The secret of my success: Siouxsie Sioux

Siouxsie Sioux, former lead singer with the Banshees, was at the forefront of the punk movement in the Seventies. Twenty years on, she has formed The Creatures with her partner Budgie and created Sioux, her own independent record label.

I appeared on The Bill Grundy Show with the Sex Pistols in early 1976, played my first concert that September and I'm still going 23 years later. I had just turned 19 when I first sang with the Banshees - we were all self-taught and played our first gig at the 100 Club. Hong Kong Garden was released in 1978, and the Banshees finally ended in 1996.

Twenty-three years is a long time, but it's obviously in my blood. I have always followed my heart rather than my head. It can be disheartening when you realise how corrupt the music industry is, but I always like a good battle. Setting up Sioux is a response to all that's corporate and conservative. I find it offensive that managing directors can sit in a board meeting and decide what number they want their single to go in at.

I have had some fateful breaks and been at the right place at the right time. I was in the public eye from early on and our first gig was our first rehearsal. It was meant as a one-off, but people's reactions were amazing. I quickly found that being your own boss was very addictive.

Setting up my own label has been a highlight. I'm fed up with people who want a safe, quiet life, and don't want to risk anything. You've got to stretch yourself; too many people don't. You can't be polite and meekly wait to be invited - sometimes you just have to gatecrash your way through life.

My mother was a huge role model: she went out to work and kept the whole family together. I get a lot of my directness and getting on with things from her. To enjoy what you're doing - and, you hope, be autonomous - is something to aspire to. It's important to follow what you want, because life is empty if you end up not having a soul or a spirit to enjoy it with.

I think people in the music industry comment on age and form with women too much; it's still a double standard. I accept it, but totally ignore it. I think that people who apply those rules show themselves up, but I'm stubborn. Resistance is futile!

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