Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Interview - Joe Black

The neo-vaudevillian, the real life Disney villain, the gin-addled courtesan, the anti-christ of cabaret and the one and only waltzing cynic... Eccentric to international stages, Joe Black takes to shows in an almost cartoon-esque theatrical assault, sweeping the audiences through an array of show tunes, ballads, and a rather varied but fine selection of morally questionable entertainment. Though seemingly unable to fit into any particular category, Joe Black has none the less defied description and taken to stages across the world.
Joe Black, or Mister Black, if you'd prefer? Is no stranger to the ridiculous, the sometimes disturbing, or
the downright shocking world of entertainment. As well as regularly treading the boards of the sell out sensation that is the worlds biggest fetish club Torture Garden and international tours with the critically acclaimed Ministry of Burlesque, he also hosts his own sell out residency in the lavish Edwardian Kings Theatre, in Hampshire. An entertaining and inspiring cabaret artist, with a constant stream of theatrical endeavours across the UK, Europe and Internationally, Joe Black has performed and toured alongside the likes of the Tiger Lillies and Toyah Wilcox, as well as performing sold out shows, headlining arts and music festivals across Europe, touring America, raising the roof at the historical treasure that is the British Library in London and performing a series of shows in Australia at the infamous Butterfly Club in Melbourne.
One of the pioneering personalities in neo cabaret, Joe Black is the unmistakable Vaudevillian Villain.

Joe Black "The King of Cabaret Noir" The Metro

What was your first experience of Burlesque or Cabaret, and what convinced you to start yourself?

I used to perform on the streets as an accordion player, sometimes with a violinist! She heard about a local burlesque night and managed to grab us a spot at the show.... I had been performing my own peculiar brand of cabaret songs and stage shows alongside bands and such, for a few years before that but had not actually been involved within the cabaret scene as of yet. I suppose that was my first exposure to it, hands on but its something I had watched and been interested in for years.

"Absurd, Terrifying and Brilliantly Original." ScotsGay Magazing

You have a unique and ever-changing image – what inspires these changes and which look has been your favourite so far?

I feel like every artist needs to grow as they continue otherwise it becomes stale and too samey. (is that even a word?) My favourite is my current look. I enjoy every look more than the last. The blue hair and suit with ridiculous hats and cadaver like make-up is very much a current pleasure of mine! I get inspired by things I see, things I hear; sounds and music can evoke images... and I construct what I take from it.

I get inspired by things I see, things I hear;

Who are your biggest influences/inspirations?

Musically... singer song-writers: Tom Waits, Nick Cave, Tori Amos, Amanda Palmer... that kind of thing; though I don't really sound anything like any of them I take great inspiration.
Content wise... people like Tom Lehrer, The Tiger Lillies, Victoria Wood; musical comedy and general filth!

Tom Waits ** Nick Cave

Tori Amos ** Amanda Palmer

Tom Lehrer ** Victoria Wood

The Tiger Lillies

Tell us a little about your favourite experiences so far

Wave Gothick Treffen festival in Leipzig (Germany): the biggest Gothic music festival in the world... I was headlining the Moritzbastei Castle venue: I was convinced I was going to have things thrown at me but people went ballistic! Encores galore. It was without a doubt my favourite live experience ever!

"Charismatic and downright Filthy: There can be no one else quite like him." Broadway Baby

Tell me something no one would suspect about you

I am completely socially awkward and shy, unless I know someone. I try my best to chat and be nice to everyone at shows! But I am painfully awkward. Painfully!!!

I am completely socially awkward and shy.

Finally, any words of advice for newcomers to the scene?

Work hard. Work VERY hard. Make the contacts. Treat everyone with respect and stay true to what you want to do. You will always grow and develop. Go with it though stick to what you love. Never change because someone tells you that you need to. You will have many sleepless nights. You will spend most of your time on public transport or in cars. But it will all be worth it.

Work hard. Work VERY hard... it will be worth it.

More Joe

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