Danielle De Picciotto was born in Tacoma, Washington, and moved to Berlin after fashion school in New York. Taking the confessional into the realm of illustration, the multidisciplinary artist details her experience as a live musician and a woman in these pictures for COLD LIPS. Check out her monochrome, ornate self-portraits here, and keep scrolling for an online exclusive full transcript with this inspirational co-founder of the Love Parade with our zine’s founder, editor and publisher, Kirsty Allison…
HACKNEY ROAD, 3rd October 2015
DP: When I moved to Berlin there was like a really, really strong underground fashion scene. And, I did fashion back then, the first fashion show that I actually did was in the Parkhaus too—
KA: Oh really?
DP: …and KaDeWe was the biggest department store, it still is, in Berlin, and their garage…they did a HUGE fashion event, and the fashion things back then were like performance in fashion? And music? Like you know, Ramstein?
KA: Yeah, yeah, I love Ramstein.
DP: Yeah, they started out actually doing music for fashion shows and sending people clothes in East Berlin and stuff like that—
KA: Oh really?
DP: So there was like a really, super strong, really great fashion scene…and then it kinda disappeared in the 90s when all the English, actually, the English designers became really popular. Like the whole…kinda techno-fashion and young English designers…they became really, really popular in Berlin, and all the Berlin fashion designers stopped doing fashion. Anyone that wanted to get good stuff had to go to London. And only now I think in the last 8 years has the fashion been back in Berlin, and it’s become a lot stronger again.
KA: It’s got a really strong look, the alternative Berlin thing, I was going over there a bit a few years ago, black came back from over there… it’s like cultural capital, it feels like people are interested in sub-culture again, after mass connectivity, and the era of bling celebrity. It feels like a sort of interest…like last night, with the thing you were talking at, in Red Gallery.
DP: Yeah, that was interesting…
KA: Some cool kids were down there…
DP: Yeah. I just read this thing, I can’t remember if it was in London or New York, that some people stormed this store…?
KA: Oh, I filmed it, I videoed it.
DP: Oh really?
KA: Yeah, I videoed it: Class War. It’s called the Fuck London Fuck Parade.
DP: Uh huh.
KA: The new Love Parade, ha! I was walking from one party to another that I wasn’t really going to get to on Saturday, over Brick Lane. And I was like, what is that music? It’s louder than usual. Followed it. Feeling something resonate in my soul. And then I’m outside the cereal shop, all there are three sound systems on trolleys, and a lot of people in Spiral Tribe gear. And, then I realised I’m standing outside the fucking cereal shop, and they’re starting to lob stuff at it. Police are coming…
DP: So, why were they doing it?
KA: Well there’s a cereal shop there that is this like icon of “hipster.”
DP: Oh, okay.
KA: So basically they charge £5 for a bowl of cereal, which is Twinkies in like, pink soy milk. People say that £5 is too much for a bowl of cereal, when there are people starving and there’s a food bank down the road.
KA: However, previously this shop was an arts video shop that charges £5 to hire a, you know, like John Cassavetes movie, so it’s maybe not the best thing for them to be targeting because there are estate agents and there’s Pret-A-Manger that has opened up in the area, it’s an independent business, but is such an icon in the media, they really worked. And it gets everyone talking about it.
DP: Yeah. And they were saying that people were actually not even necessarily demonstrating against the gentrification, but just because they’re saying that the rents are too high, and they’re going crazy…it’s obscene.
KA: It’s vile.
DP: It’s not okay. Yeah, it’s vile. I think it’s great that something like that is happening because it’s just not okay to make people pay that much to be able to live somewhere.
KA: And the state that people have to live in as well, you know, bunk beds in rooms, and bouncer women minding the places, locks on doors, so that’s all you can afford if you’re just coming to London to make it. People are being forced to live like rats. The government can get statistics to prove anything. All they do is talk in rhetoric, like they’re advertisers for their parties rather than minders of our wellbeing. I was reading a housing bill the other day, I was shocked that it was all from the perspective of cash rather than citizens.
DP: In my book for instance, all the interviews I did in the States, everybody centred in on that gentrification thing, like because the scene is getting to be so big that it’s obvious it’s making people so unhappy that you know, two years ago, people were hardly even mentioning that. Like, okay, there were saying “it’s getting too gentrified,” but, now they’re really zoning in on the thing everywhere.
KA: Over here, there’s one building here in Folgate, they’ve totally superseded council regulation and gone straight to the mayor to try and get it signed off. So local council rules are getting ignored. And so all the work of the community to protest against the new groundbreakingly unimaginative block of flats that are 25 stories high and building a shadow over the whole of the area, so they’re saying “we don’t actually care about the complaints, or the council system, or the citizens.”
KA: The developers then say they invest in the arts and the community which seems to be all they need to do, but they’re co-opting the arts and the community, not investing in it.
DP: Ah. I don’t know, it’s disgusting, it’s just so disgusting.
KA: But it’s also just change, isn’t it?
DP: I guess! I guess, but why does it always have to be in that kind of horrible direction? You know? Why does change always, I mean, I don’t know, somehow…well I don’t know, maybe it just has to go over the top for it to collapse again. You know? In Berlin, you can tell, for instance, when the wall came down, you know, all the artists went there, they got their studios and they did their parties, and then the designers, the Berlin designers and the Berlin people…the richer ones came, they took the stores, and it became really expensive, and art just kind of moved out. And now it’s become a tourist centre, and all the people have moved out. All the designers have moved out. So now it’s just like, you know, Gap or whatever. And at one point, it’s just going to be…those are going to move out too because already now they’re starting to say Berlin isn’t the art capital or whatever. And as soon as the tourism collapses again, and those people are going to move out, and the artists can move back in! So I guess it’s just like, you know, whatever. It’s a cycle. Has to go over the top for it to collapse, and then you can restart again somehow.
KA: Yeah, but I don’t know if it actually does work like that. Because what’s happened in Chelsea, I mean that’s just another mess really, the High Street certainly is just shopping and expensive housing. And Notting Hill. And around here, it’s the same thing happening here, and then you just end up with areas like Covent Garden that have got very little soul left in them. And they’re just identical cities you see everywhere that you go, right?
DP: Yeah, I mean for instance, Manhattan is interesting because everybody’s…it’s just so over the top but—
KA: Yeah, Manhattan’s gone crazy.
DP: Yeah, completely, and so, like Soho and East Village and all those people can’t afford…they couldn’t afford living there anymore, so they all moved to Brooklyn, and now they’re moving into Bushwick, and it’s…so Manhattan isn’t necessarily getting cheaper, but it’s getting really rundown, and I could imagine at one point, cause nobody really wants to live in Manhattan anymore, it’s just become this place where people work, so I could imagine at one point it’s going to like, nobody’s going to want to be there, because other places are so much nicer. So then it could go down the price again. So, I don’t know, I think it takes time. Of course, in general, it’s just becoming more and more extreme of the super, super rich, taking over that whole city, and everybody else moving out…
KA: It’s just how long that the super rich…if there are only one percent of them, you know, I’ve done some work exploring this, and, they build so many luxury flats, but they can’t sell all of them.
KA: And there’s only so much, so many flats that the super rich can actually afford to upkeep or want to upkeep. And then maybe they prefer to stay in hotels, some of the time
KA: See, it’s weird, I was re-watching a film called “Cathy Come Home,” it’s a British film, but it was made about homelessness in the 60s. And, it’s like said to be one of the first documentary films that kinda were about the drama as well. They had a lot of freedom back then. There’s loads of shelled out, bombed out spots, slums, and the situation was a lot worse then, I mean, look at Down and Out in London, and Paris or whatever it is, and actually, walking those districts from block to block or whatever…I mean, it’s not as bad for most people now, but that was a normal, common occurrence than it is now. But, I just think the standard of living in London particularly is now just insane and difficult if you want to be creative. I think that’s the problem.
DP: Yeah. How do people manage?
KA: I mean, how the fuck do I manage? No really? I do manage! I luck out on a daily rate every now and then. And you know, those corporate gigs. I often get “oh it’d be really good for you!” It’s for a bank, but they’ve got no money.
DP: “We’ve got no money?”
KA: Yeah, hilarious. It’s because the agencies are so greedy. And you’re just fucking me. Fucking me right up the ass. And I’ve had the same thing from car companies, come get filmed, or be on this opinon-leader engaging panel, and it’s like fuck off! I don’t want to be polluting the planet. And not getting paid for it!
DP: It’s really, really difficult. All the people I know in New York…it’s really, really difficult.
KA: See, in Berlin, you can still just about, it’s still, the rent there is still lower.
DP: Well, they’re lower than here, but they’ve risen…they’re rising incredibly, all the time. And the problem about Berlin is that the pay rise has always been really bad there. For all jobs. I mean like doctors, teachers, even like those kind of people, they earn 1/3 of what you usually earn in other German countr cities, for instance.
DP: Oh yeah, it’s really bad.
KA: Why’s that? Because of competition?
DP: It’s always just been a poor city. It’s been really poor, and then after the wall came down and they had to take over all the East, you know, it’s just always been poor.
KA: And it’s the influence of the East still there, yeah.
DP: Also, because when it was, you know, when it was an island, it was basically a city that was subsidised, because it couldn’t really keep itself alive, so. It only lived off of subsidies, so it was very, very cheap to start out with, and then when the wall came down, it took over all the East, Eastern people that moved in, and its Eastern parts, so it’s, it’s always been terrible pay rise. And so when everything was really cheap, you know, you only had to go out and work once a day, at once a week, and you could pay for the costs because it was so cheap. But now that everything has risen, the prices, there are still paying you the same amount of money, so it’s…people have come to Berlin thinking it’s easy to survive there because the rents are cheap, and they basically starve, because now they’ve become straight, straighter to their work permits, you can get a work permit for instance as an American in Berlin, but you can only get a work permit for that what you actually do, so for instance if you’re a dancer, you’re only allowed to work as a dancer, but because dancers don’t earn enough money, they’re not allowed to work on the side. And so, I’ve seen people come and go that basically starved to death in Berlin and had to go back to their more expensive cities, because they said at least they get better paid, and that way can…
KA: Is there a black market of jobs and stuff there?
DP: Not really no, they’ve really cracked down on that. They’ve really cracked down. So it’s much more difficult. It used to be that everyone was working on the side some way or the other…
DP: So, everybody there’s like doing jobs on the side too, even though the rent is low, because, we just don’t earn. Everybody, you know, if you want to DJ at Berghain, people DJ for a third of the price that they would do anywhere else, because Berghain is like, okay we’ll pay you like 500, and while DJs that usually get like 3000 or something, they’re like, you know it’s Berghain, if you don’t want to, you don’t have to. And everyone in Berlin is that way.
KA: Yeah, there’s an arrogance about that, every single industry now, particularly the things that are perceived to be glamorous. I mean, media, and internships here, that’s the cuts as well, you know, there are whole industries and businesses built around interns being willing to be suckers.
KA: And they expect, you know it’s part of their business plan. To exploit, really. You do get experience from it, but you have to be able to afford that experience.
DP: Yeah. The difficult thing in America that, it’s become so clear that artists are the people that kind of are the, you know, the…the pioneers of trying to find alternatives, and the companies in America, the industry watches artists specifically nowadays, to see where they’re moving and what they’re doing to be able to catch up on that immediately, and to make a profit out of it. Because, I mean, the only thing that you can actually do to be able to, kind of, not have to follow all those courses, is to do something that’s different. But it’s really hard to do something that’s different because they immediately latch on to it!
KA: That’s the problem with Shoreditch. It’s become this hipster-Insta joke. And just the minute something happens, you’re wearing it. Because, I’ve had it, I’ve had someone take pictures of me, send it to a factory in China, and then it’s back in six weeks.
DP: Really? It’s insane, it really is.
KA: So, kinda where the culture begins, this was one of my big questions in this book for Red, I did this interview with a trend doctor, and trying to work out what effect that has if you pluck something before it’s born. I mean basically aborting culture, really, by fucking with it.
KA: And not allowing it to grow, so you know, marketeers and PRs, and this place is full of them, and I mean the minute, you know, it’s like, I made a few grand for doing a story for Bombay Sapphire, you know, they were really respectful, and great to work with. I wrote a thing for a limited edition they were doing, they made it into tissue paper to wrap around the bottles, but it’s really difficult to not get affected by the consideration of audience, not water down your stuff, when you’re having to live in this world of marketing. I’ve grown up with the media, so I’m well aware of the audience coming first, which is not necessarily the best way for an artist to behave.
DP: (laughter) Oh ho, absolutely not.
KA: So, yeah, it’s really, really difficult. Why did you go to Berlin in the first place? What was it that sent you there?
DP: Um, I went because I saw Wings of Desire. And I had been, when I finished studying in New York, I was invited to work in Germany by a fashion, um, an advertising agency called Murree & Murray, so, um, I moved to Cologne, and I did costumes for them for the advertising for a year about. And then, I saw the movie Wings of Desire and I was like, okay I want to go to Berlin and, you know, see that. And, it was really weird because I had one friend in Berlin, she had moved there from Cologne the year before, so I went, and she was living in this huge factory, this typical kinda 80s factory thing. So I went to visit her, and it was, you know, it was just immediately it. Like the keyboarder from Nick Cave was living there, and Alexander all those people were just like walking in and out, and all the people I had seen in the movie, they were there! And I didn’t even know it, I kinda just like, accidentally, you know, kind of just went to the exactly right space, and so they had this room that was actually the storage room for suitcases there with a bathroom, and somebody had been living there, and he moved out just as I came to visit, and they said, if you want, you can move in. And I was like, I will! And I just did! (Laughter) Cause it was really hard to get rooms back then, because West Berlin was smaller, and, um, I just stayed, I was so scared somebody else would take it. And then at one point, I got my stuff from Cologne, and I actually hadn’t meant to really stay in Cologne that long, so I had a lot of stuff in New York, but I just stayed. I had only wanted to go there for a week, but I stayed there for I think like 5 years until I got my stuff. It was insane. From the very first moment, the time…until ’95, Berlin was like nonstop, every second of the time. Like crazy things happening, so. I think it was only in ’95 that I started suddenly thinking about “where am I,” you know, just even thinking about where, what I was doing. Up ’til then, I was just living it. 150% percent.
KA: I have my fin-de-millennial theory about the 90s being so fin-de-siecle, but amplified massively and even crazier, being so fin de millennial, you know, with the apocalypse coming, with the Jehovah’s Witnesses, with Prince…I just thought everything, was gonna end à la Nostradamus, or be total sci-fi.
DP: In 2000?
KA: Yeah, I thought everyone was going to be wearing white, we were going to be living on spaceships (laughter). I thought we would walk into a room and the lights would just come on…
DP: Well they do now!
KA: Yeah! As a rave child, I naively believed the promise of equality and peace and love, and you know, like everything being amazing, I was like the youngest person at raves, so, kinda being a part of all of that. And then…yeah, wow, I’ve just noticed what they’ve done with computer screens in here (a bar on Hackney Road), you know I hadn’t realised they were part of the furniture…
DP: It’s really nice.
DP: Yeah. I just, I remember when I moved there and I was living in that factory, and one of the girls that was living there, she took me to UFO and I basically went on the third day, and he said that I could work there if I wanted, so I started working there, and it was just like, you know, after that we were together, and we started hearing about the raves, and we were like, let’s go see, so I came here, looked at the rave, went back, started doing parties, and it was just like [she snaps her fingers]. Nothing in Berlin is normally like that. Normally, Berlin was always very slow, I mean, you know, Berlin, it was interesting, I was listening to another documentary about Berlin, and they were saying that, before the 80s, like before all the…
KA: Is that the B-Movie one with Mark Reeder?
DP: Yeah. Friend of mine did that. Well, actually a manager did that, former manager did that. But somebody was speaking about that, saying that Berlin in the very early 80s, late 70s, it was actually a pretty drab place. I mean, you know, there was the wall and it was a very slow, very, very slow…but, during that time…somehow the speed went faster.
KA: Do you think it was the drugs, or like do you think it was just…?
DP: No, I think it was just an energy or something, of that whole change, you know the Cold War, the Wall, all those things, there was such a pressure of change that it kinda just…
KA: But the focus…I mean like that focus as well, the international focus on a place, it does bring an energy to it. I mean the artists moving there, you know, it’s still relatively new insurgence, isn’t it? Because you know there are still artists that are still deciding to go there.
KA: Because it’s cheaper than here.
KA: And there’s more space.
KA: Yeah, I lived in a warehouse in the 90s, I moved here, just off Old Street, and it was huge, it was massive space, but basically it just got smaller and smaller. You know, they got carved up into smaller and smaller little tranches, and now they’re shoeboxes and really expensive.
DP: Yeah, that’s something I always notice when here, like the difference of space. I mean that’s happening with Berlin a little bit, in comparison with the 80s, it’s already become half as large, I mean the apartments you could get in the 80s for ridiculous sums. It’s still larger, it’s still cheaper, but you’re right, it’s going in the same direction. I don’t know. I don’t know, I kind of, for me, I have to say the result of becoming a nomad in a way, I’ve noticed that I’m kind of, I think I’m getting over big cities, because they’re becoming, because of this whole thing, they’re becoming…bland. They all look the same, they all have the same trends, they all have the same fashion, they all have the same styles, they have the same food, they have the same…everything is the same! And I’ve never been into that. I’ve never liked being part of that, and I’ve noticed that you actually really start seeing interesting things when you go out of the big city. And I’m a city girl, I mean I grew up in the big city, and I’ve always lived in huge cities, and I’m starting…I’ve noticed that I’m usually more intrigued by the things I see in smaller places, which is actually really interesting.
KA: I think that’s part of travelling, isn’t it? I mean you pick up on stuff when you’re travelling in a different way…
DP: I don’t know…I think it’s because the competition is so tough! You know, in the big cities and the prices are so expensive, what are you supposed to do?
KA: It’s like “maximum city” they call it, in Bombay, don’t they? Yeah. But they…the thing I was going to say here, like Hastings down by the sea…you know, everyone’s of a certain age as well, I don’t know if there is an age, but actually no, young people as well because, like Sink The Pink are a gender-fluid sort of dance troupe, that do a lot. They’ve got a base in Margate…
DP: Is that in Hastings, or…?
KA: Margate is, no, it’s kinda up…there’s kinda Ramsgate, Margate, so you go out East that way, that’s Whitstable, and then it gets to Margate. Margate’s a dump though, I mean, I got food poisoning there, they’ve got a Turner gallery thing there…and it’s okay, but it’s just like the problem with it, that I find, is just there’s not the volume of people, so you haven’t got the volume of footfall, which is fundamentally what makes London more interesting, which is the anonymity, and that’s something we explore in that Making Something Out Of Nothing book I authored – Red wouldn’t necessarily work somewhere else, and no it wouldn’t work in many places because it’d be the same people, the same five people in the room all the time, so you know, you still need cities to…to have that energy, but that space is now digital, and that’s the, that’s the thing, it’s like, when did those digital spaces actually become so they work in Hastings, in Margate…
DP: I don’t know, I mean for instance in New York, like Hudson River, were we speaking about that yesterday? Hudson River’s become like the new thing, like everybody’s moving up into the Catskill’s, and the Hudson River…
KA: Yeah my mate just got a log cabin up there, he’s mega here…
DP: Everybody’s buying. I was just there. Cause you can still get a house for like 75,000 dollars. And you can, there’s a train line that goes up, which is incredible for America. And everybody’s moving there. And so there’s big studios and these big venues, and so the people go…I mean, I was in Hudson with a friend of mine and millionaire video collector of mine, he bought a house there and we stayed there, and there’s like one main road, and the whole city only consists of galleries—the whole town—galleries, vintage stores, cafes, grocery stores. And on the weekend, there’s like people doing music everywhere on the streets, Marina Abramovic is building a centre there…
KA: Is that why’s she’s building it?
DP: Yeah. And this other musician…can’t remember her name…she got this huge barn and she’s doing like festivals there. Every three months, and getting all these incredible bands to play there, and people actually come out of New York to go there. So, I think it’s going to be changing the structure of society at one point. People are actually going to travel more again.
KA: Just like with festivals as well, there’s that culture now to go into international festivals within Europe as well.
DP: Yeah, yeah.
KA: Rather than going to the same ones, and that whole…
DP: And the whole Air BnB thing! You know, people can go somewhere and stay somewhere for cheaper? So it’s cheaper to go somewhere outside by train, stay somewhere with Air BnB, and stay there for a couple of days and party for three days there, than to actually do something in the city, for the people that are doing it. So, New York is really, really changing things, because there’s this huge wave of people leaving the city, like they’re moving to LA or they’re moving upstate.
KA: Yeah, there are a lot of people moving to LA, yeah.
DP: Yeah, and we drove up and down, cause we know so many people that have moved upstate now, and we drove around and was like, this is incredible, and just asking, so do you know anybody? Like Carlo McCormick, I don’t know if you know him…he’s a Paper magazine journalist and he does like a lot of curating art book writing and stuff like that. So, he lives out, he got himself a cottage in the middle of nowhere, like there’s not even a train, there’s nothing. And so it’s like, do you know anybody? How do you get to know people there? And they say you get to know people super fast. They said, we know almost everybody within the distance of a half hour because they all go shopping in the same places, so they know people in Woodstock…
KA: And they have groups on Facebook and stuff as well right?
DP: Yeah! And then they do gatherings and they do stuff together there, and then somebody else says, oh c’mon you can come up there, so they have all these things happening cause so many people are moving out, but they’re kind of…and the same thing is happening in Berlin too! For instance (unclear names) and the former owner of BMG records, they all moved to a certain area outside of Berlin, and they’re organizing like three festivals a year there, and they have like these little houses they bought, places, and they have these little places that they rent out to people to stay there, and studios for artists…and it’s generating all kinds of new forms of art, and new forms of exchange, it’s really, really interesting.
KA: Did you watch “Station to Station?”
KA: It’s quite interesting. It was a journey across, it was like using Amtrak from west coast to east coast, doing happenings along the way. It wasn’t very well edited, because they were doing different cuts every day, but beyond that, it was great. It was just like everyone, every musician ever was kind of part of it at some point. It was cool, but yeah. I think it’s just a different mentalities that kinda having to be awoken to greatness construct is working.
DP: I think that’s definitely one of the things that’s going to be changing. I’m watching all of those different, cause I like when things get broken, you know? So, I’ve been thinking, okay, that’s our way of giving up everything, we’re not going to be part of this, we’re not going to be like destitute because of Berlin becoming gentrified and not paying, we’re gonna, you know, do whatever. So that’s a way of just giving everything up and being completely un-…what’s it called…like we do what we want. They catch us. If somebody wanted a profit out of the way we are living, then that’s not really possible, because it’s not foreseeable what we’re going to be doing in the next three months, not even for ourselves, so being not foreseeable is a way of not being able to…of them not being able to make money out of what you’re doing. You know, they can only make money out of something, like the industry can only make money out of something that’s foreseeable, because they have to be able to to somehow catch up and produce it fast enough to kind of foresee it. So them not being able to do that, that’s the way of being able to stay out of that? Of using the system instead of it using you by being so flexible and so fast, that they can’t catch up. That’s one way of being not being part of it. The other way is doing those kind of like that cereal store, you know, starting to become, starting a real kind of rebellion, and the free is moving out of those circuits, but, obviously the industry’s gonna try and move along with all of those people. But the smaller places are actually being more…they’re not letting Starbucks come into their little street, they’re not letting, so they’re not letting themselves be bought. Which kind of is difficult for industry too, so those are the three kind of tendencies I’ve been noticing, which are little possibilities of being able to survive in an independent individual kind of way, instead of being caught up in the rat race.
KA: Yeah, no, I’m feeling very much…I don’t know, I’ve not been back in Shoreditch, I wasn’t here for sort of ten years, so I came back to it, and I was like, yay! It’s still fresh and really exciting about it, but I’m really seeing the sort of mechanics that have been going on beneath it. And now I’m starting to feel a little disillusioned…by the whole thing. But I think I’m going to get my book done and you know, do a night here, do that, and then sort that out, and yeah. And then run for the hills you know?
KA: Yeah, turn the phone off.
DP: Well, I mean, I don’t know, I guess every generation’s always had something they have to like fight against, or destroy, because otherwise, you know, I guess that’s…it’s never easier, it wasn’t easier back then than now, it’s just always a different thing.
KA: But I think what was interesting about the generation that’s just dying at the moment, the whole group actually they really wanted to conform in some way, because they really wanted capitalism. And they wanted to be everything that previous generations hadn’t been, and they wanted to…you know, it’s like that. I was just looking at stuff on Facebook, and you know it’s looking very dated, the behavior, because it’s all selfie culture, it’s all, you know, big lips, you know, it’s like the avatar phase, so. And bullshit, so. Just, it’s funny the way things age. And then they become…
KA: Yeah, yeah, totally, yeah. But it’s whether or not the worlds, you know they call it the question is whether or not the world is getting worse or better. You know, that’s always the question, isn’t it?
KA: Yeah, I think it’s an artist’s call to question everything, and to be dystopian.
KA: I think that’s our job right? That’s the purpose, to challenge, to press, but…ultimately, you know, we’re not living in a Wordsworth cottage, with the candles fogging up the windows and the walls, you know? And we’re not having to piss in the bushes. I do, because I have a camper van, ha ha ha…simple pleasures…
DP: Yeah, I mean I think it’s…I don’t even know…I personally have the thing where I can’t even judge if it’s better or worse because it’s such a massive difference, such an incredible difference, I mean if I look at generation of, let’s say, 15 year olds, 10 or 15 year olds, what they’re getting born into or what they’ve been born into, is so different from what I was born into, even what I’m living now, that…I don’t know, you know, starting from things that are the same like, because of texting, they’re hands are changing? And it touches different pieces of your brain, so I mean, it’s just, there’s so many things that are involved with this whole computer technology, we can’t even imagine I think what kind of consequences it’s gonna have and how it’s gonna change things.
KA: And the issue is how fast it’s happened. I mean, I didn’t send my first email until 1998.
DP: Yes! Me neither! I remember Gretchen telling me that, I’ve discovered this incredible thing, emailing, and I”m like, what is that? And she tried explaining it to me, and I just couldn’t understand…
KA: (Unclear name) was telling me to send, he was like, we don’t deal with people who don’t put, request, an email. He was like a music PR, and I was like “fuck you!” I’m never gonna do it.
DP: Right! (Laughter)
KA: The fashion industry was still using faxes until 2004, as well. They didn’t even have websites until 2010, or something like that. It’s the most conservative industry out of all of them…
DP: That’s hilarious.
KA: So it’s happened, I mean that’s the thing. I was reading some bullshit the other day that was saying that computer screens and phone screens give out worse UV rays than the sun.
DP: Oh really?
KA: So this beautician had developed a cream to stop it!
DP: Yeah, I don’t know, and I think it’s also been a change the way, you know, interests and…today when I was, people at the desk here at the hotel, they’re pretty young, and I asked them, can you show me where, how I can get to The Tate…they didn’t know what that was. And I was like so shocked, it’s like, I don’t know, that’s being old-fashioned, expecting to the hotel staff to know where the Tate Modern is, or what it is? Yeah, but none of them, there were three people standing there, none of them knew. That is just…I can’t even get, for a short moment I was like, I was going to become rude, like are you serious? You seriously don’t know what the Tate is? And I was like, I think it’s a sign of the times.
KA: But this is a problem, you know, just the pure idiocy of whether or not we’re just fucking ourselves into stupidity, and just like the repetition of children, and just whether or not that’s just a complete…
DP: I wonder about that.
KA: I mean I really think that, in my deepest heart, I think that stupid people procreate because they don’t ask the good questions, so… (laughter) And I believe it! I mean I still think you’ll have sparky people, but those sparks aren’t supposed to exist, because they don’t keep the human race going, do they? They ask awkward questions which don’t fit with the mass circuit of consumerism…
DP: Maybe, I don’t know. I think that’s another part that scares me about it, I mean, it really does make you lazy, in a lot of ways.
DP: Yeah, it makes you really lazy. And for our generations, we still kind of know that it’s making us lazy. I don’t know if…
KA: Oh my god, I just have a Facebook crack thing going on, I really do. I mean, just like, I check it too much.
KA: And Twitter! You know? And the thing is, if you’ve got an ego, which I do have, you know, it’s like you want to see the reaction! I see artists write to friends and I see them just going on it purposefully because they like the feedback and it serves their ego, it’s like meeting fans, it’s that whole, whole thing that just…it’s serving a strange purpose.
KA: And I don’t know if it is necessary. I mean, Adam Ant would just say fuck it, the internet doesn’t exist, but for other people, it is. PRs recruit talent from it, and it becomes this endless ripple of bland.. But you know the question is, as a writer, you know, I’m expected to do it, at this stage of my career because I have to demonstrate that people are going to fucking buy my shit!
DP: Artists too, right.
KA: But I don’t know if that actually demonstrates, you know, promoting. Like if you’ve got a 1000 people, only 10 are going to come if you’re lucky anyway, so…
DP: And two are going to buy something…
KA: Yeah, exactly. So whether or not it’s actually worth the energy that it takes…but, you know. I was interviewing Fiona Cartledge actually, for DJ, she’s got a book coming out, so. She just made me realise, because I used to go to her shop, in the 90s, like 1995, ’96, and I was like, wow you have 37 parties! Cause I only got into it, I knew who she was because I used to read about it in these bibles, but then I used to, I go to the shop and there’s Jeremy Deller, who’s this amazing artist, he used to work there and I used to go and groupie him on a Saturday, I’d just be like “Oh hi…!” Not really consciously, but just like after the information because that’s the only way you can get the information, sub-culturally, like that was proper counter culture shit. Like that was the counter of culture, you know, that was it, that was the only way that you could find it. So, but like now, now, we really, it really is different. I mean it’s great because people can connect across wide spheres, and if you’re alone in Birmingham and you’re gay, and you know, you like pink hair or whatever it is, you can find others.
DP: That’s really great. A friend of mine in Denver just stopped, she’s like an avid Facebook writer, and she said, I’m going to take a break of two months.
KA: I’ve done that, yeah.
DP: And um, it was really weird because she didn’t tell anybody, and I noticed at one point, I was like “where is she?” and I wrote to her, and she said, I’m doing a two month break, and then I, she, she’s a good a friend of mine, and I suddenly realised how far away she is, and I had completely forgotten that. You know? It’s, it is really nice. It is really nice because everything is so close. And I have contact to all these different people that I, all over the world, got a friend named Eugene in Moscow, I have a friend in Denver, I talk with him all the time (unclear trailing off). I mean that’s the good part about it, but there’s a lot of really weird stuff about it too.
KA: There’s a lot of weird stuff. I had someone stay with my recently and, you know, she just kind of knew a bit too much about me. And it’s just like, actually, you know what, maybe I’ve just been a bit open about everything.
DP: Yeah, because of Facebook?
KA: Yeah, but also, you know jigsaw identification, I’ve just been putting a load of shit together, and just…kinda…
DP: Like she knew personal stuff about you?
KA: Yeah, and it’s like, I guess it’s out there. And it’s like sometimes, you know, I’m pretty savvy on that sort of stuff, but at the same time I was freaked out…
DP: Wow. Because she could do something?
KA: No, just the closeness of it, we haven’t actually gotten to that stage in our physical friendship, to…for her to…you know, and also there’s a psycho-weirdness about the way that people communicate online, because it’s public. So it’s a different way of communication, it can go quite weird with people. It could be sociopathic, it could be…yeah, it can be weird. And it can take up too much time, I think. And that’s the main thing. And, you know, the problem is like with Amazon Kindle and people publishing their own stuff in that sort of way, it’s people putting 8 hours a day into PR. Who are succeeding? The writers or the promoters, or do we have to be both? So, it’s almost necessary if you’re going to dance.
DP: They have to PR about their own thing.
KA: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
DP: Well, I mean that’s one of the reasons why I can’t give up Facebook because I do have to use it. I mean, it’s expected from me, like venues, they don’t even do promotion anymore! They just tell you to, you know, post the event page! It’s just incredible. I hate it. I have to constantly, constantly advertise what I’m doing because all the venues, all the promoters, they tell you: “You have to do it,” otherwise no one is going to come. Like I don’t know anybody in like…Oslo! It’s like I can’t help if…you know, and if you don’t promote it, they write to you “you’re not promoting your show,” and I’m like, well, it doesn’t really make a difference if I promote it because nobody’s gonna know, and they’re like “but you have to promote it,” and it’s like, for god’s sakes…
KA: And it’s almost the same reflection as the consumer being responsible for their own shit.
KA: It’s some twisted mirror.
DP: It’s really weird.
KA: And it’s almost the same as that thing where actually what you’re doing work for, are you doing it for yourself and shouldn’t feel privileged for doing it. Yeah, you shouldn’t be feeling privileged for doing it anyway.
DP: Not really, it’s so difficult, I don’t think it’s a privilege (laughter).
KA: Yeah, no, it’s a thing.
DP: But for instance, my publisher now…
KA: Do you want another drink, or?
DP: Okay! Sure.
DP: Like my American publisher, he told me, okay, you have to now, do you have Twitter? And I was like, yes I have two Twitters. Do you have Facebook? Yes I have two Facebooks. And now you have to do Tumblr, you have to do…and he was like, this whole list of things, and I was like, it’s not going to make a difference because I have a specific crowd that listens and looks at what I do, and even if I got to every single fucking media place there is and post all my things, it’s going to be the same people reading it, and they’re going to be annoyed, I think they’re already annoyed because I constantly have to post these things. And he’s like, yeah that’s the way you have to do it…
KA: See, I don’t think they know what they’re doing, that’s the thing as well.
KA: And there’s good ways of promoting things and bad ways, and if you’re just bombarding the same people with the…
DP: It’s totally annoying, it annoys me!
KA: So when did you get together with Alex (Alexander Hacker, Einsturzende Neubatten), then? That was some time ago, right?
DP: Yeah. We’ve known each basically since I’ve moved to Berlin, when I moved in with the keyboarder, and he was his best friend, and I dated him too at one point, so we’ve basically known each other since ’88. But we started dating 2001, and we got married 2006. In Berlin.
KA: I did it in Vegas [KA has since signed divorce papers…]
KA: Yeah, cheers, totally.
(Glass clink, laughter)
DP: It was kinda strange for me because I don’t really have anything…I know the whole techno-scene in Berlin, everybody, but I really don’t have anything to do with them anymore. I don’t go to techno clubs no more. I’m not…
KA: You know I went out with a guy, you know Kris Needs?
DP: The name, yeah.
KA: I used to go out with him in the 90s, like for a few years, quite messy. So yeah, DJ-ing, with him. And then I had a band with Irvine Welsh, and him, at the same time.
DP: Oh really? Wow. The writer? Wow. What’s he like?
KA: He’s great. I still see him, yeah. Yeah, we still hang out and get fucked up sometimes, but yeah. He’s successful and he works really hard.
DP: Yeah, that’s what they say, they work all the time.
KA: Yeah, totally, yeah. But he parties hard too, but. Yeah, he’s got a good work ethic.
DP: How old is he?
KA: Late 50s, yeah.
DP: Still partying? Wow.
KA: Not much. I was in email with him the other day cause I just interviewed one of his mates actually, so. John Niven, who’s a writer, who had…DJ wanted me to do it, his first book is about the same kind of patriarch that I’m trying to mash in the book that I’m writing, it’s just to expose kinda the music industry for how cunty and difficult it is as a woman, certainly in the 90s.
DP: That’s what you’re writing about? Nice.
KA: Yeah, in the book, that’s what the novel is about, really. So, coming into that from fashion as well, I mean, that’s really complicated in its own way. Yeah, so it was interesting interviewing this guy because I’ve read most of his stuff, but. Very professional. Got all the right answers, nice about everyone, so it was interesting to meet him.
DP: Yeah, wow. And Irvine – I don’t even know what he looks like…
KA: There’s a hilarious photo of us in the 90s, I’m not going to show you cause it’s appalling…of me and Danny Rampling and him…and all these, me being the young, the young thing that was just there to play the new records basically, you know, I’ll show you a picture – he boxes as well.
DP: So he gets recognized immediately?
KA: Over here, yeah. Yeah, I mean you go out with him and people will be getting autographs of him.
DP: Nice. Alex is a super fan of his.
KA: Oh really yeah?
DP: Alex is a total bookworm.
KA: Oh really yeah?
DP: He reads all the time, nonstop. And he’s a total, total fan of his.
KA: Yeah, he’s, he’s good. No, I mean, I don’t know how I ended up being a part of that. But I mean, it was just Trainspotting in his peak of stardom as well, so DJ-ing in Cannes and Ibiza around the world, just at like the top, top drawer, VIP shit. What’s nice about going back to Ibiza this year, my friends that I used to DJ for out there, they had a radio show, and we went and did it, and afterwards we just had like VIP, and it was really nice to not have to worry about anything. Just not have to, to stress. It was fun.
DP: Together with Irvine? Or?
KA: No, just with Claire and Mike from Manumission, with my pal Feral/Kinky. I don’t know if you’ve heard of Manumission – it was this monstrosity of a club, it was 20,000 people on the main floor. I used to do the back floors in 2000, but they, we had this other club, where all the DJs lived, there was a ex-brothel, and so all the DJs lived there, and so did the strippers and dancers, so all these Puerto Rican beauty girls, so you can imagine the rooms and what’s going on, this water bed motel, and then like you walk through the Pink Pussy lounge it was called, through like these great big flat cowboy flaps, and then into this strip joint, and yeah, it was like private party with Johnny Golden on the door, who’s about four feet high. It was fun. Yeah. Fun and wild, yeah, the drinks just didn’t stop and…
DP: When was that?
KA: 98, yeah.
DP: I had a hip-hop band from ’89 to ’95, on the side while I was still doing the Love Parade, so I was like kind of like living in two very different worlds. And then ’95 I got completely sick and tired of techno and the Love Parade and the whole commercialism of it, and I completely turned my back on it, and my hip-hop band, and I opened a gallery…
KA: Yeah cause that’s what comes across in your book, that’s why I was so inspired by it. I was just like, brilliant! Yeah, yeah, yeah.
DP: So I opened a gallery which was really fun, and I kinda became a curator for five years, and it was interesting because you know the Goethe Institute, was very supportive back then of anything that had to do with subculture, so for some reason they kind of always asked me about club culture, like present club culture, internationally from Berlin, so I was kind of being thrown around all over the place, I went to Hong Kong a couple times, and to all these places, as a curator presenting subculture, of Berlin, which was kinda crazy. I did that for five years, and Dimitri (Hegemann) of Tresor financed the gallery, and, he kind of said, you should be a gallerist because you’re so good at doing these, organizing these things, events and stuff, so I did that, and then after five years I was like, yeah, but, actually, I’m representing all these artists and musicians, but I’m an artist and musician! So it’s like okay, I can’t do this gallery anymore because it’s like, it was pretty successful because I would do…it was a really huge space, it was one of the old Berlin spaces, so I had like a huge space to show big exhibitions, and then, within the whole thing there was like a little room, and I showed cheap art, which was like this Berlin thing of artists that would only do things that went up to 100 euros, marks? And so I was representing like 300 artists, about, and I would do like a reading, a film showing, an exhibition opening, and a concert, every week, besides curating these shows.
KA: Wow, that’s a lot!
DP: It was a lot. It was really a lot. But Dimitri said you know, you don’t have to pay anything for you, for all of this, and I’m going to pay you a wage, but it has to create profit after one year.
KA: Oh that’s his thing, isn’t it?
DP: Yeah. Totally. And normally with a gallery you don’t create a profit until like 4 or 5 years later, so I had to work my ass off. I was working non-stop, I had no time for anything except that gallery. So after a couple years I was like, you know what, sorry. I like doing it, it’s fun, and it’s been successful, but I’m an artist, I have to do my art. So, then I started doing music, I started doing art again, basically 2000-2001, and that’s when Alex and me started coming together, and that’s how we kinda started doing our performances together. So it kinda like evolved like that all the time, and some way that I would do something, and then I would say like, okay, but now I’m coming to all floors that’s not giving me enough space to be radical in what I’m doing, so I had to do it a different way.
DP: I’m like, on one hand it’s really important to stick out of the crowd because I think only that way is the only way to actually earn a living, nowadays. With the whole competition thing and stuff like that. But I’m getting, like I said, I’m just getting tired of all the games…I don’t know, it’s just I have a feeling that, with all the social media, all the things you have to do to survive, everything that’s happening all the time, I feel like I’m wasting time…
KA: Yeah, no I know, that’s exactly how I feel! That’s what the art that I had at the Tate was about, um, you know like the image, digital identity, curating false identity…
DP: Yeah, it’s, I don’t know…I kind of always go against the stream. I was really lucky to become as successful as I am, because I’m somebody who actually never does a thing you’re supposed to do. Like, in the ’80s, the early ’90s for instance, there were all these offers, like the ministry, becoming a minister of Philip Morris, becoming a minister of Marlborough…and because I was in so many different scenes cause I was doing so many different music styles and working in all the clubs, they offered me those jobs really often, and I could’ve like you know, earned a lot of money doing that, a lot, and I mean, those ministries, they lasted for about 4 or 5 years, people that did actually do it, they earned shit loads of money and they’ve kind of really reached a specific kind of position of something, I don’t exactly know what, and I said no, because I can’t, I can’t do that. Like you said before, it’s the same thing, it’s only like a certain, like all those trend scouts, in the early ’90s…
KA: Yeah, yeah.
DP: Just all these crazy things that they wanted you to tell them all about what’s going to be hip…
KA: Well I had to do that, yeah. Yeah, like, panels and stuff like that.
DP: Exactly, I did that too. Like for a couple of years, because one of my friends is the biggest advertising agencies in Germany, she’s like c’mon, I can give you—I was like super broke—I’ll pay you really well, so I did it for a couple of my friends too. Everybody knew about it, it wasn’t secret, but. I don’t know, I couldn’t become minister of Philip Morris, it’s like, I just can’t. It’s impossible. (Laughter) You know, so a lot of times I was super successful, but I was always very off and super forward at the same time because I was like, I wasn’t doing the right kind of things to be able to get the money of those jobs that would have paid me very well for the things that I was doing because I was like…and nowadays I don’t know, everything’s just becoming too…um…I don’t know, there’s too many artists! There’s too many musicians, there’s too much of everything. I personally find because, um…when there’s too much of something, I start not wanting it. It’s really weird.
KA: There’s a technology, you know technology has made it so they offer people to be able to do stuff.
DP: Yeah, but sometimes it takes something away from it…
KA: What about writing, do you miss it, do you want to go back and do writing? Do you feel like that?
DP: Yeah, absolutely, yeah.
KA: Cause you’re a good writer, you know, so…
DP: Thanks. I love it. I love writing. Yeah. I’ve been thinking about what I want to do next, I’m not exactly sure, there are so many different things I’ve been thinking about. Yeah, I don’t know. I really enjoy doing that, because the drawing and the writing, and you can do things in the drawings that you don’t have to express in the writing. And I just don’t know what theme, so, I’ve been trying to think what to do…I mean I still of course, I love doing the music, I love doing the art, I’m not going to stop, but, I just don’t like being part of the crowd.
KA: I had a really good chat last night with this guy. Do you know Richard Norris, from the Grid, do you know his work?
DP: His name, yeah.
KA: Yeah, I saw him at this birthday last night, and I just had a really lovely chat with him, and just, I said, I’ve seen a film that you’ll love, and he’d seen it already, it’s about modular synthesizers, I Dream Of Wires, and he loves his wires, and he was like, yeah because they sound like trees to me! They just sound like nature. And then we got into this great chat just about, you know, technology, actually being, I mean the pinnacle of just being an extension of life, ultimately, and it’s just a different resonance, and it’s not electronic, there’s not actually a divide between binary and you analogue. It’s just this perception, but you know, we’re talking about fractals and all that psychedelic shit that brings everything together, you know like the Shamanic center of the thing that everybody always sees, so I’m just really interested, you know, we didn’t quite get into a conclusion, and it’s like what we were saying, there’s just this sort of slight gap between that universal harmony that is definitely resonating on the astral plane and shit, you know? It’s definitely there, but it’s just…you know, there’s just so much busy-ness, kind of, mutating and confusing it, almost. It’s really, really Buddhist, you know? It’s just…there’s definitely a harmony that’s stuff, that’s there.
[KA has since realised that Pokemon etc prove that the digital division is no longer divided. And tech will integrate far more smoothly into our virtual existences.]
DP: Yeah, and that’s what I want to concentrate on. I had this urge, I don’t know, the more noise there is, the more I have the urge to kind of like, um, concentrate on exactly that.
KA: Is that now, yeah, yeah.
DP: Like, a lot of things have really changed because of this journey that we’ve been doing, for instance I really actually don’t want to live like, living forms too, forms of living together with people, been living together with so many different people in different ways, that I’ve noticed I actually prefer living with a lot of people.
KA: Oh really?
DP: Yeah. I really…
KA: See, I like the energy of people coming and Alex doesn’t like it as much, but I kind of like having a home when people come.
DP: Totally. I was really surprised, like before we actually gave up everything, I was actually the exact opposite, I was like, I want my own space, I don’t want anybody else surprising me, we had a house with a garden and a gate, and I was like super, I mean it’s completely changed. In Detroit for instance, I mean, where living is so cheap, we lived me with my keyboarder, in this house where he’s living upstairs and we’re living downstairs but we’re sharing the kitchen…it’s wonderful. I mean just the interactions, and the guitar player was living next door, and then the neighbors were…and it was just…it was so alive. That you would just completely forget about social media. Which was kind of fascinating. It was just like completely unimportant! You know, and, you’d wake up in the morning, we’d meet in the kitchen and talk and suddenly, you’re speaking about something amazing, and then somebody else (unclear) oh let’s go do this! And you’d go do that, and then somebody goes shopping and then you did your work and you came back from…and, it was just a different way of…
KA: A different community.
DP: Yeah! You know, not having to make an appointment to meet somebody, just to have like a natural kind of way of doing…It kind of blew my mind. Like when I was studying I lived together with a bunch of people…
KA: If you look at African culture and you know, just dumping a baby on someone and the whole, whole thing. Well, anything, you know, it’s very class is my kingdom, it’s very capital, the whole thing of, of, having your own divide, isn’t it?
DP: Yeah. I noticed that I’m happier. I was thinking the other day, there were these two places where I really got depressed, and I realised the two places I got really depressed were the two places that we were completely on our own. And it’s not because we weren’t getting along, it was just cause we were doing what we always do and Alex was doing a film and I was working on my stuff, but I was in a typical kind of apartment situation, and I got depressed. I was like, why am I depressed? And just now, this is two years later, I was like, oh that was one of the few places where we’re not actually living together. It’s really interesting actually. Maybe because I’ve gotten so used to being in a community, or some kind of communication with somebody, you know even next door or upstairs, or whatever because you’re living with so many people, you would have gotten used to it and suddenly being on my own again was like, being cut off?
KA: I still really value, you know, as a writer, I really value the time that just logged down. Like, getting the cans of soup here and just, just see ya.
DP: No, absolutely!
KA: I really value that. I’m not very good at it, but I enjoy it.
DP: I love being alone, but you know, for instance in Berlin, we were really lucky, we had a house. And this tiny little office outside the house. So we kept the office, and that’s where our stuff is, and that’s where we’re sleeping when we’re in Berlin, and around the corner there’s like this huge fire station, which somebody bought, and they turned it into this artist space, and we have our storage there, so I can basically walk from my office where I’m staying at, to my storage space. And the storage, the fire thing, there’s like all these different artists and our storage space is part of another room where another artist is actually Irish. So, whenever I go there, I have a chat with him and I have a chat with the guy…so there’s this interaction. I’ve still got my own room one, keep me on my own and where I love shutting the door and not having to speak to anyone, you know, I love it, but to have a space of your own within such a big community…I love it. I just love it.
KA: You’d like living around here, cause there’s a certain sense of life around here. So, I still, even if it is getting all touristy, it’s still, there are still people who are really curious, and looking for something, so it’s still really exciting. And you see it, and I love looking, my kitchen window just looks down towards Brick Lane, and I just see, you know, I’ve got prostitutes outside some nights, but I’ve also got everything else, I’ve got the hipsters, so I love it. It’s really good window, yeah.
DP: Yeah I think that’s really gotten important for me.
KA: But I don’t want to die around here. I mean, this is not where I want to end my days, you know?
DP: Yeah, but that’s another thing. Another thing I’ve noticed, these last five years, a lot of people are saying that, what are we gonna do when we get older? Actually not only thinking of it, but quite a few, even already in their late 30s, early 40s, are building, are buying things with the thought of living there together with other people someday, so like creating actual ways of being together, because…
KA: But yeah, in London we don’t have the spare cash to do that, I mean, you know that’s the real tragedy is what’s going to happen, cause we’re not building up those communities, I mean people are starting, like the richer members of my community are, you know they are buying Margate, they are developing that and owning restaurants and galleries, and starting it, but I don’t know if I really want that weather anyway. I mean like, I like Spain, you know I could be some fucking old lady rocking along the…but yeah, I’m just really lucky to have a house, you know, got a house here, and to be going up, so.
DP: That’s fantastic, you know, it’s good investment, you can always sell when it’s a couple million.
KA: Yeah, once it hits there, right? Yeah. [Kirsty’s house is selling for a lot less now.]
DP: Yeah, because Alex’s mother is not doing very well, and she just had to go to a home. That’s not the way you want to end. It’s horrifying.
KA: Is she aware of that’s what’s going on?
DP: She had a stroke, so she basically is like, kind of paralyzed, but her mind is still really…
DP: And she was living in a kind of home before too, and she hated it, so…weather is definitely important. Nice weather, something warm, stay healthier, you know, stuff like that.
KA: How about your folks, do you get along with them?
DP: Well, my parents you mean? My father died a long time ago, my mother…I see her very rarely. I don’t see her that often. She’s in Germany.
KA: Oh is she?
DP: Yeah she’s a teacher. She was a teacher, she’s retired now. I have a sister I get along with really well, we see each other as often as we can. But…I mean, you know…
KA: …skateboard things. Yeah, they’re really popular, I saw a 7 year old on one, in West London the other day.
DP: I’ve never seen them, are they like electric, or?
KA: Yeah. They’re quite hip hop, they’re quite like, yeah.
DP: Yeah. So Fiona’s writing a book about hip hop, right?
KA: No, no, she’s um, it’s um, it’s more of a lot of photos of her shop.
DP: Oh that’s right, yeah.
KA: Yeah, she’s got an interview, there’s an interview with her, and then there’s playlists from DJs. I think it’s the beginning of something for her. I think it’s like, a limited edition book. It’ll look really cool. And I’ve seen parts of it and it’s got the energy in it, you know, it’s great. She’s kind of setting herself up to be an expert of that period of 90s.
DP: That period of what?
KA: Like the early, I mean her shop was open from 1989 to 1996. So, yeah. I’ve suggested that I introduce her to another publisher. And do it bigger. Or we do something that’s about pop culture in the 90s or something, and I think that might be…
DP: Does she have that much material, that’s fantastic.
KA: She’s got shitloads, everything, yeah, she’s got so much, yeah. But I mean it’s like whether or not to, you know, whether or not to just keep it with her, or to open up, I mean, jesus, I’ve got all the contacts, I did this exhibition for Ernesto (Leal, Red), and it was a collection of flyers, it was flyers with all the designers, been curating, like, and it’s totally dyslexic, what year they did the flyer in like, what their name is, like all of that, no one can remember! That was fun, yeah. So you know, I’ve got all of that as well, so, and they all have their own archive, I mean you could do an encyclopedia…
AN EDITED VERSION OF THIS ORIGINAL TRANSCRIPT (by Rikki Li) IS IN THE FIRST EDITION OF COLD LIPS.