Believe it or not, we have never done a post entirely dedicated to our music hero, Darren Hayes. So with that, we are today officially naming Darren our 2006 Electroqueer of the Year.
To give you a little back story about how we came to discover Darren…let us take you on a trip…
Like a lot of people we know, we weren’t really Savage Garden fans over the years. We had their debut album and liked their radio friendly songs like ‘I Want You’, ‘To The Moon And Back’ and ‘Truly, Madly, Deeply’ but that was about it. When we moved to the UK, Darren Hayes went solo and we liked his debut hit ‘Insatiable’ a lot. It was enough for us to pick up his solo album ‘Spin’.
We listened to ‘Spin’ once and that was it. Then the following summer, we went back to the US and found ourselves on a road-trip in Seattle with our good friend Billiam and we decided to play ‘Spin’ on the open roads. It was a good solid album. ‘Strange Relationship’ was a cool song, ‘Good Enough’ was very beautifully written but it was one song which really opened our eyes to Darren…it was a song called ‘Like It Or Not’.
And, here is a lyrical sampling from that song which later became our personal theme song about romance.
"Now I’m standing at a terminal waiting to connect to another plane. And if I told you I just canceled my flight to America, would you call me insane? Everything I have has been neatly contained into the contents of a Samsonite bag. Me a laptop, two suitcases and I’m coming to see you…whether you like it or not."
To everyone else, these lyrics may sound completely simple, but to us, it is savagely beautiful poetry. After the road-trip, we decided to go see Darren live in concert at the Hammersmith Apollo and he was absolutely amazing. Luckily for us, that moment was captured on film and later released a few months ago in the concert documentary DVD called ‘Too Close For Comfort’ which is an honest, heartfelt portrayal of how Darren has grown and learned over the years based on false promises of super-stardom after the demise of Savage Garden.
After going through a metamorphosis as such following the events of what later became the ‘Too Close For Comfort’ film, Darren released his electronic album, ‘The Tension And The Spark’. We bought this album the day it came out and it quickly became our musical soundtrack. ‘Pop!ular’ was a fun experimental electronic gem and Darren was starting to look a whole lot sexier in his personal appearances. We saw Darren live at gay super-clubs ‘Heaven’ and ‘G.A.Y.’ in London and we quickly figured out that ‘TATS’ was most definitely his coming out album. It was the most honest and touching album we had ever heard in our lives. ‘Darkness’ was a song that described how we felt in our darkest moments in life and love. ‘I Like The Way’ was perfectly written and to us was very autobiographical in describing how sometimes we are all looking for love in all the wrong places. The first time we heard ‘Unlovable’ we cried and so did Darren’s mother we hear. ‘Hero’ felt extremely personal as the weight of trying to support others often felt too much to bear in life. ‘Love And Attraction’ was a very brave song – it basically said, "Yeah I like boys, I like girls and it’s difficult and makes me confused."
‘TATS’ was later followed by the small ‘Dark Light Tour’ where Darren performed ‘TATS’ with some re-invented Savage Garden hits including the stunning ‘Bow Down And Break Me’ which gave us a new electronic interpretation of the Savage Garden hit ‘Break Me Shake Me’ mixed with Nine Inch Nails ‘Head Like A Hole’. Fucking brilliant. ‘TATS’ didn’t do so well commercially though. Radio was afraid of it and Darren’s record company didn’t know how to promote it…for the fact it was probably too gay. That didn’t stop Darren though, he went on tour again and it was captured on the new DVD called ‘A Big Night In With Darren Hayes’ which maintained the beautiful concert stage production that existed with the ‘Dark Light Tour’. The record company also released a Best of Savage Garden album which gave us two new Darren Hayes songs including ‘So Beautiful’ and ‘California’ and Darren Hayes officially came out of the closet.
Darren recently married his boyfriend of two years, Richard Cullen in the UK and to us, he most certainly is our hero. He is in fact, our Electroqueer Of The Year. We are looking forward to Darren’s independent double disc release this year and we will be there at that fabulous London location in August to see you sing again. We hope to one day get to meet you so we can say ‘Thank You’ in person. Never has such an artist been so brave and taught us a lot about ourselves through song. It is for artists such as Darren Hayes that Electroqueer exists.
Darren Hayes MySpace
Darren Hayes Offical Website