1) Hi, guys! Masquerade and Virgin in Veil are quite famous in European and American post-punk, punk and goth scene, but you are still quite unknown in Russia. Could you tell us some information about your bands: when and why did you start to play, where you played before and how did you meet each other? I know that some years ago it was a totally different line-up in Masquerade and it disbanded…
Suzi Sabotage: Masquerade was formed some three years ago due to my unquenchable thirst to make darkly artistic/experimental punk. At the time I was in an all-female hardcore punk group Melusaaste, but the another subgenre of my passion was so different from it that I decided to create a whole new band. For the contrast, this one’s lyrics were in English and excluding me consisted of only male members, which felt like a natural move for me.
Jacques Saph: Virgin in Veil is very new, in fact I created that band in January. It was really an impulse, I started to write songs and recorded the demo. Our first gig was on April 3 in Helsinki, so definitely not a long time ago. With all my other projects, present or past, I have played in over 10 different countries across Europe.
We met trying to arrange a gig for our two bands in Paris, on Facebook. Modern times, heh.
2) How it is to play together in one band when you are wife and husband? What pluses and minuses does it have?
J: I always dreamt about a life-partner I could share my passion for music with, so yeah, it’s definitely awesome. Suzi has brought many new influences in me and helped me to improve on many levels. As for the downsides, well, we are both two very dominant personalities, so yeah, sometimes it boils over.
S: I’ve dreamt about the same as well and it’s such an advantage to have someone you love in all your band-related travels and projects.
We occupy every single hour of our life thinking about music and doing it. And since we’re living together, there’s always the advantage of having your band member at hand to work with!
3) Tell us about your favorite musicians who inspired you mostly? Which modern musicians do you like?
J: As a bass player my two biggest influences are Simon Gallup of The Cure and Nikki Sixx of Mötley Crüe. I really love their style, not too technical but always essential. As a vocalist I have no influence. I don’t even know how to sing, to be honest, haha.
4) Suzi, usually people compare your scenic image with Siouxsie (also on Finnish TV). Were you inspired by her and what most important influences do you have? Tell us about them?
S: She is one of my key influences, obviously. They also include Ryann Donnelly of Schoolyard Heroes, Nina Hagen and Grace Slick. I get inspired by innumerable people and things – in addition to music, photography, paintings, movies, traits of different cultures, literature.
5) Jacques, you play in 3 bands (Secular Plague, Virgin in Veil, Masquerade). Tell me about specific of your realization on these three projects, what difference do they have?
J: They are all very different… SP is anarcho punk, with politically oriented lyrics. VIV is pure deathrock debauchery, with sexual and religious themes and a complete decadent attitude. Masquerade is different for me as I haven’t created that band myself, unlike other bands I’m in. I like it as it allows me to concentrate a lot on my bass playing and songwriting.
6) Masquerade was twice on Finnish TV. Do you think yourself as stars after it or you are still underground? Is promotion important thing for Masquerade and Virgin in Veil?
S: We’re very much underground I’d say, those television appearances have hardly changed anything. Promotion is a task every artist has to undertake to survive, otherwise you can only expect stagnation on your career. Only those people for whom music is merely a hobby and not a calling, don’t understand the importance of it.
7) I know that last year Jacques visited Russia with Secular Plague and he was very satisfied about his gigs here. What you expect from your upcoming gigs in St. Petersburg and Moscow?
J: Yeah, I have played four times in Russia, and every gig there has been amongst the best audience I ever saw. So yeah, I can tell you that I can’t wait to play there again and meet Russian punks and goths who have always been extremely nice and welcoming to me.
S: For me playing in Russia is very special, for my mother was born and lived there during Soviet Union times. I’ve visited the country some eight times since I was little. My head is filled with powerful memories of St. Petersburg and its atmosphere. Moscow I’ve never visited, but I’ve heard about the brave scene there that co-exists with government oppression and terror of national socialists. I respect them to the maximum.
8. What about two bands plans? Releases, shows, collaborations, projects and etc.?
S: We are working on songs for a full-length album, which is going to be very diverse. Beside of that, playing anywhere we can and causing loads of revolt.
J: More songs, more gigs, more debauchery. A simple but enjoyable formula. We’d like to find a label which is crazy enough to sign Virgin in Veil and release our first full-length album.
By Artem Burtsev
Original interview (In Russian)