Exclusive: Great LezBritain Interview with Shabby Katchadourian


AE: You do have a lot of Twitter followers and are very active – is that important to you?
SK: I didn’t start my Twitter for quite a while because when I left I had this impression that I was very unpopular, but the support I actually received was overwhelming. I think people thought I was a bit of an arsehole on Big Brother and I can understand why they thought that. Though what I think, about myself and what I say to these teenagers that talk to me on Twitter is, you don’t have to have figured everything out.

AE: Does it bother you when you do get bad press? When you were in our Legs Eleven article there was a user comment about you drinking too much and not treating your fans very well after a gig with your band Voodoo Hussy, that seemed to really affect you?
SK: In a way that one comment I got on AfterEllen.com bothered me more than any other criticism I received previously because I do try and speak to everyone I can but sometimes people don’t understand that I’ve been told that I’m not allowed to come out after a gig because there are curfews and most of our gigs are over 14s.

Something I have never disclosed before is that I suffer from bi-polar disorder so when I do come off stage I struggle in large groups and have even had panic attacks. But I am a firm believer that a band doesn’t get anywhere without their fans and that’s why that comment really did hurt me.

AE: Your band does gig fairly regularly so is that an ongoing worry for you or is it something that is getting easier the more you do it?
SK: I just didn’t expect any of this and over time it doesn’t really get any easier. The band started before Big Brother with nobody apart from our mums coming to see us. We did start to get bigger and get some label interest but combusted through some inter-band issues – we were all knobbing each other basically!

After Big Brother, the band seemed to be massive so I didn’t really have a choice in whether I wanted to be in the band, it was just assumed that I would. Getting back with Voodoo Hussy is like getting back with an old girlfriend that you shouldn’t have let slip by.

AE: What are your ambitions for the band?
SK: I genuinely want the band to work, I didn’t want to sign up to a big label when we-reformed and have a flash in the pan success with a quick single release. I want longevity and every single member of the band is important to making Voodoo Hussy work.

AE: What are Voodoo Hussy’s biggest inspirations and influences?
SK: I hearted Gwen Stefani growing up which I think was my mum’s first indication that I was a lesbian. I do actually prefer the male-dominated American punk bands and bands like L7. I do believe it’s important for people not to conform to society’s rules and expectations, feel a sense of self-autonomy and I also obviously write about girls.

AE: How do you find being a woman in the music industry?
SK: I do hate that when we are introduced on radio shows as being a band and being women, when we should just be introduced as a band. Voodoo Hussy don’t identify as a girl band – we are just girls who happen to be in a band.

AE: So we hear on the grapevine that you will be appearing in a new reality TV show – can you tell us about that?
SK: I was approached by Channel Five and asked whether I wanted to be in it. It revolves around four central characters and I know that DJ Lil Jo who was originally in Shipwrecked will also be in it.  Right now all I really know is that it is going to be like The Real L Word but a documentary style programme about my actual life. Unlike Big Brother there will be no artificial environmental manipulation.

AE: Is it going to be as explicit as the The Real L Word, we wouldn’t let them follow you into your bedroom?
SK: I haven’t seen the US version but that does explain in the initial interview why they were asking me loads of questions about my sex life, which was a bit weird. They’ll be disappointed if they are expecting any sluttish behavior because I’ve only had sex once since Big Brother.

“Great LezBritain” authors Sarah, a Londoner, and Lee, a Glaswegian, met in a gay discotheque one bleak mid winter, eight years ago and have been shacked up together ever since. When not watching Tipping The Velvet, they find time to write, run a PR company, DJ at their own club nights and love a bit of jam on toast. Follow them on Twitter at greatlezbritain. 

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