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Interview: Joolz / Red Sky Coven 12.12.1995


I had the pleasure of meeting Joolz after the Red Sky Coven show at the »Kaue« in Gelsenkirchen.

usch You've been talking about Christmas...
Joolz Yes... Yuletide. We call it Yule - the pagan name for Christmas is Yule - because all the pagan festivals were in place in the year, before the Christians took over the world, and they simply changed the names.
usch So you prefer calling it Yule instead of Christmas.
Joolz Yes. We call it Yule because we're pagans and »Christmas« is obviously Christ, the Mass of Christ, and so we don't tend to use the Christian names. But then, not everybody knows the pagan names for things, so I just use what's current, what's culturally current. And I like it, I like Christmas / Yuletide. I love it.
usch How are you going to celebrate it?
Joolz Probably, when we get home after this tour, we'll celebrate it by sleeping [big laugh], I should think, 'cause we'll be so tired. No, we'll have a family dinner with all of us, and we'll just eat and have a nice dinner and then sleep again, and then get up and then eat again [laughs], go for a walk or something... very quiet, very family.
usch You have been a bit cynical about parents...
Joolz I'm not cynical, but I don't believe that there are very many families which are perfectly »normal«, as the voices of - say for example - our government would like us think that there is a perfectly normal family standard, and that we should all, that decent people conform to this standard. I think most people's families are increasingly - in this type of culture - disintegrating. I don't have a good family, so perhaps that gives me a disappointed view. I do know people that have got very happy families, but increasingly we just see more and more of them are not. People find it difficult to communicate with people of their own generation, so it's even more for them to communicate inter-generationally, you know. And if you don't talk to people, if you don't communicate with them, then there is no family.
usch I've been wondering... on one hand you said »Remember all the old lonely people«, and on the other hand made these remarks about parents - these poor old people are somebody's parents.
Joolz Exactly! I mean, that in a way is what I am trying to say. You know, if you can't talk, if your family does disintegrate, you cannot see your parents as people who make mistakes, who are doing things. You know, if you can't forgive them, then you're condemning them to a fate which is not something you would wish on anyone really. But also it is not just your parents, it's your grandparents. I mean, how many times have we all thought »Oh, I'll go and see my grandmother - oh, next week, because I'm so busy now« and then it's too late. And we loose their wisdom, and we loose their stories, we loose the wisdom of the past, which they accumulate through age. And they have wonderful stories to tell. Even if sometimes that you say »Tell me a story, Gran« and she got »Oh no no, not me, I don't know anything« and you say »But what did you use to wear?«, you know... »Oh, we didn't wear things like you wear, and we couldn't do this and we had to do that« and then you have a whole social history which is lost. And then you're not part of a great chain of humanity, you become separate, alienated in a little bubble.
Now this suits the type of governments that we have now, especially right wing governments, because they don't like people to communicate particularly, because that way lies revolution. It's like the slaves in ancient Rome who were not allowed to wear uniform, in case they saw how many slaves they were and recognized them by uniform and banded together and spoke to each other and made a revolution. It's the same thing, it suits the governments of the right wing for us not to communicate with each other.
usch You have some very amazing Christmas wishes...
Joolz [laughs] Yes, they're all true as well, and all they don't come true... I want Charles and Diana to die tomorrow. We hate them, I just hate them. I used to just think »oh, well, that's pathetic« and ignore them, but actually their behaviour is disgusting, considering how much money they're earning from the common people's pockets. They don't even have the decency to do their job well! [Laugh] You know, least they could do is be Queens and Kings and behave themselves. But now all we get is this dreadful squabbling, this argument in public all the time, and their children are being dragged. They don't seem to care what's happening to their own children. As we all know, children of divorced parents who are sort of screaming to each other all the time are going to be destroyed by this. And this is happening in the eye of the world! So what is going to happen to their sons? You see, nobody seems to have noticed this, or even in England they don't comment on this. Nobody has actually said »Diana should be ashamed of herself!«, »Charles should be ashamed of himself for behaving like this! What about their children, don't you care?« Nobody said that. So I'm sick of them, I want them to go, I want them to ###1) a democracy, I want a republic. I don't want them any more. I don't care if there'd been tourists, forget it! Make their houses into museums, fine.
usch So if you could make one of your wishes come true... what would be the most important thing?
Joolz The most important thing... really, I think, apart from the Queen becoming a Buddhist nun - I think that's a really good thing, I'd like that, I'd like to see her shave her head and take on the yellow robe - I think at this time of year is to remember your family. And not just your family, but friends that have gone missing. You know, when there is a friend and you hadn't written to them or spoken to them for about six months or something and you think »I must get in touch with old friends« and you don't, and then they've gone out of your life and they drift. And it should be this time of the year you think »I'll write them a card, I'll get in touch again, we mustn't loose touch with each other because we have such good memories with each other«. You know, people think christmas cards is such a stupid thing, I mean it's so commercial, but it's a way of re-opening a communication with somebody without being embarrassed not having to start the conversation on the phone. It gives you a little distance, which enables you to do something. Most people shy, they feel embarrassed about phoning somebody up and they haven't spoken to them for two years, cause you think »Oh, they'll think I'm trying to get something«, but if you just send a card it's a way of opening a door and everything proceeds. I send hundreds of them, hundreds of cards every year... [laughs]
usch I love sending Christmas cards myself...
Joolz I love them, it's great, it's lovely. And you know, you don't have to have them say Christmas, you can have them say Happy Holidays or whatever, so it doesn't have to be Christian, it can just be fun.
usch You're really not very much into Christianity.
Joolz No, it's not my bag, it's not. I don't approve it as a religion. I think it gives some people comfort, that's fine. If they chose to become Christians - I don't understand why anybody would choose to be a Christian - but if they wish to do so, and it gives them comfort, and they have spiritual help from it, that's their business. But I can't approve a religion that burnt eight million women at the stake, and hung the husbands and tortured people by pressing them between two blocks of stone, all in the name of a man who would have been horrified if he had known what they had done with his philosophy. The philosophies of Jesus Christ are very sensible! They're all nice good hippie stuff, you know - be nice to people, you know, be strong, take care of people, give your money to the poor, look after the poor and the weak and the ill, that's all good stuff. But what the Christian church has done with it is horrifying. I don't push my religion onto people, I don't expect them to do it to me.
usch Okay, let's take a deep breath and go to something completely different...
Joolz This is the annoying thing, people aren't supposed to say this about Christianity, people always get very shocked, but I don't think it's a big thing because there's nothing written in stone that says they can't be criticized. It's not shocking, it's just a matter of free thought. Surely they'd like me either, probably burn me at a stake if they had a chance...
usch Actually, I think still today you can go to jail for criticizing the church.
Joolz Blasphemy, yes. Yes, you can. Oh, they can put me in jail if they like, I don't care. They won't make me change my mind, you know.
usch That's good. You're recording the tour for a Red Sky Coven album.
Joolz Yes, Justin told me this today. He didn't tell me before!
usch Oh. It's a surprise for you?
Joolz It's a surprise for me, yes. But it's time. It's well time that we did this. And we just were very lazy, and we forget everything. When we sat off from the bus, there's huge bags of things at home which we should have brought and didn't. And also as the years have gone by we've - because we're not very rich, it takes you time to save up to buy the kind of equipment that you need to do that kind of recording. You know, DAT recorders, and digital audio stuff, is very expensive, and so we have to save and then we get it, and then we can record everything. Justin records the cat playing in the house and thinks this is marvellous. You know, now he's saved up and bought a video camera, which is a great toy for him, and so now it means we don't need record companies and we don't need anybody else. We can do it ourselves.
usch This is the first Red Sky Coven album ever?
Joolz Oh yes! No, we haven't done anything, we're really bad. People keep saying »Youre hopeless, where is the album?« »I don't know, we haven't got one!«. I just about managed to get t-shirts together. I suppose we have so much fun doing it that we don't think about business. We should do, we're hopeless!
usch You're doing this for an awfully long time now.
Joolz Yes, since 1982. We're very old, you see, very very old people. And I'm the oldest person, actually, in the whole team. I'm fourty and Justin's younger than me, so I'm the oldest, I'm the old woman, you see. I'm the grandmother, I sit in the back knitting. I knit, I knit blankets on the bus, and they occasionally say something and I say »Go and make me some tea«, and they go and do it. I'm a horrible old grandmother when I sit there and boss them around.
usch Do you know the release date of the album?
Joolz [chokes]
usch Or will it be...
Joolz No, I don't know the release date of this album, if indeed it ever happens. Uhm... twothousand-something? I have no idea. And anyway, it takes Justin so long to put an album together, that it may be when he's sixty. He's already recorded fourty songs for like New Model Army, and none of them are good enough to him. He'll make it still all again and again and again until he gets the perfect record...
usch Okay, I think we'll leave it at that. All the best for the rest of the tour!
Joolz Thank you very much and a very happy Yuletide to everybody who's listening.
usch Same to you and the rest. Good night!
Joolz Okay, thank you very much.

1) Sorry... I didn't get what she said here. Listen yourself! If someone can find out the words, please send me a mail...

usch Fri, 16.Sep.2022 00:07:48 CEST