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Interview with Suede

Ten Questions: SUEDE

October 11th, 2012

She’s been called “wicked exciting” by the Boston Globe. The New York Post has said "Voice likes hers come along maybe once in a generation." CHTV of Christchurch New Zealand has likened her voice to “peppermints dipped in honey". She is one of the most popular entertainers to visit Provincetown. She is the incomparable…SUEDE.

Take the chance if you’ve never seen me, come back if it’s been a while because it’s definitely not the same show.

Fresh from performances on a week-long Alaskan cruise, raising $40,000 for a Washington D.C. area free clinic, and a sold-out show at New York’s famed Birdland jazz club. I recently posed a few questions to this busy, beautiful woman.

You’ve been around the world…what is best about coming back to perform in Provincetown?

Suede: Because I make my living as a touring musician I can live anywhere and wanted to come home to the Cape, so I made it happen. So what’s best about playing Ptown? Well, the crowd is never the same, for one thing. You never know who will be in the house (like, Bea Arthur, Robert Reich, Evelyn Champagne King – to name drop a few…), or where they might be from (people I went to elementary school with in Minnesota!!!). For another thing, since I spend at least half of the year on the road, magnificent as that is – it’s just really sweet to play a great gig and go home to my own bed! Simple pleasures….

How did you come up with your stage name, Suede? Or is it a stage name?

Suede: It’s not a stage name. I’m not one to make up personas or stage names, to be honest. Suede is my middle name. My last name is Dutch Belgian and one that would make anyone ask to buy a vowel. I’ve never used it, always assumed asking anyone to remember it would be too much to ask – always just gone by Suede – after Cher did the same, before Madonna, Bono or Beyonce did. Call me a trend setter…

Where did you grow up?

Suede: All over the place. My dad was a management fix-it guy for 3M and got transferred almost every year for much of my childhood. Who knew it would be perfect practice for life on the road? No accidents, eh?

What were you like as a child?

Suede: Very much like how I am now. Curious, always asking “why,” which my mother says I was practically born asking (can you imagine raising a kid like that?), intense, always questioning authority and status quo, looking deeper, always looking for fun, play, humor and irony in everything, connection, honesty in all things – authenticity. See? Intense. Driven. Passionate. Always.

What guilty pleasures do you have?

Suede: I refuse to feel guilty about my pleasures. The word’s not even in my vocabulary.

If you could do anything else in the world besides your current career, what would it be?

Suede: I can see myself being a coach, a motivational speaker, doing work that calls forth the best in individuals – bringing forth the immense joy that comes with living one’s life from their true spirit, their calling – and I believe we each have one. Our society doesn’t always exactly encourage that we find it and live by it, though.

What are you currently reading?

Suede: “Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?” by Jeannette Winterson. She is the Shakespeare of our time. Brilliant.

What are your hobbies?

Suede: Taking my amazing rescued junkyard dog Sadie for romps whenever possible, rowing in the beautiful wooden rowboat my dad built, taking back roads with the top down in my ’97 Miata - that’s the BEST therapy I’ve ever given myself – and I’ve done a LOT of therapy, trust me.

Tell me about Sadie.

Suede: After losing my last dog, Angel, I was finally ready to get another canine pal and went looking. I filled out applications at every shelter between the Cape and Newport. She was barely a year old when she came to me late last December. She and her siblings were rescued from a junkyard in North Carolina, transported by one of many groups that form an underground railroad of sorts with stops all the way up from the south and into New England where, apparently, it's much easier to find homes. She was been rescued on a Friday, flown to Newport on Tuesday, checked out by a vet, spayed, shots, evaluated, and was ready to be met by the next Friday. I'd formed a relationship with the shelter adoption counselor, who called me to ask if I could come in, that she had one dog in particular she wanted me to meet. I hopped in the car right away and got there. I met Sadie and it was love at first sight. She came home with me that evening and we're living happily ever after. I wish I was that good at choosing girlfriends!

What else should we know about you?

Suede: That if your readers show up at my show I personally guarantee they’ll have a great time and if not, money back – no questions asked. So come ON. Take the chance if you’ve never seen me, come back if it’s been a while because it’s definitely not the same show. And bring me newbies!!!! They’ll be glad you did and you’ll totally be my hero!

Chris Daniels is a writer, photographer and woman-about-town who shares her life with a bossy cat and “Damon, the Dog With the Toy”

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