By Jason Lamphier
When Katy Perry chatted with Out late last year about her new song "UR So Gay," a flippant kiss-off to her guyliner-wearing, H&M-shopping, metrosexual ex-boyfriend, she had no idea how listeners -- both gay and straight -- would respond. Now, in a matter of months, the once bubbling-under singer has blown up, releasing her new album, One of the Boys, rising to the top of the charts with her stupidly catchy single "I Kissed a Girl," and launching a debate over her carefree use of the G word.
We caught up again with Perry, who's currently performing at the Vans Warped Tour, to discuss making out with Madonna, Ryan Seacrest's sexuality, and how the outspoken songstress managed to release two of the most talked-about singles of the year -- all before releasing her debut.
Out:I imagine a lot has changed since we spoke last November. Are you shocked?
Katy Perry: Not really. I'm still standing in line for a shower right now. I'm on the Vans Warped Tour, and there's no favoritism on tour. I was like, "I have a number 1 song," and they're like, "We don't care. Load your shit in like everyone else." I'm glad I'm not trying to pull some silver-platter status, because I think it's cool to be grounded and sane. I'm getting a lot of flak from Middle America -- you know, "Katy Perry is an abomination! She kissed a girl!" I'm not an abomination. It's OK to love anyone. I spread my story, and I'm very unapologetic about it. I really do love the gay community. I went through a lot of the same things they did. I got the opportunity to bloom later on in life. I was raised in a strict household and wasn't allowed to do anything, then I left the nest and became the person I'm happy to be now.
You're one of the few female solo artists on the Warped Tour, which consists mainly of sweaty, aggressive punk rocker boys -- quite different from your pals Mika and [actor and Perry's "main gay"] Markus Molinari. What has the tour been like?
It's amazing because I'm on the second stage. There are two stages, and on one stage there'll be this scream-o, hardcore band, and my band will be setting up my equipment, which is all pink, of course. All the hardcore fans get stuck in my set. Markus is on tour with me now, and he is having so much fun.
Is the tour gay-friendly?
It looks like it is. I've met quite a few of my somewhat new gay fans, and they're not swayed by the piercings, tattoos, and insane hair. I do signings every single day for an hour and a half, so I think they're excited to come out and spend a couple of minutes with me.
Have any of the bands dismissed your music as pop fluff?
As much as I am a mainstream pop artist, I still do scissor kicks off the amplifiers. I have bruises all over my legs. I go out into the crowd and put on more of a rock show than a pop show. Nothing is choreographed as of yet. Maybe in a couple of years we'll do a glittery production.
In the video for "I Kissed a Girl" you never actually kiss a girl. Why not?
People would expect something like that. I always wanna do something that's not expected. I don't wanna just go in for it and kiss some random girl. If I'm gonna kiss a girl, I'm gonna save it for Scarlett Johansson or Megan Fox or Madonna. [Laughing] They weren't available quite yet. It's hard to get Madonna to make out with you, I'm sure.
I know you're a clotheshorse. Who designed that gold dress you wear in the video?
Actually, my stylist friend pulled it for me from a costume house. I used to pull costumes from big movie houses. I'd go in and pose as a stylist for people but then just pull shit for myself. He does it for me know. I think he got it from the Cleopatra era section.
Landon Bryce just released a YouTube response to your song called "I Kissed a Boy," in which he features clips from a classic gay porn All American.
Oh my gosh, I saw that! Markus and I were watching it. I love it! They need to have their cake and eat it too. Go ahead now!
Your parents are both pastors, and you had a strict religious upbringing. How have they reacted to your songs?
My parents are really cool. I think in general parents seem to grow up with their kids. They're pretty happy that I'm not strung-out or doing centerfolds. We have a great family relationship. I'm not the picture-perfect thing they may have painted when I came out of the womb, but I'm an adult and I make my decisions. I'm sure they don't condone it, but they still love me as their child. They're excited they don't have to deposit money into my account for Trader Joe's anymore.