Brijitte West - Interview Exclusive Print E-mail
Written by Dom Daley   
Friday, 19 February 2010 21:25

westI think it would be fair to say that the career of Brijitte West has been littered with times when her voice has kept the patrons of ÜRHQ warm on long, cold nights. From the Year of the Rat to this first year of a new decade, any mention of Ms West pretty would pretty much guarantee the same response...... how excited do you think your average Über Röcker is right now, with Brijitte about to release her great debut solo album and play an intimate London show? In an interview exclusive to Über Röck, Brijitte tells us that "it's in the blood, baby....."  



There's only one place to start and that's with the new album - what can you tell us about it?

It's my first solo album and it's smokin hot punk rock and roll. There are two songs that are a bit more sort of countrified but I am hoping everyone will allow me a bit of guilty pleasure. The album has Keef Gibbs on guitar for most of the tracks, Richie Hudson on bass and Kev on drums. Two songs, 'How To Be Good' and 'Mess Of Myself' were recorded with Rich Jones on guitar, Lee Jonez on bass and Gaff on drums. 'How To Be Good' is a duet with Jesse Malin.brijitte-west


I call my band The Desperate Hopefuls; that was the title of a song from 'Loosen Up', the first EP from NY Loose. A label called Devil's Jukebox is putting it out. It will be available on February 22.  For more details go to my website


Will there be UK wide tour dates to support the album?


I hope so, if the record sells then it will be a very clear indication to me that I should get the hell out there.....


Going back to NY Loose for a moment; has a line been drawn under the band or is it something you might revisit in the future?


loosen_upIt just so happens we are doing a reunion gig on May 6th at the Viper Room in LA!


Is there any other music locked away on tape or hard drive that might come out?


No, not that I would let anybody hear...


You took time out of music to have a family, how has that changed your perspective on how you rock 'n' roll....if at all?


Becoming a mother has made me feel even more powerful and confident. My new album reflects that, even the way I work now is different. I am very focused and, of course, am a master at multi tasking!


Do you think that, being a woman in rock music, you had to be twice as good as thebwest guys to get a break?


Yes, and it should not be any other way. There are too many women shaking tits and ass who have no real rock and roll spirit. It's in the blood, baby. It's great to see more rock chicks out there though.


Who got you into music in the first place? What bands were you listening to or watching when you were growing up?


I had an older brother that was going to Max's Kansas City and CBGB during the heyday. It was my job at home to fold the clean laundry and put it into piles for each of my brothers and sisters. He had NY Dolls, Plasmatics, Ramones t-shirts - I was fascinated...when I snuck into his room to play his records I was hooked. I became addicted, it was my dirty secret to sneak into his room and play the records. When he realised I was into it he took me to see the Ramones, I was like 11 I think...crazy. I do admit though I had some Bay City Rollers and Shawn Cassidy posters on my wall as a teenybopper as well. My first boyfriend was a guy called Bobby Ebz. He was in a band called Genocide. We used to sit around and I would watch him take drugs and we would listen to Slaughter and The Dogs and equally astounding records. We would go to the CBGB hardcore matinees. I saw the first Samhain show with him. R.I.P. Bobby.....


Did it take some getting used to, relocating to London from New York? What do you miss from NYC that London doesn't offer?


I miss pizza by the cabs...the New York vibe is bright and clear like a police siren screaming in your ear but it can be equally gritty and dirty; the place is full of's pure electricity. London.....well, I don't know, it's sort of like the Eeyore of big cities, meaning Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh. It's just never really feels as alive to me - the grey skies and long bwest09winters turn me into an insane person. I am learning to accept my fate though... it's only a matter of time and I will be taken away. Also when I first moved here I was a New Yorker with all of the brashness you would expect. Most people thought I was being rude - I can now see there is such a big difference between the English and the Americans. I thought it was all the same, same no no!!!


Having gone out with The Rev Horton Heat, Ramones, Marilyn Manson and playing in a band with Danny Nordahl and Richard Bacchus you must have some great stories you're dying to share with us?

To be perfectly honest I think I have had so much gig trauma that I blocked most of it out...I remember Danny fell off the stage at a Fetish Club we were playing at and the next thing I knew he was being strung up on a wheel and being beaten with wooden spoons or some shit. The Manson tour was scary with kids, and I mean kids, with Manson carved into their arm trying to boo us off the stage whilst nearly bleeding to death...we stayed on the tour though and converted them. When they started carving NYL into their arms that was even scarier!


You've written with some pretty cool guys and taken the stage with some amazing songwriters - who would you get to play in your band if you had the pick of anyone, and who would you write with if the world was your oyster? 

There is this very unknown guy called Johnny Vasher who lives in Detroit, he is one of the most amazing raw rock writers I have ever come across. He produces all his own stuff and it gives me goosebumps - it would have to be him. I know you wanted someone more star spangledmessofmyself here but I am a punk, and I am true to the underdog because once people get successful they usually loose the spark and become pretty useless.......I wouldn't mind playing with Dregen though.


If I asked you to recommend what tracks I should play to someone to get them hooked on your music, what would you choose?

'Hard To Believe', the first track from the new album.


You recently worked with Rich Jones and Neil Leyton; both have great rock 'n' roll CV's - any plans to work with them in the future?

brijitteI think Neil Leyton disappeared and lives in Afghanistan. I would hope to work with Rich Jones again. His band The Loyalties are on the same label as I am. We will be doing some touring together in the summer in Europe.


You said that the reason for the split of NY Loose was bad management, were there many offers on the table at the outset and, with hindsight being what it is, what would you have done differently?


Hindsight is twenty twenty...can someone out there please invent the real flux capacitor quick!!!



Über thanks to Brijitte for allowing us this exclusive interview. The Über Röck review of the Brijitte West and the Desperate Hopefuls album will be online early next week. Brijitte plays the Dublin Castle, Camden, NW1 on March 27th.