WITH A CAUSE
Toyah's new single is all about love. In the
video she plays a glamorous temptress. Has the fiery rebel finally conformed?
Ro Newton found out.
"I've grown up. I've become a much more secure
person and don't feel the need to prove myself. I don't want to be a joke
So says the new Toyah Willcox. The actress and
chanteuse extraordinaire is now sporting a new philosophy.
Toyah's back and means business. She's as vivacious
and enthusiastic as ever but determined to move away from her old image.
"I don't like gimmicks," she states, "because
eventually you become one. It's false security. I'm searching for a kind
of critical acclaim and quality I've never had.
The 'image' thing has alienated an audience from
my music that I would dearly like to win over."
Does this mean Toyah 'the rebel' is finally going
to conform for the sake of mass appeal?
"I couldn't even try to be utterly normal
because I'm not," she grins. "I want people to see the real me. In the
past I've wasted time posing, now I just get on with it. I'll never be
a lovey-dovey girl - there'll always be a sting in my tail.
"I've spent four years being zany, portraying
the outrageous punk, and I'll always be wild. When the doors are closed
I strip off and run around the house naked screaming like a banshee."
Toyah's blunt honesty is intriguing and sometimes
disturbing. Her new single 'Don't Fall In Love', released after a lengthy
absence from the charts and a new record company deal, reveals a dramatic
change in lyrical content.
She no longer recounts nightmarish fantasies but
ventures into that much used and abused emotion - love.
"For me, love is what wars were fought over. Women
are what wars were fought over. They are the controllers through time,
oppressed because they are so sexually powerful and threatening. Men only
lock up what they're afraid of."
So underneath all the powder, paint and peroxide,
is Toyah a closet feminist?
"To be a feminist you don't have to resort to
looking and behaving like a man," she exclaims. "You see these really beautiful
women with men falling at their feet. If they had half a brain they could
be real rulers, but they always end up as slaves to man.
"I'd like to see women being more subtle - like
the black widow spider, attracting the males and then attacking..."
In the 'Don't Fall In Love' video Toyah appears
as a sophisticated temptress which, considering her views on image, does
seem a little contrived.
"We chose a dress that was really wicked," she
enthuses with a mischievous gleam in her eye. "It was made of rubber
and took three people to get me in it."
This will doubtless attract unwelcome attention
from the weaker sex, something Toyah's not averse to...
"When I was doing Trafford Tanzi, I had
to wear a skin-tight leotard and soon found out that men were coming to
see it because they got off on watching a woman fighting a man. It was
There I was, making a wonderful political statement for women, and the
dirty raincoat brigade just lapped it up."
In future, Toyah doesn't see her career following
one particular path.
"I'm terribly fickle," she admits. "I've a total
addiction for everything I do - until I get bored. I thrive on spontaneity
and I've got to keep moving.
"I'd love to be able to produce and direct a film
and when I'm very old and rickety, I intend to write a fantastic book which
either makes people cry or shit themselves... I'm interested in psychic
research and developing the sixth sense.
"Most of all I want my voice to mature and get
rid of the lisp. When I see myself on the screen and hear that voice
I cringe... no wonder people want to strangle me!"
Number One Magazine