Mood Killer wants to make you dance and think, using their creepy, campy music to raise socio-political discussions through a queer, outsider lens. Real name Michael Zarowny, the underground male drag king is equal parts Marilyn Manson and Devo, creating wierdo work that's a direct response to straight, cis Amerikkkan culture.
"They are a result of feelings of queerness, dysphoria and powerlessness that I experience daily," Zarowny says of Mood Killer's conception. "They are a genderless, yet sexualized figure—an abstract expression of my rage at the unfairness of it all. It's my caricature of the oppressors, aiming to evoke and expose those forces that control our society on every level."
In Mood Killer's swirling apocalyptic-pop single, "I Thought You Loved Hunting," they address these exploitative people in power and today's constant looming fear of nuclear war. Much like how authoritative figures brainwash the world, the track's production sends you into a catatonic trance with heavy industrial undertones and grizzly, incessant synths.
"The last few years we've witnessed a socio-political escalation unlike anything in history," Zarowny says. "This song is music for wartime, and we are in wartime. But the battles are domestic—they're in our living rooms. they're down the street. People are being killed by those who purport to protect us, and the rest of us are cheap labor hypnotized into complacency and pitted against each other, complicit in every death."
An impossible shape-shifter, Mood Killer's music video sees the performer embodying a number of characters, from a dead-eyed antelope bust to a drooling TV-obsessed vegetable and opulent renaissance-era seductress. The visual flashes manically between each of these identities to a dizzying effect that echoes today's tireless news cycle. "I thought you loved hunting," Mood Killer repeats, like alluring propaganda.
Watch the OUT premiere of Mood Killer's "I Thought You Loved Hunting," below, ahead of an official EP release in the future.
Photography: Signe Pierce
Styling: Phil Gomez