Oregon Music News: Oregon’s all-genre music magazine since 2009

Photo: Brett Lindell
Photo: Brett Lindell


By MATT HANSEN // Drag performance artist will open for Fever Ray at Roseland playing material from the album 'Midnite Fukk Train'

Portland audiences have been acquainted with CHRISTEENE as far back as 2015, when she opened up for Faith No More at Keller Auditorium. Starting off with a bang, the show began with CHRISTEENE removing a sex toy from her body, then sending it hovering over the audience with the aid of balloons. You could hear a crumb drop at Keller that night as the toy took flight, and even in darting away in an effort to avoid the threat, the audience grew more compelled to discover CHRISTEENE.

Since then, an ascending butt plug has come to symbolize the career of the now New York based provocateur performance artist; she’s on her way to the top and you better make room. With already one leg of a U.S. tour completed with Fever Ray, and a sold-out show in Portland this weekend, CHRISTEENE has plenty to celebrate but is never content.

Last Spring’s performances of the material on Midnite Fukk Train have a noticeably different tone than what CHRISTEENE usually brings live, and it’s not just because she now plays with a live band. Midnite Fukk Train still shocks us, but it’s now the shock of sorrow and heartache a person can feel. The songs are so heartfelt and raw that you feel like you’re walking in her stiletto boots, and this road has plenty of blisters. “LO PAID RUNWAY MODEL” has CHRISTEENE’s voice towering in passionate relationship grievances, while “BEAUCOUP MOROCCO” is 70s no wave raunch rock complete with noodly saxophone energy.

CHRISTEENE was kind of enough to take time away from rehearsing for tour to answer some of our questions before she plays Roseland Theater Nov. 12th.   

Oregon Music News: What was your life like during the time between the album Basura and your new L.P.? What caused you to take such a new direction musically on Midnite Fukk Train?

CHRISTEENE: I left Austin, Texas a couple years after Basura was made and after a lotta tourin and meetin’ some wonderful folks on tha road I made my way up to NYC in 2019 then ol dr COVID hit an we all know what happened then. MFT is def a product of that incubation period but with a lotta lead up on thoughts and designs to bring in musicians who were soundin’ the sounds of tha stank in my head like tha saxophone.

OMN: Your range on the new album is very impressive. What era of CHRISTEENE are we currently in?

C: Well, I’m 14 fuckin’ years old on earth now so I reckon u are feelin’ tha heat of tha teenage heat of CHRISTEENE.

OMN: I heard you say at your Oakland show “The only way to deal with the darkness in your life is to get to know it.” Are there any themes of that on your most recent L.P.?

C: MFT starts out with me sayin’ “In tha dark....we will all find each other...in tha dark....no one will see us cumin,” and it goes deep into that darkness. Tha song GUTT IT is a very excitin’ and dark sexual place I found myself in that I wrote about. And in ‘Piano Song’ well....listen to that dark dank sad shit...you don’t need me explainin’ it to ya.

OMN: Fever Ray’s aesthetic and your own go together really well on this tour. What were some of the reactions you got from the first leg of the tour in late Spring?

C: Delirious euphoria, tranquil optimism, an fiery otherworldly sexual developments are some thingz that come to mind.

OMN: I’m sure you know that recently the law restricting drag performance in Texas was declared unconstitutional. Do you have a message for those who tried to pass that law?

C: Ya. Fuck you.

OMN: Jim Morrison once said "I'm not personally that convinced that nudity is always a necessary part of a play or film, but an artist should feel free to use it if he feels like it." What is your take on that?

C: Well, sounds like a typical drugged out lazy man explainin’ shit he don't know about and then tryin’ to see some hole n pole on tha side to me. Artists should feel free to do whatever tha fuck they want and need to do to go on livin’ with themselves an tha world they are in. Jim prolly said that when he was a large drugged out mammal and undersexed.

OMN: Where is the next place we will see CHRISTEENE after this tour? Will we see you in movies again?

C: My gutt and tha bird in my throat have been speakin’ new languages lately and I am quietly and patiently listenin’ to them. I reckon u gunna find me in a place least fuckin’ expected. As it should be.

OMN: It’s 11:59 PM, and you are the conductor of the Midnite Fukk Train, what do you say over the intercom right before it pulls out of the station?

C: My darlings you are here because you chose to be and we are gonna take you on a journey fit for your courage and your fuckin’ beauty so saddle tha fuck up and worry for nuthin’ as we ride you to hell n back in uh hot bath uh love n stank.



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