ZANG TUMMM TUMB ARTICLES “the first draft of history”

Ms and Mrs

Claudia Brucken and Suzanne Freytag, the vocal and visual front half of Propagandas 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 friends house in Dusseldorf.

Despite an age difference of six years the pair warmed to each others 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 whos still single.

Now, Propagandas third single ‘P.Machinery 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 hasnt had enough sleep.

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

SF: By six pm Im just about with it…

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

What are your favourite pick-me-ups?

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

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


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

S: Claudias is a German phrase ‘Und ich weiss nicht was which means ‘I dunno and so on and so on…

C: I say that at the end of sentences, its like your blah blah blah, an expression I hate but am just getting used to. Suzannes are more common ones like ‘Oh yeah and ‘you know.

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

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

S: Im interested in lots of subjects but mostly literature. I like Klaus Mann, Hoffman. I read in English sometimes. I like Katherine Mansfields short stories and Ive 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 Ive just read Sartres The Game Is Over and more recently Umberto Ecos The Name OF The Rose.

Do you know each others favourite food?

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

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

Are you good cooks?

C: Suzannes 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 dont know anyone who does. I hate cleaning floors and clearing up dirty bathrooms.

C: Im not exactly over fond but Ill do it if I have to.


What sort of men do you like?

S: No special type. I wouldnt 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 dont mind eccentricity if it comes from within, if its honest. I dont like role players.

What are each others preferred styles of clothing?

S: She likes baggy things always. Yes?

C: Thats right, comfy clothes. I dont want to feel restricted. The tight white dress with the feathered shoulders I wear in the ‘P.Machinery 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 everyones nerves. First we shout and then we dont talk and then we forget it.

C: I sulk if I think Im in the right and everyone else is wrong. Maybe that isnt sulking, maybe Im 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 Im pissed off I dont want to see anyone.

C: Its 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 cant laugh at herself.

Youve really annoyed her now.

C: (annoyed) Im not annoyed! I can laugh at myself! Depends on my mood. I need distance. Sometimes Im laughing at myself and people dont 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 thats very stupid and funny. Actually, Suzanne isnt stupid too often. Shes very sensible which can be very boring.


Do you see yourselves as artists?

C: Never. In Germany if you use that expression youre being pretentious. If I say ‘Im an artist people laugh.

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

C: Tell me that George Michael is an artist and Id disagree. He is a very clever songwriter and a very bad singer but what hes doing is not artistic…

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 shed swear a bit less.

Are you friendly to strangers?

C: Suzanne is very friendly.

S: Claudia isnt. Shell let people know if she isnt interested in them. Shes more cautious and Im 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 didnt exactly see myself as a drowned rat.

What are your favourite possessions?

S: Her hats collection.

C: True, Ive got about ten. My best is one I can only wear in winter. Its 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 dont collect anything as a hobby. I prefer making things like jewellery. I trained as a goldsmith. I enjoy making brooches and chains.