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February 21, 2011 | by  | in Features | [ssba]


There’s nothing quite so rock’n’roll as an alter-ego as Ziggy, Sasha or any of Sgt. Pepper’s will testify to. But what happens when one theatrical persona evolves into another?

Auckland’s Zoe Fleury has just found out. You might know Fleury better as Bionic Pixie, a one-woman electro-pop/robo-funk outfit who has supported the likes of Peaches and The Kills. But as of 2011, Bionic Pixie is no more. Fleury talks to Salient writer Gwilym Dixon Breese about her latest reinvention, Zowie—who’s performing at O-Week 2011.

How would you describe the transition from Bionic Pixie to Zowie? Was recreating your musical identity a difficult process?

It was a really exciting transition, because in no way was I saying goodbye to Bionic Pixie or that style. It was a “hello, she is morphing into a stronger character all around, and turning from a toaster to The Terminator”. ‘Broken Machine’ was a song I have played live since the beginning of the Bionic Pixie character; ‘Bite Back’ is Zowie, and from here on in, the material is brand spanking new stuff I’ve written since Bionic Pixie morphed into Zowie. Zowie is a Bionic Pixie. And the reaction was really, really positive.

You seem to pay an unusual amount of attention to the percussive elements of your music. Where does your understanding of drumming come from, and would you say that drumming has had a major part in shaping your music?

Totally—drumming is what I’ve studied since I was 11, and I’ve had the love of it since the high chair. It’s what I majored in at the Music and Audio Institute of New Zealand (MAINZ), where I studied. [Percussion is] a really important element to me, which I make sure comes across in my tracks—thanks for noticing.

How does it feel to be touring with Mark Ronson and the Business Intl. in Australia—on top of playing at most New Zealand universities on your own Orientation tour?

It’s super exciting—I can’t wait to showcase the new material! The Future Music Festival will be great, and I’m looking forward to touring around all of Oz. Mark Ronson is a great all-round musician… very excited that we were chosen for his shows. I’ve always wanted to be part of the O-week shows, too, so I can’t wait!

How did it feel when your first single, ‘Broken Music’, went gold in New Zealand?

That was an amazing surprise—thank you NZ!

What are your other highlights to look forward to in 2011?

The release of my debut, which I’m working on at the moment—and lots of touring!

Zowie is performing alongside Die! Die! Die!, Electric Wire Hustle, Disasteradio and Glass Vaults at the Hunter Lounge on Friday, 4th March. Presales $20 for Victoria University students.


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  1. Claire Cranney says:

    mr breeze i’m like totally jeolous could you make your own album so i can like be your groupy

  2. Karen O says:

    I <3 Karen O too.

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