Peaches: How A Rock Star Makes Her Voice Heard
Who are you inspired by? What makes your heart beat faster and causes you to light a fire under your ass? For me, it is Peaches and that is not the juicy fruit. Peaches is an iconic rock star, and she is also my friend. We met back in seventh grade in Toronto and have kept in touch off and on ever since. I have followed her journey as she ignites her passion with her purpose and lives the life she has dreamed. Peaches, known as Merrill back in the day, have inspired me to be silly, laugh, and have fun. From dancing on her garage roof in garbage bags, musical comedy as Danny and Sandy in Grease, to dancing on stage in one of her shows wearing a long blonde wig, black booty shorts, and black bra, she continues to empower and amuse me. Listen to this podcast to learn from the ultimate teacher Peaches as she takes us through her journey from her past as my friend back in junior high where penny loafers and wispy bangs were “the thing” to today where extravagant costumes, engaging energetic shows where “fuck the pain away” is her motto.
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Peaches: How A Rock Star Makes Her Voice Heard
Our guest, Peaches, is an iconic feminist musician, producer, director and performance artist. She has spent more than two decades pushing boundaries and breaking barriers, dramatically altering the landscape of popular culture as she forged a bold and sexually progressive path that’s opened the doors for countless others to follow. Through music, art, film, theater, television and books, she has upended stereotypes and embraced taboos, challenging social norms and patriarchal power structures while championing LGBTQIA+ rights, and issues of gender and sexual identity with biting wit and fearless originality.
Our guest is Peaches. One of the reasons why I started Grateful Goddesses was because I was inspired by Peaches. I danced at one of her shows and I was granimal. I wore a blonde long wig, booty shorts, a black bra, and danced to the song, Talk To Me. I was scared shitless, excited and honored.
It was one of the best experiences of my life, and I hope I’m asked again to do this. Realizing how much of a thrill it was, it opened my eyes to the possibility of leaping before you look, taking risks and having fun. This experience was one of the reasons to start my journey of encouraging others to leap and try new experiences of their own in their lives. As my little rock says, “Do what your heart desires.” Welcome, Peaches, to the show.
I’m so happy that you came. I know I twisted your arm many times to come on my show, but I’m glad that you are here. Happy belated 11/11.
Happy belated 11/12. We are born in the same hospital.
Down the hall, apparently. My mom keeps telling me that, and that’s so cool. You and I became friends in grade seven. Do you remember?
Yeah. Our sisters were friends. It was funny because a lot of people our age had older sisters and they have all become friends together through like, “My youngest sister is going to be going to your school.”
I remember you with your long, straight hair and your wispy bangs.
I’m glad you said that straight hair. I worked hard blow drying that hair and that would turn into a triangle.
There were no flat irons back then.
No. There are now, so what’s this excuse?
I want to run through. You know me, I’m so nostalgic and I’m assuming that it drives you crazy because I often will message you and you are like, “Get over it. Let’s move forward.”
I love it. It’s fun.
Honestly, from the bottom of my heart, you have helped me to become who I am. I know that our friendship was off and on through junior high and then high school. Then we split ways for university, and then I asked you to perform. I heard you were a performer for children.
Was it for your son’s first birthday?
Yeah. I went through memories and a lot of them brought a tear to my eye. I want to run through them and what resonates with you. The reason why I’m doing this is that sometimes our past helps us to become who we are. Sometimes it encourages us to become who we are. Sometimes we are like, “I want to fucking forget that happened.” Can I do this and see what comes to you? Here we go. AY Jackson Theater Arts Program.
Perfect Sunday morning, Noreen pancakes.
Garbage bag, dance on your garage roof outside, and the pencil test. You held a pencil and I could hold a what?
A broom. I was going to say a hammer. I was like, “Why are we hanging out with a hammer?”
Grease chorus girl. We were chorus girls.
Lots of Grease memories.
I was Sandy and you were Danny. You were the host with Steven Coates of the school fashion show.
I have no idea how that happened.
Penny loafers and Lacoste sweaters, your dad’s diploma hanging above the toilet in your basement bathroom.I want to say what I want to say from my point of view, and I want to have that privilege so I gave myself that privilege. Click To Tweet
Your memory is insane.
Saint-Donat. The pituitary gland sends messages to the brain. I’m going to list off some people: Julia, Hannah, Debbie, Dawn, Dana, Lynn, Gail, Cathy, Risa, Donna, Debra.
Smoking hash or whatever it was.
That’s my list. Do you want to add or what resonates with you?
No. First of all, the high school drama program was no other program ever because we had three semesters. In the last semester, we were split up into groups by grades. We would be the actors, producers and director. We were treated like real drama students. It was a proper program. It was not campy. It was deep, and I got a lot of fights with the teachers, which was healthy.
Was it Mr. Hall?
Yeah. We hated each other and then he gave me the drama award. He wanted to be a chef. He did not want to be a Drama teacher. I would always catch him on that too. He was so lazy about it or tired. I remember he told me to cut out the Jewish shtick. He said, “Cut out the Jewish shtick.” I was like, “I did not even get it,” and then I got cast as a Jewish character for the end of the program.
I was so afraid. I was like, “I did not cast myself. What do I do?” He’s like, “Just do it.” When we transitioned from jazz to modern dance, that was a big deal. We used to camp it up. We did musical drama, which consisted of the rest like lip-syncing to songs. You and I became the stars of the musical drama program where we had to audition for The One That I Want as Danny and Sandy, both. I got Danny.
Did you want Sandy?
Of course. Who did not want Sandy?
You were so good as Danny.
It was a bit weird for me to understand. That was junior high. It was a bit like, “I’m not a boy.” It was binary and stuff. It was great that we did that and it was us. Maxine Heppner, who was our modern dance teacher, was really powerful. She was a person I had never met before. I was like, “A dance teacher that could look weird and do these weird things. She has a personality and is not full of themselves.” I had a meeting with them years later because I wanted to tell them how they changed things for me.
Me too. I love doing all those things with you because you brought out so much. In one of the interviews that I watched you on, you said you were not a good student, but I pulled this up and it’s the AY Jackson Secondary School graduation in 1985. When I look you up, you won an award. I don’t think you even know or remember this.
Most improved in Science?
No. It’s for English and Theater.
Did I win an award for English? I remember winning an award for Most Improved Science student because I had a crush on Ms. Fletcher. Did you remember her? She wear full-leather outfits to school because she rode a motorcycle. I was like, “You are the Science teacher. I’m going to do so fucking good in Science.”
We had some fun teachers. That’s nostalgia. Let me show you the pictures. Saint-Donat, you are skating.
I love that Eddie Bauer pullover top thing.
This was on a horse ride and we are with these guys. I don’t remember them, and with Julia. Nostalgia is over unless there’s something else. I am inviting my Featured Goddesses on who have lots of questions. Michelle is up first.
Some of them want to be you. You guys are busy being nostalgic, so it seems like the perfect time to ask my question, Peaches. I grew up in Toronto too, and I would have gotten to Newtonbrook but I moved away. I know what it’s like to live in the Jewish bubble there. In so many ways, it was beautiful and I have still the dearest friends from that time to this day. Like you and Karen, I also moved away, and there are some freedoms in that. I’m wondering why Berlin? Did you feel that bubble? Did you feel like you had to break free and get out of it? I’m wondering what was in your head at that time?
Before I left, I felt like I can get out of the bubble in a way by moving downtown and making sure I was not in a bubble. Being very active in creative programs that were not in the suburbs of Toronto. I felt like in a way, I created a way to break out of that. It felt good. Moving to Berlin was more just I visited there and then I was inspired by it.
I moved back because I had a job and everything. It was 1999 and I got offered a small record deal and I thought, “This is a good time to move, a good time to change.” It was not like, “I need to go to Berlin. It’s going to change my life.” It’s an opportunity that came about and I had enough money saved that I was like, “Let’s try it,” which was not like something I did often at that time. I was 33 when I moved and I lived in Toronto my whole life. I felt I had lived a lot of lives in Toronto, to be honest.
You have loved Berlin. You have stayed there the whole time.
Pretty well, yeah. I was in LA for a while, two times, but I’m back here.
I grew up in Bitburg, Germany. When I lived there, the Wall was still up. I’m curious how do they perceive your artwork there? I know it’s very taboo even for the American standard. How does it go over there?
It went over big. The minute I moved here, it seemed like a zeitgeist kind of thing that was happening where faceless techno music and sexuality seem to converge with what I was doing. People were like, “This is what we need.” It was a frenzy and exciting underground way. Two weeks after I moved there, I was already touring. It was exciting.
That’s great to hear because it’s a big difference from when I was growing up. Since the beginning of your music career, it was centered around, in my opinion at least, sex positivity for women and it represented the LGBTQ community. It made a point of saying how pleasure needs to be focused on the women as well or non-binary community. You call it the Politics of Jizz. What made you decide to use music to advocate for sexual pleasure in times when only straight men were allowed to?
That’s exactly why because I was listening to so much music, especially classic rock coming from my suburban White background and being like, “I liked these songs. Why am I saying these things and why am I saying them to women?” I want to say what I want to say from my point of view and have that same feeling they do. I want to have that privilege. I gave myself that privilege.
Thank you. That’s great. I’m glad you did.
What is the biggest surprise that people don’t know about you?
If I did not want them to know it about me, then they don’t. How am I supposed to say, “I will tell you right now, here I am doing this, but I also had a tequila waiting.”
It’s later there. You are in Berlin. We are still having our coffees. No secrets, Dena.
I’m sure there are secrets. What are you driving at, Dena? What do you want to know, Dena?
What we don’t know or have not been aware of. It has not been written or said.
I’m going to wait for the biography. I’m not trying to be mysterious or rude.
You are an open book. Alyssa?
We are going to talk a lot about the Canada career. We talked about the beginnings of your career doing Grease back in high school. I want to fast forward and talk about the last couple of years. It’s been challenging for everybody regardless of your career and where you are at in the world. Specifically for a performer, an artist, and someone that has spent the better part of their adult lives performing in front of live huge crowds, I would think it has been particularly challenging. I would love to know what you have been up to the last couple of years. We will talk about your art show a little bit later, but what have you been up to and did you find any silver linings, either personally or professionally during this time?
No, and I don’t know what I have been doing. Right before the pandemic, my partner and I bought a live workspace. It’s been extra challenging to try and navigate how to do everything when you had it all set up and then something like that hits. It’s exciting but it’s also very challenging, but it takes a lot of time. That has been a huge focus and it’s still going on. That’s a very stressful thing anyway, and it’s a way bigger project than we ever thought it would be. That took up a lot of time.
I made a lot of demos for new songs. I did a lot of work. I became very intimate with Tara Brach. I would say she’s a psychologist and a spiritual advocate like Dr. Kristin Neff with self-compassion and all this stuff. I find it way more difficult than I thought it would when you are alone and trying to do these things than like, “I’m such a person to help other people communicate with other people. I will always be around other people, moving and going,” but then when it was me, it’s quite different and challenging. I’m still working on that. It’s a lot of positive ways and be excited about your whole life and shut down.
Were the music that you write and the demos that you were putting out take a departure from your normal work because of being more focused inward? Do you think that your music was affected by it?When I'm in the flow, I love the exhaustion to keep pushing. It's everything immediate and fleeting. You get lost in it and you come back, and you have to make sure you're grounded. Click To Tweet
Yeah. I had to also watch out how COVID and, “Am I getting here and how?” I came up with a song like Pussy Mask. It’s about a pussy who sprays so much, they had to wear a mask. I was putting absurdities around it, which were not absurd. Its reality is stranger than fiction in a way. I don’t know if you followed that song at all, but it was pretty exciting for me to come out with it and to follow all that, especially American fucked up politics, and have my say on it. Also, be my absurd fun stuff. Everybody who has these feelings about pandemics and politics can listen to the song. If you enjoy the song, then you can have a good chuckle too and understand the depths in it also or you could be offended by it, which happens on both ends.
Speaking of politics, you have been very outspoken, especially like Impeach My Bush, and then with Trump, he said something about Peaches. I’m totally forgetting and then you posted about that. What people think about what you are saying, you speak your truth, and I remember that in you. You give a shit, but you don’t give a shit about people’s judgment, or do you?
Not the judgment but more and more, it gets harder and harder to not give a shit when you want to make sure that you are like, “I’m not a fucking idiot.” I get what you mean.
That’s what I mean. You are very passionate about your causes and about what you do. Following your career, what I have noticed is you like to be in control of the directing and producing because you don’t want your message changed or put in a box. Compared to the mainstream, changing it to what others may want from you. You want to speak your truth. How do you feel about that?
I’m also on a different level where I made sure that I’m allowed to do that, so that it’s not in some level where it’s out of control where someone is like, “You sold five million copies, so we have to sell it.” I’m not interested in that pressure.
Many artists are. They are like, “I want to get this big hit and everyone listens to it.” You still have an incredible fan base and you have people that are hearing your message and loving your message, and that’s how it should be.
Thank you. I feel like it’s shifting too. There are a lot of very conscious great artists that are making sure that their voice is heard the way they want it to be heard too.
That’s true. The changing time. Camille?
Speaking a little bit about you speaking your mind and getting involved in politics. For Hanukkah, the Foo Fighters covered your song and you were also part of it for Fuck the Pain Away, which was amazing. How did that collaboration come about?
Foo Fighters every year do Christmas. They pick eight people to cover Christmas. They were like, “Let’s give it to the Jewish people this year.” It came out. I don’t know. I know Greg Kurstin, who produced, he is this incredible human. A sweet person who happened to produce the last two Adele albums and did the last Foo Fighters albums and stuff like that. He may have mentioned that I was Jewish. I don’t know. We have some similar music friends and stuff. It’s cute.
What did you think of the way they did it in that sense? Did you hear it from a male’s perspective?
No, but that’s also another reason when we were talking about lyrics and changing them around. You know how I would sing along with like, “How big my dick is,” or whatever I’m singing along with. It’s always nice to hear. They are saying, “Sucking on my titties,” because they have titties.
We have noticed your songs in a lot of different TV shows and movies like Sex Education, Lost in Translation, and even on the political side with Samantha Bee’s show, Boys Wanna Be Her. How do you feel about your songs becoming part of mainstream media in that sense?
I think that’s essential and important to me. I love that. One of my favorite moments is I was on part of South Park, this insane episode where a police officer cross-dresses as a street sex worker to catch John, but he obviously just wants to be a sex worker. He decided that they are going to catch a lot of Johns at a college and jumped out of a cake and danced to Fuck the Pain Away at a fraternity party.
A moment like that, I was like, “What is going on?” There are a lot of those moments, but it’s always a statement than a reason why they are using it. I am happy to be part of the statement, and that Sex Education shit is out of hand. It’s so crazy and over the top. It’s like Glee but also, looking more into the show and what they are about, it makes sense and I’m happy to be a part of that.
We won’t hear it on Fox News one day.
You know how Republicans turn things around. You never know. They try and use stuff. I remember Sarah Palin used Barracuda as her speech music, and Heart was like, “Please stop. We don’t want you to.”
Did you know that when I messaged you when I had discovered I had cancer, and you had talked about your thyroid cancer and we were texting and you said, “You can get through this,” you were helpful. I put Fuck the Pain Away when I was getting my radiation. Everyone interprets it differently, but it helped me to just fuck it.
Get some energy.
Rachel is up.
I love hearing those high school memories. I want to go back to when you started and started performing, and feeling that freedom of your voice, your sound, your look and of everything. Were you insecure? Was it hard for you? Did you have to get over something? How did you practice, or were you just born for that type of expression?
It was quite an evolution. I never felt like, “I can do this. I’ve got to do this.” I would always be in the talent show singing. I would always be like, “Here’s my moment,” and I did not know why. It’s like I had confidence doing that. I would be like, “It’s time for me to sing now. I can do that.” I remember an early memory of the ‘70s where I was singing Killing me Softly with my friend on piano. We got in a fight right before and they called us on stage and she sat in the audience like, “I’m not coming up. I’m not playing the piano. Nope.” Everybody around her was like, “Don’t go.” I watched a whole buildup of my whole year hate me while I was standing on stage. I was like, “I want to sing this acapella.”
That’s one of my favorite songs in the world.
It’s a beautiful song. I remember singing that and I won the talent show. They probably felt bad for me. I always loved singing. Sometimes it connected with audiences and sometimes it did not. I went through a lot of experiments, and once Peaches’ voice came out, it started to build from there. I was like, “How can I get in all and be the director, the actor, the message or the lighting?” All these things I love that I know from theater, writing and lights, and put them into what I want because this is how I can do it. I just started to do it.
You had a journey to get there because you did all that in high school. Was this in elementary when that episode happened?
Honestly, this Theater Arts program at our school, I don’t know if it still goes on, it was the best.
It was beautiful.
It was very serious. I remember you came in to help me because I got freaked out right before my show. I was a producer, you are an actor, producer, director and I said, “I don’t know how to do the lights.” I was freaking out. Do you remember you came in and did it? Then I got the credit.
Good. No problem.
You went to university for Theater and then you became a teacher. You sang songs for schools and then the evolution of it.
I was doing my own music at night and teaching kids in the day. It was all unfolding.
There was music at your house. Your brother, when I come over, it was blaring music in his room.
He made his own little lighting board. It’s like a switchboard. He had a water bed and a lighting system. It would be like a strobe light, black light or spotlights. We had put on a tape. We had put on The Beatles White Album and then he do a light show.
There’s always music. He had a stereo and a shaggy carpet room. Dena?
We want to talk about your partner. Karen mentioned you have a partner, Black Cracker. I’m interested to know how you make it all work with touring and producing.
He’s exactly the same, and he’s such an incredible mind and such a great collaborator. It elevated. You said we are going to talk about my art show. That was the first time I had ever done an art show. I wanted to. It was supposed to be retrospective of my work, and I did not understand why I would be doing a retrospective of my own work.
He was such a good mentor in the way where he would go out and buy me clay to sculpt something. I would be like, “I don’t sculpt.” I was doing sculptures and then we would take them to places where you get your sculptures made into bigger ideas and then you can collaborate with them. It opened up so many different things. I worked with animatronics and a lot more of sound design and lighting. He’s got a lot of patience and a lot of ideas. It’s great, so we can work more together.
Is he there? Can he make a little quick cameo?
He’s not here now. He’s in Switzerland helping to decolonize Wagner’s The Ring.
My mom met him with you.My sister was an inspiration to me. While she lost her ability to do the menial everyday things, she found a way to find joy. Click To Tweet
At synagogue right after my father died.
My mom said, “What a sweet man he was. A cute couple.”
He’s very sweet. He had never been to a Shiva before and he was like, “We need to make a Shiva app because people are unorganized.” He was into this idea.
Alyssa, do you have a question about the art installation?
I’m sorry to hear about your dad, Peaches. Getting back to the art installation, I wanted to hear more about the inspiration behind it. It was like a twenty-year almost culmination of your work. I thought I had heard you say it was like a big career retrospective piece.
It was not. It was supposed to be but I was like, “Why am I doing a retrospective of my career? I want to do new art.” I flipped it and I had no art and I had nothing. I had a year and I made fourteen installations with sound designs and moving lights. The whole room was a living art piece that you would walk through with different scenes, sculptures and all this stuff.
I was able to see some video of it online and it does seem like it comes back to high school. You had your lighting, directing, producing, and all of these skills. It’s so much more than being a live music performer that it had to draw on all of these skills.
Were you watching a live show?
I watched YouTube videos of the installation of crowds walking through and engaging, wandering around and looking up above. I look at this hall. There’s enough online to take you through those things.
There’s a seven-minute walk through and it’s called Whose Jizz Is This? You can find the walkthrough. It has some good information.
I was curious. Was it that you had these ideas to do an art installation or was it you happened upon this video, this flashy and you were like, “What do we do with this? This is too fascinating not to do something.”
It was this dude giving a review of a double masturbator, which is a tube that has a vagina on one end and a mouth on the other end. He was complaining how real girls don’t know how to suck dick, “They bite you, but this one has teeth, so don’t worry.” It was like he had never been with anybody and I felt sorry for him. It also made me think of these flashy. They are not called flashy. They are called double masturbators.
It made me think like they have mouths, vaginas and other sex aids. They have mouths, body parts, and what if they had an uprising and they decided they were going to enjoy each other and say #FuckHumans. It was all about their journey to that. There were therapy sessions with animated flashy mouths talking about where they have come from or where they have gone to. Like a big animatronic double masturbator trying to fellate itself or a big fountain, the Whose Jizz is this fountain where instead of being squirted onto, they were letting it all out and much more.
Did the experience inspire you to do more installations and physical art?
That happened in 2019. I wanted that show to tour. It was supposed to go to some cities but obviously, it could not. I have made a new installation since then and it becomes a practice. It’s true.
It sounds amazing.
It made me look at my vibrator in a different way. I now respect her. I clean and caress her. I say, “Thank you for providing me this pleasure.” We talked a bit about your dad, your mom making the pancakes and your brother, and your incredible sister. She has such courage. She passed away from multiple sclerosis, and I’m so sorry for that. She was such an inspiration, but I want to know from you, with your family growing up, how they inspired you and kept you moving forward. You helped your sister so much with everything that she was going through.
She was super inspiring to me. The way she lost her ability to walk and do a lot of very menial things that we do every day. She found a way to find joy. That’s the biggest inspiration.
She was incredibly resilient, strong, and she always was positive.
She always wanted to know about you and she would remember everything about everybody and all the birthdays.
Thank you very much. I know with my sister, my connection, and as you said earlier, the sisters and then the sisters, and we all have that bond, which is special. Rachel?
I started doing Stories with The Moth before the pandemic to get my chops back. What’s it like for you on stage? What does it feel like in front of a crowd? What does it do for you? Are you nervous beforehand? What do you go through when you are on stage and beforehand?
It’s such a weird time to ask me.
Let’s help you relive how fabulous that is for you.
It feels powerful but I feel giving too. I feel like I know what I’m saying and I know we are in this together. This is fun and feels good and it’s important, but it’s not too important. Sometimes it feels too important to me. Sometimes some of the people on there feel a little too important for them. It’s exciting to create something that you know is going to be heard, be shared, be experienced and be loved and enjoyed. That’s an incredible feeling.
When you come to Chicago, I will fly you in, Camille. We will send you to Michelle and we will go because her shows are so surreal. It’s amazing. Was it the granimal? Did I say it right?
What is it?
It’s good. I like granimal.
I thought that’s what it was.
I like it.
That’s what I was told I was. I put my clothes back on. I went up to the balcony and I was so excited. This couple behind us, these two guys, are like, “That song is amazing. Those dancers were amazing,” meaning Michelle and me. I could not help myself and I was like, “That was me,” and the guy looks me up and down like, “No fucking way. Who the fuck are you?” I’m like, “It was me.”
I get that a lot.
No, you don’t.
I like people going like, “I know you are not. No. You could not be. That’s not you. You are a wannabe Peaches. What do you want?” It’s funny.
I was so bad. I’m grateful nobody noticed. It was one of the best in my life. I loved it.
I don’t know because there are these huge wigs you can hardly see in them and they cover the top half of your body. It’s a fun time to see, but you don’t show your face on stage. It’s fun to experience it but not have to be so exposed in some ways.
I hope you ask me again. I asked you once before and you said, “I have professional dancers now.”
When you are in those shows and you see all these fans, there is so much energy in the space and you are everything. You are the performer and the director. This is your moment. These are people who appreciate you and adore you. How do you take that energy home? How long does that stay with you? Is it something that you crave or long for? Is it something that exhausts you? I’m curious how you manage all that energy.
It does all of that. It’s very exhausting. When I’m in the flow, I love the exhaustion to keep pushing. You get lost in it and then come back and you have to make sure that you are grounded. It takes the pandemic to realize that you were not. I would have never even known that I did not have a ground. It’s a lot of responsibility to yourself, to people, but also it’s amazing. It’s everything and nothing. It’s so immediate and fleeting.
How do you identify as a Grateful Goddess? Do you and if so, how?
I don’t know. I can tap into being grateful. I don’t know if I have ever explored goddess or what goddess is, but I’m going to now.
You are going to put it on your radar.
Maybe I’m looking at it wrong.
The way I look at it is an individual who is open to learning and open to expression. It’s never too late to try something in life which you have shown. It’s non-binary. I have to try and switch that somehow. The name sounds feminine but it is representing all, and step out of your box.It's exciting to create something that you know is going to be heard, shared, be experienced, loved, and enjoyed. Click To Tweet
In that way, then yes.
To inspire and encourage people to dance with abandon. I hope that the people reading, if you are new to the show, don’t let the name scare you. Thank you for joining. Thank you for being part of the show. How can people reach you, contact you or listen to you?
Call me. I’ve got a website, TeachesOfPeaches.com, so check it out.
Thank you so much, everyone, for joining us with our guest, Peaches.
Welcome everyone to the Favorite Things portion of the show. We talk about we all go around like an adult show and tell, and talk about what brings us happiness and joy because that’s what life is about to be grateful for. We are going to start with Camille.
My favorite thing is this They Call Her 6 t-shirt. This is a vintage one but it shows her the most. My best friend, Jeremy Austin, was the one that introduced me to Peaches’ music probably from 2003 to 2002, somewhere around then. We have been friends ever since. I remembered he would make fun of me because I would always dress up in turtlenecks and hide my body a lot.
He was like, “You need to listen to this. You need to learn.” I was very conservative. It’s the military in me, but needless to say, it opened me up more and is probably the reason why I even met my husband because I was wearing a very low-cut shirt that day, which is out of my norm. Needless to say, your music has inspired me and he was the reason behind it. That’s why I wanted to wear this.
I could not physically bring it upstairs, but my favorite thing at least during the pandemic has been my piano. When I was growing up, I played the piano for many years and then went through this stage where I did not have one. I was in school. I was living in different cities and whatever. When we moved into this house, I said to my family, “We are going to have to find a place, wherever.” Sofas are damned, we are going to find a place for the piano. I finally got the piano that I had wanted forever. It’s not like a specific piano. It was what I could afford at the time. It’s my favorite thing and specifically, during the pandemic, I feel music and playing have been cathartic.
We are all stuck at home for a long time and I got back into it. I was very rusty, but now my husband plays, my son plays, and I play. My other son does not play, but it’s been a wonderful thing for our family. It’s very prominent. It’s front and center in our house. You can’t miss it because it’s big. It’s been great. That’s the silver lining for me during the pandemic.
It’s not new to the goddess ladies, but I’m the bringer of scents, tastes fields and things. I was at an event and I was drawn to this candle. I think now for a reason, I was drawn to it. The company is the Voyage et Cie. This fragrance is the Hamptons, but the notes are described as sexy, intriguing, intoxicating, black pepper, sandalwood. It seems so fitting with you, Peaches, and your message. How you are doing your message and how you bring it. I feel connected to this candle and our show.
I once made a massage oil, and it had both sandalwood and black pepper in it.
It was called Rub. Rach?
My favorite thing right now is this book, Strange Ideas & Impure Thoughts. I also have one of my favorite colors and a nice felt pen that I like to write with. I have started doing these morning pages, and you write three pages every morning when you wake up. Ideally, you can do it in the first 30 minutes, because after 30 minutes, your ego starts to get into your writing. Those first 30 minutes, I write whatever my dream is and my first thought of the day is, and with three things that I’m grateful for. Three pages of writing every morning is incredibly therapeutic, and that has been my new favorite practice in my life.
Rachel inspired me to write. I have so much to say and for some reason, I’m resistant to it. I moved past that. My favorite thing is my t-shirt and everything seems to relate to Peaches. I don’t know if you know this, but I’m divorced. It’s funny, my jewelry or things about me, it’s rebellion but it’s more like, “No, stop,” and this is where it relates to you.It feels powerful and giving, and I know what I'm saying and I know we are in this together. It's fun and it feels good. Click To Tweet
I don’t want to conform. I never wanted to be that dutiful wife, and I was very much so, but now it’s like, “No. I’m doing this on my terms.” Although, now I feel like I have evolved so much as you probably say yes. I feel like I’m saying no. I’m going to think about who I am as a person and what my message is and what I have to give, not be somebody’s wife or whatever. It’s been amazing and I have been jumping towards it. This t-shirt reminds me that I got this and I can be me, and it’s all good.
Speaking of t-shirts, I’m wearing my Peaches shirt. This was the shirt I wore to one of your concerts and you made me take it off and put this one on. Why did you make me take this one-off?
I probably wanted to give you a new shirt.
You signed it. I love it. I have my little Scorpio. I save these things in the bag with all this stuff. I look at these things that shaped who I am. It helps me to think back and also use all that stuff that I learned to propel me forward. That’s my favorite thing. How about you, Peaches?
My partner said that he feels like he is not represented in the genitalia art that I am interested in. We had a whole discussion about it. The skin color or the shapes, he did not feel represented, but we had a long conversation. Then my birthday came up and he’s like, “I want to make peace with it and I wanted to give you this present.” I’m going to have to get it ready because also we talk a lot about how we have this couch that we can’t snuggle on. It’s a nice couch but we always say, “We need a poof.” Do you call it a poof? Does everybody know poof?
I never heard that word.
In German, you say haka. That’s my favorite thing.
What are the little pink things?
I think you will have to look them up.
They look like nipples. You know what I thought. I remember her name was Cynthia and she did a casting of your breasts maybe. Did she?
She did a plaster caster. She’s Chicago’s own.
She’s in Chicago.
It’s a little dark in that corner.
I thought perhaps she did that of your partner’s genitalia.
No, she did not.
Thank you so much, everybody. Thank you so much, Peaches. We are honored and thank you for joining us on the show.
- Strange Ideas & Impure Thoughts
An iconic feminist musician, producer, director, and performance artist, Peaches has spent nearly two decades pushing boundaries and wielding immeasurable influence over mainstream pop culture from outside of its confines, carving a bold, sexually progressive path in her own image that’s opened the door for countless others to follow. She’s collaborated with everyone from Iggy Pop and Daft Punk to Kim Gordon and Major Lazer, had her music featured cultural watermarks like Lost In Translation, The Handmaid’s Tale, and Broad City among others, and seen her work studied at universities around the world.
Dubbed a “genuine heroine” by the New York Times, Peaches has released five critically acclaimed studio albums blending electronic music, hip-hop, and punk rock while tackling gender politics, sexual identity, ageism, and the patriarchy. Uncut has raved that her work brought together “high art, low humour and deluxe filth [in] a hugely seductive combination,” while Rolling Stone called her “surreally funny [and] nasty.”
An equally prolific visual artist, Peaches has directed over twenty of her own videos, designed one of the most raw and creative stage shows in popular music, and has appeared at modern art’s most prestigious gatherings, from Art Basel Miami to the Venice Biennale. On top of it all, she mounted a one-woman production of ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’—redubbed ‘Peaches Christ Superstar’—which earned international raves, composed and performed the electro-rock opera ‘Peaches Does Herself,’ which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, and sang the title role in a production of Monteverdi’s epic 17th-century opera ‘L’Orfeo’ in Berlin.
It’s all documented beautifully in the new book ‘What Else Is In The Teaches Of Peaches,’ a collection of Holger Talinski’s photos accompanied by text from Yoko Ono, Ellen Page, and Michael Stipe among others, that follow Peaches onstage and behind the scenes as she conquers new artistic heights. Her latest album, ‘Rub,’ is her most audacious and unequivocal work to date, and she continues to tour behind it relentlessly, spreading joy and empowerment around the world as she mixes the profane and the political in the singular way that only Peaches can.