Interviews

Debbie Harry

We gave you ten reasons to go to Lovebox in the new issue, and one of them was the legendary Debbie Harry, lead chanteuse for Blondie. But you already knew that.


We've got a little festival to chat about...
I love Lovebox. The last time I was here I met Sly Stone it was fantastic. One of the songs in this, ‘thank you for letting me be myself’, I thought it was a great sentiment and great lyric.

How do you unwind after a show?
Have a glass of wine and sit around and hopefully talk to people that are on show and other times were forced to jump right in the bus, again, watch some film or something or read a book or something I had. That’s the more conservative end of it. But if we get to hang around afterwards, we get to have a few laughs and some wine and whatever else.

What’s your favourite wine?
Well, I’m not well educated about it but a standard, a good chardonnay is nice for me, French or Californian, wherever it comes from.

What’s been your worst festival experience?
Well, I can’t really think of one particular worst experience. I think dealing with bad weather is one of the sorts of things as well has having temperamental equipment. Probably earlier on in our careers when we weren’t so well known having to open up for someone who was totally different to us musically and standing in front of heavy metal people. That was always rough.

Are you aware of the gays you’ve inspired?
Not per say, but I’m not blind but I know its important to stand up for gay rights or letting people get over their hang-ups or their prejudices. But for me personally it's never been an issue and I feel like as an adult you are entitled to whatever sexuality you are and have and whoever you're in love with. And its very personal and I couldn’t really give a flying fuck.

There is one person you have inspired, a certain Mr Andy Bell (who wrote the song Debbie Harry Drag Queen)
He is fabulous. I think I am a drag queen. A lot of my friends say I basically am a drag queen.

Have I seen one of yourself? How did they capture your essence?
Sure. I guess it’s a general interpretation with the hair and punk look I suppose.

If John Waters (Debs was in Hairspray, remember) asked you to do another film would you?
Oh absolutely. I love John. John took me to see a show recently with Patti LuPone and it was Women On The Verge of A Nervous Breakdown, the Almodovar film and I love them all. I love Almodovar, I love Paddy, I love John. It was such a great night. The show was just beautiful, it was sensational. It was so cinematic, the art direction, it was a really great experience and I wish the show had kept on running.

Obviously you got this new album coming out, Panic Of Girls...
I mean we got it out. It hasn’t been easy and a half we really just had a bit of a time getting it out. The industry has changed for us. Brands aren’t superbig, the superbands have label support and the whole thing is going on but basically the industry has collapsed for bands like Blondie, and for many of the artists that aren’t the mega mega superstars.

We would have said you were superstars.
We are but not in terms of labels. It’s a whole different world, I don’t know how to explain it but it’s a lot different than it was.

Are you self-releasing the album?
Basically, yes, basically.

You could say your going back to a punk rock way of doing things.
I don’t think everyone can do it. We have a terrific manager who’s really into marketing. He’s waded through and found a path to handle our business and its really terrific because it really is a new world with the internet and it’s a whole different kind of product.

When was the last time you panicked?
Just when I pick up the phone!

What is the most repetitive question you get asked?
I don’t know, I think it’s the way the question is asked. Sometimes it’s really antagonistic and it doesn’t really matter about the question is, it’s about the attitude and the question is framed.

When did you read your last gay magazine?
I don’t know. I did a little interview for New York magazine for Justin Bond. Whose one of my favourite, favourite performers and people. He is such a great person and such a talent and I know he’s played over in the UK and he’s great and loved. And when something like that happens, I feel really lucky. It’s just been a great experience knowing Justin, being able to say nice things about him in the press is terrific.

What was your last dream?
It was last night and it was a strange dream. It was something to do with a rap contest. It was sort of strange, I was with all these people and ‘Well, what if they can do this, she can do this... if she has the upper triceps muscle'. It was so bizarre right. If my right triceps was good, I could be in the contest.

You had rap anxiety

Yeah! (DEBBIE HARRY LAUGHS AT US).

The End.

Lovebox is on 15 - 17 July, we suggest you get a ticket for the Sunday. Because it will be amazing.