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Justine Frischmann

Played guitar and did vocals in Elastica (1992-2001)
Date of birth: 15 September 1969

The youngest of the Frischmann clan (she has an elder brother), Justine was brought up in Twickenham by her Hungarian/Scottish parents and went to school at St. Pauls, possibly the most upmarket in London. After leaving school she went on to study Architecture at University College London, during which time she started playing guitar with Suede and going out with Brett Anderson (lead singer of Suede). She stayed for about 18 months but left in 1992 after getting fed up of being the girl at the back who wasn't allowed any say in how the band developed.

"There was too much horror involved. I was the token girl standing at the back strumming a guitar, and I felt totally frustrated."

"Bernard and Brett would refuse to have anything to do with what I'd written. In the end I thought they'd be better off without me. And they were, unfortunately."

Justine never did quite finish her architecture course, she got her degree but left halfway through the fourth year of the five year course and so isn't a qualified architect. She didn't actually tell her parents she'd left for eight months! Fortunately by the time she did pluck up the courage the band had got a recording contract and it softened the blow.

Elastica began life soon afterwards when Justine phoned up Justin Welch, who she knew from her time in Suede, and asked him if he fancied rehearsing with her and her new boyfriend Damon Albarn (lead singer of Blur).

Because of the Britpop™ madness, Justine and Damon were often featured by the British tabloid press who even pursued them while they were on holiday in the West Indies. Such treatment is usually reserved for the Royal family! They have been dubbed the 'Sonny & Cher' and even the 'King & Queen' of Britpop™. Justine has also been labelled 'Blur Indoors' by the Sun in an effort to make her look like someone cashing in on Damon's success.

"It's just totally ugly. The thing that pisses me off is that Elastica don't warrant that attention. I get it because of Blur. Blur Indoors. That's so shit."

The constant speculation about Justine and Damon's relationship annoyed the band and they have become wary of talking to the press as the usual line was "So Justine, what's it like living with Damon?", which must be annoying if you're there to talk about your music.

Justine and Damon split up in 1998, after which Blur released their album '13' which included quite a few songs that Damon wrote about his relationship with Justine. Justine didn't really spare any words about Damon after that, but they still remained friends, in fact Damon even contributed to Elastica's second album - he played keys on 'Da Da Da'. After Damon she was also going out at times with Neil Stewart, a London photographer, and Bobby Gillespie (lead singer of Primal Scream.

After a falling out with Donna Matthews in 1997, Justine thought that the band were finished and went ahead and recorded some material with Loz Hardy (formerly of Kingmaker) in her basement studio, among others Miami Nice and My Sex which are featured on 'The Menace'.

"This came out of a period of time when I'd pretty much given up on writing for the band and it didn't seem to me like the band was going to carry on - 1997."

After that she got her act together and reunited the band with some new forces, recorded that long awaited second album, and went on tour again. Unfortunately it didn't really work out, so Elastica split up again in 2001, this time for good.

"Believe it or not elastica have been together for almost ten years which is probably as long as any band should be together. I know it's hard to believe but then we did spend quite a while in the middle dithering and being perfectionists. The band has broken up on extremely good terms with each other. Any personal problems from years ago have been happily put to bed - and I think we all agree that we had an amazing time."

Elastica were definitely Justine's band and she was the main controlling influence on the music having written most of their songs. The rest of the group have on occasion evidently dubbed her 'The Führer', in the light of her forthright views on what the band should be doing.

"I think they just humour me actually, they just say 'yes' and do exactly what they want, all of them. It's kinda mine, but it wouldn't be the same thing without the others It doesn't matter how much of a vision that you've got, if you can't find people to fulfill that."

Justine is currently working on new projects.