Queerty Interview

Jake Shears Went To Russia And Liked It

ae6d927335a6a3ee096c158248dd1a1979828062_tn482x298Jake Shears, the lead singer of Scissor Sisters, is ready to get back in the studio.

Our favorite Instagram stud took some time from vacationing in London to talk to us about his plans for Pride, new music he’s written for a certain Drag Race alum and what it was like for his band to face up to Putin and perform in Russia.

Any close encounters with Tom Daley while in London?

No encounters with Tom Daley yet, unfortunately. I would love to see him and Dustin Lance Black out on the town. I will have to say though since the weather’s gotten warmer in London right now, the streets are swarming with extremely hot men.

How about One Direction, do you listen to them?

I don’t listen to a lot of pop music in general. I love writing it and I love pop craftsmanship, but my tastes don’t usually fall there. I feel like there has been a lot of shrieking girls lately, just not my jam. Lately I’ve just been really drawn to more organic rock music, though I’ll always love my noisy techno.

Any cool gay artists that come to mind?

I’m a huge fan of Bright Light Bright Light. He’s an amazing songwriter, and I love the new stuff that he’s done with Elton John. Sam Sparro and I have been writing a bit lately. He’s hilarious and has a voice that blows me away. Sam and I just wrote some really cool stuff with Courtney Act.

What musical direction is Courtney Act heading towards?

It’s sexy pop. I don’t sing on the record; it’s all Courtney. [Editor’s note: Courtney Act confirms that her Sam Sparro/Jake Shears collaboration will be released in September].

IMG_3542-650x433You’ll be DJ’ing in San Francisco at Juanita More’s Pride Party. How did you two meet?

I first met Juanita through Ana Matronic and Del Marquis [Shears’ bandmates]. She’s just one of my favorite people in the whole world. I love playing parties with her.

Will you partake in other Pride-related festivities either in San Francisco or around the world?

Oh, I’m sure I’ll be out and about all over the place. I’m a very social creature. I love running around hanging out and letting my hair down. San Francisco is one of my favorite places to do just that, especially during Pride.

What do you make of the rapid pace of “coming outs” in the world of music, sports and entertainment?

I was just thinking about it today, about how different it was even 10 years ago; just what kind of a big deal it was to be gay. We’ve made huge strides and won a lot of battles. But we’re hardly finished. It’s really time for more focus to be put on on transgender rights, and international LGBT oppression. We should feel just as responsible for our LGBT family in Russia as we do about ourselves.

If invited, would you perform in Russia like Elton John did?

Scissor Sisters did perform in Russia quite recently, as a matter fact. We played in St. Petersburg and Moscow right after Pussy Riot got arrested so our presence was duly noted.

Did you feel you had to self-censor your stage show?

Yes. I was really frightened to be there, but I’m so happy we did it. We walked straight into a press conference that I didn’t know was happening. It was a hairy moment because you have to be really be honest but yet sidestep on certain issues. That happens in many parts of the world. In Abu Dhabi I couldn’t take my shirt off onstage, and in Singapore there was no cursing allowed.

How were you guys received by the Russian audience?

The shows themselves were magical events, and it was clear people were so happy that we came. As a queer band, it was important to be there and show a positive representation. Our fans were hungry for it.

Did you get a chance to experience real gay life in Russia?

I visited Central Station, the main gay bar in Moscow. It’s a big kind of gay club complex, and has now been shut down so it was fascinating to see what was going on and see a snapshot of the moment.

When can we expect new music from you?

I’ve been writing music in Los Angeles, and I’ve been just doing it for fun. Writing songs and not really caring where it’s going or what it is, but just, you know, making music for the joy of it. So who knows? I’m just not putting any pressure myself.

Oscar Raymundo is the creator of Confessions of a Boy Toy