Welcome to Part 2 of our interview with Darren Hayes. In this segment, Darren opens up about his documentary ‘Too Close For Comfort’, shares his thoughts on the addictive activity that is blogging, talks about some of the other electro acts he is big upping and let’s us in on what he buys from eBay! Funtastic!
Electroqueer: Not to long ago, you released a very personal documentary about yourself on DVD called ‘Too Close For Comfort’. Do you feel any different now than you do from when you were filming that documentary? Why did you feel it was important to release that footage?
Darren Hayes: I think it was important because it was like a piece of me that had been shelved, yet again by the powers that be (or used to be LOL!). It was incredibly cathartic to let go of the pain I associated with my past, especially the awkwardness I felt about the stumble that was my solo career in America – and just admit that I was at least aware that things weren’t necessarily a bed of roses. I was tired of having to keep my chin up. Letting my walls down for the camera gave me permission to mess up and be real.
EQ: One of the things we love about you is that you blog quite frequently on your MySpace page. What do you think about blogging? Has it gotten you into trouble yet?
DH: Here’s how I feel about blogging – it has completely reinvigorated my faith in the music industry. For me, it has removed the gap between the façade of ‘celebrity’ and the reality of artist. I get to relate directly to my audience and share my feelings, thoughts and fears. And they to me. It has allowed me to get to know the people who support me and makes me feel like a human being again. I can sell out a show in minutes just by telling my MySpace friends about it. As opposed to waiting for them to find out. The only downside is – It’s addictive and I’m worried when I get busy that I’ll let people down if I can’t keep up the intensity. I’m loving it though!
EQ: You’re touching on a few political subjects on ‘Bombs Up In My Face’ – Tell us a little bit about this song.
DH: It’s a track that is angry, that’s for sure! Sonically it’s built on drums that are made up from sounds and beats recorded on the day of the July 7th terrorist bombings on the tube in London 06. Shave had recorded the radio broadcasts live on an old reel to reel tape. He used those sounds to build up the rhythm section. Lyrically it’s about a fear really. A fear of this anger I have inside me which I think is a reflection of what it feels like to be alive today in the current political climate.
EQ: So you started your own record label ‘Powdered Sugar’ – whats it like to be your own boss now and to call the shots. Heaven or hell?
DH: Both. I can’t lie to you – I have days when I’m exhausted and I’m in tears. I’m finding out all the awful bitchy competitive things about the music industry now I’m in the driver’s seat. But by and large it’s a joy to know that all my hard work and that of my team is for a truly good and sincere cause. For music.
EQ: One thing we learned this past year is that your fans are amazingly dedicated! What is the craziest story you heard from one of your fans?
DH: Oh I’m crazier than my fans! That’s for sure. So none really. There’s a bunch of people who regularly fly all around the world to see me perform. That amazes me. I feel so guilty! But very grateful. A woman in New York has her entire back covered in tattoos of me. That’s pretty wild!
EQ: Tell us about some of the other acts you’ve been talking about lately like Temposhark, Antigone and She Said Yes.
DH: Well Temposhark are just fierce determined little fuckers and I love them. Their album is gorgeous and I’m a fan. Antigone makes better records than most people in her field and I desperately want her to break into the wide open. She Said Yes is a band that features my fellow Australian friend Tania Doko on vocals and my ex drummer Karl Lewis. Tania was the singer in a pop group in Oz called ‘Bachelor Girl’ but did the old electro transformation and has me under her spell now. She’s currently performing at the Fringe Festival in a Pet Shop Boys inspired show called ‘Seriously’ and word is that the boys ie: Neil Tennant and co. love it!
EQ: What are some of the current albums you’re listening to these days? Any recommendations?
DH: I get all my music tips from you Raj! You introduced me to Robyn who I’m OBESESSED with now. Apart from that, I love the Rhianna album (well the first few songs). And lots of old and rare Prince. I’m really not loving a lot of new music at the moment to be honest. There’s a few things that everyone knows – but mostly it’s remixes and one off songs. Hasn’t been a whole album since Imogen Heap’s ‘Speak for yourself’ that I’ve been that passionate about.
EQ: What are the sorts of things you buy on eBay? Do you ever see how much your memorabilia is going for these days?
DH: Never! But I buy lots of 80’s things. I buy lots of 12 inch mixes and rare Prince records and bootlegs on vinyl. I buy the odd pair of weird trainers and the occasional E.T. toy. I’m getting a lot better! I used to be obsessed!
EQ: So last year we named you EQ of the Year…Cringeworthy or an honor?
DH: Fucking Grade A Honor!
EQ: Thanks Darren for taking time out of your busy schedule to chat to us – anything you want to tell EQ readers before we sign off?
DH: Just thanks to everyone for supporting original music and thanks for making Electroqueer as popular as it deserves to be. EQ is a great thing for music and Raj deserves your lovin’! xxxD
Awww – well we sure are feeling the love from Darren and everyone of his fans that we have had the pleasure of meeting this year. Do not miss Darren Hayes as he tours Australia and the UK with the ‘Time Machine Tour’ throughout September and October as it promises to be a treat for the senses. Make sure you pick up your copy of ‘This Delicate Thing We’ve Made’ when it drops in August as well. You can count on EQ to bring you all the exciting Darren Hayes news as it develops!
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