VIVA LA HALLOWE'EN!


New York's Psychotica brought some much-needed glamour and drama to Lollapalooza's mainstage this year as the touring rock festival's opening act. This fall they'll be bringing their own peculiar brand of glitter rock to clubs across the continent. ACCESS correspondent and Psychotica lead singer Patrick Briggs explains why, for him, Hallowe'en is every day.

Here we are again at that time of the year when all the amateurs come out of the closet to turn their wildest fantasies into visual reality. But the world, in my opinion, would be much more interesting if the principles of Hallowe'en were practiced every day instead of only once a year.

For many people, Hallowe'en gives them a limited freedom of expression by lifting the usual conservative restraints which are archaic society places us under. Too cerebral? Okay, then It's just a whole hell of a lot of fun for a whole hell of a lot of oppressed people. I am not one of the oppressed, however.

My name is Pat Briggs. I am the lead singer of the up-and-coming New York-based band Psychotica. Turning my fantasies into visual reality is a daily routine for me and the basis of my existence. Hallowe'en is not a one-night-a-year event for me. It is a way of life.

Being a proud member of the New York underground scene for the last thirteen years, I am one of a cast of thousands who live like this. We are the hybridized, next generation of performers who have descended from the overwhelming - and once thought dead - influenced of punk, glitter, new wave, goth and even transgender performance art. Make-up and extravagant costuming is absolutely essential to those of us in this scene. IT IS OUR ART FORM! Our faces and bodies are the canvas on which we paint our sorrow, alienation, joy and wildest fantasies. To those civilians on the street who recoil in horror as we walk by, we represent everything that they are too afraid to be most of the time. Except for that one night of the year when they are given public license to cut loose.

For me, however, I have not only made glamour a way of life, I am also building the foundations for a career on it. It is an integral part of what Psychotica is about - not only because it enables me to bring the songs to visual life on stage, but it has also given me a broad spectrum of career paths to walk down.

Some see our show as camp, kitsch or shock rock, but all it is, really, is an age-old form of theater, a way to further communication with an increasingly hungry audience. I cite a number of influences including Japanese kabuki theater, the '80's, Berlin cabaret, Warhol-era New York and new wave: all incredibly visual and sometimes overwhelming to the naked eye. There is nothing so rewarding for an artist or civilian as to find a place in his life where he can practice true, pure, uninhibited self-expression without feat of what others may think. To find such a place is true freedom, true Hallowe'en and true Glam Rock. For some poor unfortunates, this happens once a year on October 31. But for Pat Briggs and Psychotica, we are lucky enough to revel in it every day.

Viva the New Age of Glam! Viva La Hallowe'en!



(This appeared in the November 1996 issue of ACCESS MAGAZINE - Official Magazine of the Rock Radio Network)