Viv Albertine from The Slits talks to us

"I like to think of the 70s like there are all these weeds growing out of the pavement and we were the weeds!"

Viv Albertine talks exclusively to La Bouche about being in one of the most baddest, revolutionary bands THE SLITS in the most baddest, revolutionary decades....

what do u think defines the 70s from any other era?

What defines the 70s? Oh my God, in hindsight there was nothing on TV for young people and nothing for young people. Young people weren't given a voice politically. We were considered non-people and we had no money and so all we had was music. It didn't even matter if you could play it or not. That was all we were given and so you had to do music because otherwise you thought 'well what else am I supposed to do?  How else am I going to get my voice heard? If I don't do music then its just going to be the other kids around me that might listen to me', which was the case for a while.  Now there's this whole, selling your wedding photos to 'Hello' and getting on TV but there was NONE of this in the 70s, it wasn't about fame or being photographed. It was actually about life and speaking to each other and having fuck all else to do. 

So that's what defined the 70s and from a girls point of view you didn't have to look beautiful - my god the pressure now there was a little bit of pressure then to look girlie and wear pretty clothes and be quite submissive and everything but we all came out with black panda eyes and dyed hair and black bin bags n whatever and the guys fancied us anyway. They liked it! (laughs) it was so funny! And for the first time you didn't have to resort to this pretty pretty pink lipstick and blue eye shadow! So that defines the 70 s for us girls in punk was that we didn't have to look pretty pretty and we were still fancied! We could be out there and women and young girls could be a little bit aggressive and not be derided or thought that they were ugly because of it. I like to think of the 70s like there are all these weeds growing out of the cracks in the pavement and we were the weeds!

Pic above- Viv now

LB: Who was the best punk band (might be a bit of a biased question!)?

VA: Hmm, back in the day it's gotta be a cross between the Sex Pistols and The Clash but I loved lots of stuff!

LB: Most memorable punk moment?

VA: Going on tour with The Clash was amazing. The coach driver had to be bribed into taking the slits on tour every day and we were the worst, baddest band on tour. We were with all these boys and it was the girls who had to be smuggled into hotels -they all wanted us out by the morning because we were so outrageous! That was a really wild time! Me and Mick [Jones] were going out at the time and we'd have all these rows and he'd shout on stage "where are you?" and sing songs about me (laughing) it was all a really intense but really pleasant time.

Pic Below - The Slits on Malibu beach.

Photo Christine Robertso

LB: Sounds Amazing! And where do you see yourself going musically this decade?

VA: Musically, I'm just picking up where I left off. Still loads of passion, still talking about all these things that are happening to me, just being truthful and honest about what's going on in life. I say don' take any prisoners. People worry too much about what they say and what they do and I think no, I'm gonna start right where I left off. I'm gonna thrash at my guitar and make strange sounds on it and say what I really think.

LB: What would you most like to see happen this decade?

VA: What for humanity? I think I've got a ten-year-old girl and I'e had to work hard to allow her to be herself. I think as soon as a child's born, in comes society to try and mould that child. 'Oh, she's gotta look like this, she needs hair like that. She's a bit quiet isn't she?' Let her be quiet! She's a quiet person. Let her be shy if she's shy, give her time. I think it is so hard to be yourself in this world and I'm still fighting to be myself and I think that's the amazing thing the Slits did.  We managed as a small group to defy the world and be ourselves in that short time! We still are, thats why we haven't got boyfriends (laughs) and it's hard to just let yourself shine. If you'e not hurting anyone why should it be so hard! When we were all naked on the cover of our album we were all a bit chubby. Now it's all about the hair, the 'it' girls, weight loss and I reckon there'll be a big backlash against all that. LB!





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