They're Gorgeous, You're Filthy
By Tom Donaghy
Everyone stood around staring at each other for months and months, and then Jake's body revolted. 'We'd been touring for so long that I was still getting adrenaline rushes, which felt like panic attacks. Add to that the anxiety of having a really enormous task of writing our second album. It felt like my stomach was falling out.' The combination was toxic: Jake slid into depression, scaring those around him who were used to Jake as their superpeppy serotonin-saturated ringleader. Papers in the United Kingdom, where the band's success was most pronounced, recently splashed headlines suggesting that Jake had been suicidal during this period.
'I wasn't suicidal,' he says. 'It was just a really tough period.'
To say the least. He and Babydaddy bounced around the world looking for inspiration, hiding away in friends' houses, driving the people around them a little crazy with their intensity. And right when most of the tracks were completed and the Sisters seemed to be out of the woods, Jake's best friend, Mary, for whom he wrote the song 'Mary,' passed away suddenly after complications from surgery. They'd met on a phone chat line when Jake was 15 and Mary was 21, bonding over a shared fascination with junk culture.
'She looked out for me. I was somehow getting into gay bars, and she would drive an hour to wait in the parking lot until I was ready to go home.'
The two spoke on the phone every day until she died, but Mary never felt confident about their friendship. 'She'd struggled with obesity for a long time and didn't understand why someone she thought was living 'a fabulous life' would want to be her friend. I wrote the song to reassure her.' Her death was devastating to Jake as she is the first person he has ever lost.
'Somehow,' says Babydaddy, 'we found moments of forgetting and something positive in the struggle. Those moments made this album.' He marvels that early reviews have described the album as a dancey party album because 'the process wasn't a party. A lot of it was finding the light at the end of the tunnel.' The result of all that pressure is a pop diamond.
For more exclusive dish on Scissors Sisters and their new album, Ta-Dah, pick up a copy of the October issue of Out.