What was the first song you remember hearing (ever in your life)?
I remember rolling on the floor and hearing Leonard Cohen on the radio, and a lot of songs about drugs.
Were you formally trained on an instrument or in digital music?
I learned to read music and play the recorder when I was 6; classical piano when I was 9; jazz and blues improvisation when I was maybe 23. Digital music, however, I taught myself. Some friends have taught me things about production, among them specifically are Richard Torry, formerly of "Minty” and Alex Silverfish, the techno producer and DJ who sadly passed away ten years ago. I also taught myself to play the guitar badly via the internet.
You've been performing and producing music for quite some time now. Do you have a ten man team behind the scenes marketing you this way? Like a 'house of gaga'? Do you have a House of No Bra?
There is absolutely no other person involved - I wish there was!
Bruce La Bruce called you a 'Gender Warrior'. What is your weapon of choice?
If you had to pick an instrument to represent Donald Trump which would you assign him?
I see Hedi Slimane took the photo on your website! How did you get so well knit into the fashion scene? Was it through your music or just mutual friends?
I think with the way I look I always get approached by fashion people and I do have quite few friends now who work in fashion. With Hedi Slimane, it was part of my private performance series that led to this. Basically in the early 2000s, Hedi Slimane would often pick UK based musicians to be in the dior shows or make the music for them, which would often give these artists quite a lot of publicity…However, they were always male, of course, because he likes men and well it's menswear! So when I found out (through some friends) that he was casting for his next show, I thought I would go along and dress like a dude to see what happens. I think they were a bit confused, and they obviously realized that I'm not a male, but that's how i met Hedi. And then he came to my first US show (at Studio B in Brooklyn organized by K8 Hardy, in 2007) and took these photos.
You walked the runway for Gypsy Sport in some really wild tights - I have to ask, what were those tights like and how were they to walk in?! I would love to know everything about them.
They were just like regular tights with stuff hanging off them, maybe earrings or souvenir things. They felt really normal to wear barely noticeable. You have to ask Rio what the backstory is! I think the collection was based on recycling and refashioning existing things that he found in Paris.
Are you ever just "not in the mood" to go on stage and do your thing? It's only human, right? If so, what do you do to pump yourself up for showtime?
No, I’m always in the mood. I mean, you prepare yourself mentally of course. It's what I chose to do so it would be a bit lame to not be into it. Actually it’s more like I usually can't wait to be on stage.
You travel all the time - what are the top ten go to items to pack with you for touring or traveling? Anything you can't live without?
I like to take as little stuff as possible cos it gets really heavy so just like shoes and 3 different jockstraps or other stage looks and basic toilet items…..make up….another set of underwear and my equipment of course.
How do lyrics come to you? Is there a way to entice them?
No set method. I get a lot of ideas when walking around or on the subway or before sleep. Also when talking to people - When you say something and people laugh you realize there might be an idea in it.
You are 99 years old, congratulations you lived a long time! Where would you rather retire? NYC, LONDON, BERLIN or LA? You must choose, you've not much time left!
With climate change being way underway I would say London cos it has hills and the climate is relatively mild. This is if I can still live there post Brexit.
As a 99 year old, what are you wearing and who/what are you listening to?
I'm obviously naked and listing to my friends play music on self-made instruments in our self sufficient commune. There would be some animals chiming in too.
If you could learn any skill in the universe, what would it be?
Reading people's minds.
Who do you "roll" with? Do you have an entourage or a "squad"?
I had a "posse" when i was 19/20 years old. But now I usually go to places by myself.
Is your dad super supportive of you? "papa no bra"?
He just recently asked me again what it is I do and what the point of it is. He's not against it but I think he just can't place it because he doesn't know about popular culture. And, of course he's thinking, she could have been a doctor rolling in cash by now instead of living in a bedsit. My friend Rckay came up with the idea of the "no bra clan" and "papa no bra" but it's more like wishful thinking. Actually, they do think it's fabulous on some level especially my mum. She's been wearing a lot of wrap around shades recently.
Can you tell us what it was like to be a part of McQueen's runway show, "The Hunger"?
I was studying photography and film at the time so I was trying to make use of the situation and get some good backstage shots.
Images courtesy of NO BRA
words ASHLEY MUNNS
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