Peaches on Pussy-Licking, Iggy Pop & People Getting It Wrong

Returning with a fourth album given to rare moments of vulnerability, Peaches sets The Quietus straight on man-hating, Iggy Pop and her vulva

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The person onstage isn’t the same as the one off it

I think that’s the most common misconception – this in your face personality… when you’re a performer it’s not like a one-to-one conversation, it’s a different thing to me. I don’t feel like I need to be that amplified personality every single second of my life because I think. I. Would. Crack. Onstage it’s kind of like you being ‘you’ but in a boxing ring, it’s you against – and it is against because there’s that fourth wall – a thousand, or two thousand or ten thousand people, y’know. And you have to be bigger than that. Whatever you give them, you’re hoping to get back and then give it again… I’m interested in controlling the masses.

Oral sex isn’t always the most appropriate recourse.

When I’m talking to you as an individual I don’t feel that it’s necessary for me to ask you to lick my pussy – well, maybe I would – but I don’t feel I have to be like that all the time. People get very confused – they think I should be like that all the time. But I am human and I think it is important to be able to relate to people one-on-one, in a normalised manner – interaction not just total takeover.

It’s not about forcing the feeling

Because I don’t feel like other people – I want people to have opinions and express themselves and that’s why I do what I do because I’m saying like ‘Hey look, I’m expressing myself and you should too’. And when it’s a show it’s my turn to show you that, but in a conversation it’s our duty to both do it.

I’m not as big as you think

The first thing people say is that I’m short. They’re like, ‘Oh I thought you were ten feet tall. ‘Cause they saw me on the stage, magnifying everything, which is great because I guess I’ve done my thing.

I don’t hate men

I think that’s just silly. I mean like I said a million times when that record (‘Shake Your Dicks’) came out, there was like 4,000 songs about shaking your titties and your ass and no songs about shaking male parts that stick out just like tits. So I was just trying to even things up and if people see equality as man hating then they’ve got a problem.

You don’t have to out-crazy me

When I meet people away from the stage sometimes they feel like they have to be crazier than me. Sometimes they’ll wanna tell me that they’re crazier than me or wanna show me… I don’t think it’s a competition. I’m also quite exhausted after giving all my energy, so when they come up to me after a show they want to give back that energy again. Some people you relate to and some people you don’t. Some nights you’re into it, sometimes you’re not. You can say whatever you want but when the time comes it’s a different thing.

Being Peaches isn’t too far away from when I was a teacher

I wasn’t wearing little shorts and yelling at kids but I think kids taught me a lot about immediacy in performance, because if kids aren’t interested in what you do, you know it right away. They either walk away or climb and jump on you and tell you that you suck. So they’re probably the best punk rock audience you could have, because they’re just immediate. So I learnt a lot about how to feel out a crowd."

I was born with a vulva

Some people think I’m a man. Some people think I’m a tranny. Check out the internet. Check out They see someone a little different – obviously it doesn’t matter if I’m a tranny or not – but it’s amazing it turns into that. People don’t know how to handle that ambiguity, or that strength even.

Gender roles aren’t fixed

I think everyone should play with them. I think it’s easier for women to show their male side because the male side is more like, kind of, almost like a stereotype – I think for males it’s harder to break out because your womanly side is your vulnerable side, isn’t it? It’s taken me three albums to show a little vulnerability, so it’s hard. Boys are not brought up to be that way. It’s harder for guys actually.

People don’t write my songs for me

I’m a control freak so it wasn’t like they sent me beats or anything like that, I had to be there and we had to figure it out together. I wanted to collaborate with people so I could concentrate more on the songwriting and melodies.

Iggy isn’t an oddball

I thought he was really down to earth and I really appreciated that you could have real conversations with him, which was cool. He chooses who he wants to have those conversations with – I think meeting him made me be inspired by him more.

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