Steven Severin
Steven Severin is an English
English people
The English are a nation and ethnic group native to England, who speak English. The English identity is of early mediaeval origin, when they were known in Old English as the Anglecynn. England is now a country of the United Kingdom, and the majority of English people in England are British Citizens...

Music is an art form whose medium is sound and silence. Its common elements are pitch , rhythm , dynamics, and the sonic qualities of timbre and texture...

ian, composer, bassist
A bass player, or bassist is a musician who plays a bass instrument such as a double bass, bass guitar, keyboard bass or a low brass instrument such as a tuba or sousaphone. Different musical genres tend to be associated with one or more of these instruments...

 and co-founding member of Siouxsie and the Banshees.

He took the name "Severin", from the Leopold von Sacher-Masoch
Leopold von Sacher-Masoch
Leopold Ritter von Sacher-Masoch was an Austrian writer and journalist, who gained renown for his romantic stories of Galician life. The term masochism is derived from his name....

Venus in Furs
Venus in Furs is a novella by Austrian author Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, the best known of his works. The novel was part of an epic series that Sacher-Masoch envisioned called Legacy of Cain. Venus in Furs was part of Love, the first volume of the series...

 that is the subject of the Velvet Underground song "Venus in Furs
Venus in Furs (song)
"Venus in Furs" is a song by The Velvet Underground, written by Lou Reed and originally released on the 1967 album The Velvet Underground & Nico. Inspired by the book of the same name by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, the song includes sexual themes of sadomasochism, bondage and...


After the split of Siouxsie and the Banshees in 1996, Severin began a solo career and created his own label RE. Henceforth, he also performs live in solo.

Siouxsie and the Banshees

Severin was a full contributor to the Banshees' musical output from the first release (the b-side to the top 10 single "Hong Kong Garden" was the Severin-penned "Voices".) Although the entire band often was credited for song writing, the lyrics were usually indicated as the work of only one or two members. Severin would contribute lyrics to a great many of the album tracks, singles and b-sides produced by the band. He also initially wrote many of the songs recorded by the band, composing earlier versions that the band would work upon in the studio with every member then contributing. In the same way he would add his input into potential tracks contributed by Sioux or others.

Notwithstanding a considerably lower media profile than the iconic singer, Severin had a strong influence on the music and image of Siouxsie and the Banshees. Where in the early days Sioux and Severin were united in purpose and vision for the band, as the group progressed, they developed differing views and methods; the resultant tensions were however usually harnessed in a positive manner. However, by the time the group had completed their final tour and disbanded, relations between the two mainstays appeared to have irrevocably broken down.

Other artists and bands

During his tenure with Siouxsie and the Banshees, Severin was also involved in records by other bands, often with Banshees connections. The Altered Images
Altered Images
Altered Images were an early 1980s Scottish New Wave / post-punk band. Led by lead singer Clare Grogan, the band branched into mainstream pop music, and had a string of chart hits between 1981 and 1983.-Early career:...

 had toured as a support act for the Banshees, and Severin produced their first two singles "Dead Pop Stars" and "A Days Wait". He also produced the majority of the album Happy Birthday (all 1981). The only track not produced by him was the title track (which also formed the intro and outro), which became the band's breakthrough hit.

In 1982, he produced, and played bass on, the Lydia Lunch
Lydia Lunch
Lydia Lunch is an American singer, poet, writer, and actress whose career was spawned by the New York No Wave scene...

 EP The Agony Is the Ecstasy and in 1983 co-wrote the song "Torment" with Marc Almond
Marc Almond
Marc Almond is an English singer-songwriter and musician, who originally found fame as half of the seminal synthpop/New Wave duo Soft Cell...

 on the latter's LP Torment and Toreros (by Marc and the Mambas).

The Glove

Severin's work outside Siouxsie and the Banshees, in this period, is however most known for The Glove
The Glove
The Glove was a short-lived one-off alternative rock supergroup, formed in 1982 by The Cure's Robert Smith and Siouxsie and the Banshees' Steven Severin.-History:...

, his side project with The Cure
The Cure
The Cure are an English rock band formed in Crawley, West Sussex in 1976. The band has experienced several line-up changes, with frontman, vocalist, guitarist and principal songwriter Robert Smith being the only constant member...

's (and then current Banshee guitarist) Robert Smith
Robert Smith (musician)
Robert James Smith is an English musician. He is the lead singer, guitar player and principal songwriter of the rock band The Cure, and its only constant member since its founding in 1976...

. This led to the release of the album Blue Sunshine
Blue Sunshine
Blue Sunshine is the only album by the British supergroup The Glove, which was first released in 1983. This album mainly served as a diversion for Robert Smith and Steven Severin when both of them were under heavy stress in their respective bands The Cure and Siouxsie and the Banshees...

and two attendant singles. The album reached number 35 in the UK charts in 1983 and the single "Like an Animal
Like an Animal
Like an Animal is the first single by The Glove from their album Blue Sunshine. Its lyrics were written by Robert Smith.-12": Wonderland :# Like an Animal # Like an Animal # Mouth to Mouth -Personnel:...

" peaked just outside the UK top 50. The next single from the album, "Punish Me with Kisses
Punish Me with Kisses
Punish Me with Kisses is the second single by The Glove from their album Blue Sunshine. Its lyrics were co-written by Robert Smith and Steve Severin.-Personnel:* Steve Severin - bass* Robert Smith - guitar* Jeanette Landray - vocals...

", only just made it into the top 100. Though Smith did sing on a few tracks, the featured vocalist is Jeanette Landray - a friend of Banshee drummer Budgie
Budgie (drummer)
-External links:*...

; who was at the time involved in progressing a musical relationship with Sioux under The Creatures
The Creatures
The Creatures were a musical act formed in 1981 as a side-project for Siouxsie and the Banshees members Siouxsie Sioux and Budgie. The Times described their music as "adventurous art rock built around Siouxsie's extraordinary voice and drummer Budgie's battery of percussion".With the dissolution of...

 banner. The album is noted for its low-level musical interludes between tracks.

Musically close enough to the differing Cure and Banshee styles to attract large sections of both sets of fans, the more experimental nature and references to 1960's psychedelia and pop-art also attracted a more eclectic audience. The use of keyboards and synthesizers, as well as the inclusion of instrumental only tracks, were also an early pointer to Severin's post Banshee musical output. In 2006, a remastered 2CD version was released, the second disc featuring Robert Smiths guide vocals over tracks in various stages of completion — being the point in the composition where the vocal guide was added, without the final segments as well as Landray's voice.

Visions of Ecstasy soundtrack

Of even more importance to Severin's post-Banshees output was the Visions of Ecstasy
Visions of Ecstasy
Visions of Ecstasy is a 1989 short film directed by Nigel Wingrove.It was refused certification by the British Board of Film Classification because of scenes featuring a sexualised representation of Saint Teresa of Ávila caressing the body of Jesus on the cross...

soundtrack created for the Nigel Wingrove
Nigel Wingrove
Nigel Wingrove , is the founder of the horror film company Redemption Films and the Salvation Group and creator of the online alternative female collective, Satanic Sluts...

 short film interpretation of the writings of Saint Teresa of Avila. This 1989 sensual fantasy film remains unreleased, as it has been refused a certificate on the grounds of blasphemy - the only film so banned by The British Board of Film Classification. The four parts written by Severin for the soundtrack, "Sphere", "Come Deliver Us", "Skin Crawl" and "Transverberation of the Heart", formed the basis of his first post-Banshees release.


Almost ten years after creating the Visions of Ecstasy soundtrack, Severin released an album entitled Visions, featuring four tracks derived from the original pieces written for the film, plus another five instrumentals. Severin completely reworked the soundtrack — originally eighteen minutes long — into a forty-five minute ambient album. It was also the first release by Severin's RE: Records label
Record label
In the music industry, a record label is a brand and a trademark associated with the marketing of music recordings and music videos. Most commonly, a record label is the company that manages such brands and trademarks, coordinates the production, manufacture, distribution, marketing and promotion,...

. The record also featured Martin McCarrick
Martin McCarrick
Martin McCarrick is an English cellist, keyboardist and guitarist.He is best known for his work Siouxsie and the Banshees from 1987 until 1995. He recorded with them three studio albums : Peepshow, Superstition and The Rapture...

, making that individual to be the only person to have worked with Siouxsie Sioux and Severin in The Banshees and both their subsequent post-Banshees work (McCarrick appeared in the Siouxsie Dreamshow concerts/DVD recorded in late 2004).

A year later in 1999, Severin released Maldoror, again on the RE: records, but available via the internet only. The origins for this instrumental album were as far back as 1993, when Severin wrote some tracks for Brazilian Theatre Company "Os Satyros" production of Lautremont's Chants of Maldoror. After losing and regaining contact with the group, Severin composed further pieces for the 1998 production Os Cantos des Maldoror. These pieces were collected together and released on CD, available on the Internet only.

In 1999, Severin had been invited to be musical director for the Canadian dance company "Holy Body Tattoo" on CIRCA — described as a 70-minute multimedia "celebration of the sensual forces of submission and control" — a postmodern deconstruction of the tango that interwove film footage by William Morrison and original music by Severin, Warren Ellis
Warren Ellis
Warren Girard Ellis is an English author of comics, novels, and television, who is well-known for sociocultural commentary, both through his online presence and through his writing, which covers transhumanist themes...

 and cult
The word cult in current popular usage usually refers to a group whose beliefs or practices are considered abnormal or bizarre. The word originally denoted a system of ritual practices...

 cabaret trio The Tiger Lillies. The music from CIRCA was largely drawn from Martin Jacques
Martin Jacques
Martin Jacques is a British former magazine editor and academic. He was born and raised in Coventry. He was an undergraduate student at Manchester University, where he graduated with a first-class honours degree, and subsequently studied for a PhD at King's College, Cambridge.He was editor of the...

 and company's album Circus Songs. Steven Severin contributed keyboards and also produced this album for the Tiger Lillies.

Steven Severin's third RE: release, The Woman in the Dunes was specially commissioned by Shakti and the Vasanta Mala dance company to accompany the stage production of the Kōbō Abe
Kobo Abe
, pseudonym of was a Japanese writer, playwright, photographer and inventor. Abe has been often compared to Franz Kafka and Alberto Moravia for his surreal, often nightmarish explorations of individuals in contemporary society and his modernist sensibilities....

 novel of the same name. It premiered at the ICA
Institute of Contemporary Arts
The Institute of Contemporary Arts is an artistic and cultural centre on The Mall in London, just off Trafalgar Square. It is located within Nash House, part of Carlton House Terrace, near the Duke of York Steps and Admiralty Arch...

 in the summer of 2000. The only vocal included is 'I put a spell on you' a version of the Screaming Jay Hawkins classic sung by Jarboe
Jarboe is an American singer, songwriter, and keyboardist.Jarboe is a solo artist who came to prominence in the mid-1980s with the New York City based group Swans. With founder Michael Gira, the duo was the core of Swans until the group broke up in 1998...

 (ex Swans
Swans (band)
Swans are an influential American post-punk band initially active from 1982 to 1997, led by singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Michael Gira. The band was one of the few groups to emerge from the early 1980s New York No Wave scene and stay intact into the next decade. Formed by Gira in...

) The album was released by RE: Records, again only available via the Internet.

In 2000, Oneiros Books published The Twelve Revelations, a collection of Severin's erotic prose/poetry, illustrated with line drawings by Catharyne Ward.

Severin returned to composing soundtracks, and in 2003 film director Robert Pratten
Robert Pratten
Robert Pratten is a San Francisco-based, transmedia consultant advising clients on the development of stories across multiple media platforms...

 approached Severin to compose the soundtrack for his first film, a British independent supernatural thriller called "London Voodoo
London Voodoo
London Voodoo is a 2004 film directed and written by Robert Pratten.-Plot:When ambitious analyst Lincoln Mathers relocates his family from New York to London, his wife Sarah discovers a new disturbing power and becomes hostage to an ancient spirit...

". The film contained four tracks that Severin collaborated on with his wife and songwriting partner Arban
Arban Severin
Arban Severin , born October 20, 1976, is an American composer, musician and film actress.Born in Beaumont, Texas, USA, to two classical musicians; her mother is a violinist, her father, a trumpet player, jazz bassist and professor of music...

, under the name "Darling Hate". As a result of this new direction, Severin wound down his RE: label to concentrate on writing for film and television.

London Voodoo was followed by a soundtrack for The Purifiers
The Purifiers
The Purifiers is a 2004 action film directed by Richard Jobson, and starring Dominic Monaghan.-External links:*...

, the second film feature by Richard Jobson
Richard Jobson (television presenter)
Richard Jobson is a Scottish singer-songwriter and film-maker, best known as a television presenter, film director, producer and screenwriter.-Early life:...

, which premiered at the Edinburgh Film Festival in 2004. The tracks extensively used in the score were "Enter Into These Bonds" from Visions and "Prelude:Europa" from Maldoror.

A spate of Siouxsie and the Banshees releases in the form of a (2002) compilation, The Best of..., and a live The Seven Year Itch
The Seven Year Itch
The Seven Year Itch is a 1955 American film based on a three-act play with the same name by George Axelrod. The film was co-written and directed by Billy Wilder, and starred Marilyn Monroe and Tom Ewell, reprising his Broadway role...

recording (released 2003) presaged the 2005 release of Downside Up
Downside Up
Downside Up is a four-disc box set collecting B-sides and bonus material from the catalog of Siouxsie and the Banshees. Also included is The Thorn , originally released in 1984....

, a collection of every song released as the accompaniment to a UK single. The album's name reflects that original singles occupied one side of a vinyl record, which then had to be turned over for the "B-side" to be played. Many of the tracks had not been previously available in any other form, and were remastered for transfer to CD. Three of the four discs contained the recordings in chronological order and the last disc contained the tracks which had made up The Thorn (EP)
The Thorn (EP)
The Thorn is an EP released by English rock band Siouxsie and the Banshees in 1984, in between the albums Hyæna and Tinderbox. The release contains four tracks recorded with orchestral instrumentation. "Overground" originally appeared on the Banshees' debut album The Scream and "Placebo Effect" is...

EP. As the band's archivist, Severin spent some time tracking down the various tapes for this release, and assisting in the remastering process, as well as providing some of the liner notes to the various songs.

Also in 2005, Severin released another album based on a soundtrack originally commissioned by the Indo/Japanese performer Shakti in August 2003 for her interpretation of the story of Beauty and the Beast. The album Beauty and the Beast is credited to Arban and Steven Severin. It was the first release on their Subconscious Music
Subconscious music
subconscious music is a record label created by Steven Severin, co-founder of Siouxsie and the Banshees and latterly a soundtrack composer, which has released several works by him and Arban Severin...

 label. Though jointly credited, the fifty minute score was created in an original manner which owed much to the circumstances in producing it. As it was commissioned to accompany a dance production, the titles and timing of each individual part was already decided upon by Shakti, who also suggested the theme for each piece. Owing to other commitments upon their time, it was decided by Arban and Steven Severin that each would work on alternating pieces individually. Arban Severin took responsibility for the odd-numbered tracks and Steven Severin for the others. After a piece was substantially completed it was given over to the other partner to review and to make contributions. Only when both parties were satisfied was the track considered finished.

This method of working was deemed so successful it is being applied to the partnerships most recent project, the soundtrack for director Paul Burrow's psychological thriller "Nature Morte"(Still Life). This film score recording was released on 16 October 2006, again under the Subconscious Music label.

In 2010 Severin released his debut album for Cold Spring
Cold Spring (label)
Cold Spring is an independent record label based in Northamptonshire, England, specialising in "all forms of extreme media, but particularly: black/dark Ambient, Neo-classical/Neo-folk, Orchestral, Power Electronics/Noise, Japanese Noise, Minimal, Death Industrial, Dark Soundtracks, Experimental,...

 titled Blood of a Poet. The album is a recording of his soundtrack for a 1930 silent movie by Jean Cocteau
Jean Cocteau
Jean Maurice Eugène Clément Cocteau was a French poet, novelist, dramatist, designer, playwright, artist and filmmaker. His circle of associates, friends and lovers included Kenneth Anger, Pablo Picasso, Jean Hugo, Jean Marais, Henri Bernstein, Marlene Dietrich, Coco Chanel, Erik Satie, María...

. A UK tour is taking place this autumn 2010.

Siouxsie and the Banshees remasters

In 2002, it was announced that the entire Banshees back catalogue was to be re-released with additional tracks in a remastered format. In his role as the band's archivist Severin located much of the material to be added to the various releases, and was instrumental in accessing the mastertapes of the albums themselves. He was also involved in the reclamation, cleaning, transfer and remixing of the tapes to a point where the three senior members of the band were able to approve the reissue.

The band's remastered debut album, The Scream
The Scream (album)
The Scream is the debut album by English post-punk band Siouxsie and the Banshees, released in November 1978 on Polydor Records. Even before this release, the band already had a strong reputation as a live act, as well as having a Top 10 UK single under their belt with "Hong Kong Garden"...

, was released in late 2005, in a deluxe double CD format, featuring some sessions recorded before securing a record deal, as well as the singles released during the same period as the album but not included on the original release. A single-disc version of this album (with the singles only) was released in mid 2006, together with the second tranche of Banshees re-releases; Join Hands
Join Hands
Join Hands is the second studio album by English post-punk band Siouxsie and the Banshees. It was released by Polydor Records in the UK in September 1979. The final track is a studio recording of "The Lord's Prayer", the song that they are famous for playing in their debut live performance at the...

, Kaleidoscope and Juju
Juju (Siouxsie & the Banshees album)
Juju is the fourth studio album by Siouxsie and the Banshees and was released in June 1981 through Polydor Records. After a slightly electronic bent made on a few tracks of their last album, the Banshees returned to a guitar-based sound for Juju, due to the now-official guitarist, John McGeoch...

. Again these CDs will be single discs with contemporaneous singles and other tracks, from Severin's archives, as extra tracks (with Kaleidoscope this amounts to 8 demos). Juju may also be later released in a double-disc deluxe version with further bonus material. Another fruit of Severin's, and other band members', efforts is the rerelease in DVD
A DVD is an optical disc storage media format, invented and developed by Philips, Sony, Toshiba, and Panasonic in 1995. DVDs offer higher storage capacity than Compact Discs while having the same dimensions....

 format of the live recording of the Nocturne concert, together with the video made for the single "Dear Prudence" and performances recorded on "The Old Grey Whistle Test", plus the "Play at Home" film made for Channel Four.

Severin will be involved in the sourcing and remastering of material for the re-release of the remaining SATB recordings.


For his works with Siouxsie and The Banshees, see Siouxsie & the Banshees discography
Siouxsie & the Banshees discography
The discography of Siouxsie and the Banshees, an English alternative rock band, consists of eleven studio albums, three live albums, four compilation albums, one extended play and thirty singles...



  • Visions (1998)
  • Maldoror (1999)
  • The Woman in the Dunes (2000)
  • UnisexDreamSalon (2001)
  • London Voodoo (Original Soundtrack) (2004)
  • Beauty & The Beast (2005)
  • Nature Morte (Original Soundtrack) (2006)
  • Music for Silents (2008)
  • Blood of a Poet (Cold Spring
    Cold Spring (label)
    Cold Spring is an independent record label based in Northamptonshire, England, specialising in "all forms of extreme media, but particularly: black/dark Ambient, Neo-classical/Neo-folk, Orchestral, Power Electronics/Noise, Japanese Noise, Minimal, Death Industrial, Dark Soundtracks, Experimental,...



  • SleeperCell (Lumberton Trading 2010)
  • Circles Of Silver (Erototox Decodings 2010)
  • Hours Of Gold (Erototox Decodings 2010)
  • Idols Of Glass (Erototox Decodings 2011)
  • Wand Of Flame (Erototox Decodings 2011)

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.