Genesis Breyer P-Orridge (b.1950) is an English singer-songwriter, musician, poet, performance artist and visual artist. P-Orridge first achieved notice as founder of the COUM Transmissions artistic collective, which operated in Britain from 1969 to 1975. P-Orridge fronted the pioneering industrial band Throbbing Gristle from 1975 to 1981 and the experimental band Psychic TV from 1981 to present. In 1996, P-Orridge and partner Jackie “Lady Jaye” Breyer P-Orridge embarked on the Pandrogyne Project. P-Orridge is currently performing within h/er spoken word project, Thee Majesty, and the most current incarnation of Psychic TV labeled PTV3. Collaborators include Aaron Dilloway, Merzbow, Tony Conrad, William S. Burroughs, Timothy Leary, Monte Cazazza, Hafler Trio, White Stains, Z’ev and countless others.
Laura Jane Grace sings and plays guitar in the band Against Me! You can follow her on Twitter here.
For the latest episode of the Talkhouse Music Podcast, we invited Talkhouse Music’s new editor-in-chief, Amy Rose Spiegel, to choose one of her favorite episodes from the vault. The one she picked happens to be one of my faves, as well: Genesis Breyer P-Orridge with Laura Jane Grace. The episode, which originally aired in 2015, is presented here in its entirety with a new introduction from Amy Rose and me.
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New introduction recorded and mixed by Mark Yoshizumi.
“Transsexuals are the stormtroopers of the future.” So says Genesis P-Orridge, the iconic, visionary musician who has fronted influential bands like Psychic TV and Throbbing Gristle. While P-Orridge isn’t transgender — they* call themselves a pandrogyne — their partner in this Talkhouse Music Podcast, Against Me! frontwoman Laura Jane Grace, came out as transgender in 2012. Still, as P-Orridge points out, both musicians have done something very brave: they’ve transitioned, in one way or another, in front of their audience. And it was P-Orridge who paved the way. As Grace says here, “Someone like yourself is so important to me.”
P-Orridge and Grace might hail from different generations, countries and musical communities, but they found plenty to talk about: what it was like to transition in public, the mind-body duality, paranormal phenomena, the perennial bathroom problem, the perennnial airport screening problem, courage, death, Caitlyn Jenner, a hilarious exchange about what to wear on stage, dealing with photographers who want you to show your boobs, and what P-Orridge calls “a gradual shift in the way that gender and sexuality are perceived in our species.”
This is one of the more fascinating and potentially visionary exchanges we’ve ever had on the Talkhouse Podcast. It’s also one of the more risqué, so if you’re easily offended, maybe you’ll want to check out one of our other podcasts.
* A word about pronouns: P-Orridge call themselves “we” because they feel at one with their late wife Lady Jaye. Much more about that in the podcast.