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Melody Maker
February 6, 1999
Psycho Babble Charlotte Hatherley
Surely life with those Ash blokes must throw up some bizarre material for Charlotte Hatherley? The couch awaits...

If you could use a voodoo doll to hurt anyone you choose, would you? And, if so, whom?

"I'd use a voodoo doll on this fucking bitch, one of my old teachers at school. Throughout the whole time I was studying music, she put me down and said I was shit. She was an evil cow - she didn't half make me feel shit. It was a classical, theory-type course and, OK, I was shit at a lot of that, but I'd still use it on her for making my life hell. Where would I stick the first pin? Up the arse! Where it really stings!"

What's your most treasured memory?

"I did this gig with Nightnurse that was really top - Upstairs At The Garage in London. It was really packed and it was great and Debbie Smith [who eventually replaced Charlotte in Nightnurse] came up and played guitar and I was playing next to her and everything. I was only 16 at the time and I just thought, 'You can't get ant better than this.' That's a great memory. If only I'd known how good it could get! Hahahaha! Good old Debbie - she was so good to me, she really tried to teach me the rock'n'roll way, trying to teach me to smoke onstage and everything. I was like, 'I can't do it! It goes in me eyes!'"

What was your most enjoyable dream?

"I have recurring dreams about tornadoes! I've got a real thing for them and, one day, I'm gonna go and chase a tornado. For Sure. I have so many dreams about them. I was walking down this road in one and all these dogs kept barking, so I turned around wondering, 'Why are all these dogs barking?' And I looked at the horizon and there's this huge tornado coming towards me, swirling and everything, and I try to find cover, escape it, and there's lightning and everything. I think it represents something pretty shitty - so not that enjoyable, then! But I used to have a recurring dream about falling through the air with Care Bears! So that was a cute dream, at least. Clouds and Care Bears, drifting downwards like a leaf falling off a tree."

When were you last in a fight? Who caused it and who won?

"God, I haven't been in a fight since school. i got into a fight with this guy called Richard - a real, fucking arsehole, the school bully. I said something nasty about him, he heard, and in this science lesson, he got up and kicked me. And I thought, 'He can't get away with that', so I punched him in the face! And, as I punched him, he started laughing and smacked me right round the chops. That was my one and only fight. I don't think I won, but I justified myself. I had the last blow... no, he had the last blow actually. Does that mean he won?"

For a million pounds, would you go three months without washing, brushing your teeth or using deodorant? Assume that you can't explain your reasons to anyone.

"Not brushing your teeth is horrendous though - think of all that fur! I hate that! But I think it would be better not to brush my teeth than to smell. What? I can't do any of those things? Ah, fuck it - yeah! I'd do it! I'd join Rick for being the stinkiest member of ash! We could bond over it! I reckon he's already fucking signed that deal!"

Have you ever considered suicide? What's so important to you that, without it, life wouldn't be worth living?

"I've never thought of suicide. Never. I've thought of Killing people, but never myself! I suppose I couldn't live without ... well, I could live without music, but I wouldn't be happy. I suppose I couldn't live without doing what I want to do. This is so what I want to do and I've been lucky. But I guess I could live without it, go and work in a fucking music shop, or something."

Do you have a favourite sexual fantasy? Would you - ahem- like to have it fulfilled?

"There was this really sad thing that happened actually. I always thought it would be great to shag in a thunderstorm, all that electrical energy. It would just be 'Phwooar, c'mon!' So one day I was shagging my boyfriend of the time and... hmmm, this storm started outside and I could see all this lightening. And I was just like, 'Wow, this is my ultimate fantasy. This is happening!' And then he got out this fucking chocolate sponge cake and started putting it all over his fucking chest. And it ruined my whole fantasy as I didn't find that very attractive at all. That was his fantasy at the same time as mine, the two collided and fucking cancelled out each other! Typical!"

Someone you love deeply is brutally murdered and you know the identity of the murderer. Would you seek revenge?

"Definitely. If someone killed my sister, I'd fucking go and have his fucking balls for dinner. I'd just claim fucking insanity and fucking get off. Honestly nobody fucking fucks with my sisters and get away with it. Even ex-boyfriends. You have to pass the Hatherley test to be one of them - if someone doesn't approve, then there's no hope."

When was the last time you stole something?

"It was terrible actually, but me and my friend used to go round the charity shops nicking clothes! Well, they're not tagged, are they? But the last time we did it we got caught. I never felt such shame in my life - being caught stealing from Dr Banardo's! It was the only shop with tags, but we didn't realise, so we walked out and all the alarms went off. The woman came up to us, opened our bags and saw this huge collection of clothes we'd already nicked from other charity shops. Then she pulled out this skirt from her shop and I just turned to my friend and said, 'Faye, I thought you'd fucking paid for that. What are you doing? She still didn't believe us for a second, but we got away with it. I still steal tiny shit from hotels, I guess. TVs, beds, doorknobs..."

Do your interactions with friends involve much touching, hugging, kissing, etc?

"Not really. The thing is I hardly see them cos they're all at university. So when I do get to see them, it's a big hug but I feel a bit uncomfortable when people fall all over me. I'm really shit at dishing it out. I used to have fantasies about teachers and stuff, being really friendly! Hahahaha! But usually that kind of stuff makes me feel really awkward. People in other bands? Chris McCormack from 3 Colours Red's fucking touchy-feely! But I soon put a stop to that!"

What's been your biggest failure in life?

"Both my sisters went to public school, private girls' school. And you had to do an exam to get in, so I went through all this private tutoring preparing for it and I still failed. My mother begged them over the phone, saying 'She wasn't well on the day. Both of her sisters are there.' So they let me take a second exam... but I failed that as well! So I had to go to this mixed community school, which didn't make my parents very pleased. I think I was failing them more than myself - I really didn't give a shit. It's pretty humiliating though, doing two exams and failing them both! Big time fails, too!

Relative to the population at large, how do you rate first your physical attractiveness, secondly, your intelligence and, finally, your personality?

"Physically, there's a lot of things I'm not so keen on. I think I'm intelligent, though - in certain ways. Maybe for my age, I am. i've seen quite a lot and probably had a lot of insight into relationships, but I've still got a fucking lot left to learn. I wouldn't rate my personality very highly. I don't think I'm dull, but I find it very hard to relax and be myself with people I don't know. Do I know what 'myself' is? Fuck, I haven't got a clue. What does that mean?"

Robin Bresnark