Most people are human – then there are people like Lisa Carver. People who consume life just as much as they live it.

Since being born in America during the tail end of the 1960s (1968 to be precise) Lisa has done just that: She formed the ground breaking punk performance art band Suckdog in the late 1980s – Whose performances both in America and around the globe would usually feature nudity, bodily fluids and more.
She founded and published legendary magazine Rollerderby throughout the 1990s – A vehicle for Lisa’s own writing and art, along with that of her many friends and collaborators. Such as Dame Darcy and Cynthia Dall.
Since the 2000s Lisa has continued writing – Releasing articles and books constantly. As well as engaging in spoken word and other performances.
And on top of all of those achievements, Lisa is also a loving mother to daughter Sadie and son Wolf.

(The front and back covers for Rollerderby No. 14 from 1994. Featuring coverstar Cynthia Dall.)

When thinking about her legacy, Lisa states that,

What women always tell me is that something I wrote encouraged them to just do it, whatever it was they wanted to do but didn’t think they could yet for some reason.
Leave their boyfriend.
Leave the country.
Put out a zine.
Change their body.
Tell what happened.
Make a movie.
Everything is easy once you decide to just let it happen.
…that’s what I hope I’ll be remembered for—Not for anything I’ve done, but for being a catalyst for what the rememberer has done.

And amen to that!

You can get to know Lisa and see what she’s currently up to, by reading her interview below…

Getting Acquainted

Name + D.O.B?

Lisa Carver. 

9 November 1968.

Suckdog (featuring Lisa Carver, Jean-Louis Costes and Bill Callahan) performing live. Circa 1989.

City, State and Country you currently call home?

I couldn’t really say.

Am splitting my time between Botswana, France, and the U.S.

City, State and Country you’re from?

There, too, it’s a lot of places.

I was born in Massachusetts.
Have moved almost every year since.

A recent painting by Lisa.

Please describe some memories – such as writing, music, relationships, adventures, study, romance, politics, work, crime, religion… anything really – from the stages of your life noted below:

* Age 5?

My childhood is completely blank.
With EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) I saw some bad things, like my father walking me down the highway and putting me in a sedan with a strange man who’d pulled over, and my father didn’t get in, and the strange man drove off with me.
Also a policeman driving me home.

* Age 10?

Reading a lot of series: Little House On The Prairie, Tarzan, Wizard Of Oz and The Bible.

* Age 15?

Moving from repressed, chilly, smart, white northeast; to open, warm, body-centric, lots of races southern California; playing racquetball and swimming every day; falling in love with a criminal wearing eyeliner and a foreign exchange student sporting mismatched shoes; LSD…

Lisa Carver’s Senior Year of High School ID Card

* Age 20?

Exquisitely married, living in France; writing dirty operas and touring them; putting out records; having affairs; suicide attempts; prostitution; buddhism; writing for different zines and magazines; alcohol…

Lisa aged 20.

* Age 25?

Living in San Francisco; pregnant by a Satanist; about to start converting to Judaism; publishing Rollerderby…

(Various issues of Lisa’s iconic 1990’s zine Rollerderby.)

* Age 30?

Second marriage (open); buy first home; living in New Hampshire; several books published; columnist; lots of travel; cocaine…

Lisa aged 30 performing.

* Age 35?

Have my second child; write more books; have a garden and pets and a hammock; teach writing…

* Age 40?

My third marriage; buy another home; write more books; edit other people’s books; start painting; Xanax…

Lisa aged 40 in Malibu, USA.

* Age 45?

Move to the desert and give up writing and social media and friends and everything I know; get a little mystical…

* Age 50?

Write more books; paint more paintings; move to Botswana; convert to Catholicism…

Personal motto(s)?

I’ll try anything twice.

Why not?

Seemed like a good idea at the time.

Lisa-Carver and Rachel Johnson AKA Lisa Suckdog and Rachel Suckhorse – the original Suckdog lineup.
Circa 1987

Writing, Art, Music and Performing Questions

When and why did you first become interested in writing, music and everything creative?
… and any pivotal creative moment(s) / influence(s)?

This was never not my life.
My father taught me to read and write at two; it was my teacher, my fairy godmother, my lover, my friend, my time travel machine, my way out.

As a teen in a small town I discovered in the library books about Yoko Ono, David Bowie, dada, Anais Nin, Antonin Artaud, Philip K. Dick…this all excited and encouraged me in thinking anything is probable.
Then I read Re/Search books that exposed me to Boyd Rice and Lydia Lunch and other people doing interesting things RIGHT NOW and I started veering towards performance rather than keeping holed up in my room.

A boyfriend introduced me to Whitehouse and The Swans and Diamanda Galas, which was thrilling.

If you had to explain your art and what you do to some recently crash-landed aliens… What would you tell them?

I wouldn’t. I never explain it to anyone, which is one reason I’m not richer than I am, haha—I got no hook. I lose interest in whatever is finished. I’d much rather ask the aliens questions and hang out and we’d all have a good time living in the moment.

Suckdog performing live in France circa 1989.

Please describe your usual writing process – From initial idea, to creation and eventual completion?

Very un-formal.

99% of my writing is noticing what I’m thinking while walking (thoughts while walking have a rhythm), trying to memorize it, then writing it down later.
Or trying to notice how I’m feeling while, say, having an orgasm or my heart is breaking or solving a problem with my kid(s) or what is this stage-fright exactly, then writing it down later. I am like a spy on myself.

I also talk to anyone, everyone, everywhere, and I write down their stories. After training myself for 35 years, I can remember dialogue almost verbatim. I am very uncreative. I don’t make anything up. I just try to understand what’s real—for me, for anyone, especially someone very different from myself.
I try to tell jokes in there too whenever possible.

Once all these noticings start to coalesce, they become the first draft of a book.
I then imagine reading it out loud to my best friend (a lady both enthusiastic and very critical) or someone I want to seduce or someone not yet born who I’m going to save like dead people saved me when I was a little girl. If any of these conjured readers start to lose interest (in my mind) or they look (in my mind) like they don’t believe me, I chuck that section.

Then I send the second draft to my editor Cynthia. She’s a gentle and encouraging reader (unlike me… I am brutal). She barely ever requests that I rewrite or cut or explain anything, so when she does, I always do it, even if I disagree with her.
Then I submit it to a publisher, and they’ll have their editor go over it, mostly for copy edits. I almost never try to disobey them, either.

Early on in my career I’d fight editors, but I’ve come to feel less and less ownership over my words. I’ve gotten more religious and feeling like life is one, is whole.
I don’t guard my individuality anymore.

(Some of Lisa’s books)

If people wanted to work with you or buy some of your wares – How should they get in touch and where should they visit?

I’m at

My videos and stories about who I run into all over the world are at

My friend Tony runs, or you could go to that terrible Amazon.

Odds and Ends

Who are some of your favorite artists, musicians and writers?
…and what is it about their works that so inspire and move you?

Luciano Pavarotti, The Beach Boys, Ike and Tina Turner, Malcolm X, Nina Simone, Shia LaBeouf, Dostoyevsky, Edvard Munch, Nietzsche.

They connect to something in my chest…what my French husband called the “chaa!” and he’d make a stabbing motion.
I listen or read or look at their transmissions over and over and over and it’s the same every time. That same feeling. I am aware that they were alive as much as I am right now and it’s eternal. It makes me want to cry with joy and often I do.

They all studied and worked and agonized to get something right, but then came the moment when they stopped trying, when the river joins the sea; there is a giving up, an inevitability.
It is incredibly sensual and galvanizing.
Leave your life behind—your worries, your possessions, your family, your beliefs, your job, what binds you to the earth—and come walk with me, said Jesus.

If you could live in any place, during any historical era – Where and when would that be?
…and why would you choose that time and place?

Right now is so interesting.
And where would be all over.

An old Suckdog promotional photo.

What role did toys play in your childhood?

I wasn’t really big on toys. I liked to make puppets and things out of clay.

Who was your 1st crush?
…and why were you so infatuated with them?

In fourth grade I had a crush on Robert Blanchette, a big, well-developed bad boy who was the opposite of me in every way.
I wrote copious poetry in his honor.

I suppose I wanted him to kidnap me and take me away, and he was big and bad enough to actually do it. He never had the inclination, though. We were friends.

The cover to the 1988 LP Costes + Suckdog Rape GG. Were Lisa and her husband at the time – French artist and musician Jean-Louis Costes – comment on Lisa’s GG Allin infatuation.

Does sex change everything?

I suppose it does.

I put up with so much crap in my last relationship—a blues kind of love—for over two years and destroyed some opportunities because the sex was so goddam good. He had me in total thrall.
I can’t say it was the first time.
I hope it won’t be the last.

What are the top 3 items you own?

I love my fanny pack—it keeps me hands free.
And my passport and my Covid vaccine card because they let me roam.

Lisa’s favourite things: her fanny pack containing her passport, her COVID vaccination proof and other ephemera.

In a battle between the following vivacious women: Annie Sprinkle Vs. Miss Piggy – who would win?
…and why would they be victorious? 

Women don’t fight each other.
Especially Annie Sprinkle, who is the kindest woman I can think of next to Dolly Parton.

Please describe your last dream in detail…

Oh, it was awful! It’s actually going to come true in about ten days.

I was in a car with a fellow named Bruno and a couple other people driving five hours from Paris to Lyon for a three-day tantra retreat, and they were all speaking rapid French I couldn’t follow but I also could understand just enough that I couldn’t ignore it, either. Argh!

Of everything you have done, what would you most like to be remembered for?

What women always tell me is that something I wrote encouraged them to just do it, whatever it was they wanted to do but didn’t think they could yet for some reason.
Leave their boyfriend.
Leave the country.
Put out a zine.
Change their body.
Tell what happened.
Make a movie.
Everything is easy once you decide to just let it happen.

Anyway, that’s what I hope I’ll be remembered for—not for anything I’ve done, but for being a catalyst for what the rememberer has done.

But probably what I WILL be remembered for is the cover of Drugs Are Nice, haha.

The front cover to Suckdog’s ‘Drugs are Nice’ LP from 1989.
The back cover to Suckdog’s ‘Drugs are Nice’ LP from 1989.