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Interview with Darren Hayes (Part 2)


In this second part of my interview with Darren Hayes, the singer talks about homosexuality in Hollywood, his unhappy childhood and the end of Savage Garden. (Read Part One here.)

Do you think your gay fans relate to the feelings of isolation and insecurity that you often express in your music?

That's a good question. I think I'm an outsider and never really related to the mainstream. I think a lot of my fans have experienced pain in some way. A lot of my gay fans write me about the painful struggles they go through. I really try in my songwriting to be ambiguous so a lot of people can relate to it. I know what it is like to be an outsider.

But I think gay culture is changing anyway. I think I can call it the Hollywood-ization of gay culture. I'm friends with Ellen DeGeneres, and around the time she broke up with Anne Heche she was devastated. She was considered an outcast. It was horrific what she went through and what the media did to her. It was almost a legitimate form of discrimination what they did to her. It was like she was punished because she was gay.  And if you look at Hollywood today, she is back on TV and probably more successful than she has ever been.

And I wonder about that. A lot has changed in a short time to have made things easier for gay people. I've lived in cities that are very diverse and sexuality is not an issue. But in a global sense, gays still feel like an outsider.

(More from the interview after the jump.)

I think in the end that's why gay people really respect people who are a rebel and an outcast. That's how I felt all my life. I grew up in a middle-class neigborhood, living in a trailer and our family had all sorts of social problems. I had an alcoholic father who was very violent. I was beaten up, and the first few years of high school were horrific for me because I was picked on just because I was artistic and sensitive. And you know what? There's something really fantastic about succeeding as a freak! I hope that inspires people.

I just don't understand discrimination. And I cannot understand the controversy surrounding gay marriage. I was invited to Elton John's wedding. It was so emotional and so touching, and they spoke a lot about human rights. His wedding legitimized so many gay relationships all around the world that are probably more monogamous than a lot of heterosexual marriages. What is there to be ashamed of? People tend to be afraid of things that are different. Take for example religion and Scientology. People are afraid of that because it is different. I think it is changing and hope it will change. Love is love.

Was one of the reasons to move on from Savage Garden to be more expressive as a solo artist?
No. I didn't want Savage Garden to end at the time. Daniel wanted out and I was devastated by it. He actually left the band in spirit a week before "Affirmation" was released. I was very selfish at the time thinking about what his decision meant for me, but now I really respect him for having the courage to walk away from something so successful.

For a long time I resented him. It felt like I was left to pick up all the pieces. I spent a year doing all the promos on my own, and when we finally broke up I was blamed for it. But I really love him, and I have more compassion for him than I've ever had. He just worked out a lot of things about the music industry that I worked out only recently. But we don't speak anymore.

February 20, 2006 in Darren Hayes, GLBT Artists, Interviews | Permalink


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Great Interview so far



Posted by: Anne at Feb 20, 2006 6:55:49 PM

Awesome. On both ends. Thank you Arjan. I can't wait to read tomorrow's installment. :)

Posted by: Mia at Feb 20, 2006 6:58:37 PM

Thanks a bunch Arjan. You really have done a marvelous job thusfar! :)

Posted by: Dawn at Feb 20, 2006 7:28:10 PM

I have been waiting all day for the second part of the interview to be posted. Thanks, Arjan. Great questions and I was very very moved reading this part of the conversation.

Posted by: Tamara at Feb 20, 2006 8:00:07 PM

Well...Anything I could say after that would be superfluous. So I'll let Darren do the talking. :) Thank you Arjan. You've got me hooked.

Posted by: cat at Feb 20, 2006 8:00:54 PM

Very moving conversation, Can't wait to read more! Not too many artist speak from the heart like this...It is so amazing. Keep it up:)

Posted by: Mollie at Feb 20, 2006 8:27:13 PM

So far one of the best and frank interviews I've read with Darren. It is a pity that Daniel and him no longer speak.

On the upside... good news for us freaks!


Posted by: Nelson Clemente at Feb 20, 2006 10:03:21 PM

"i'm good friends with Ellen Degeneres..."

Sorry. but- what a liar he is.

Utter bullshit. Big talk, dreadful "music". Don't believe a word he says.

Posted by: Desch at Feb 20, 2006 10:24:13 PM

Also note: he's endorsing Scientology, an abusive cult; his friend from "Savage" no longer speaks to him; he loves the attention from gay fans but considers himself too cool to ever say he's gay.

Closeted jerk is what he is, and he's the one saying Pet Shop Boys are "boring".

Naw, this closeted jerk is the one who's boring.
And embarassing for gay people: he won't admit to being a fag but he will definitelty take gay people's money.

I reeally dislike him, he thinks people really give a shit about his sexuality. But no one does, really.
It makes his coy denials even more pathetic. All those fans writing here, "NO! Don't ask him about his personal life!!" are rotten .

WHY SHOULDN'T we ask flaming Darren what we all know? WHY is is such a shameful secret?

Arjan is a respectful interviewer, and I wouldn't expect him to ask. I just reflect upon the weird hatefest that descended when I mentioned that talentless (imho) Darren hayes declared that Pet Shop Boys were "Boring".

Yes, he did say that- look it up.

Hypocrisy really sucks- Darren is gay but he pretends that the world cares. So he poses as straight to make a buck. Except no one's buying.

Posted by: Desch at Feb 20, 2006 10:42:14 PM

Thank for that interview. Darren you are wonderful and we all love you. You have very loyal fans and we can't wait for the next ones!!!

Posted by: sally at Feb 20, 2006 11:35:37 PM

I loved it thanks so much, very interesting, and sad that he and daniel dont speak anymore, i thought he always maintained they spoke occasionally.

Posted by: Georgina at Feb 20, 2006 11:47:59 PM

oi Desch, fuck off and get a life

Posted by: at Feb 21, 2006 1:06:50 AM

Been looking forward to Part 2 of this interview and you haven't disappointed, Arjan. A lovely interview with a lovely man. Looking forward to reading the rest of the interview

Posted by: Joyce at Feb 21, 2006 1:20:40 AM

Actually Darren Hayes is a huge Pet Shop Boys fan. And he's not a scientologist for God's sake!
Get a life dude!

Posted by: confuzled at Feb 21, 2006 2:49:19 AM

desh and nelson you've nothing good to say about darren so keep your bs to yourselves

Posted by: at Feb 21, 2006 3:04:26 AM

It is not easy to talk about us...and about our ghosts..bad memories and fears...usually we hide the truth inside of us because does not have the courage to say it loud...so thank you Darren for your honesty and bravery!You have a beautiful soul!

Posted by: Joana at Feb 21, 2006 7:04:17 AM

Wow, I never knew Darren had that hard of a childhood. I got teary a little. I love Darren's music. It has helped me through so much in my own life.
To all of you who are so negative about him why don't you just shut up. To be so cold to someone who is actually trying to be a good person in such a harsh industry is low, why can't a celebrity be a good person??
And to you Nelson, if you don't like his music then why are you here reading about him? Just a pathetic excuse to put someone down who helps others to make yourself feel better? All you bully's are the same, scared little people who must hurt others to feel better about your sad existence. You lack the ability of compassion and obviously the love of life. Using profanity rather than intelligence to dispute a person and their way of life. Beating down emotionally those of us who love Darren and his music. Maybe you should take a better listen to his music it may help you and your hurtful attitude.

Posted by: Tonya at Feb 21, 2006 8:05:26 AM

Sorry, I forgot Desch. I mean you as well. Bully!

Posted by: Tonya at Feb 21, 2006 8:10:12 AM

I loved that article.
Can't believe you've got him to open up so much!


Posted by: neo at Feb 21, 2006 9:09:42 AM

I've really enjoyed this interview, so far, and have taken some time to read back through other writings of yours... good stuff :)

Posted by: Laurie at Feb 21, 2006 9:26:32 AM

Thanks for the interesting interview...looking forward to the rest.

Everyone is entitled to his/her opinion...but I feel the need to clarify something. Darren did not endorse Scientology...he said "take religion and Scientology..." using it as an example...not an endorsement. He could have just as easily mentioned Kabbalah, Islam, etc. ALL religions could be easily referred to as "a cult" if you think about it. Anyway...I think the original meaning behind the topic was "discrimination" -- something that applies to all people because of how they look, who they love, what God they believe in, and even what music they like. So Darren may have dissed the Pet Shop Boys at one time...is that really a big deal in the grand scheme of things? An entire Phillipine village gets wiped out by a mudslide and someone is complaining about Darren's OPINION on a band? I suppose it's all relative to what you FEEL is important.

Posted by: KL at Feb 21, 2006 12:06:52 PM

very read so far. whoever that Desch person is, needs to get a life and fast. the way i see it, if Darren is gay, bi, straight, he should be respected and given the same right to his privacy as everyone wants and deserves. seems as tho alot of gay ppl are unhappy with the fact that Darren is admitting he" bats for their team" and it really does not matter if he does or not. doesnt change him as a human being. whoever is so concerned about his sexuality over his music need to find something else to do with your time and stop dwelling on it.
very good interview so far.

Posted by: Dazzy at Feb 21, 2006 12:47:07 PM

What a really good interview with a great artist!!!
shame some people have to post completely negative comments about Darren's sexuality.

Posted by: tony c at Feb 21, 2006 1:26:15 PM

Arjan, thank you for a great interview. You've asked some really thought-provoking questions. And Darren, thank you for answering so honestly, and bravely, as you have touched on issues in your life that must be painful to talk about. You have my respect always.

Posted by: Sue at Feb 21, 2006 1:41:16 PM

Thank you so much for the interviews! Once I start reading, I can't stop. I read the first one on my birthday...what a great present lol.

Posted by: luvbird at Feb 21, 2006 2:01:36 PM