We’ve done another interview with one of the most intriguing artists we’ve had a chance to interview Benedict Sinister.
Benedict Sinister is a provocative music and video artist and poet, whose book, No Good Will Come of This, includes lines like: “You say when I go down on you, it looks like I’ve got a moustache.” Sinister’s exhaustive schedule of world tours over recent years, are legendary for their debauchery – so much so that Sinister did not actually get around to playing live before heading to the after parties. Now grounded by the global lockdown, he has returned to releasing singles, with his “16 Lines from Bryan Ferry” making No 5 Breakout on the Billboard Dance Club Charts
Lisa: Hey Benedict, the last time we spoke you said you’re planning on bringing Azealea Banks as your date. How’s that going? 😊
Benedict: Azealea will always hold a special place in my heart, but we’ve both moved on. Travis Barker has been texting me to help him out. His girlfriend has a newly single sister who’s been hanging around them like a third wheel. I tell him I’m not interested in Valley girls but he’s a persuasive guy. I mean he groomed Machine Gun Kelly into giving up hiphop to do a 2009-style emo pop version of Melanie Martinez’s “K-12.”
Lisa: You’ve recently released a new single, and is a punk pop tribute to the great Debbie Harry. It really has an old school punk note to it, and I love it. Tell me more about that, how did you get idea to write it?
Benedict: I always loved Debbie Harry as a singer and songwriter. She’s so emotionally ambivalent and ironic. For years I planned to compile her best rhymes into an homage. Then last year she published her autobiography, Face It – which gave me the chorus, “when I was dealing with depression, there was nothing better than heroin.” That was the missing piece that allowed me to pull together the song, “Spitting Rhymes from Debbie Harry.”
Lisa: You’ve also released a video for “I’ve Come to Tell You I’m Going Away”, and it’s beautiful. What inspired this song, and video?
Benedict: It’s a translation of a French song by another of my heroes, Serge Gainsbourg. The video is a time lapse shot over ten years of the graffiti that covers his house in Paris. As the song is about a break-up, I felt that the graffiti worked well as a visual of impermanence. Because we all want to be reminded that love is an illusory distraction from the inevitability of death – right?
Lisa: What else you’ve been doing last few months? Did you had a chance to perform anywhere?
Benedict: Your curiosity is understandable, but a gentleman never discusses what happens in the bedroom.
Lisa: Any Meditation, Tai Chi or herbal teas lately?
Benedict: Actually I’ve been going to this unisex beauty salon in Huntington Beach. They have this treatment for removing old skin particles that leaves your face literally glowing. It’s so good that the thrash band Slayer actually wrote a song about it, called “Dead Skin Mask.”
Lisa: Everyone can be provocative, but provocative artist is something different. How hard is to be a provocative artist these days?
Benedict: It’s constantly a challenge to find taboos to break. Lyrics about selling drugs and shooting people are high school level clichés. Artists like Rihanna, Lana del Rey and Ariana Grande can now sing “fuck me” as part of a mainstream love song. Lots of artists now have lyrics about paying for sex or getting paid for sex…. But at the same time it seems more people are getting offended more easily than ever before, meaning that any fool with a Twitter account can spark outrage….
Lisa: Have you changed your mind on “Hey Jude”, or would you still cancel it? 😊
Benedict: Has that still not happened? What’s the hold-up. Do you know? The other song that should be cancelled is any cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” – they make me yearn for the silence of a premature cremation.
Lisa: Was there ever a time when you thought about doing something else? If you weren’t a musician or video artist today, what else could you see yourself doing? Would you be as fulfilled in life?
Benedict: Maybe a tattoo artist specializing in inking phantom limbs. I think that’s about as useful as what musicians do.
Lisa: What are you working on right now?
Benedict: Just now making some guac with sea urchin to take over to a potluck dinner at Armie Hammer’s place. FYI we’re putting Armie strictly on dessert duty. Definitely none of that home made sausage.
Lisa: Anything you’d like to add that I didn’t ask?
Benedict: Well like many of your readers I was celebrating when The Donald left the White House, as a first step towards bringing back The Celebrity Apprentice. I’ve got a side bet going on in my Clubhouse group with Dan Bilzerian, Lizzo and Ronan Farrow on which of us gets called up first….