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With what may well be their best album yet about to drop, Scissor Sisters’ frontman Jake Shears talks about the challenges of staying sexy as you get older, the attentions of obsessive fans and why he knew he’d made it in music when two murderers were named after his band.
Olaf Tyaransen, 08 Jun 2012
“I’m exhausted!” declares saucer-eyed Scissor Sisters frontman Jake Shears with a dramatically heavy sigh. “You’re looking at an exhausted man!”
Actually, nursing a coffee in the salubrious environs of London’s exclusive Corinthia Hotel, the ever-so-slightly camp, boyishly handsome 33-year-old looks a picture of fresh-faced health (at least compared to your ever-so-slightly hungover Hot Press correspondent).
In fairness, he has good reason to be tired. Last night, to mark the release of their fourth studio album, Magic Hour, the Scissor Sisters played the first of two sold-out shows in the Shepherd’s Bush Empire. The second gig is tonight, but this afternoon Shears and his wonderfully monikered bandmates – Ana Matronic, Babydaddy, Del Marquis and Randy Real – are scattered at various locations around the Corinthia meeting the European press.
“Last night was our first UK show in quite a while,” he explains. “We played the Bowery Ballroom in New York last week, so it was only the second time we played a lot of those songs. So a lot of them are super-new to play for an audience.”
Do you get nervous before those kinds of shows?
“Yeah. I get a little bit quiet before we go out. It’s not necessarily a nervousness, though, it’s more like an excitement. I really love playing all these new songs. You don’t really know how they’re gonna land. You could write and produce an amazing song that sounds great on a record, but sometimes they don’t translate live. But these songs feel really natural to play. Even ones like ‘Shady Love’ – the one I’m rapping on – I had no idea if it was gonna work live. And it turned out to be really epic and fun and I had a blast playing it, so in that way I’m thankful.”
The Empire gig was a high-energy blast from start to finish, made all the more memorable by an onstage marriage proposal by one of their more committed fans. When his girlfriend accepted the engagement ring, her delighted husband-to-be stripped off his shirt to reveal massive tattoos of Shears and Ana Matronic on his back.