Gold Dust Man
By Shana Naomi Krochmal
You're helping a girl become a rock star on MTV's Made. What's the best advice that you've given her?
You shouldn't try to be somebody else. I'm not going to make you dress like me. I'm not going to make you do anything. Rock and roll is about being the most dangerous version of yourself.
What is dangerous about you?
I'm willing to talk about anything. Our show is very sexual. We're a real band with real instruments and we play our asses off. In the context of music in 2008, that's pretty dangerous.
Tell me about your bandmates.
Cole [Whittle], the bass player, and I were roommates our freshman year at Berklee College of Music. The cosmos just kind of put us together. We were both horrified -- he showed up with crosses and Bibles and I showed up with a backpack of MAC cosmetics and platform shoes. Luckily our third roommate was such a drip. He was basically dead for the first week, and after three days, we had to be like, is he going to wake up? So we bonded over that. [Drummer] Dan [Crean] and Cole started playing in some geeky jazz trio together. And [guitarist] Aaron [Lee Tasjan] went to the same school but after we did. Friends introduced us. We were all in New York at that time, and we were so fucking bored with all the bands that were taking themselves so seriously. We decided to form a party band.
Do you still consider yourselves a party band?
I do. What's really great about our band is that for people who just want it to be a party band, it can be. People who want something more from it, it's there. For our dudes in Boston who just want to come and pump their fists and see all the gorgeous girls who come to our shows, they have it. For the gorgeous girls and the teens who feel awkward about themselves, they can look a little deeper into the lyrics and see me as -- hopefully -- a very positive role model.
What brings you together?
The love of a live show. And our sense of humor is really similar -- but I don't really make fart jokes, and they do. That's the difference. I won't do it. I don't fart. I've never heard of that.
How do you describe your sexuality?
It's very fluid. It kind of just changes. But I'm really into people who look like me. Saying that I'm bi is so '90s, I feel like I'm in a Winona Ryder movie. I always try to find a funny way to answer the question.
On Chelsea Lately, she called you a "narcissexual." Do you agree?
Ish... It just kind of happened. I dated a woman for a year who pretty much looks exactly like me, which probably just means I have other issues. I was like, I kind of have to come out all over again. My parents didn't believe me! They totally thought I was fucking with them. She's taller than I am without heels, really sarcastic and so fucking over the top it's ridiculous. I think they maybe thought she was post-op, but she's not. They still love her. We broke up, but we're still very good friends.
Are you attracted to boys who look like you, too?
Yeah, but I have a really hard time with boys. I feel like gay guys fight so hard to come out of the closet and be who they are -- and they all just turn into each other. Their personalities become Abercrombie and the fact that they're gay. Or they turn into the same gay hipster. A lot of guys really don't like the fact that I'm with girls, too. That really upsets them. They feel like I'm a traitor or something. Shouldn't we all just be happy with everything?
How do you describe your gender?
I see myself as a man. But if I'm not in makeup I don't feel pretty at all.
When did you start wearing makeup every day?
When I was like 14. I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago, but then I went to an arts high school in the city. I had an hour commute on the train every day, and my friend Joanna had enough MAC cosmetics to kill somebody. So we'd sit on the train every morning and do our makeup together. And now I work with MAC! They had me go to a bunch of Fashion Week events in a full face of makeup.