The term iconic, gets bandied around a lot these days, but if there is one artist, of which iconic can surely be used to describe, it would be Peaches. Since releasing their debut album, The Teaches Of Peaches in 2001, this artist has continued to push back against society, with a musical style which is unapologetic, outspoken and transgressive as all hell.

Now, Peaches is back, having recently released new single Pussy Mask, which the singer tells Star Observer, was inspired by the world at large, and of course, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“There was so much going on in the states at the time, with Trump trying with his last fingers to hold on to power, and just the frustration of Coronavirus, and people’s attitudes towards it, to not wear masks and all that.”

“I took all that frustration and put my spin on it and tried to have some fun in the face of it all. This song is satirical, and we can all feel like we have these concerns and but have a bit of a laugh with it.

It’s 8am in Berlin, where Peaches, a Canadian local, has lived for several years now, and as we continue our conversation via Zoom, it doesn’t take long for our attentions to turn to the damage inflicted by Trump’s time in office.

“That whole Presidency just took us back tens of thousands of millions of years. It really was shocking from the minute he was elected, he slashed everything down. Even now, trans teens must be put in specified sports teams, and parents and teachers who are allies to trans teens are punished for being allies. Also, there are still issues around abortion laws.

“You would think in this year particularly, that it would bring us together but no, people are still in their corners fighting for the issues that polarise us.”

So, what is does the term queer mean to Peaches? Well, as the artist tells us, “Queerness is so individual, but to me, it just means you can be free and express yourself the way you need to… it’s so confusing as to why that can’t happen.”

It’s hard to pinpoint one particular highlight from the artist’s career, from breakout hit Fuck The Pain Away, which mashed together the insurmountable pain of a break-up and a cancer scare into one hell of a thumping track, to the more recent Whose Jizz is This? – her first solo art exhibition at Hamburg’s Kunstverein.

“I never thought my career would take off. I think that was surprising and exciting, there has always been a misunderstanding around what it is I do. Some people are like this is totally political, or this a-political, or Peaches is so angry or so funny, or this isn’t funny enough.

“I think that is interesting too, because it brings in a conversation also, which to me, is like wow, how are people not just getting what I am saying? But it has also opened to me more perspectives. That’s so important, to keep learning and understanding my idea of intersectional feminism, and whiteness and my idea of lightness – all that needs to evolve too.

“If you can do it in a way that is inclusive, or bring people in or make them feel comfortable, and feel positive about what their struggle is, and to bring light to the status quo or standards that don’t have any purpose being standards or status quo’s.” 

Like so many artists, Peaches had all her plans thrown out the window in 2020. So when the enormity of the global pandemic finally sank in, it was a moment she will never forget.

“If I think of my own shows, they are the most pandemic unfriendly shows possible, everyone comes together and gets all hot and sweaty, so I want to wait as long as possible. I don’t want to do my show just for all those people to get Coronavirus, its things I’ve never wanted or needed to think about, you know?”

“People are changed because of this, it’s traumatising, and of course it’s even harder for communities which need to be together and be together in that way.”

We conclude our interview by turning our attentions to Peaches new album, and though she remained tight lipped, Peaches tell us that there is definitely more new music on the horizon.

Pussy Mask came from me working on a new album, so yes I am working on it, but for me there was a lot of the same fear and doubt that everyone was going through last year, but I am getting into it now and its happening.”

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