Artist Profile: Carole Pope

She’s a legendary Canadian rock icon. Carole Pope (born in Manchester, England). She’s best known for her avant-guard music, fierce attitude, and for her success as a lesbian performer. “I was a closeted performer,” explained Carole Pope, as she described the beginning of her music career. “I wanted to be a rock star!” Driven by […]

Life + Leisure Music Brian Webb

This article was published on October 11th, 2012

Photo contributed.

She’s a legendary Canadian rock icon. Carole Pope (born in Manchester, England). She’s best known for her avant-guard music, fierce attitude, and for her success as a lesbian performer.

“I was a closeted performer,” explained Carole Pope, as she described the beginning of her music career. “I wanted to be a rock star!”

Driven by politics, creative energy, theatre, and art, Carole’s band, Rough Trade, made a big impact on the music industry.

“With Rough Trade, we didn’t care about others opinions,” Carole explained. “We wrote what made us happy. We liked anything that was shocking and titillating. S&M and the leather-daddy thing was very exciting to me.”

As Carole’s popularity rose, and she continued to creatively express her feelings, the Canadian born singer-songwriter found it difficult to come out as a lesbian singer.

“It was hard to come out,” Carole explained. “There was no lesbian bar. Life and art just got smashed together. I came out on stage. I wore a bondage suit. I just started making out with chicks. I didn’t come out being a dyke; it just happened.”

Carole especially enjoyed her years with Rough Trade; however, she does have regrets, especially around not having found a good manager.

“I was shocked by our success,” Carole said as she recalled the fun times she had with her band. “We gigged for years.

Her most memorable moment was when she was playing in New York.

“I remember the first time we started working in New York and Lou Reed showed up with his tranny lover,” Carole said with a giant smirk. “I often thought about the audience that would show up. And the celebrities. I would think, ‘What are they doing here?’

After years of success with Rough Trade came to a close, Carole branched out and started her own solo career.

“I don’t have anyone to answer to,” Carole said point blank. “I have nothing to prove now. I love performing. People dig it. I mouth off. It’s so much fun. Performing really is my strong suit.

Recently, Carole has been focused on promoting her latest album on a cross-Canada tour, with the highlight being Elton John’s fashion show launch in Toronto, Ontario. She’s continues to work on a new video, and this fall she can be found in both New York and LA as she continues to build her solo career profile.

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