Brix Smith Start Interview
The Spin Off
Brix Smith Start has had the sort of crazy, dramatic, glamorous life that if you focused on the surface sheen, could make you feel a little bit jealous. She grew up in Hollywood, hung out at the legendary Fiars Club in Beverly Hills as a child, joined the ultimate indie band The Fall at twenty, and met and mingled with various iconic pop culture heroes of the last thirty years. However, her book isn’t called The Rise, The Fall and The Rise for nothing. The real Barbie may have cleaned up her pre teen puke, but there were plenty of personal obstacles to over come through out her childhood, teens and twenties.
One of the things I liked about your book is the way you have all these incredible experiences but you’ve also had to deal with stuff that any one might have to, that’s quite relatable.
Yeah, I think all the difficulties I’ve gone through as a human being are very, very universal. Vulnerabilities that all of us have. So I think it resonates with people who have had to go through any similar thing as a woman or a person. You know, how to get through dark patches in your life with some kind of a positive head on and to turn something bad into something good as much as you can.
You say in the book that writing it probably helped save your life- in what way?
Well, it’s weird, writing the book tapped into a stream of creative inspiration that I had been missing for fifteen years. It’s the divine inspiration that allows you to be creative, whether it is singing, writing words. Because I wrote the book it tapped me back into that stream and I was able to write music again. I didn’t realize that there was seriously a part of my soul missing for the fifteen years that I wasn’t singing or playing and there was something wrong with me and I depressed. It was something missing. By re connecting with that stream of inspiration and realising that I was put on the earth to be creative and not necessarily stand behind a counter and sell clothes. I was like Oh My God, I’m denying my life purpose and what I was put on the planet to do, in this lifetime.
It seems like there was a pay off in your relationship with Mark E Smith, on one side you got to jump straight into this incredible band but on the other side it was very much on Mark E Smith’s terms.
Well that’s exactly right, but I allowed myself to be controlled. He never controlled me, any time I could have opened the cage and left. So I take responsibility, but I am a team player. I can work with anything. I can make anything work. I am the person who can sprinkle the gold dust on someone else’s work and just turn it from something pretty good to something magical. I know I can do that. So I respect and love Mark, as both a writing partner and a performer. He’s amazing, so I deferred to him and let him drive the ship, because that’s what he does best, drive the ship. It didn’t really phase me how controlling he was, that’s what I was given and I was grateful to be doing it. There were time when it was difficult especially later on when we weren’t getting along. In the beginning he would always defer back to my opinion, I was involved with so many decisions, and he used me so much as his partner and his springboard.
Do you look back at your young self and feel vulnerable towards her?
I feel like I was super brave, I must have been very, very strong willed to follow my gut instinct like that. I mean that’s kind of crazy, of course my parents thought that it was crazy.
When you almost had a fling with Mickey Mouse do you think you would of stepped up and done it with Mickey?
Well, it wasn’t so much that it was Mickey, I was in a really deep depression at the time, I was on Prozac, I was so unhappy and in such a strange place, I wasn’t getting the attention and the affection that I needed from Nigel (Kennedy the violinist). I’d lost my record deal or was about to lose it and everything was going wrong. At that moment, Mickey as a symbol, seemed attractive. If Mickey loved me then everything was okay. I was crazy. It did go through my mind that maybe I would of done it, but I don’t think I really would. But I couldn’t stop myself from seeing how far it would go, because it was so surreal, blurring fro reality to cartoon world.
How do you feel about being London right now, with all the political drama?
So right politically. Terrible, I can’t even tell you. On the night of the BREXIT, 23rd, I was having this party at my house and it was for Philip’s (Philip Start Brix's husband) birthday. Lots of fab people here, we were having it on the roof top and the chef Simon from the Rivington was cooking and it was so lovely, everyone was partying and having a great time. We knew that Brexit was going on but no one was worried, it was fine. It was like, literally the last day of Rome, and late at night, when there were ten people left, it was maybe 1:30 and we said hey guys lets take a poll, how did you vote? Five of them voted out, five of them voted in and I was like ‘What? Five of my really good friends voted Out?’ I can’t even tell you who all the people were because you’ll know them. I was like that’s shocking! I would never expect anyone to vote out!
This is an edited version of the full interview