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Encyclopedia > Steven Severin

Steven Severin (born Steven John Bailey, on September 25, 1955, in London), sometimes written Steve Severin, is bassist and founding member of Siouxsie & the Banshees. He participated in the very first appearance by the band, the semi legendary 100 Club gig where he and Siouxsie Sioux (billed as Suzi Sue), together with future Adam and the Ants guitarist Marco Pirroni and a pre Sid Vicious John Ritchie on drums, assaulted a medley of songs around the framework of The Lords Prayer. From this beginning Severin was to participate, together with Siouxsie Sioux, in every version of the Banshees until they finally disbanded in the 1990s. September 25 is the 268th day of the year (269th in leap years). ... 1955 (MCMLV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... This article is about the British city. ... A bassist is a musician who plays a double bass or electric bass (also referred to as bass guitar). ... Siouxsie and the Banshees were a British gothic rock band. ... Cover of Siouxsie & the Banshees single Shadowtime. Susan Janet Ballion (born May 27, 1957) is better known by her stage name, Siouxsie Sioux. ... Adam & the Ants were a rock and roll group during the late 1970s and early 1980s. ... Marco Pirroni is a rock guitarist from England who has worked with Adam Ant, Sinéad OConnor, and others in a career spanning the late 1970s to the present (early 21st Century). ... Sid Vicious in a 1978 mugshot related to his arrest for the murder of his girlfriend Nancy Spungen. ...

After dabbling with the names "Steve Spunker" and "Steve Havoc" he took the name "Severin" from a reference in the Velvet Underground song "Venus in Furs". He appeared in the infamous Bill Grundy Sex Pistols television interview as part of the Bromley Contingent, as that group of fans of the band were known. He also appears in the audience in films of early Sex Pistols gigs. The Velvet Underground and Nico (from left to right: John Cale, Nico, Lou Reed, Sterling Morrison, and Maureen Tucker) The Velvet Underground (Affectionately known as The Velvets, or V.U. for short) was an American rock and roll band of the late 1960s. ... Book cover for Venus in Furs Leopold Ritter von Sacher-Masoch (January 27, 1836 - March 9, 1895), writer and journalist, was born in Lemberg, Austria-Hungary (now Lviv, Ukraine). ... William Grundy (February 20, 1923 - February 9, 1993), commonly called Bill, was a British television presenter and was the host of Thames Televisions Today show in the 1970s. ... The Sex Pistols were, despite their short existence, a very influential British punk band. ... The Bromley Contingent were the group of followers and fans of the Sex Pistols that constituted the core of the fashion avant-garde of the early UK punk rock movement, so named from the Bromley area where some of them lived. ...


Siouxsie & the Banshees

Severin was a full contributor to the Banshees output from the very first release (the b-side to the top 30 single "Hong Kong Garden" was the Severin-penned "Voices".) Whilst the entire band often was credited in the writing of songs, the lyrics were usually indicated as the work of one, or sometimes two, members. Severin would contribute words to a great many of the album tracks, singles and b-sides produced by the band. Severin also created many of the songs recorded by the band, producing demo versions which the band would work upon in the studio with every member contributing. In the same way he would add his input into potential tracks contributed by Sioux and the others.

Whilst with a considerably lower media profile than the iconic singer, Severin's influence on the music and image of the band was as important as Sioux's. Where in the early days Sioux and Severin were united in purpose and vision for the band, as the group progressed they developed differing views and methods; which resultant tensions were usually harnessed in a positive manner. However by the time the group had completed their final tour and disbanded, relations between the two mainstays appeared to have irrevocably broken down.

Other Artists and Bands

During his tenure with Siouxsie and the Banshees Severin was also involved in records by other bands, often with Banshees connections. The Altered Images had toured as a support act for the Banshees, and Severin produced their first two singles "Dead Pop Stars" and "A Days Wait". He also produced the majority of the album Happy Birthday (all 1981). The only track not produced by him was the title track (which also formed the intro and outro), which became the band's breakthrough hit. Altered Images in their early days Altered Images were a popular band who formed in Glasgow, Scotland in 1980. ... 1981 (MCMLXXXI) was a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ...

In 1982 he produced, and played bass on, the Lydia Lunch EP The Agony Is the Ecstasy and in 1983 co-wrote the song "Torment" with Marc Almond on the latter's LP Torment and Toreros (by Marc and the Mambas). Lydia Lunch Lydia Lunch (born Lydia Koch on June 2, 1959 in Rochester, New York, also the birthplace of female rock musicians Kim Gordon and Wendy O. Williams) is an American singer, poet, writer, and actress. ... Marc Almond (born Peter Marc Almond) is a popular singer and recording artist who originally found fame as half of the seminal synthpop/new wave duo Soft Cell. ...

The Glove

Severin's work outside Siouxsie & the Banshees, in this period, is however most known for The Glove, his side-project with The Cure's (and then current Banshee guitarist) Robert Smith. This lead to the release of the album Blue Sunshine and two attendant singles. The album reached number 35 in the UK charts in 1983, whilst the single "Like an Animal" peaked just outside the UK top 50. The next single from the album, "Punish Me with Kisses", only just made it into the top 100. Whilst Smith did sing on a few tracks, the featured vocalist is Jeanette Landray - a friend of Banshee drummer Budgie; who was at the time involved in progressing a musical relationship with Sioux under The Creatures banner. In music, The Glove is the name of the supergroup that was a side-project of Robert Smith (from British alt-rock band The Cure) and Steven Severin (from British gothic rock band Siouxsie and the Banshees). ... In popular music, a side-project is a project undertaken by one (or several) person already known for their involvement in another band. ... The Cure is a British band widely seen as one of the leading pioneers of the British alternative rock scene of the 1980s. ... Robert Smith Robert James Smith (born April 21, 1959 in Blackpool, England), a guitarist, vocalist and songwriter, has been the lead singer and driving force behind English post-punk band The Cure since its founding in 1976. ... The Creatures began as a side-project band comprising Siouxsie Sioux (vocals) and her husband Budgie (real name Peter Clarke) (drums and percussion), formerly of Siouxsie & the Banshees. ...

Musically close enough to the differing Cure and Banshee styles to attract large sections of both sets of fans, the more experimental nature and references to 1960's psychedelia and pop-art also attracted a student audience. The use of keyboards and synthesizers, as well as the inclusion of instrumental only tracks, were also an early pointer to Severins post Banshee musical output. Psychedelia is a term describing a category of music, visual art, fashion, and culture that is associated originally with the high 1960s, hippies, and the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood of San Francisco, California. ... Error creating thumbnail: convert: unable to open image `/mnt/upload3/wikipedia/commons/b/be/Roy_Lichtenstein_House_I.jpg: No such file or directory. ...

Visions of Ecstasy Soundtrack

Of even more importance to Severin's post-Banshees output was the Visions of Ecstasy soundtrack created for the Nigel Wingrove short film interpretation of the writings of Saint Teresa of Avila. This 1989 sensual fantasy film remains unreleased, as it has been refused a certificate on the grounds of blasphemy - the only film so banned by The British Board of Film Classification. The four parts written by Severin for the soundtrack, "Sphere", "Come Deliver Us", "Skin Crawl" and "Transverberation of the Heart", formed the basis of his first post-Banshees release. Visions of Ecstasy is a 1989 film directed by Nigel Wingrove. ... Saint Teresa of Avila (known in religion as Teresa de Jesús, baptised as Teresa de Cepeda y Ahumada) was a Spanish Roman Catholic mystic and monastic reformer; born at Avila (53 miles north-west of Madrid), Old Castile, March 28, 1515; died at Alba de Tormes October 15, 1582. ...

Post-Siouxsie & the Banshees

Almost ten years after creating a soundtrack for a film that could not be shown Severin released an album entitled Visions, featuring four tracks derived from the original pieces written for the film plus another five instrumentals. Severin completely reworked the soundtrack - originally eighteen minutes long - into a forty-five minute ambient album. It was also the first release by Severins RE: Record label. The record also featured Martin McCarrick, making that individual to be the only person to have worked with Siouxsie Sioux and Severin in The Banshees and both their subsequent post Banshees work (McCarrick appeared in the Siouxsie Dreamshow concerts/DVD recorded in late 2004). To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Martin McCarrick is best known for playing guitar, and the cello, with the hard-rock band Therapy?. He joined them in 1996, having previously supplied guest cello work on their albums Troublegum, and Infernal Love. ...

A year later in 1999 Severin released Maldoror, again on the RE: records, but available via the internet only. The origins for this instrumental album were as far back as 1993, when Severin wrote some tracks for Brazilian Theatre Company "Os Satyros" production of Lautremont's Chants of Maldoror. After losing and regaining contact with the group, Severin composed further pieces for the 1998 production Os Cantos des Maldoror. These pieces were collected together and released on CD.

In 1999 Severin had been invited to be musical director for the Canadian dance company "Holy Body Tattoo" on CIRCA - described as a 70-minute multimedia "celebration of the sensual forces of submission and control" - a postmodern deconstruction of the tango that interwove film footage by William Morrison and original music by Severin, Warren Ellis and cult caberet trio The Tiger Lillies. The music from Circa was largely drawn from Martin Jacques and company's album 'Circus Songs' Steven Severin contributed keyboards and also produced this album for the Tiger Lillies. This article is about the comic book author. ... In religion and sociology, a cult is a cohesive group of people (often a relatively small and recently founded religious movement) devoted to beliefs or practices that the surrounding culture or society considers to be far outside the mainstream. ... Tiger Lillies during a concert The band after a concert The Tiger Lillies are an obscure cult three-piece band, based in London. ... Martin Jacques was editor of Marxism Today till its dissolution in 1991. ...

Steven Severin's third RE:release, 'The Woman in the Dunes' was specially commissioned by Shakti and the Vasanta Mala dance company to accompany the stage production of the Kobo Abe novel of the same name. It premiered at the ICA in the summer of 2000. The only vocal included is 'I put a spell on you' a version of the Screaming Jay Hawkins classic sung by Jarboe (ex Swans) The album was released by RE: records, again only available via the internet.

In 2000 Oneiros Books published "The Twelve Revelations", a collection of Severins erotic prose/poetry, illustrated with line drawings by Catharyne Ward.

Severin returned to composing soundtracks and in 2003 film director Robert Pratten approached Severin to compose the soundtrack for his first film, a British independant supernatural thriller called "London Voodoo". The film contained four tracks that Severin collaborated on with his wife and songwriting partner Arban, under the name 'Darling Hate'. As a result of this new direction, Severin wound down his RE: label to concentrate on writing for film and televison. London Voodoo is a 2004 film directed and written by Robert Pratten. ...

London Voodoo was followed by a soundtrack for "The Purifiers", the second film feature by award winning director and former Skids and Armoury Show frontman Richard Jobson, which premiered at the Edinburgh Film Festival in 2004. The tracks extensively used in the score were "Enter into these bonds" from Visions and "Prelude:Europa" from Maldoror. Punk band from Dunfermline, in Scotland founded in 1977 by Stuart Adamson (1958-2001, ON guitar, vocals), [[Richard Jobson (1960- vocals), Tom Kellichan (drums) and Willie Simpson (bass). ... There are several well-known individuals with this name. ... The Edinburgh International Film Festival is part of the Edinburgh Festival, which takes place every August, in Edinburgh. ...

A spate of Siouxsie & the Banshees releases in the form of a (2002) compilation, The Best of..., and a live The Seven Year Itch recording (released 2003) presaged the 2005 release of Downside Up, a collection of every song released as the accompaniment to a UK single. The album's name reflects that original singles occupied one side of a vinyl record, which then had to be turned over for the "b-side" to be played. Many of the tracks had not been previously available in any other form, and were remastered for transfer to CD. Three of the four discs contained the recordings in chronological order, whilst the last disc contained the tracks which had made up The Thorn EP. As the band's archivist Severin spent some time tracking down the various tapes for this release, and assisting in the remastering process, as well as providing some of the liner notes to the various songs. Downside Up is a four-disc box set collecting B-sides and bonus material from the catalog of Siouxsie & the Banshees. ...

Also in 2005 Severin released another album based on a soundtrack originally commissioned by the Indo/Japanese performer Shakti in August 2003 for her interpretation of the story of Beauty and the Beast. The album Beauty and the Beast, is credited to Arban and Steven Severin. It was the first release on their Subconscious Music label. Whilst jointly credited, the fifty minute score was created in an original manner which owed much to the circumstances in producing it. As it was commissioned to accompany a dance production the titles and timing of each individual part was already decided upon by Shakti, who also suggested the theme for each piece. Owing to other commitments upon their time, it was decided by Arban and Steven Severin that each would work on alternating pieces individually. Arban Severin took responsibility for the odd numbered tracks and Steven Severin for the others. After a piece was substantially completed it was given over to the other partner to review and to make contributions. Only when both parties were satisfied was the track considered finished.

This method of working was deemed so succesful it is being applied to the partnerships most recent project, the soundtrack for director Paul Burrow's psychological thriller 'Nature Morte'(Still Life). This filmscore recording is due to be released in late 2006, again under the Subconcious Music label.

Siouxsie & the Banshees Remasters

In 2005 it was announced that the entire Banshees back catalogue, with the exception of the singles compilations Once Upon a Time and Twice Upon a Time, were to be re-released with additional tracks in a remastered format. In his role as the bands archivist Severin located much of the material to be added to the various releases, and was instrumental in accessing the mastertapes of the albums themselves. He was also involved in the reclaimation, cleaning, transfer and remixing of the tapes to a point where the three senior members of the band were able to approve the reissue.

The bands remastered debut album The Scream was released in late 2005, in a deluxe double cd format - featuring some sessions recorded before securing a record deal, as well as the singles released during the same period as the album but not included on the original release. A single-disc version of this album (with the singles only) is due to be released in early/mid 2006 together with the second tranche of Banshees re-releases; Join Hands, Kaleidoscope and Juju. Again these cd's will be single discs with contemporaneous singles and other tracks, from Severins archives, as extra tracks (with Kaleidoscope this amounts to 8 demos). Juju will also be later released in a double-disc deluxe version with further bonus material. Another fruit of Severin's, and other band members, efforts is the rerelease of the live recording in DVD format of the Nocturne concert, together with the video made for the single "Dear Prudence" and performances recorded on "The Old Grey Whistle Test" plus the "Play at Home" film made for Channel Four. The Scream is the debut album by Siouxsie & the Banshees, released in 1978 on Polydor Records. ... Join Hands is the second album released by Siouxsie & the Banshees. ... After the electronic bent of their last album, Siouxsie & the Banshees returned to a more guitar-based sound for their fourth album Juju. ... DVD-R writing/reading side DVD (also known as Digital Versatile Disc or Digital Video Disc) is an optical disc storage media format that can be used for data storage, including movies with high video and sound quality. ... The Old Grey Whistle Test was an influential BBC television music show that ran from September 1971 until 1987. ...

Severin will be involved in the sourcing and remastering of material for the re-release of the remaining SATB recordings.


In 1989 Severin was invited by the Merce Cunningham Dance Foundation to produce a one minute tape loop of "Rozart Mix" for the 80th birthday celebrations of John Cage. Merce Cunningham is a choreography born April 16 1919, Centralia Washington, United States. ... John Cage John Milton Cage (September 5, 1912 – August 12, 1992) was an American experimental music composer, writer and visual artist. ...

Steven Severin married Arban Ornelas, a musician and actress, on 2nd October 2002. Their son Cage is named after the avant-garde composer. Arban Severin (nee Ornelas) is a composer, musician and film actress born 20 October 1976, in Beaumont, Texas, USA. She is married to Steven Severin (former bassist/songwriter with Siouxsie & the Banshees and latterly film and theatre score composer) by whom she has had a child, Cage. ... A work similar to Marcel Duchamps Fountain Avant garde (written avant-garde) is a French phrase, one of many French phrases used by English speakers. ... A composer is a person who writes music. ...

Severin has also contributed several articles on the arts as a freelance writer for The Guardian newspaper. The Guardian is a British newspaper owned by the Guardian Media Group. ...

Severin's former music label, Re: Records, were also home to the spoken word CDs of Alan Moore and the Scottish experimental music duo, Human Greed. The label was wound up in 2003. Alan Moore Alan Moore (born November 18, 1953, in Northampton, England) is a British writer most famous for his work in comics, including the acclaimed graphic novels, Watchmen, V for Vendetta and From Hell. ... Human Greed is an experimental electronic music group from the UK. The group was formed in 1998 by Scottish author Michael Begg. ...

In the role of record producer he has also worked with Catharine Buchanan, Jezebel, the FlowerpotMen and The Readers Wifes Methods and media for sound recording are varied and have undergone significant changes between the first time sound was actually recorded for later playback until now. ...

Severin once shared a flat in London with Richard Jobson.

Sources/External links

  • Steven Severin.com – The official Steven Severin website, also home of his "subconscious music" label.
  • The Banshees & Other Creatures – Comprehensive fans website with Steven Severin, as well as Banshees and Creatures, section.

  Results from FactBites:
Steven Severin - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1430 words)
Steven Severin (born Steven John Bailey, on September 25, 1955, in London), sometimes written Steve Severin, is bassist and founding member of Siouxsie and the Banshees.
Severin was a full contributor to the Banshees output from the very first release (the b-side to the top 30 single Hong Kong Garden was the Severin-penned Voices.) Whilst the entire band often was credited in the writing of songs, the lyrics were usually indicated as the work of one, or sometimes two, members.
Steven Severin is married to Arban (néé Ornelas), a musician and actress born in Texas, mother to their son Cage (named after the composer).
::--Subvertainment: EOIPSO--:: (421 words)
Siouxsie and Steven had been dedicated followers of the Sex Pistols when they came out, and soon decided to have a go for themselves.
The original Banshees were Steven on bass, Pete Fenton on guitar and Kenneth Morris on drums.
Steven and Robert, on the other hand, answered with their project The Glove and a record, "Blue Sunshine".
  More results at FactBites »



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