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Berlin duo Evvol chat to Peaches about their joyously queer new video

Watch the exclusive vid, directed by Matt Lambert and Julie Chance, and read their conversation about LGBTQ censorship and representation

In the abstract, the new video from Evvol is a celebration of queer women’s sexuality. But more concretely, the video is a reflection of the Irish-Australian post-punk two-piece’s own lives. “We wanted to make a film that represented our lives and our sexuality, and how we live our lives, and the community that live in Berlin,” says the band’s Julie Chance.

Directed by Matt Lambert, whose overtly queer photography and filmmaking has included Lotic music videos and HIV awareness campaigns, the “Release Me” video is upfront and unashamed. It’s very NSFW (watch the uncensored version here), and the sort of thing that wouldn’t last long on YouTube – which makes it the perfect subject matter for Peaches. The Canadian artist and musician has spent the past two decades confronting mainstream attitudes towards sex, gender, and what women can do with their bodies with her transgressive pop. Her music videos – notably 2015’s explosive “Rub” – have often earned the ire of the busybodies on streaming platforms.

Here, Peaches speaks to Evvol’s Julie Chance and Jane Arnison, as well as Matt Lambert, to get the lowdown on the video.


Julie Chance: Obviously I wanted to work with you, Matt, for a long time. I'm a fan of your work and well, I thought you were interested in the cock too much, so I felt like we needed to flip it (you) over to the ‘dark’ side! 

Peaches: I think it’s a very good idea that you wanted to bring Matt over to the other side, because I too felt it was closing off in the way that sometimes queer communities can be closed off, and that’s a representation obviously of how queer lesbians get pushed aside, so I think its good you opened it that way for the both you, so congratulations. I also think it’s very relevant when you think of the spaces that have been been closed down around the world for communities, especially lesbian communities, from all the iconic places in North America throughout Europe too. 

Jane Arnison: Inclusive spaces are absolutely vital and very important, but it shouldn't be at the expense of another subculture, it shouldn’t mean extinguishing another subculture. Which is something you just highlighted, Peaches, and it comes to the core of what we were trying to do with this video. 

Peaches: It’s obvious to me what you’re doing, but I know when I made the “Rub” video it got a lot of attention, and immediately lifted off of YouTube in a minute. 


Julie Chance: One has to ask, why is the female body so offensive?      

Peaches: It’s not offensive, it’s the missing link for everybody...It’s so complicated for no reason. It’s been so long in a sort of one-gaze mode, like the way that Erika Lust was talking about when she first watched porn and she was aroused but how she was also repulsed and how nothing has changed. She took matters into her own hands – she was not interested in stopping porn, but she was interested firstly to recognize that porn was the number one thing people watch on the internet, and this was going down to really young kids and that was how they were learning about sex. Why is it acceptable? Why is it that they could watch that type of porn but if they watched something like your video it would be a horror and an outrage? 

Matt Lambert: There’s sex and then there’s intimacy, and I’ve tried to stand behind the fact my work is about intimacy, not just purely sex. Queer characters can be objectified or fetishised — especially if it’s in a porn context. As soon as you put them into a real situation in which there’s love, laughter, and a human spirit behind it, it makes people even more uncomfortable, because it’s almost as if queer people are subverting a way of being that’s normalised. It’s not stylised, in a porn studio or darkroom scene. It’s natural. That’s what makes it more provocative – it starts to permeate a space ‘normal’ people live in, and how they are able to inhabit that space and be able to laugh and play and have fun and just human. Honest, humanised intimacy can become more subversive — you can connect to characters even if you want to ‘other’ them. 

Jane Arnison: I think it’s also fetishising sexuality and women’s bodies. When you think about the representation of women in music videos, they are so hyper-sexualised and objectified. (In our video) we just showed more flesh, and didn’t have men at the centre of why women were acting. 

Peaches: On a mainstream level, you have to take into consideration (the artists) helping move it along, something like the Janelle Monae video – there are definitely women taking it into their own hands. It’s always going to be a fight, but I’m pleasantly surprised for all the positive feedback for something so mainstream. It’s a pretty cool video, there are a lot of things I find particularly very familiar but…it is exciting anyway, and I think that in that way you have to realise, whatever you put out there is going to influence. 


Matt Lambert: I think stylistically, (“Release Me” is) a different language really, it’s raw and blunt and documentary style. The definitely shared value is an irreverence and shameless celebration of sexuality. That shame thing is quite a big idea Julie and I talked about, making sure it was an fuck-off celebration of sexuality. Julie, you said at the beginning that gay boys have had such a loud voice, and continue to have a loud voice, and it is so often when people talk about LGBTQ, every (identity) is not equal in terms of representation in the media. Knowing Julie and Jane, and knowing the crew in Berlin, queer women are some of the most dynamic and amazing humans in the city – but this often isn’t what is represented from afar. This is about showing that queer women are equally as strong and loud and powerful in their sexuality and are actually not hidden in the way some people perceive queer women to be. 

Peaches: Diversity should be recognised also, there’s a lot of work to do. In a way this is the tip of the iceberg. For other people it’s like ‘woah’. I don’t mean everything has to be super raw porn, as you said Matt, there is different representations, but we need to see them and it needs to be seen. 

Julie: On a personal level, when your album came out, and your videos came out, it was such an exciting thing because my main problem with different types of media is that i really don’t feel I see myself on the screen or see myself represented, how I fuck, or the people I hang around, it’s not represented enough. That was one of the biggest driving forces for us – wanting to have representation of our lives. I think it’s really important. 

Peaches: I feel like we’re in a good medium right now in filmmaking and how it can be seen as intimate – even if it might get taken off of YouTube, its not like people aren’t going to be able to find it. Think about what the music video used to have to be, and how many places you’d see it, and how money and power have fueled that. 

Matt Lambert: We decided to not even conform or play that game (with YouTube) at all. Maybe we’d get less views in some way, but for people who want to see it in its unadulterated form, we didn’t have to pull any punches out of fear of YouTube pulling it or not, which was so nice. I’m not interested in creative censorship.

Peaches: That’s an incredible privilege, and we shouldn’t forget that. There’s still a fight, but we are still able to do it. I worked with A.L Steiner, and she’s had a lot of experience (of this), and I feel she should be mentioned. 

Jane arnison: Yes absolutely, there’s so many people that do amazing work that are the instigators and influencing all the way up into the mainstream. They exist in the underground, and therefore often don’t get recognition, so I think it’s important to give a voice to those people’s work and influence whenever there is an opportunity. 

Matt Lambert: There’s definitely a rise in visibility of queer female filmmaking voices that parallels the growing list of amazing female directors, as well as LGBTQ content becoming more acknowledged by the mainstream. It’s so exciting to see the value of diversity overall being such an important part of the growth of cinema and video making. There’s so much work to be done, I’m seeing changes happen quickly. 

Jane Arnison: A film like Moonlight being represented in the mainstream is a result of the fact that there is a great deal of development of the whole scene of queer filmmakers. 

Peaches: It was always there, and in the '90s it was really there in my own community. I come from Toronto and Bruce La Bruce, but also there were friends of mine like Kiko Thorne, who gave porn workshops on how to make female porn. I remember a series called ‘Bend Over Boyfriends’ and stuff like that. Also, I do want to mention Annie Sprinkle, because she is one of my first influences for this, she came from the traditional scene and spun it on its head in such a happy and joyful way. Never shame. 

“Release Me” and “Oceania” will be released on June 1 via !K7