February 1996

Interview with Miki Berenyi 

Do you really wanna be a single girl?

No. It makes me feel lonely. It can be really hard work going out with someone but I like a good argument. It's nice to have someone there to vent all your anger on.

That single's proved everyone wrong, hasn't it?

I don't really know what you mean. All we had leveled against us was that we didn't ever have a Top 40 hit and now everyone's saying we've come back from the dead and that 'Single Girl' is the best thing we've ever done. Bollocks! We've done better stuff than that. Everything seems to be measured by sales these days. When we started out that kind of stuff didn't matter.

How many units of alcohol do you drink per week?

Probably about 50. Does that make me an alcoholic? Well, that's just an average - sometimes it might be only 10. I know we've got a reputation for being party animals but it's just that we find it hard to turn down a free drink.

So were you pissed last night?

I was absolutely rat-arsed! I went to a party and had really strong cider. Three bottles and you have to drag me off the ceiling.

If you could un-invent any one thing what would it be?

Mobile phones. They're really irritating. Anyone who has them ends up four times as stressed as they would be without them. The ansaphone was a brilliant invention, though - I like going home and thinking, 'I've got friends and they've all rung me!'

What's the stupidest thing you've ever done?

Stage-diving at Lollapalooza. I got really wrecked on tequila and halfway through Ministry's set I just threw my bottle in the air, ran to the end of the stage and flew off it. But the stage was 12 feet high and the crowd got out of the way. I had to have 15 stitches in my head.

If you had to live on one food and one drink for the rest of your life what would they be?

Japanese dumplings and tea. My mum used to make dumplings so they're like a comfort food. I could say cider for the drink but right now the last thing I want is a pint of cider.

What do you think of Fluffy?

I hate their image - all that stuff about not wearing knickers onstage and doing press shots in lingerie. I saw a photo of them in one of the tabloids and I just thought they looked like a bunch of Page 3 girls.

You're just jealous!

Don't be stupid! I hate all that tits and arse stuff. But musically I think they're alright.

What was it like doing a duet with Jarvis Cocker?

I'd originally written the song 'Ciao' for Chris (Ackland, Lush's drummer) but he refused to sing it. I've known Jarvis for a while so I asked him to do it instead. He went straight into the booth and did all that heavy breathing stuff and singing in those shivering tones of his. And he did a little talky bit in the middle which he made up himself. He did a fantastic job.

What's your biggest fault?

I'm really awful to people in relationships. When I have to consider either someone else's feelings or mine it will always be mine - so people end up getting hurt.

Your new single's called 'Ladykillers'. What's the story?

It's about blokes who fancy the arse off themselves and think that you must fancy them as well. I find that really dull.

Have you ever been in a life-threatening situation?

When I was about 15 I was attacked when I was walking home. I heard someone running behind me so I turned round and there was this bloke with a tie in his hand making a grab for me.

God! What happened?

He got this thing around my neck so I just sat down and screamed. He was kicking me and shouting at me to get up. Eventually he ran away, but it messed me up for a long time.

Have you got any pets?

I've got three cats and two goldfish. The goldfish are called Vic and Bob. Do they look like Vic and Bob? Er, well the little one looks a bit like Bob.

How come you can hear the lyrics on your records now?

It's all down to confidence. I never used to be confident about my singing. I haven't got a very good voice but I've leamt that you can get away with a hell of a lot if you belt it out a bit. We've also got much better at playing our instruments. When we started out we were bloody awful. I still find it quite hard to play guitar and sing at the same time.

When was the last time you had a fight?

Last Friday. I split up with my boyfriend about 7 months ago but we'd bought this flat together and it just got to the point where one of us had to go. We had this screaming row and he buggered off. But I've got the flat.

Liam Gallagher says he fancies you and promises eternal love if you follow him upstairs. Are you convinced?

He does that to nearly every girl who's in a band! I think I'd just say, "Yeah, right. I'm off to the bar. Bye!" I don't want to slag him off but he's got a really bad reputation. He made a play for Emma (Anderson, co-singer and guitarist) once. She said it was weird because one minute they were just playing the piano together and the next minute he kissed her and said, "Come on then, shall we go back to my hotel?" She just said, "Er, I don't think so."

What's the worst venue you've ever played in?

We played at Prince's LA club (Me Glam Slam) and it was a nightmare. At one point we were sitting with our feet resting on one of the millions of Prince symbols around the place and the security guys ordered us to take our feet off it because it meant we were insulting Prince. And they kept searching through our bags because you weren't allowed cameras in the venue in case he turned up. Then the power went during our third song so we ended up having a row with one of the security guys. He said, "You think you've got problems. I'm going to have a guy on the phone to me tomorrow and his name is Prince!"

Miki talked to Ed Hall