They're Gorgeous, You're Filthy
By Tom Donaghy
'My heart feels dead inside / It's cold and hard and petrified / Lock the doors and close your eyes / We're going for a ride.'
Not exactly lyrics you'd expect from the bright-as-sunshine Scissor Sisters. But get ready: Their new album, Ta-Dah, is laced with them. You see, after the phenomenal success of their self-titled debut album, the Sisters were spent, beat, wiped'and more than a little cranky.
'I could throw you in a lake / And feed you poisoned birthday cake / I could bury you alive / But you might crawl out with a knife (and kill me).'
Wow. Looks like the queer stylings of this good-time party band have turned a few shades darker. What happened?
A lot: Just over two years ago Scissor Sisters were playing small clubs in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn, N.Y., and it was all a lark. Since then they've conquered dance floors and concert halls everywhere, in the process becoming international pop stars with all the attendant hoopla: collaborating with Kylie, jetting to Elton's wedding, being showered with praise from Ibiza to Coachella. Their album went to number 1 in the United Kingdom and spawned five top-20 singles. In the last two years they've received two Grammy nominations, one for their cover of 'Comfortably Numb' and the other for 'I Believe in You,' which they wrote for Kylie. Bam, bam, bam'fame, glamour, riches. Pretty heady stuff for a band with three openly gay members'a configuration that has never before occurred in the history of pop music. But then they were expected to do it all over again. And that's what happened.
'We were worried,' says Babydaddy. 'We felt all this pressure to be that 'fun, happy, disco, electronic dance band''but we didn't feel in the mood to make that kind of music.'
'We had to be so careful,' says Jake, his voice tinged with trepidation. 'There's that second album clich' about bands writing about how terrible hotel rooms are'and we'd just spent a year and a half in terrible hotel rooms.'
Although the entire band collaborates on the songs, Jake and Babydaddy experienced the brunt of the burden. 'We're the nucleus of the group,' says Babydaddy. 'We hang out in the studio waiting for inspiration, and then the others come around and add to it. But we had to figure out how to write music again after being on the road for so long.'