Love (and Labels) in Captivity
By Matthew Breen
'I can tell you what my ex-girlfriend thought of it,' says Ima Robot singer Alex Ebert of the provocatively pansexual 'Lovers in Captivity' video that features Ebert dancing around'and in bed with'a transvestite, played by actor Brady Corbet (Mysterious Skin) in fishnets and a bustier. His ex-girlfriend's rueful interpretation 'is that being with a woman is oppressive for me and that being with a guy means expressing freedom.' Ebert says he initially wrote the soaring track, on the band's second album, Monument to the Masses, as a straightforward love song. 'Then by the time I was ready to record I felt like I was a captive in my own romance. I'd moved in with this girl, and it had become so wearisome.' Little wonder the ex was upset at the video.
'I'd just seen Breakfast on Pluto'instantly I got these visuals of me with a street tranny in a shabby motel.' The images were faithfully re-created in a sort of pirate project'neither his bandmates nor his record label, Virgin, knew he was making the music video (which he posted to YouTube on his own), and some were none too pleased with it when they saw it. 'But I've been on a label long enough to not care about that anymore,' he says.
Is his ex reading too much into the video? Specifically, does Alex consider himself straight? 'No,' he says, then pauses. 'But I have a hard time with that stuff. Definitely my attraction goes more to women than to men, but I don't know about those categories. They seem very strange to me.'