(Author) - Sex, Drugs & Rock n’ Roll: The Science of Hedonism and the Hedonism of Science
Scientist and author Zoe Cormier understands the primal importance of sex, drugs and rock n’ roll better than most: she grew up in the music industry in Canada, the daughter of legendary rock promoter Gary Cormier. As the industry nickname goes, Zoe was a “backstage baby”, brought to her dad’s raucous festivals and gigs when still in diapers. It was an unorthodox childhood – but at least it was interesting. Case in point: Some parents costume their kids as sunflowers… Zoe’s thought headphones and a spliff would make a cuter portrait.
Like many the child of reprobates (think Saffy in Absolutely Fabulous), she rebelled through nerddom, studying science at university and specialising in acoustic communication in animals. Still, she kept to her roots, putting herself through school by bartending at one of Toronto’s grimiest music venues.
By day: chemistry and genetics. By night: heavy metal, gay leather raves, thrashing techno, and the odd circus freakshow. The first gig she ever worked: cyber metal legends Gwar, who spray the audience with fake blood and behead giant puppets onstage. As her dad Gary puts it, “Total gentlemen – I’d put them on anytime”. She launched into a fruitful career as a science writer and journalist straight out of school (at 25 she was the youngest columnist at the largest national newspaper in Canada)… But still the world of sound-systems and heaving crowds beckoned, and for six years Zoe brought science into the world of music festivals, staging events at Glastonbury and many more of the largest and wildest parties in the UK.
Three decades of work in the music industry and as a bartender, producer, speaker, performer and writer culminated in her first book, Sex, Drugs & Rock n’ Roll: The Science of Hedonism and the Hedonism of Science, ranked as the 7th best book of 2014 by legendary record shop Rough Trade.