Interview: Beki Bondage

Updated: Jan 8, 2019

Leader of punk legends Vice Squad. Now, we finally get to chat with the gorgeous Beki Bondage.


You were one of the first “sex symbols” in punk rock. Was that empowering for you?


Beki: I was never a real sex symbol, I looked too weird with my blue hair and tattoos, and I wasn’t a typical ‘girly’ girl. Punk guys and journalists thought of me in those terms probably because they couldn’t think of teenage girls in any other way.  I realized it was a restriction because some people were more interested in what I looked like than what I sounded like. It has to be remembered that Rock ‘n’ Roll is sexy and that Punk music is based on Rock ‘n’ Roll, so the most unlikely people can find themselves viewed as pin ups because people like their music. Nowadays I like men to make an effort and look like sex symbols for me!!


What was it like the first time you got onstage?


Beki: Scary but exhilarating, we must have sounded quite excrutiating but we went down well and all the ‘old’ Punk guys in their twenties stopped ignoring me, so like many young men and a few young women before me I found that being in a band got you favourable attention from the opposite sex. Next day at school I was a bit of a hero too, so it was overall a good experience.


Punk and unconventional fashion have always had a close relationship. You always look beautiful and still very rock n roll. What is your philosophy on fashion? Where do you like to shop? Do you make your own clothes?


Beki: Thank you for the kind words! I make a lot of my own clothes and it’s easy to get alternative clothing these days as ‘alternative’ has been accepted into the main stream. I tend to customize any clothes I buy with zips, studs and patches and I’m still very much into the Warrior Woman look, I guess it stems from a need to wear armour! The longer you play music the more Punk or Rock and Roll you become. My philosophy on fashion is that it should be fun to dress up but you shouldn’t be bullied into looking a certain way or accept the media’s definition of what constitutes looking good. Women in particular are bombarded with advertiising telling them to worry about everything from frizzy hair to hard skin on their feet, it’s ludicrous.


Do you consider yourself to be a feminist and what does feminism mean to you?



Beki: Yes I’m a feminist. A feminist doesn’t hate men, a feminist wants equality for all. Sexism damages men too, men are often defined by how much they earn and are expected to be providers, to not cry when they are hurt and to bottle up their feelings. I think that’s all bullshit and that both men and women should concentrate on being good human beings first and foremost. Real men don’t oppress women, nor are they cruel to animals, real men cry.

I think it’s sad that younger women disrespect feminism because they don’t know how hard won their rights are, it’s like people who don’t vote. Suffragettes died to get us the vote, our ancestors fought long and hard for basic workers rights, for a fair legal system etc etc. I believe that freedom is incredibly hard won and all too easily lost. My veganism is tied in with feminism, female non-human animals are abused on an industrial scale in the meat, milk and egg industries (as are male animals like one day old chicks who are ground up alive), it’s the most abominable abuse of the ability to give life. I have no idea how it’s deemed  ‘normal’ for adult humans to consume milk from another species when it involves the rape of cows and stealing their babies from them, especially as milk production helps further destroy our already damaged planet.


Beki: Of all your years in the business, what was the biggest challenge you’ve found with being a woman in music?


It’s hard to pin point the biggest as there have been many. I think the music industry is more contemptuous of female Punk and Rock artistes than they are of males. We’ve had sound engineers say incredibly sexist things to me and I’ve held my tongue in the hope of them giving us a good sound and then it turns out the ‘engineer’ couldn’t mix a drink let alone a band. There are some promoters who only book one female/female fronted band on Punk festival lineups. They’ll book 7 or 8 all male bands and then think adding one female, who is never the headliner, is somehow making it balanced.


Beki: What other women in music inspire you?


I love the voices of Janis Joplin and Ann Wilson and always loved female rockers like Joan Jett and Suzi Quatro.  We get to play with a lot of great UK female/female fronted bands like The Kut, Dragster and Headstone Horrors so I’m well aware that there is no shortage of talented women.


Beki: Knowing what you know now about the music business, what advice would you give an up-and-coming female artist?


Do it for the love of music and not for fame or money and remember that like life in general the music business isn’t fair. You will see people far less talented and dedicated than you do far better than you, usually because of industry connections and/or money. Do it because you love it, then at the very least you will have the satisfaction of knowing that you kept your integrity and made the music that you wanted to rather than trying to follow fashion or somebody else’s idea of what music should be.


vicesquad.co.uk


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