Five Minutes With… KatieJane Garside

KatieJane Garside is a little out there, and no, we’re not just trying to make her sound mysterious. She is weird but also incredibly charming. An icon of Alternative music […]

KatieJane Garside is a little out there, and no, we’re not just trying to make her sound mysterious. She is weird but also incredibly charming. An icon of Alternative music who has been around since the late 80’s when she wriggled her way into the music scene with the now defunct cult band Daisy Chainsaw. Not bad for a self-confessed recluse.

Strong - Image copyright James Sutton

In case as a reader of SPHERE you have missed her progress which we doubt here is a brief summary. When she left Daisy Chainsaw in 1993, the 39 year old KatieJane took an hiatus from the music industry until she returned in 1999 with current act QueenAdreena. In 2006 she completed her own solo workings including the Lalleshwari home recordings and had her artwork shown at the Institute of Contemporary Art in London in 2005 and again with her multimedia exhibit entitled darling, they’ve found the body in Birmingham’s WOOM Gallery in 2007.
All this, while managing to create a following worldwide for herself playing festivals and gigs alongside recording five successful albums (with QueenAdreena) to date: “Music is survival for me, whether I like it or feel challenged as a musician is irrelevant, it’s something I have always had to do and it has gotten me through everything.”

The musical journey of KJG started in 1989 when she answered an advertisement from her guitarist Crispin Gray looking for a vocalist for what was to become Daisy Chainsaw. This period was a great time of discovery for the artist who used the experience to find her voice and a style that enabled her to bring her current band QueenAdreena to life, and with each effort she has garnered new fans within the indie, Alternative and Goth genres:  “I am still trying to find my place in music and deal with the insignificance and vastness of the world. I don’t mean that negatively, I just mean that in order to move on, for me it’s about removing myself from the outside world and concentrating on what matters the most, which  is music and sound.”

KJG says that the chaotic nature of the songs she creates mimics that of the writing process, as it involves becoming lost in the music without imposing any personality or will on the thoughts that contribute. She describes the experience as a lightening bolt striking. “I have been doing this since I was 18 years old so I can’t recall how exactly I create but it feels like lightening just strikes me.” She adds: “When I first started I just wanted to clear away the bullshit and release all this anger and emotion I had, and music was the one thing I knew that I could do, that I had faith in. I take inspiration from what is around me, go into the studio and press record.”
She describes working with the band: “I see us as a four legged animal, or a beast and each member is a limb and attached to the other, we writhe about and create noises, it is very primal to me.”

Moving on to describe her art in a similar light to music, she states that it is equally as therapeutic and that there is no real difference in how she finds inspiration: “Art is something I really do enjoy and I will be going into isolation and painting for the next couple of years after the next record.”

Growing up on a boat meant that the social categories which mean so much today like “Goth” or emo were not an issue. KJG took notice of what was around a lot more than what people were saying about her. “I just had a different perspective on things. The sea and the water created me, I am a product of that and I notice the tiniest detail. I remember being captivated by sounds more than words, like screaming birds that would make my hair stand on end.”

She continues to describe how sounds have helped her on the path to creating QueenAdreena’s most successful works: “I don’t see actual images but these sounds give me access to a dream state where I am at my most creative, where I can just let go and be free and that has always worked for me whatever I have been doing.”

When advising others who maybe inspired into pursuing a musical career, she reflects honestly on how it is essential to believe in yourself rather than trying to mimic others: “I would say to other people it is very important to listen to as little of someone else’s music as possible. Step away and find your own voice otherwise it is too easy to just copy and repeat.” She continues: “Get away to a nice quiet place, wherever that maybe, and just make an absolute racket. Make sure that you find your voice and that you are prepared to give your life over to it.”

KJG likes to visit the North, she spent some time living in the Lake District following her departure from Daisy Chainsaw. She looks back fondly on her memories there: “I think that  place is utterly lovely, when I needed, I used love getting on a boat and going sailing. I reverted back to childhood and I was able to truly escape, I could go walking for hours and I was very happy.”

Having played Whitby’s Gothic Weekend in 2005 KJG says that the visit for her was magical purely because of the Yorkshire town’s atmosphere and beautiful surroundings: “Whitby was beautiful, I would love to throw myself off a cliff there, it was just so amazing for me to get a chance to visit and enjoy it.”

Given her wild outbursts on stage being a complete contrast to her telephone manner, we asked finally if she had an alter-ego of some sort: “When I was younger I watched Stringray (originally screened in 1964) and I was fascinated by the character of Marina because she lived and could breathe underwater. I would like to think I could be her, that would be great.”

Even with a career spanning over twenty years KJG believes that she dreamed up all of her success: “I think sometimes that my entire world is one of my paintings. So when I die you are all coming with me. and all the colours of my experiences will run.”

QueenAdreena’s as yet untitled studio follow up to 2005’s The Butcher and the Butterfly is out at the end of the year.

For more information visit:

Soundsphere magazine

About Soundsphere magazine