« Astronaut | Main | Björk and Kelis Duet on Oceania Remix (MP3) »

Sizzling Sisters (Jake Shears Interview)

scissorsisters_group (Jake Shears is second from the right) The first time I called Jake Shears for our interview I caught him preparing for a television interview with MTV Europe. He politely asked me if I could call him back another time. "What day is today?," he asked. I told him it was Saturday and that I could call him back the day after. "Oh that would so much better. Oh wait, I'm on a plane somewhere. Not sure when, but you might have to try it a few times. What time zone are you?" Welcome to the life of a rising rock star - hectic, intense and impossible to plan. Especially now that Scissor Sisters is topping the charts in Europe and is on the verge of a major breakthrough in the U.S. Jake Shears, the flamboyant gay lead singer of Scissor Sisters, takes the pressures of being a rock star in stride when he talks about shuttling between his home in New York and the UK where the band has been burning up the charts. "Life has been very intense the last few months, but that's because we're totally brilliant" Shears smirks from his tour bus. "Jetlag hasn't been affecting me that much, but I've definitely been living an early-bird life." The anticipation about the band's success in the U.S. is mounting, but Shears tries to keep two feet on the ground. "Our success in the UK has been so over the top that I'm not really worried about what is going to happen in the States," he says. "We're very excited that the record has come out and we look forward to our U.S. tour in the fall. It has been fun and we don't take anything for granted."

The sound of Scissor Sisters on their self-titled debut album can be described as Elton John meets Pink Floyd meets Fischerspooner. Their genre-defying music is catching on with both regular music lovers and their peers. The band has already collaborated with some of its own heroes, including Duran Duran, Elton John, The B-52s and the Pet Shop Boys. "These were incredible experiences for us," says Shears. "It is all like a dream come true." Inspired by The B-52s and rockers like Richard O'Brien (the man behind "The Rocky Horry Picture Show"), the band's music was born out of having pleasure just playing and jamming explains Shears. "It was all about our own satisfaction," he says. "There was no big idea. Our sound came about totally naturally." Jake Shears is openly gay as are some of the other group's members. "I never made a conscious decision to be out or not. This is just who I am," he says. "It is funny because people always ask me the gay question, but in Europe nobody cares. It is all about the music and performance. I hope that people will see us as a rock and roll band, not a queer band." He feels that his homosexuality might be an obstacle in the U.S. "I just hope that we're embraced at home like we were in Europe," he says. "Our music speaks to everybody. It could happen that people might end up not giving a shit." Wal-Mart, the largest music retailer in the US, does seem to care. The company has decided to ban the Scissor Sisters album from it shelves when it was released late July. "I think it is a little bit scary and hypocritical," Shears says. "You can buy violent games like Manhunt for your PlayStation, but can't buy music at Wal-Mart with the word 'shit' in it." The group does not feel obligated to edit their music for its mature content. Their song "Return to Oz" has a particular dark meaning and relevance to the gay community. Its lyrics deal with the effects of crystal meth addiction. Shears agrees that the drug has a devastating impact on some, but is coy about making any additional statements about the song. "I hate to dissect my lyrics," he explains. "I write about what is going on around me and my life. It is just a feeling. People can interpret lyrics in a lot of different ways." Shears is also quickly becoming a rock and roll sex symbol across the pond with his theatrical antics often showing off his tight upper body. The constant travelling does not seem to wear on the singer's physique. "No, it is not a low-carb diet that keeps me in shape," he laughs. "Jumping around every night on stage is the best work-out."

August 26, 2004 in Interviews, Scissor Sisters | Permalink





Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

I was lucky enough to see the Scissor Sisters live at G.A.Y. the nightclub in London. They are FANTASTIC- full of energy and sexy as heck! They were dressed as characters from the Wizard of Oz, and Jake's scarecrow outfit did indeed reveal a LOT of his lovely bod. Their music is so refreshing- sexy, rude, but totally uplifting and zany. I really hope that the US loves them as much as we do. It'll be America's loss otherwise!

Posted by: Mark Manley at Sep 1, 2004 9:19:49 AM

I remember reading a particular newspaper New Years Day travelling home on the train after a night at G-A-Y.It mentioned this 'glam,disco' who were getting a name for themselves on the New York scene and were now going to break into the UK.
Hmmm i thought they sound cool and that Jake sure looks fit(must be gay)so i kept an ear out for them.
Along came Comfortably Numb and i was smitten.The Sissors rock and are definitly the best thing to come out of the music industry in years.Keep up the good work guys,i hope to one day see you at a gig(was trying for tonight @Brixton but all sold out )

Posted by: Dolly at Oct 31, 2004 8:35:25 AM

What a pity. I never thought Jake Shears was gay. I mean he's way hot and I really liked him...
Well, what matters most is that they rock!!! They've got an original and cool style. Luv ya all guys!!!

Posted by: Diana Miya at Nov 2, 2004 7:35:57 PM

I have this CD, have listen to it about 6 times now, and until I got to this web page, I didn't know if Jake was gay, or just trying to make me think that. Either way, the above article nails it - it's not a band about being gay! I'm a straight, American, guitar-playing guy and this album speaks my language (i.e. rock and roll) more than any new band I can think of since... geez... Smashing Pumpkins? Oh, wait, almost forgot the White Stripes. This CD is a genuine communication - not some processed piece of crap trying to ride any trend. I can't promise you'll like it, but obviously, I do. I read an interview with Jake where he said "I want music to mean something again." Amen. He means something and I can hear it.

Posted by: Joe Sessions at Nov 4, 2004 7:04:56 PM

I love the Scissor Sisters becuase of their honesty, not only in their lifestyle, but in their writing too. Their music truly is inspirational because it does not fit a mold that has been defined; no one can define them as anything else but AMAZING. Their CD is truly innovative and just plain fun to listen too. I have no doubt that they will catch on in the US, because I have turned on so many of my straight, middle class American friends on to their music and they LOVE it. I love Jake Shears, the way he acts, looks, sings, interacts with the audience, even through the CD. I hope they keep up the amazing work, but I know that they will!

Posted by: Jonathan WIlliams at Nov 22, 2004 1:51:01 PM

Scissor sisters rock. I listen to them all the time, they are fantastic.I love them so much

Posted by: Rosie at Nov 24, 2004 10:45:22 AM

why is jake gay i think he is gorgeous xxx

Posted by: kim at Nov 29, 2004 3:52:52 AM

They are so good! Jake is so hot! And a'm impressed that he dare to show that he is gay. I meen, it's so many stupid people out there, that you never are safe if you are gay!
So: Go on guys, your the best!

Posted by: Honey at Dec 3, 2004 11:11:52 AM

I think jake shears, is absolutly bloody gorgeous. I could just spread him on a cracker. His voice is so scrumdidilyumtious, I wish I could capture it in a jar and keep it next to my heart, forever and always. I love Jake Shears and Ms. Matronic more than anything in the entire world, with all my heart and soul! Im a huge fan. There writing is original, kinky and f**king spectacular. I love it! mmm... Jake id be his somebody to love anyday, or even matronics. I'd love to suck his...!!!

Posted by: Kikoizzy majizzy! (Pixy-mo) at Dec 7, 2004 3:44:17 AM

The sissor sisters just got through with a FANTASTIC show in Indianapolis Indiana and WE JUST ADORE THEM!
I am a White heterosexual/straight 36 yr old female and I dont even care who was there at that concert! I was hit on by lesbians, had a fab time talking and mingling with the gay men and women alike and had NO PROBLEM whatsoever.
I LOVE THIS BAND AND LOVE the way they DONT give a shit!
Jake has one fantabulous voice and the other members are also damn good. I could not go to sleep after this show and had to go out and buy this CD today! I saw them on "Saturday Night Live" and I was hooked! I love how the music is so funky and uplifting. My straight fiance also had NO problem with being in a Gay setting enjoying music by openly gay TALENTED musicians. I think the USA here IS indeed catching on and embracing the Gay community even more and more. It's the small minded imps and old farts that have a problem with them. They need to get their heads out of their asses and wake up and LIVE!

Posted by: Leilarose68 at Dec 16, 2004 2:29:39 PM

scissor sisters rock they is da best but i haf too admit cher is better & why are u speaking about his sexuality it dont matter if he's gay or not as long as we like the sisters thats the main thing

Posted by: graham at Jan 8, 2005 2:46:47 PM

Jake Shears is possibly the fittest guy who ever walked the planet

Posted by: Soph at Jan 10, 2005 11:41:31 PM

AHH! I'm from the US and I absolutly love the Scissor Sisters! I think what Wal-Mart did is terrible, an I don't understand why people can't just listen to the good music. They aren't very popular here yet which is a shame, they deserve a lot. Awesome music + kick ass talent = Chelsie's Fav!!

Posted by: chelsie at Jan 22, 2005 10:43:53 PM

o' neaux not walm art. tchau tchau. -dc

Posted by: otcerrusni at Jan 30, 2005 1:02:56 AM

I think Wal-Mart is right in what they do.
I believe in right, wrong, and some things are just repugnant.
Yes, I am against gays, lesbians, and bisexuals.

Posted by: Cheryl at Feb 15, 2005 10:58:03 AM

leave the scissor sisters alone otcerrusni - you homophobic - maybe you have underlying isues that you are afraid to confront! the scissor sisters rock! its not their sexuality that makes their music is it.....fool.

Posted by: Torn at Mar 22, 2005 11:44:24 AM

I´m so addicted to their music! They´re fantastic! I wasn´t able to see them live cause I live in Vienna. That´s unfair. :-( d´love to see them - specially Jake....

Posted by: PinkPanther at Mar 29, 2005 1:14:04 AM

Cheryl:

Wal-Mart banned the Scissor Sisters CD not because three of its five members are gay, but because one of its songs contains the word "tits."

In this post-Boobgate era, it seems that many are overzealous about "protecting" ourselves from expression that may potentially be offensive to some. But the reality is that freedom of expression allows for material to be offensive, whether those who take offense like it or not. And Jake Shears is right when he laments that violence in videogames for children is premissable while the song "Tits on the Radio" - which is itself a protest of restrictions on speech - is not allowable.

Also, your attitude about gays and lesbians seems very shallow and closed. But that is a whole different matter.

The bottom line is that the Scissor Sisters are a great band with amazing songs. I hope they do as well in the US as they have in the UK.

Posted by: Wunderkid at Mar 30, 2005 10:56:04 PM

I am an american and everyone i know loves the sisters. I can't wait to get the cd. I wanna go to a concert.

Posted by: Alanah Stephens at Apr 1, 2005 6:49:26 AM

eya all u scissor sisters luvas!!! hey're soo doodi!!! the bestest band who av been around 4 a long long time!!! music is actually moving somewhere!!! scissor sisters rule 2005!!!

Posted by: (££P$ at Apr 22, 2005 10:45:36 AM

hey omg scissor sisters complelty rock!!! and o my god are people around my highschool homophobic i go to school full on singing filthy/gorgeous and there like err scissor sisters arnt they queer? and i'm like ur point their music rocks... oh well thats Australian's for u wasnt australia classed as the most homophobic country in the world or sumthin?? oh well who gives a shit scissor sisters rock
love amy

Posted by: AmY at Apr 28, 2005 3:30:48 AM

yo amy,
im from aus and yeah i kinda agree, heaps of aussies are homophobic =/ but alot are fine with gays too!(im fine with gays, i got heapsa gay buddies!) i head filthy gorgeous for the first time yesterday and im trying to make up my mind wether to buy the album or not

Posted by: charlotte at May 9, 2005 1:40:20 AM

ScissorSisters are the best band Ive heard in a long time, and it doesnt hurt that jake is one of the sexiest ive ever seen. Totally fell in love with their music.

Posted by: Marco at May 9, 2005 3:21:30 PM

Yes,Scissor Sisters are awesome.I live in the U.K,and everyone seems to love them.Their music and lyrics are fun,clever and witty.

Who cares if more than one member of the band is gay, it doesn't affect the people who listen to their music.It's like ,ive met a few people who loved Comfortably Numb when they first heard it,after finding out some of them were gay they thought they were rubbish.Come on,how lame is that, no place for homophobes. Besides,what counts is that they are making money and entertaining which they currently are :) later

Posted by: Graeme at Jun 10, 2005 12:14:19 PM

jakes a hottie

Posted by: kim at Jun 15, 2005 1:45:51 AM