LONDON — Sasha Grey flirted with the idea of mixing porn and music on stage during performances of her ethereal electronic band aTelecine, but the former star sat virtually motionless fingering her laptop at the band’s first ever show at the Unsound festival in Poland.
A stark departure in character for a performer known for her energetic and often over-the-top scenes that vaulted her to stardom in and out of the adult industry.
But that was then. In a review in The Guardian that profiled Grey’s foray into music and her reflections of her porn past, the former star said she got out of porn just in time because of content piracy and tight budgets.“It’s fucked now, no puns intended. It’s the wild west."
And although she's swapped porn for music, Grey compared the two as both requiring an element of performance art — a method she used in her adult scenes.
Grey said she contemplated staging some porn with her band’s music, described as eerie, synthesized and psychologically probing with “mysterious landscapes and half-memories” in order to grab the audience’s attention, but dropped the idea because it would have been too expected.
Although the article noted how Grey shunned the literal use of porn to push her music, her personal style and avant garde aesthetic nevertheless influences the experimental band’s zeitgeist that she claims has no real process.
She told how she asserted herself in porn, bucking the wishes of some producers and directors who wanted her to play typical fantasy girls. "People can dress you the way they want, they can do your makeup the way they want, but they can never take away your voice," she told The Guardian. "There were times I had to fight against it — people wanted me to shut up, and just put a pretty smile on, and I'm not going to do that. I would literally come planned with ideas of things to say. It's a hyper me though — I'm not that loud and obnoxious all the time. I don't write dialogue when I'm in my own intimate situations."
Not surprisingly, Grey and music partner Ian Cinnamon don’t consider themselves a traditional band, pointing to Cosey Fanni Tutti of the band Throbbing Gristle as one of her heroes, and with whom she provided vocals for Throbbing Gristle's final album.
"Their ideology as individuals has always been very inspiring, and I wish as a 13-year-old I had known who they were," Grey said. "To feel proud as an individual, not feeling guilty about yourself or your tastes because of societal norms — that's not something we're encouraged to do."
"The Falcon and The Pod" by aTelecine is out now on Pendu Sound Recordings.