Sick N Beautiful
A visual feast for more than one reason
A very lucky Simon Faulkner got to talk to lead vocalist Herma.
The Sick n Beautiful are a beautiful, visually stunning band and have had an extremely busy year. Not only have they released the very successful album, ‘Element of Sex,’ being talented artists in their own right, they have also published their brilliant new comic, ‘Ground Zero.’ Armed with all of this information, and a stun gun, just in case, I met with the beautiful Herma for an in-depth chat about everything extra-terrestrial.
In space no one can hear you scream... (unless of course it’s this band of Aliens.)
The Sick n’ Beautiful originate from a terra-forming planetoid know as LV-426 'Acheron', which most of you will be aware of from the ‘Alien’ films, (which they point out is completely factual). They left Acheron some time ago and haven’t been able to get in touch with their home since. As they explain, “All communication has just broken down”. (Sounds strangely familiar).
This group of exotic intergalactic circus people, were travelling between worlds when their ship suffered catastrophic damage and they were forced to crash–land on Earth, somewhere in Italy. Over the last few years their sole aim is to get enough resources to repair the ship and restart their voyage. They aim to do this the best way they know how – Entertainment. In the crash their pilot was injured, and their first mission was to abduct a human female replacement, and create a hybrid – Herma, (documented in their video for Radio Siren on their first album).
The crew comprise of:
Big Daddy Ray: Captain and bass player, living by the universal law of the three B’s: Boobs, Beer and Bass.
Rev C2: The masked and secretive guitarist.
Herma: A half human hybrid, voice set to stun, and looks set to kill, provides the vocals.
Loba: Known as the berserker, both with the ladies and his guitar.
Evey: An exotic plant-like life form, and blood drinking carnivore on drums.
The Sick n’ Beautiful take established genres and create a new one, dark and unashamedly catchy. Keyboards and surprising breaks provide such a varied hybrid blend of music that almost everyone will love a certain track. The sheer energy and creativity of the band draws you in, and it is hard not to be impressed. ‘Element of Sex’ is impeccably mixed, and the levels are all spot on. The Sick n’ Beautiful just ooze charisma and Herma is always incredibly provocative. The production is astounding and the dedication to our whole immersion into their universe is flawless. Themes of sex and the occult are layered throughout and sit perfectly with the image the band wish to portray. The album excels even without the astonishing visual impact that they bring live. With extreme theatrics, make-up and costumes, they are a band that certainly stand out and are impossible to ignore. Live this band is mesmeric, but the album is brilliant even if you know nothing about them. They are not just about image without substance, think more substance with an attitude.
They have adopted our planet and I feel that we should embrace their crazy alien way and adopt them back.
I count myself as fortunate to have been given time with Herma, who had fortunately put time aside from her hectic ship repair schedule to answer some of the more important questions regarding the band.
First and foremost was finding out about the crash landing.
“We crashed down in Rome in the dead of night, but luckily the thunder-crash and rolling clouds of debris kept the locals out for long enough for us to make our way out and blend in with the interesting, if primitive, local population. If you want a more colourful and vivid depiction of the events, don’t miss the first issue of our comic book which has our origin story in full. It tells the first chapter of our story, of how we got to earth, and even how some of us came to be (or left, unexpectedly during our journey through the stars and here on earth). If it will becomes a success we will release more numbers going over some of the crazy things that have happened to us since our arrival.”
Herma was of course talking about the release of their new comic. Something that is close to her heart (if they have those. Not too sure.) So, let’s get to it.
Simon: Ah, your new comic book ‘Ground Zero’. Of course, I’ve seen the preview and it looks a blast, complete with adult content as we would all expect! I’ve looked at the fundraiser on Indiegogo and it seems well on target. So, tell us all about where you came from, was it originally ‘Acheron’...?
Herma: We are a rag tag crew, and we come from many different corners of the cosmos, sharing our passion for music and exploration, but as chance would have it we came together on Acheron (humans know it as LV-426, a tad dry, but we accept it) where our ship (The BFS9000) was commissioned.
Simon: Of course, LV426, Acheron is known for another non-indigenous vicious alien, how did you deal with them?
Herma: We get along with them just fine, they’re a bit touchy, but they understand the universal language (music, of course) and we embrace diversity in every life form. We couldn’t live on earth otherwise.
Simon: Well that is surprising, a bit touchy but seems to be a slight under exaggeration! Earth of course has plenty of media created aliens. If you had to pick a favourite from our TV, books or movies, which would it be and why..?
Herma: You humans surprised us as your imagination drew up all sorts of alien creatures. What surprised us about this you may ask? Your imagination is largely accurate. Having to pick a specific creature, we would have to go with the instant classic Alien itself. We share a planet with them too. They’re as deadly as they are cuddly, and you have to love their determination. They’re a bit like kittens to us.
Simon: Kittens? I find that very hard to believe but regarding the name, The Beautiful explains itself as you are all shockingly attractive, so could you please explain the Sick?
Herma: Of course. We are sick. Not so much in the clinical sense (or are we?), as much as in the slightly crazy, unruly, haphazard way we live, love and play. That’s what makes us beautiful in my opinion.
Simon: Yes, it’s hard to argue with that point of view. Live love and play, definitely something humans should aspire to do more. Talking of humanity, I hear our blood and sushi are some of your favourite Terran foods, but what sustenance did you discover in the UK?
Herma: We found no shortage of human blood for our little plant, albeit mixed with more tea and beer than is customary (Italian blood is about 65% coffee and 25% wine, the rest is quite understandably… blood), and the local human population, that we quickly befriended, gifted us with exquisite whisky, coke zero (aliens, much like human children, can go into overdrive with too much sugar) and plenty of food. The tour was demanding but when we did get the chance we thoroughly enjoyed English cuisine.
Simon: Of course, that probably sums up the British far too well. So swiftly moving along. ‘Element of Sex’ is the title of your second album. Is sex as we know it universal or did you develop your exquisite tastes on Earth?
Herma: Sex is universal, a basic and fundamental concept that we do our best to spread, free of care and prejudice, and as that great man (Spock) once said, the glory of creation is in its infinite diversity and in the ways our differences combine to create meaning and beauty. And in our case, pleasure.
Simon: Who could possibly argue with that! In your newest single ‘New Witch 666’ and its stunning video, you chant The Charm of Making! "Anall nathrach, oorfas bethud, dorhiel dienvay", which is also featured in the 1981 film Excalibur (which I presume you have seen). Have you successfully managed to cast this spell and to what result?
Herma: It can be cast, but with great peril, and the side effects are no joke (apprentice necromancers beware, don’t cast this at home!). We can’t reveal our secret master plan, at least, not until it’s too late to stop us. (Cue evil laugh)
Simon: Well if your master plan is to spread love and happiness, then we will all look forward to a beautiful future. So, Herma, as a hybrid, how do you manage to keep up with your earthly design and production specialties, and are people aware of your duality?
Herma: It was difficult at first, losing the need for sleep, growing stronger, but also hungrier (of mind and body) and discovering my new powers, and, my new desires, but I think everyone who knows me will say how determined and focused I am. My duality simply helps me keep us on course.
Simon: The Human side of course helps the rest of the crew and helps create relationships with the indigenous population. I presume this helped develop the connection with Jano Custom Guitars. Your guitars are custom made, do they contain alien tech or composites? They seem to be very durable, especially against grinders...?
Herma: We were astonished when we first met Jano. We could say he found us. He could see through our human disguises and contacted us to talk. We were wary, but also curious. It turned out we both had a lot to offer, and he meant no harm. To this day I don’t know whether he’s a spectacularly talented human, or if he is a hybrid like me. Perhaps he is the offspring of an all-powerful alien mind, stranded on earth just like us. A master craftsman and tinkerer, he makes the best of his superior knowledge of sound and music, using only human made materials and primitive electronics.
Simon: It does appear to be a perfect symbiosis of Man, or indeed ‘Alien’ and machine! Regarding the themes you write about, the Occult, science fiction and of course sexual pleasure, if you had to select just one of your songs to get people hooked what would it be?
Herma: It would have to be ‘Sick To The Bone.’ It’s the perfect showcase, easy to pick up, enticing lyrics and gets the crowds singing every time. My second choice would have been ‘Radio Siren’ or ‘New Witch.’ The first track is very catchy and danceable, and the second darker and heavier.
Simon: New Witch 666 is certainly my favourite, as in my view it showcases everything that is great about the band. Your music is incredibly varied, so who are your main influences, and was this before you arrived ('crashed') on Earth.
Herma: Our influences are so many and varied and the result can only be very unique... I will admit, several of your earthbound bands did strike home. Impressively creative, technically sound, and great entertainers all around. I would say we loved and learned a lot from KISS, Alice Cooper, Rob Zombie, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Nine Inch Nails, Def Leppard, Kate Bush, The B-52’. Also, your vast amount of Sci-Fi, horror and Grind-house movies, some of which have been surprisingly accurate about what lies in the depths of space. (even “Killer Klowns from Outer Space” gave a startlingly accurate depiction of modern day Ophiucans).
Simon: Ophiuchus, of course that’s a large constellation incorporating ‘Serpens’, known by some as the thrirteenth sign of the Zodiac! Now regarding a part of your ‘prominent’ costume, there were similar ‘glowing orb breast covers’ used by the band Electric Six in their video 'Danger! High Voltage'. Is there a link? What do the orbs do for you..?
Herma: Ah, the human made clip by Electric Six was certainly inspired, but it is nothing more than a coincidence, no more, but also no less than Caprica Six's glowing spine in the Battlestar Galactica pilot episode. For me they are erogenous zones, worthy of attention, but there are countless parallels in nature and in conventional human fashion.
Simon: Well they undoubtedly highlight those regions! If you had an unlimited budget for a live show, what massive showstopper would you bring to the stage.?
Herma: The sky's the limit. There would certainly be more special effects, more sketches and interludes. Even the amount of backdrop we can currently carry is limited by our logistics budget.
Simon: Your shows are already extraordinary, so we can only imagine what you could come up with. May I ask where you are heading to next for the intergalactic circus? Japan, USA, a worldwide tour, and what do you most look forward to most in those countries.?
Herma: Japan and USA are among our next targets as we feel perfectly in tune with their music and culture, plus, who can resist the urge to invade the US! But we don’t want to be cliché, and we’ll do our best to leave the Golden Gate Bridge alone. Of course, we’d like to expand our reach across Europe too, and that will probably be our next move.
Simon: Of course, we also want you back in the UK, any plans?
Herma: There have been circles in corn fields, and eerie sightings in the country side. Could it be random? Or could it be signs that aliens are coming to the UK again? Only time will tell. We'd love to come back soon, but we still don't know when. Keep following us and you'll find out soon enough.
Simon: Thank you Herma for spending time with us, is there anything else you would like to say to our readers and hopefully new fans?
Herma: Don’t worry! it was fun answering the questions. Thanks to you and your readers from me and the rest of the band!
Stick with the Sick!
I have to say, its been an education talking to Herma and I’m left wondering how many more aliens there are out there. I have become a massive fan of Sick n Beautiful. It’s almost as though they have cast a mind spell over me, but the album is mesmeric as are the band themselves. I look forward to their return to these shores.