Wednesday, February 3, 2010
ELECTROQUEER SITS DOWN WITH DANGEROUS MUSE
I have been a fan of Heteroflexible electro duo Dangerous Muse for quite a few years now. I'm sure you all know this since I tend to gush about them every chance I get. Ever since they released the hits "The Rejection", "Give Me Danger" and their new single "I Want It All" set to take the charts by storm, I've been following them like a stalker, hungrily and patiently waiting for their debut release. Now that Gaga and Glambert are changing the way we get our pop stars, the NYC hipsters sat down for an interview with one of my favorite music websites Electroqueer, where they talked about their first two singles, their all around mutual love for Ministry, that "oral" thingy at the Logo Awards, why we must be patient in waiting for their debut album to drop, the whole Adam Lambert controversy, their involvement with H&M and why Tom is "scared shitless" of the London Dungeons...enjoy!
Wello hello guys - welcome to EQ and thanks for taking the time to answer our questions. Let's get right into it, we're you guys surprised at how quickly you garnered attention when your first single "The Rejection" came out? It was like you were overnight online pop stars...
Furey: Hey, Raj. We think you’ve got a great blog and are happy to answer some of your questions. Yes, we were definitely surprised about "The Rejection" going to #2 on the iTunes Dance charts and all of the initial press we got. It’s amazing how one song can kind of turn your life around.
You kind of built up this initial frenzy and then followed it up with "Give Me Danger"...I'm curious, what was "Give Me Danger" all about?
Furey: I’m inspired mostly by real life occurrences - by situations that my me and my friends get ourselves into. None of my lyrics are meant to be taken too literally. There is always a double entendre that you shouldn’t be quick to overlook, but "Give Me Danger" pretty much spells it out for you. It is the precursor to “Homewrecker”, a song from our forthcoming album.
I was curious, what happened to the video for that song - it seemed like it was full steam ahead then suddenly we heard that it wasn't gonna happen...so what happened?!
Furey: Unfortunately we can’t talk about that. There are lots of things that we wish we could divulge about the ugly guts of this pretty machine, but now is not the time for that. It will all be in the book someday – when we are old and tired and only have stories to tell.
You guys even got a Delorean for the single cover - where did you end up finding a Delorean? I would think they are pretty hard to come by?
Tom: It was parked, abandoned and unlocked, on the film lot where we shot "The Rejection" music video. I insisted we take a few pictures in it. There was a cassette of Madonna’s "Immaculate Collection" in the tape deck. [Laughs]
Not too many people know that your song "Every Day Is Halloween" was actually a cover of a Ministry song. Are you guys big fans of Ministry?
Tom: I’m a huge Ministry fan. When I heard them in high school, they were way too hard for me even though I was listening to a lot of Nine Inch Nails. Then about three years ago, I became obsessed with their first album, "With Sympathy". It sounded like a lost Depeche Mode or New Order record to me. From that I gradually got into more and more Ministry. Next were the Wax Trax 12” singles, including "Everyday Is Halloween", and then "Twitch" and so on. Ministry and all of Al’s Wax Trax side projects are some of my favorite music now but I cut off Ministry when they become too metal for me with "Psalm 69".
Furey: Yeah, Ministry is one of the bands that Tom and I agree on. There aren’t many. They had good industrial beats - as opposed to shitty ones - and a decent aesthetic.
You then performed "Secret" on the Logo Awards and got all oral with a microphone...it stirred up a bit of controversy. How did you guys come up with the idea of getting oral with a mic...was it rehearsed or kinda spontaneous?
Furey: It wasn’t rehearsed but I knew going into the performance that I would pull a gag. It is our intention to test the censors, to find the boundaries and tastefully tread over them. It’s not about doing something wild and crazy for the fuck of it. It’s about sending a message that causes people to think – doing something unexpected that forces us all to reconsider the rules.
Tom were you worried about Mike sticking his mic down your throat?...that's actually kinda dangerous - kids don't try that at home...
Tom: It’s actually Mike’s go-to for shutting me up in rehearsals.
Brilliant! And after all this hype, speculation and attention for Dangerous Muse...it all went quiet after that - what happened there?
Furey: It takes a long time to write and record your first album – more than you would think. Most people take two to three years. Alicia Keys, for instance, I believe, wrote and recorded for about two and a half years. The difference with us is that we released "The Rejection" at the very beginning of our career and then went in to write and record everything else. That’s why there has been such a time lapse.
I hear you're independent now - what's going on with your deal with Sire Records?
Furey: We want to avoid losing any more time between making the music and putting it in your ears. We don’t want the middle man and any of the bureaucracy anymore so we are leaving Warner Bros. and taking our creative team with us. Our manager has started an independent label called Scarce Goods. The name is inspired by a Trent Reznor quote.
How did the association and collaboration with Bloodshy and Avant come about? I can't imagine they are cheap to work with in the studio...
Furey: I sent Blood (Christian) a message on MySpace to say how much I appreciate the work he has done and to ask if he would be interested in working with Dangerous Muse. He wrote back and said yes! It was kind of as simple as that. The internet is a beautiful thing.
EQ: And after that, now we have our first bit of new Dangerous Muse in a long time - the fantastic new single "I Want It All". Tell me, what is your take on that track.
Furey: I'm very interested in the examination of pure emotion. I like to explore the moments when we feel the strongest and to pull that split-second essence over three minutes or so. "I Want It All" explores the ugly streak of desire that we all have -- to be the best, to have it all. "Too Much to Ask" another song on the forthcoming album, explores desire from a vulnerable side. These songs, as you will hear, are polar opposites -- much like our emotions can be at times!
You guys have some very cool costumes for the video - Did you guys make the costumes...viva very Gaga.
Furey: No, they aren't homemade. [laughs] They aren't Haus of Furey, either. The wardrobe was put together by our good friend and stylist, Brett Bailey. Some special pieces were handmade by Franc Fernandez. The look and premise of the video was inspired by Dante's Divine Comedy. Bondage and sadism is hot, but tie it to classic literature and you've got me.
What do you guys make of the whole Adam Lambert AMA controversy...blown out of proportion much?
Furey: Adam is a friend. I think he's been handling it well. I wonder what the AMAs would have done if he jammed a microphone down someone's throat and jacked it off...
You guys obviously appeal to gay audiences and have tons of gay fans - do you guys feel there is a bit of dishonesty in pop music when it comes to sexuality? Or is it getting better these days?
Furey: We love our fans -- even though I hate that word. I prefer to call them our friends. We love their sexy bodies and, more importantly, their brilliant minds. Discrimination is a bi-product of ignorance. The best thing we can do is project what we would like to get back. Like Ghandi said, "you must be the change you wish to see in the world."
Tell me about your involvement in the H&M Fashion Against Aids project.
Furey: The H&M Fashion Against Aids campaign was a perfect way for us to combine music, art, and fashion to create a message that encourages awareness. We designed a sculpture made out of condoms and photographed it for a t-shirt that was sold in H&M stores across the world in 32 countries. At first we thought such an image would be too much for a conservative brand, but they went for it.
Tom: We were honored to be asked by H&M and Designers Against Aids to be selected among such a group of talented artists.
And the big question - when are you guys coming to perform in London? We're dying to see you live over here...have you guys ever been to London before?
Tom: I’ve been to London once, when I was twelve in 1997. I fucking loved it. I remember vividly getting scared shitless in the London Dungeons. It was so bad that I think I almost passed out when they told us through the fog, that Jack the Ripper was about and if we felt anyone graze our necks that we should shout as loud as we could. I couldn’t get through that quickly enough. I can’t wait to perform over there.
Furey: We'll be there soon, Raj. I'm looking forward to hearing you scream...
Oooh - I'm getting shivers! So it's 2010 now - what was your favourite song and album of 2009?
Furey: My favorite song is the one that my sixteen-year-old little brother wrote -- his first one ever. He's so smart. My favorite album is one of photos that my Mom gave me of my family and friends hanging at the beach last summer. I look at it when I'm feeling especially jaded.
Tom: Favorite album is a definite three-way time between Röyksopp’s "Junior", The Prodigy’s "Invaders Must Die", and IAMX’s "Kingdom of Welcome Addiction". My favorite song was DEFINITELY “New In Town” by Little Boots.
So tell me about the upcoming album. Is it more fierce electro-pop that we have come to love from DM or are there any surprises in store?
Furey: It's better to let you find out for yourself.
Well you know I'm totally looking foward to it. So that's it guys - thanks for your time - any parting words for EQ readers?
Tom: When we come to London, I may need volunteers for my obligatory walk through the London Dungeons…
Furey: Stop reading this and go do something dangerous...
Join the DM fan army at Dangerousmuse.net
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