In the late 1980's and early 1990's my partner Franco Palazzolo and I edited and published HYPE Magazine in New Yorks East Village
. A money losing labour of love, I am now putting all of the articles from issues one to twelve nto the public domain. This interview was originally published in HYPE NYC
, issue number one, April 1990.
Interview with the band DEEE-LITE; The Lady Miss Kier Kirby, Super DJ Dmitry, and Jungle DJ Tohwa Towha.
By Allison Ritch, Painter
Allison - Who are your heroes, currently and historically?
DEEE-LITE - One of our major inspirations is Sly and the Family Stone just because of their emphasis on positivty and beauty and good messages. We like a lot of the house music and hip-hop. Towha co-produced the Jungle Brothers latest album called "Done by the Forces of Nature and A Tribe Called Quest" with Q-Tip. Also, we like De La Soul, whom we opened for at the Ritz in August.
Kirby - We like and are inspired by everything. More specifically glitter stuff, 60's psychedelic stuff like Wolff, Arthur Brown, Velvet Underground, Led Zepplin.
A - So what is happening career wise?
K - We have not deliberately waited to get a deal, we just waited for someone to get really and sincerly excited. We talked to a lot of people and it has taken a while but yesterday we talked to Geffen records. They offered us an album to produce ourselves. This means we have creative control and we don't have to answer to anyone but ourselves. So we've been offered by Polygram, Geffen and Virgin. They're all for international deals and they're all the best thing we could have been offered.
A - What is your budget?
K - They would probably consider paying a new act 50 Thousand which is shit! A lot of independents pay 50 to around 150 to 200. A huge successful artist like Michael Jackson spent two million on an album. Kinda hard to comprehend.
A - And also 1 million on a single video years ago.
K - Madonna spent 5 million of express yourself, but she also made 60 million on her concert tour.
A - You are in a position to show people ways to be. At what point did you decide to be an icon?
D - I don't want to be an icon for others, what I do want to show is that an individual can do whatever he likes and can go as far as he wants. Its up to them to take it to the limit. There is no limit. Its not about telling people what to do.
A - Live out your fantasies!
K - Yes, and try to be good to your fellow man. Be positive, that can be enough. Try to look at the good things, seek them out and find them.
A - What is your drug policy. What do you think about whats happened to Boy George? He was saying "Don't do them" when he really was.
D - He really hurt himself. In the beginning he had really helped to break stereotypes. He paved the way for people to do something really outrageous and then when the whole drug thing came out it set things back even more. He showed himself to be insincere and turned public opinion against freaks and individuals.
K - I can't understand why anyone wants to chemically alter their senses. People should do this in a much healthier way.
A - Meditating?
K - Yes.
D - I've always been in favor of psychedelics. I don't believe in lumping all drugs together. I'm for the legalization of marijuana.
A - What are your favorite psychedelics?
D & K & T - All of them!
K - Acid, X, Shrooms!
D - Peyote
K - Its not that we do it all the time. I think it would be neat if people used it like psychiatrists use it with patients.
A - What do you learn from drugs?
D - Different outlook.
K - Different perspective.
A - What spirituality are any of you involved in?
K - Synchronicity. It's the magic of the moment. Every moment in your life matters. There's no such thing as killing time.
D - Simultaneous creation. I don't believe in coincidence.
K - More like destiny.
D - All humans constitute a collective consciousness and we all tap into it.
K - And if you want to its even easier. Its like when you think of someone and they call you the next day. When we play music we're tapping into this. When you're 20 minutes into a jam and it clicks and its beautiful, that's what keeps us going. Those coincidences that to me are magic. Its based on the I Ching philosophy. Again its just another perspective.
A - What about love?
K - Good love is good love.