Feature: Jack Foley
ONE of the hot tips for superstardom in 2004 looks set to be
The Scissor Sisters, another of New York's brightest exports.
The band are set to release the much-talked about cover of Pink
Floyd's Comfortably Numb on January 19, before the self-titled
album follows in February.
And they have announced UK tour dates, with London's Scala playing
host to them on February 5, 2004.
Creative sparks first ignited five years ago, when a then 19-year-old
explosion of energy, called Jake Shears, was introduced to a multi-instrumentalist
who goes by the title of Babydaddy.
Fired up by a passion for solid songwriting and off-the-wall
humour, they joined forces to write hook-studded tunes, adopted
NYC as their home - and agreed on a cheeky name that's caused
confusion and provoked many blushes in turn.
"None of us are lesbians, though," say Scissor Sisters,
Sex, inevitably, plays a significant part in the music, particularly
as Jake discovered a knack for performance during his successful
stint as a go-go dancer, to raise funds for a European college
"I'm so grateful that I went through that phase of dancing
on bars for dollars!" he said.
"It made me totally unashamed to go crazy. Once you've taken
your clothes off in front of hundreds of people, things get a
The Scissor Sisters bring together rollicking guitar riffs, throbbing
synths and a whole bunch of wicked lyrics.
Their influences skitter through glimmers of vintage Bowie, Roxy
Music and Elton John to Giorgio Moroder, burlesque theatre and
At college, Jake had majored in Fiction Writing, and numbers
like the glam rockin' groove of their debut major-label single,
Laura, weave feature-length stories through song.
It was on the New York live circuit that the original duo teamed
up with a third full-time Scissor Sister: performance artist,
"'She's tough, amazing, and glamorous," the boys enthuse.
The hostess of a decadent cabaret show in the Lower East Side,
who'd learned her magic on the San Francisco scene, she first
met Jake at a Halloween party, where she'd dressed as a Warhol
Factory reject, and he was in the guise of, erm, 'a back-alley
She recalls: "We both took one look at each other and thought:
"hey, you're cool!"'
Scissor Sisters actually made their debut live appearance at
Ana's club, in late 2001, and now the stately lady is a fixture
at their dates (where the trio are joined by charismatic friends,
Del Marquis, on guitar, and Patrick Seacor, on drums).
Ana neatly sums up the outfit's stance: "What we do is
about people displaying their fantasies on the outside, trying
to break out of the everyday, and look like their dreams."
At the moment, the song that is getting them most attention is
their reworking of Pink Floyd's prog-rock rehab classic, Comfortably
Numb, into a disco anthem, with Jake skilfully providing Bee
'I've always loved singing in falsetto," he recalls, not
to mention the 'Frankie Says Relax' retro twist.
"I don't think we're afraid to play anything," continues
Jake. "Pop should be meaningful again - it shouldn't be a
"We're not making fun of anything we do, and there's no
way we're going to sound manufactured.
"Our songs are accessible enough to break through barriers.
Actually, we've been meaning to write some country music."