We saw you headlining the Sunday night at Ladyfest Manchester in 2008 with ‘The New Slits’. Great show! What are your memories of that night?
It was my second show with them and we were trying each other out to see how it felt for me to be back in the band. It was an exciting show. It was great having two guitarists; Adele [Wilson] was playing too. I felt it went well musically but ultimately I didn’t feel comfortable playing songs I had written twenty-five years ago so decided not to join. The best thing for me was that I took my ten-year old daughter with me and Ari called her up on stage to dance and sing along with a song, which she will never forget. I am so glad she got to see us all together. [See our full Ladyfest Manchester coverage here]
When did you first become aware of the Ladyfest movement? What does it mean to you?
I’d not heard of Ladyfest until the Manchester gig but Ari told me it was a huge movement, also in the States, and that they always treated the artists very well.
What would you say to someone who argued that Ladyfest is irrelevant these days?
Anyone putting on good live music is relevant. I have always felt very relaxed and welcomed at a Ladyfest event and feel very comfortable going on my own, as a performer or audience.
How does it feel to know that The Slits influenced the sounds that arose out of the riot grrrl movement?
The Slits set out to make revolutionary music. We wanted to shake everything and everyone up. We wanted to make a timeless album. We put so much thought into every note, every word, what we wore, how we spoke, how we played, how we sang. I think it is this attention to detail, which was so gruelling at the time, that has made us shine through.
Ladyfest isn’t just about music but about celebrating all forms of female creativity. Do you have any other creative talents that would suprise your fans?
I’m good at doodling. I make ceramics. Got a degree in filmmaking, too, and directed stuff for about twelve years. Would like to make a guerrilla feature someday.
If you could curate your dream Ladyfest lineup, who would you include?
Yoko Ono, Sandy Denny, Kim Gordon, Yuka Honda, Kate Bush, The Slits, Sleater-Kinney, Beyoncé, Karen Carpenter, Dusty Springfield, Karen O.
Do you have any general thoughts or issues regarding feminism in 2010? What do you think are the most pressing feminist issues right now?
I think the most pressing issue right now is children’s access to porn. I think it is affecting the way boys see girls and, when they mature, how they see women, which is as objects. They see porn at a formative age and can never shake those images and perceptions. I think it affects how girls see themselves, not just physically but I think they are beginning to view themselves as objects too. I think it is a tragedy.
What do you have planned for the rest of the year and beyond?
After Ladyfest I’m taking a two-week trip to Brazil with Unconvention, talking on panels and playing shows. Can’t wait! Then it’s a Christmas single (‘Confessions Of A MILF, At Christmas’) and possibly to release the last ever Slits song, ‘Shoulda Coulda Woulda’, recorded in LA in 1980. Next year, an album and single.
Viv plays the Sunday at Ladyfest, an all-day feast of music kicking off at 3pm at The Relentless Garage. The Sunday lineup also includes: Trash Kit, Wetdog, Tender Trap, Peepholes, La La Vasquez, Jane Weaver, Madam, Mary Epworth, Catherine A.D. and Marianne Lee.
A Sunday ticket will set you back a very reasonable £15, or you can get a full weekend music pass for a mere £10 extra. All tickets available here.