The thing about Masuimi Max is that she’s difficult to dislike. Unlike frostier fetish queens, she teams her curvy body with a sweet wiggle and a cheeky wink. She’s sexy but silly, and is as likely to shoot a set of photographs mugging to the camera with an enormous furry gorilla as she is perched delicately on a stool.
See Masuimi's crazy chimp shoot here
She’s quick to confide, laughs easily and is as funny as being tickled by an octopus. A pocket-sized pin-up who breathes fire, runs punk rock clubs, and is obsessed with Dr Who – could she be Bizarre’s perfect woman? Oh, and she also owns a successful business empire. What’s not to like?
Bizarre calls Masuimi at her house in Los Angeles, and wakes her from her slumbers. Ever hospitable, she insists that she’s OK to talk, despite having quite a croaky voice. “I smoked a bunch of weed before I went to bed,” she explains, laughing. “Don’t worry, I’m not sick or anything.” She also tells us that, right now, as we speak to her, she’s buck naked. Gulp.
Anyway, today we want to know about Masuimi’s home, LA. Masuimi has lived in the town of films, freaks and fakes for the last five years, since she upped sticks from Texas. “It made sense for me to move here,” she says. “I didn’t ever work in Texas – I was always travelling to LA, London and Europe. So I moved out here, and stayed in a friend’s spare room.” Now she and rock photographer husband Mörat share a “gigantic loft” in South Hollywood. “It’s sort of a bad neighbourhood,” she says. “But I’m a bad girl. The house is more like a fortress, with a zombie-proof front door, so it’s OK.”
Branded to the Max
Masuimi spends her days in her zombie-proof house making cupcakes (her favourite flavour is banana with chocolate icing) and plotting the expansion of her business empire. The last few months have seen her produce poker chips with her face on, Masuimi-branded iPods that are engraved with the Max’s likeness, and her own make-up line, I Am Trouble cosmetics, which is flying out of the Max vault so fast she’s finding it difficult to keep up.
“Laura Byrns from Pin-Up Girl Clothing encouraged me to do the make-up line,” she explains. “She knows lots of girls who try to do my style of make-up and find it difficult to get the right colours. We’re going to start doing some online tutorials soon.”
It seems that Masuimi loves getting involved in the business side of things as much as modelling – although she doesn’t get her immaculately manicured hands too dirty. She admits, “I like to come up with the ideas, and then have a magic fairy do all of the work for me! The only problem is, right now that magic fairy is me.” Next up is a line of shirts and jackets. And in the future? “I need some more buildings – I’d like to run my own apartment complexes.” We think she’s joking. But with Masuimi, you can’t always tell. After all, in LA-LA land, anything can happen.
The City of Angels suits half-German, half-Korean Masuimi. She loves the “incredible weather” and wears a bikini “almost every day”. She agrees to a certain extent that LA is a superficial town, but reckons that unreliable people are everywhere. “Sometimes, you find out the hard way,” she says. “You think people are your friends and then you find out that they’re not. That’s life, you know? But I try not to dwell on that kind of thing. I fold up those memories and I put them in a little box.”
She chooses to hang out with her real friends at her favourite bar, The Burgundy Room, a dark and dingy dive in Hollywood where bartenders sometimes set the bar on fire. “It used to be a speakeasy,” says Masuimi. “It’s where all the cool cats hang out, you know? I’m not even sure how it’s decorated – it’s so dark in there I can’t really make it out. When the lights come on at the end of night, it can get pretty scary.”
She recently celebrated her birthday there, and says, “Uncle Lemmy was there, and Doris Mayday came out for it – she’s a hot blonde with massive boobs. Other people came, but you can never remember names well when you come out of that bar as they make good-sized drinks. It’s laid-back and plays punk rock.”
Only in Hollywood, baby
It’s lucky that Masuimi is a punk fan, as her husband Mörat works as a band photographer. Recently, she’s caught shows from Killing Joke, NOFX and Ministry. And she’s put her love of music to good use, starting a club called Hard-On For Trouble with her husband and Laura Byrnes. This month, the night features Nick Oliveri’s Mondo Generator and the Kill Devils. Masuimi takes the reins as hostess and MC for the event, cementing her place as resident pin-up queen of LA punk rock.
And, of course, residents of Hollywood are likely to become part of the movie world, whether they expect to or not. Masuimi had a cameo as ‘blonde wigged girl with monkey’ in David Lynch’s film Inland Empire. It’s an experience she’d be keen to repeat. “David Lynch’s assistant called me a while back asking me if I wanted to be in a Gary Oldman movie. I was like, ‘Yes, yes!” And then I got a phone call the next day going, ‘Oh wait – Gary Oldman changed his script. We don’t need you any more, sorry.’ What kind of film wouldn’t need a hot chick in it?! I haven’t heard anything about that movie since. But I would like to do more film work.”
But it’s the movie industry of a different era that gets our cover star revved up. She says that she’d most like to have been around when Marilyn Monroe was alive. “She was the hottest thing ever,” says Masuimi. “Everything seemed more glamorous back in the 1950s. There was a lot more dressing up going on! Well, I guess there’s dressing up now – but it just isn’t the same. There was a lot more glitz and glamour. I guess that’s why I have quite a retro look.
I remember this little old lady coming up to me once saying, ‘Everyone used to dress like this when I was younger.’ But it was sort of like she was giving me a lecture – I wasn’t sure if she liked it or approved. But it was still cute.” Masuimi’s also noticed a new trend in retro outfits, and says, “The rockabilly pin-up look – that’s really big at the moment. But the other day I saw two girls at the club, who didn’t arrive together, dressed up in 1920s flapper style. That was sort of unusual as I don’t see that look much out here. I liked it.”
Masuimi does Dr Who?
Masuimi looks beyond the borders of the USA for her culture fix. And – prepare to rejoice, geekboys – she’s a massive Dr Who fan. “I had the line ‘And the dust will become atoms, and the atoms will become… nothing’ as my MySpace headline for a while. A lot of people didn’t get it, and I just thought, ‘What’s wrong with you people?’
I’ve cried during some episodes. When Donna got her memory wiped, I cried, ‘Why!? Why?!’” Bizarre suggests that she could possibly cause the biggest group nerd boner in the world should the news of her sci-fi addiction get out. “Oh, I know!” she laughs. “But I love it. I want my own TARDIS. I’d love to do a shoot dressed as Dr Who – the old one (Tom Baker), but just wearing the scarf.”
On that thought, we prepare to leave Masuimi to curl up in bed again, as she starts thinking about what to wear to an awards ceremony in the afternoon.
“I think I’m going to go as a bum,” she says. “I’ll just turn up in an old hat and scarf, smoking a pipe. And with stains down my shirt.” We doubt that she will. But it’s the possibility that she just might that makes Masuimi impossible to dislike.
More Masuimi at http://www.iamtrouble.com