Friday, April 20, 2012
The original She-Devil, Betty X comes to visit
I am very very pleased to have scored a interview with the elusive Betty X, amazing singer, performance artist and all around activist. I have nothing but awe for this woman. She does it all, quite well.
Here is a bit about her~
Considering herself first and foremost a conceptual artist and performer rather than a singer, Betty X’s sardonic wit and unapologetic temperament is mirrored in both her music and her powerful stage performances. Her music has been described as everything from enigmatic and surreal to aggressive and hostile, with lyrics that are often cleverly disguised social commentary.
With a background in fine art, Betty got her start in music back in the 90's when she formed the sleazy and provocative art rock band, Salon Betty. As the years progressed, her music steadily grew darker, heavier and more politically-charged. In 1999, she formed her current self-titled solo project.
In recent years, Betty X has quickly become one of the most recognized names in conceptual art metal.
Welcome Betty,or do I call you Betty X? Thanks for coming over to the blog..
I love to showcase underground music.
You can call me Betty.
Is performance art really your calling? How did music come into the mix?
I've always sang and wrote my own quirky songs on piano and keyboards since
I was very young.
I started experimenting in performance art in college. I was taking video art, theatre, music and painting. I started off with painting but felt it lacked something.
I wanted the paintings to come alive instead of being a static moment or a
single frame of film caught in time.
This is where video and film experimentation came into play.
I was inspired by David Lynch and the No Wave art movement.
One of my favorite poets and performance artist is Hugo Ball
of the Dadaist movement in the early turn of the century.
I identified with the Dadaist concept of "anti-art."
I was also inspired by the Meat Joy performance piece in
the 60's by Carolee Schneemann, as well as the Neo-Dada
movement and the Beat Movement. Way too many performance
artists that I admire to mention without writing an entire book on the subject.
As for how the music and performance art came together,
it seemed like the logical conclusion. I wanted to reflect society,
point out its insanity and diseases by creating anti-music,
or what I like to call 'ugly music for ugly times'. I lost interest
in creating beautiful replicators of landscapes, still-lifes and portraits.
A camera would suffice for that; no point of beating a dead horse.
Did you know Ivan (ex-White Zombie, Scum of the Earth) raves about you..
That's cool. I love his work. I love both bands.
What instruments do you play...
Besides singing...piano, keys, guitar (very badly). I'll play anything poorly,
that's the goal.
Anything worth doing, is worth doing very badly, right? Maybe, one day
I'll get the hang of it.
Yes absolutely.. I also subscribe to that way of thinking.
lets talk influences...
What music really has shaped you into the artist you are now? why?
Personal influences? Suzi Quatro and The Quatro sisters.
Before there was Joan Jett there was Suzi. The Quatro's
were real trail blazers...the original "bad girls" in rock in the 60's.
I was always drawn to the tough chicks that didn't take anyone's shit..
.I identify with that. I am not a girly prima donna diva that wants to put
on "pretty princess" dresses or fawn over shoes all day long. I'm much
more comfortable swilling beer with the guys.
As for musical influences, I have eclectic tastes that run the gambit from
classic jazz to metal. I love the old 40's and 50's crooners, as well as the
sultry jazz singers from the 20's and 30's. I'm also into old school heavy
metal and punk/new wave. Patti Smith and Nina Hagen were huge
influences. Ministry is still my favorite aggro band. Al is well-versed
in conspiracy theories and political history...he has something to say
and I tend to agree with his world beliefs. I am a hopeless conspiracy
nut and cannot resist a good theory.
Books? You said one of my favorite words. Orwell, Huxley, H.G.Wells,
Thomas More, The Communist Manifesto; I've read all those authors'
works at the early age of 13 and have been obsessed with dystopian
society ever since. More recently, The End of America by Naomi Wolf...it's a must read.
Whiskey or Vodka?
If you could have dinner with 5 historical figures(whoever) living or
dead who would they be?
That depends on who tastes best with a nice Chianti...
So what's up next for Betty X?
I'm finishing up a new studio album as well as putting together a tight group of backing musicians for the live shows. I can't say much, but I will say this; I think fans have no idea what they're in for.
Thanks again for coming by...
you can find Betty's music here
you can find Betty X and her band at the following places...
her official website~