HEPZIBAH SESSA - COLLABORATOR
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Hepzibah Sessa began her musical career in 1993 after becoming involved with one-time Mute act, Miranda Sex Garden. They toured extensively, supporting label mates Einsturzende Neubauten and eventually Depeche Mode, before releasing their third album, 'Fairytales Of Slavery', produced by Alex Hacke in 1994. She left the band in the summer of that year and has lived with Alan since then.
' Hepzibah Sessa
Hepzibah assisted Alan with various aspects of the last Recoil album 'Unsound Methods' - contributing additional vocals and some instrumental parts as well as helping to co-ordinate marketing, press and promotion. She has also worked in a similar way on the new Recoil LP 'Liquid'.
Together with Alan, she has been responsible for the birth of Shunt and now maintains the bulk of the website. This involves writing editorials, providing new features and articles and regularly updating the interactive section, Forum. She also keeps an administrative eye on Shunt, the mailing list. She is available for weddings, barmitzvars and children's parties...

Q. Tell us all about your background, both personal and musical.

A. I was born in Saffron Walden , Essex to an American father and English mother but spent much of my childhood in Yorkshire and then Oxford. I left home in 1988 and moved to L.A. before returning to London in 1990 to study for a music degree. During my last year at university, I began playing keyboards and violin with Miranda Sex Garden and consequently didn't complete my degree - but that's another story.....My childhood was very musically-orientated and as a result, I play the violin, piano and viola.
Q. How did you come to meet Alan Wilder?

A. I first met Alan when Miranda Sex Garden supported the Mode during part of the European leg of the 'Devotional' tour. We took over from Spiritualized who left the tour because they couldn't handle 30,000 frenzied fans screaming "De-peche Mode" thoroughout their entire set.
Q. How did you actually work together on the Recoil project?

A.
I spend a lot of time in the studio with Alan, assisting him musically when he needs me and programming the website. Invariably he treats me far worse than any other collaborator.......while he's terribly charming with them, I'm treated like a dog and rarely get the credit I deserve. The price one pays for being 'the wife', I suppose.......whinge, whinge, whinge.....behind every great man etc......
Q. Do you have a favourite Recoil track?

A. I particularly like 'Last Breath' and 'Drifting' - Poison Dub. From the new LP I'm rather partial to Samantha Coerbell's 'Last Call For Liquid Courage' which has great words and features some seriously sexy bass from Mr. Dean Garcia. Also 'Vertigen', the track with Rosa Torras - it's going to puzzle some people I suspect......which is always a good thing.
Q. What music do you listen to?

A. Of the recent albums we've bought, I like the latest ones by Whale and Moloko, parts of Nine Inch Nails' 'The Fragile' and the new Supergrass offering - even though it's a complete Beatles pastiche. One I keep coming back to is a collection of songs by Noel Coward, which features the unforgettable 'Don't Let's Be Beastly To The Germans' which we delight in playing at full volume whenever the 'hun' visit us......namely Anne Berning and co. In true Coward-style, it's tirribly, tirribly xenophobic but hilarious nevertheless.
Q. What are your present and future plans?

A. Pretty much the same old thing as before.....helping Chuck when he needs me, looking after Paris and dealing with Shunt. I've recently set-up a website to advertise some of the soft furnishings I design, so check it out if you like kinky cushions etc. <www.x-entric.co.uk>
Q. Can you describe a typical day living with Alan?

A.
It's relatively civilised at the moment and he's being quite attentive.....mmm, what's he after I wonder? We're totally engrossed with re-programming aspects of the website in readiness for the album release and obviously dealing with all the periferal things like enhanced CD's and E.P.K.'s. In a couple of days we're off to Europe for a week-long promo. trip which I hope to cover on a daily basis and upload to the site. It should give everyone an insight into what a prima-donna he is..........
Q. What's the most bizarre thing you've ever read about Alan in the press?

A.
When he left Depeche Mode, one very well known music paper reported that "Andy Wilder" had left the band and then printed a photo of Anton Corbijn. I'd also be interested to learn what the NME were talking about when they described Alan as having "cowboy machismo" ?

This interview was conducted and last updated in 2000. For more information on Hep, go to Report - editorial / autumn or check out the Q + A section in Forum.
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