved them and they really loved me. But it was a very dysfunctional relationship. One things I miss most is I want to pick up the phone and tell them what I'm doing

JO: Of course. The first person you call, isn't it? “Hey look what I've achieved”. You can show off to your parents, can't you? We're the generation where there was a generation gap and you were a wild child so there must've been a generation gap -

TOYAH: Huge!

JO: They must've been scratching their heads over what their daughter was getting up to?

TOYAH: Yeah, my mother used to be a regular caller at the Samaritans (a UK telephone helpline) -

JO: Really?

TOYAH: I only learned this in my 20s when one of the Samaritans contacted me! (laughs) I don't think they should've but they said “your mother is beside herself. We tried to help her but you've really got to help her too!” She just couldn't handle me at all because I was uncontrollable

When you say you do four shows a week - what do you mean by that?

TOYAH: I don't want to do a big block tour. It's so necessary for me to go on stage and have my top notes. About eight years ago I re-trained my voice with a voice coach from The Royal Shakespeare Company and it gave me back my full octave range. I'm known as a really big singer. If I'm doing three months of back to back shows I'm not going to have those top notes

So I have three days of vocal rest a week. The pattern of work I tend to do is Thursdays and Fridays I do my acoustic "Up Close and Personal" show, which goes on in art centres. Saturday and Sunday it's the big rock band show that goes into big rock venues or festivals. That allows me to work at 150%, which is what I want

JO: I think you're amazing that you just sorted that out! Who's your band now?

TOYAH: My band have been with me for at least 15 years. My MD is Chris Wong, who tolerates me and my work ethic, which really does put most people on their back (Jo laughs) I have Colin Hinds in the band, who's in China Crisis, Andy Doble, my keyboard player, Mike Nichols, my bass player and John Humprey on drums

We're very much a family. I owe a lot to them because of this whole Brexit thing. People have been very scared about booking shows and I do well up to 60, sometimes a 100 shows a year. I've not been able to give them pay rise so I think they're very loyal to me. This year there's a lot going on, it's kind of ascending very quickly. I'm getting rather exited that I might be able to give them a pay rise!

JO: I love your honesty. I love you telling us that. I don't think anyone's ever told me how they manage their band financially -

TOYAH: Well, Brexit -

JO: Well, everything is on hold, isn't it?

TOYAH: It's really crippling but this year people have seem to have lost that fear and it's all coming back. It's really busy. I'm already booked for next year, which is fantastic -

JO: You are so fit looking as well … Do you practise yoga? Do you work out? Or is your work out on stage?

TOYAH: I don't work out. What I do is slightly controversial. It's basically no wheat, no dairy. I allow myself once a week to have a piece bread or to have a piece of ice cream. It's controversial in that I keep under my daily allowance of calories, which is really important. A woman needs 2500 calories a day, some people say 2000. Well, I try to keep just below 2000 a day

That makes the body work for you. If you go over that you're overloading your digestive system, which slowly starts to play havoc with your internal organs. It is controversial. Some people keep well below that. They keep to a 1000 calories a day. I can't function on that, that's starvation. But I'm very fussy about what I eat but basically it's just eating clean

So many emails, I've only got time to read this: “Toyah starred in my all time favourite movie “Quadrophenia”. This year is the 40th anniversary of that film. Has she got any plans to go partying in Brighton?”

TOYAH: Yes! There's a lot a going on in Brighton and Gary Shail is in the controls there. Gary played Spider in “ Quadrophenia”. So Bank Holiday weekend August we're all ascending. Nicky Weller, Paul Weller's sister, has a book launch at The Grand on the Friday

Then on the Saturday I'm not sure what is going on but on the Sunday we all ascend on Brighton Pier where Gary Shail has hired the Pier for the day! I dread to think what's going to happen! (laughs) I think it's going to be absolutely magnificent! But all of us have already got together, Leslie Ash, Sting, Timothy Spall. Everybody in the cast has already got together and shot a documentary for Sky Arts (above) That is going out in August

JO: This is an exclusive. Nobody knew that. Give us the date for the 40th Anniversary party?

TOYAH: It's the last Bank Holiday in August, Sunday the 25th

JO: You heard it here first! Now, your album, which is released today, so go on - tell us where people can find it?

TOYAH: It's “In The Court Of The Crimson Queen” and it's available on something that begins with A. Am I allowed to say it? ... Amazon -

JO: Yes, go on, say it once!

TOYAH: OK. Amazon

JO: You said it twice (laughs)

TOYAH: I apologise BBC. That's the double CD. Beautiful artwork. And then the vinyl is available in independent record shops tomorrow. It's crimson coloured vinyl

JO: And if you want to see Toyah live in London, you can in October, on the 27th in the Islington 02 Academy. You are extraordinary. Can we please go and have a photograph taken with you?

TOYAH: Yeah!

JO: C'mon, lets do it! Thank you


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