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INTERVIEW: The Black Flag meets Missy Le Pink

Back at the the beginning of October, the Black Flag was lucky enough to get a video interview with the fantastic missy Le Pink at the London Tattoo Convention....

Back at the the beginning of October, the Black Flag was lucky enough to get a video interview with the fantastic missy Le Pink at the London Tattoo Convention. It would have been a brilliant interview, if not for a technical glitch that meant we had no footage:-(

We managed to catch up with Missy recently in Camden where she was promoting her band ‘Viva Le Pink’s’ gig at the Black Heart on the 23rd November. Missy was nice enough to give us another interview. She told us about her Tattoo Tonic, her band ‘Viva Le Pink’ and her plans to tour the world…..

The Black Flag: We met up with you recently at the London Tattoo Convention. Where you were promoting your Tattoo Tonic. Can you tell us a bit about your Tattoo Tonic?

Missy le Pink: It was great to meet you there Steeve….

The Tonic is a home/hand made product I designed myself. I didn’t get on very well with Bepanthan (which is essentially a nappy rash cream), which has some very harsh chemical ingredients in it. It was after using that, and some of the other actual aftercare creams on the market, that I realised it was actually clogging up the pores of my skin and making them more irritated. When I researched lanolin, I discovered it was basically the grease from a sheep’s fur. Which is far to think for the skin to breathe through, hence for healing a wound, as essentially a fresh tattoo is, is not a very good idea! It’s definitely not a good idea for use on a young baby’s skin!

Having made a lot of my own products in the past, (I don’t put chemicals or animal products on my skin at all) I started playing with various natural ingredients, and researching which essential and vegetable oils would allow the skin to breathe, whilst protecting it at the same time, and tested various concoctions on my own tattoos until I came up with something really good. That’s how it started, from then on it’s been an uphill climb but I’m happy the people who have tried it are coming back and sticking with it, so I’m hoping the product will continue to grow from here!

TBF: How well was it received at the convention?

Missy: Really well! I was very pleased with the reception, I met some interesting people who seemed really inspired by the premise of the product, and the importance of the natural element, and especially after actually trying it on their skin/ink. We had a lot of people come on the first day, try it, and return on the last day with amazing feedback on it to buy a pot, which was great!

It’s amazing to me how many people, (tattooists included) don’t even think about the aftercare of an art piece, or remain not very up to date on the harmful chemicals in some of the existing products on the market. It’s going to be there forever, and rather than keep touching up or having to go over colours to make them stay bright, it’s important to look after them, and your skin in the first place to promote the longevity of the piece.

It’s your own personal job to look after your body, and it’s fine if you don’t want to…. but it obviously won’t stay good for as long as it could if you don’t!

TBF: What were your thoughts on the convention as a whole?

Missy: I Loved it, I had great fun throughout the weekend and thought the venue in general was a great choice, having never been there before. There were some fantastic artists in attendance, and although getting an appointment was virtually impossible I really enjoyed meeting some of the artists I’ve had my eye on and watching them in action.

Only one improvement that could possibly have been made would be to have VIva Le Pink on the bill….we’d have rocked that crowd!!

TBF: Do you think you’ll be attending next year?

Missy: Definitely, and hopefully not just with the tonic, but on the stage! Paws crossed!

TBF: Lets talk a bit about your band which is called Viva La Pink. How did that come about?

Missy: Well, it was a bit of a nick-name thing really, what with the elephant mascot, the pink hair, and that I was reading about that group of pink ladies in India who all learned to fight so they could protect themselves and each other in an unjust, male dominated world. They are very inspirational, see pic attached – I am determined my new band will kick ass with the best of them!

TBF: How would you describe your sound? Rockabilly or Psychobilly?

Missy: To be honest I think it’s a mixture of the both, I wouldn’t like to have to confine the sound to a particular genre, and it’s early days for the band. I’m still writing new songs and they seem to be whatever they want to be as they come out, so anyone expecting a particular sound or other may well feel hard done by as it’s just a hefty mx of everything I like. 🙂 Music, for me, when it’s stuck in a particular groove, gets boring, and one thing I never want to do is become that, I’d rather jack it all in and create something new. Guess that’s another reason why my “Queen Of Jack” title fits! 🙂

TBF: You’ve just released a EP called ‘the London Crawling EP’, which is a great title and an obvious homage to the Clash. I’m assuming your a big fan?

Missy: Oh yes, I Love the Clash. To be honest, the title track on the album, London Crawlin’, is a homage to them. The energy of it was definitely drawn from my Love of their unique and explosive stage personality, which I think will have to come out!

Joe Strummer was always quite political and outspoken, which is something I really admired in him and I think is largely missing in popular Music culture today. (Morrissey excluded!)

I don’t hold back when I have something to say, I don’t believe in it. And I have a lot to say about what’s happening to my city at the hands of some of the evil forces currently controlling it, which come out in the song.. If we all sit back and don’t sing/shout about it, we’ll be in a zombie town before they are finished. It’s my song about the damage I feel happening in the world.

TBF: Have you got any gigs coming up?

Missy: So far I am booking shows for 2013 which will give me time to get the band in the studio and write/develop and record the new tracks, but I am doing one on Friday the 23rd November at the black heart in Camden, that will probably be the only show until February as I’ll be working on the project in the background until then!

TBF: Is there anything else you want to plug?

Missy: My nose right now as it’s running!!

TBF: Where do you see yourself in the next Five years?

Missy: I really would like to go on tour, it will be my first and I just Love gigging! It’s loads of fun and I always like fresh challenges.. So hopefully I’ll have a few of those under my belt in the next five years, I’d like to also expand my tonic range and move into natural beauty products as it’s something I’m pretty confident I can do well and I’d rather have that as a sideline to Music than have to go and work for someone else. I’m quite strong willed and there aren’t too many businesses who’s ethics appeal to me, so it’s safer all round if I run my own!

Also, my dream guitar, a Gretsch pink penguin will come my way. When I first wrote that reply down I added “in my dreams” but have since removed it because I’m hoping if I believe it enough it WILL be mine!!

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