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Credit where creditís due: Many thanks to newmusicmark for the useful information

Title: Ms and Mrs
Author: Max Bell
Source: No. 1
Publish date: Aug 24 1985


Claudia Brucken and Suzanne Freytag, the vocal and visual front half of Propagandaís pantomime horse are not just partners in crime. Suzanne and Claudia have been close friends for the past five years, ever since they were introduced at a friendís house in Dusseldorf.

Despite an age difference of six years the pair warmed to each otherís diverse personalities. Claudia is the impulsive, inquisitive and headstrong one who recently married ZTT media man Paul Morley. Suzanne is the quieter more experienced figure whoís still single.

Now, Propagandaís third single ĎP.Machineryí is grinding up the chart and the band have just returned from their first American visit.

In between discovering that Suzanne was stricken with a nasty sinus complaint and that Claudia has spent five days living on chips and salad, we found time to ask them a few saucy questions.


MB: What are you like the morning after the night before?

SF: Claudia is usually quite bad tempered, especially if she hasnít had enough sleep.

CB: It takes me some time to wake up. Hours. I donít like seeing Suzanne first thing and I donít like her to see me.

SF: By six pm Iím just about with itÖ

CB: The night time is the best time for us both.

What are your favourite pick-me-ups?

C: Champagne in moderation. I donít need a drink to wake up and I avoid hard drink like whiskey.

S: I like Irish whiskey. It has to be Irish because itís smoother than Scotch. I drink vodka too.


Do you have a favourite expression, something you say all the time?

S: Claudiaís is a German phrase ĎUnd ich weiss nicht wasí which means ĎI dunno and so on and so onÖí

C: I say that at the end of sentences, itís like your blah blah blah, an expression I hate but am just getting used to. Suzanneís are more common ones like ĎOh yeahí and Ďyou knowí.

If you were invited to appear on Mastermind what would your specialist subjects be?

C: If I were Iíd choose the works of Caspar David Friedrich, a 19th century writer.

S: Iím interested in lots of subjects but mostly literature. I like Klaus Mann, Hoffman. I read in English sometimes. I like Katherine Mansfieldís short stories and Iíve started to read Graham Greene.

C: We read lots of hard stuff at school in English. Books by Baldwin, Harold Pinter, and Samuel Beckett but that was to study and analyse the language. For pleasure Iíve just read Sartreís The Game Is Over and more recently Umberto Ecoís The Name OF The Rose.

Do you know each otherís favourite food?

S: Claudia is a vegetarian, she just lives on chips and salad.

C: (staring hard at her friend) Thatís because they donít have fresh vegetables in America. We both love Japanese food at the moment, itís a passion. I like tempura and prawns. Suzanne likes sushi (raw fish) and Italian food.

Are you good cooks?

C: Suzanneís cooking could, erm, develop a bit more. The last meal she cooked for me was 18 months ago, spaghetti bolognese. It was alright.

S: Claudia is a good cook, well quite good. She makes a mean mushroom soup and her vegetable soup is a good standby.

Do you enjoy housework?

S: What? Like hoovering? I donít know anyone who does. I hate cleaning floors and clearing up dirty bathrooms.

C: Iím not exactly over fond but Iíll do it if I have to.


What sort of men do you like?

S: No special type. I wouldnít say I go for blond men with blue eyes. It depends on things like their expression, their personality and interests.

C: I like extreme men, ones who are extrovert. I like the eccentric male personality. Not many people have those characteristics. I respect people with different attitudes.

S: I donít mind eccentricity if it comes from within, if itís honest. I donít like role players.

What are each otherís preferred styles of clothing?

S: She likes baggy things always. Yes?

C: Thatís right, comfy clothes. I donít want to feel restricted. The tight white dress with the feathered shoulders I wear in the ĎP.Machineryí video is something that Paul (Morley) bought for me from a guy near Portobello Road.

S: I like formal straight lines. I used to wear baggier garments and lots of trousers. Now I prefer dresses and skirts.

Is Claudia a good singer, Suzanne?

S: (not battling an eyelid) Mmmm, yes I think she is.

C: Suzanne is not exactly a good singer but she has a good way of expressing herself, a strong character to her voice.

S: Thank you, how sweet.


Do you have many arguments?

S: Oh yeah, all the time. Claudia often says things I disagree with. The problem arises when you spend so much time together, and then the travelling gets on everyoneís nerves. First we shout and then we donít talk and then we forget it.

C: I sulk if I think Iím in the right and everyone else is wrong. Maybe that isnít sulking, maybe Iím just angry.


Do you enjoy a good sulk Suzanne?

S: Of course, but nobody likes to admit to it. I tend to want to be alone. If Iím pissed off I donít want to see anyone.

C: Itís different if you sulk like a little child to get attention.

S: If you take the piss out of Claudia she gets mad. At times she canít laugh at herself.

Youíve really annoyed her now.

C: (annoyed) Iím not annoyed! I can laugh at myself! Depends on my mood. I need distance. Sometimes Iím laughing at myself and people donít realise.

Are you ever silly with each other?

C: Suzanne can be. We take the piss most out of Ralf (Dorper) because he is so German and so straight. A bank man who writes pop lyrics? I think thatís very stupid and funny. Actually, Suzanne isnít stupid too often. Sheís very sensible which can be very boring.


Do you see yourselves as artists?

C: Never. In Germany if you use that expression youíre being pretentious. If I say ĎIím an artistí people laugh.

S: Itís an English misunderstanding. A musician is a musician. An artist is someone who paints.

C: Tell me that George Michael is an artist and Iíd disagree. He is a very clever songwriter and a very bad singer but what heís doing is not artisticÖ

What would you do if a waiter spilt hot tomato soup all over you?

S: Claudia would freak out and swear a lot in German.

C: So would Suzanne but sheíd swear a bit less.

Are you friendly to strangers?

C: Suzanne is very friendly.

S: Claudia isnít. Sheíll let people know if she isnít interested in them. Sheís more cautious and Iím more open.


Has success changed Propaganda?

C: I hope not. One thing I value is my private life which I try to keep separate from work.

What does the other look like with wet hair, say after swimming?

S: Huh?

C: She looks like a wet fish?

S: Right! She looks like a drowned rat!

C: Thanks. I didnít exactly see myself as a drowned rat.

What are your favourite possessions?

S: Her hats collection.

C: True, Iíve got about ten. My best is one I can only wear in winter. Itís black with a yellow knitted tube bit like a hairpiece that blows about in the wind.

S: Well, I love my bed. That is my favourite possession. I donít collect anything as a hobby. I prefer making things like jewellery. I trained as a goldsmith. I enjoy making brooches and chains.