Genesis Breyer P-Orridge: 'Pleasure is a weapon'

The musician and artist, 66, on Wiliam Burroughs, Caitlyn Jenner, Donald Trump and his dead wife Lady Jaye, with whom he shares a body

I refer to myself as ‘we’. My wife, Lady Jaye, and I spent time in a Tibetan monastery and realised it is possible for some people to reincarnate. Before Lady Jaye dropped her body [she died of stomach cancer in 2007] we had discussed that she would contact me and she would reappear. We are still together, and she represents us in the immaterial world where she resides.

My father enlisted at the age of 17. He lied about his age because he wanted to ride the fastest motorbikes, which were with the British army. At the end of the war all he got were two bronze medals in a box with a printed note: “Thank you very much for your service.” I’ve just used them in a collage with some Union Jack postcards and some bags of heroin.

William Burroughs told me: “Gen, if you want to know what’s going on, look for who has the vested interest at any given time.” And he’s right.

I was bullied out of the UK and moved to New York. At the time I was with my band Throbbing Gristle and the attention became unbearable. I lost two houses. My parents were doorstepped by the News of the World. They were asked: “Has your son always been a sex maniac?” My mother said: “I know my son is extremely intelligent and whatever he happens to be doing, he will be doing it for a good reason. Goodbye.”

Lady Jaye dressed me in her clothes the first day we met. The love we had was so strong we wished we could become one. Then we thought: why shouldn’t we? [They had plastic surgery to look like each other.]

We don’t agree with Caitlyn Jenner deciding she is the spokesperson for trans people. There are lots of kids on the streets who are hustling and they need the money to transition. And she is saying: “It’s so hard being a woman, knowing what dress to wear to the Oscars.”

We used to live in a radical Maoist commune. Everything was shared. All the clothes were in a box and you wore whatever you pulled out. You couldn’t sleep in the same place twice. All the money was shared and you had to justify why you needed it. We got tired of that dogmatism.

We very rarely relax, but when we do it’s with our dog, Musty Dagger. She’s a Pekingese rescue. When we need to not think and feel for a bit, we lie on the bed and fall asleep.

Anger and rage were the right response to Thatcher and the early 80s, but not now. Our response is: “Pleasure is a weapon.” We always try to look at the opposite of what is happening. Now society is happy to expose its own nasty underbelly – look at Donald Trump.

Everything we do has a story and a connection. It’s not about art for art’s sake. It’s about commentaries on what it is to be alive, and how we can make it better for everyone. We are at a crisis point as a species, so anything that persuades people to be better as human beings is worth doing.

Psychic TV’s new album, Alienist, is out in September (


Hanna Hanra

The GuardianTramp

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