You’d have to be living on the Moon or North Korea, not to have heard of the Suicide Girls, the alternative modelling agency that’s famous for featuring tattooed and pierced hotties in pinup style photos has become one of the biggest names on the alternative scene.
What isn’t so well known though is the amount of side projects that the Suicide Girls brand are involved in. Everything from books to movies, comic books and of course Burlesque.
The Suicide Girls Blackheart Burlesque first toured over 10 years ago and was a roaring success. After a decade of being left on the shelf, the Blackheart Burlesque is back and coming to London on Saturday 10th January.
We caught up with the founder of the Suicide Girls and brains behind the show Missy Suicide to find out why you need to see the show….
The Black Flag: The Suicide Girls Blackheart Burlesque first toured back in the early 2000’s. Why did you choose now to take the show back on the road?
Missy Suicide: Putting on this kind of show is a lot of work and it’s pretty intensive. And so we kind of wanted to focus on other things, so we put out a book and then it was like shall we put the show back out and then it was like well….. Let’s make a movie, let’s do this and let’s do that. And it just kept getting put on hold and put on hold and put on hold. But it was something that we really love doing.
And then we released our book ‘Hard Girls, Soft Light’ and that was two years ago. We sent two girls up and down the West coast doing a book signing at comic book shops. It was just two girls and they signed books at a comic book shop in Santa Cruz which is a tiny town in California, There was like 500 to 700 people standing outside waiting to get two girls autographs and we were like well it’s time to get the band back together, people really want a live show and we can put on something way better than just having two girls at a comic shop and so we decided that the time was right to put it back on.
TBF: So what can we expect from the show?
Missy: There’s a ton of pop culture references, its sexy, it’s fun, it’s impossible to leave without a smile…
TBF: The show features choreography from Manwe Sauls-Addison, who has worked with world famous performers such as Beyonce, Jennifer Lopez and Lady Gaga. How did he get involved with the show?
Missy: Well we had worked with him on a Television pilot that didn’t end up going anywhere, but he and I had got on really well and so I called him up and we started thinking about some ideas for the show. I was like ‘I’ve got some ideas but this isn’t like your typical Burlesque show’ and he was like ‘ok alright’ and then I was like ‘I don’t think you understand me’ and he was ‘alright lay it on me’ and so I said ‘let’s see if we can work out this one number and if this works then this should be good. So I want Planet of the Apes theme, girls in bikinis and monkey masks, set to Disclosure’s ‘When Fire Starts to Burn,’. So he spent like a week reviewing and going over everything for the auditions and he showed me what he had, just him doing it and I was blown away by his choreography. We’ve been sharing the burden ever since and coming up with crazy idea’s. I love him so much, he’s the best collaborator to work with!
TBF: The show features Star Wars and Clockwork Orange inspired routines that sound amazing…
Missy: Yeah there’s a lot of pop culture themes like movies, comic books and video games and cartoons. All the kind of stuff that people who’d grown up in the last twenty years would really appreciate and be into.
TBF: So how does it feel to be returning back to the UK?
Missy: It feels great, I’m really excited, especially that it’s Madam JoJo’s (this was before the iconic venue recently lost its license). It’s sort of a dream come true. We’re really just over the moon. I can’t wait. It’s a great way to start off the year.
TBF: Which girls will be performing at the show?
Missy: I’m really not sure which girls will be performing. We hold auditions every time that we do a show and have different performers come in and join the troupe. Right now our troop is like 25 girls that are all part of our gang I guess. So that we can have different girls perform at different times and place. It’s a long and intense tour and if girls schedules mean that they can only be there for a portion of it or get injured or something, so we have to take those things into account.
TBF: So it can essentially be a different show every night?
Missy: No it’s the same show every night but different girls do different portions of the tour. So I’m not sure who’s going to be at the London show. We probably won’t know more until a few weeks before the show. But we are going to have some of our UK favourites as special guests. Arabella is going to do a number as well as Katherine. You guys are actually allowed to do Fire and we’re not allowed to do fire on our tour.
So we have Arabella who has been a Suicide girl for a number of years and now and she’s going to do a number for us and Katherine who has done a lot of fire stuff and actually hosted a portion of the US tour.
TBF: The show really does look like it’s going to be amazing. Do you think that Burlesque is a natural progression for the Suicide Girls as an Alternative Modelling Agency?
Missy: Yes. The same way that we updated pinup photos on the SG website, we kind of wanted to update Burlesque and put a modern twist on it. So it seems like the natural progression of that, which kind of brings the whole sort of sexy spirit of the photos to life.
TBF: Burlesque actually dates back to ancient Greece and yet still remains popular today as a performance art. Why do you think that is?
Missy: I think that it’s theatrical, it’s an entertaining experience, it’s funny, its sexy and all about the tease that appeals to people. Burlesque is a pretty good show. And it appeals to people because they want a funny sexy show.
TBF: Where are you off to after the England shows?
Missy: I think we’re doing Canada after that and Asia. We’re hoping to make it to South America at some point. Our booking agent is sorting it all out.
TBF: Are you going to continue with the Burlesque shows or are you going to put it away for a few years and then come back to it again?
Missy: No I think that we’re really excited and It feel like the first time we had a lot of kinks to work out and now the shows just becoming better and better and better. It’s becoming its own sort of machine and it would be impossible to top at this point. We’re just having so much fun with it in that exciting man way and finding that other half of that theatrical, creative mind has really been a godsend and also we’re worked out a lot of the kinks of being out on the road and all the little things like being on buses and things that you just don’t think about. It’s all just been in overdrive working out all these things that going about your day you just don’t think about. I feel like we’re really starting to get everything down and I’m really excited about what the future holds.
TBF: Are you going to be coming out yourself?
Missy: I believe that I will be yeah
TBF: I imagine you all being on tour together is quite fun…
Missy: It’s so much fun. We had like a private tour of the Sidney Zoo and we just had the best time, just hanging out, exploring new area’s and seeing the world
TBF: Missy thanks so much for talking to the Black Flag. I look forward to see the show
The Suicide Girls Blackheart Burlesque @ the Electric Ballroom Camden on Saturday 10th Jan 8pm
Check out http://blackheartburlesque.com/ for Tickets