Polystyrene was just a teenager when she became the singer in punk band X-Ray Spex. In 1977, they released their classic single ‘Oh Bondage Up Yours!’ and played on the same bill as bands like The Buzzcocks and Wire. After struggles with her mental health, Poly opted out of music. She has spent the last two decades writing, occasionally resurrecting X-Ray Spex for reunions and finding solace in her Hare Krishna faith. She has just released a new solo album, Generation Indigo, produced by Youth, which features guest appearances from her sister, her daughter Celeste and Viv Albertine of The Slits. Watch the video for her latest single, ‘Virtual Boyfriend’.
EDIT: April 26th, the Anti Room are very sad to hear the news of Poly Styrene’s death. She was an important figure in 1970s punk and an inspiration many women in music. RIP Poly.
What’s the first record you ever bought?
My Sweet Lord by George Harrison.
What’s your favourite smell?
Have you ever had a nickname?
What is your favourite room in your house?
What are your guilty pleasures?
What would people be surprised to know about you?
That cancer unknowingly crept up on me.
Who is your closest female friend?
Do you have any tattoos or piercings?
Where would you most like to live?
Where I am now, by the sea.
Who was your first kiss and where did it happen?
What’s the most unusual question you’ve ever been asked?
The last one you just asked.
What’s the best Christmas present you’ve ever received?
A hotwire cutter that cut through polystyrene.
What is your favourite word?
Who was your first love?
If you weren’t doing what you do, what might you have become?
Is there a book you’ve bought several times as a gift for someone?
What happens after we die?
Our soul leaves our body and reincarnates, or gets a complete spiritual form.
What female historical figure do you admire most?
Right now, Florence Nightingale.
Sum yourself up in three words:
Optimistic, Happy, Bubbly
And finally… What are you anti?
What are you pro?