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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
It might not make any sense, but at least he’s having a good time. “I’m a hard-partying man,” he admits, with an evil grin. “I definitely misbehave worse now – more than I ever did.”
The gay party scene tends to be a lot more hardcore...
“Yeah, but it’s also a lot more fun!” he laughs. “I’m good at striking a balance. Am I a yoga type? No, I’m a weightlifter. We travel with our trainer and I lift weights every day.”
Do you feel under pressure to look good and keep in shape?
“Absolutely! Not pressure, but it just makes me happy. When I go out onstage I wanna be confident. I’m a very sexual person. I wanna feel sexy. I also wanna be in shape enough to do what I wanna do onstage. I wanna be able to move the way I wanna move. In ten years time, it isn’t gonna be as easy as it is now. Five years after that... It’s only downhill from here. But I’d like to be as limber and as active as possible for as long as I possibly can.”
Outside of his musical ambitions, he’s hoping to eventually become something of a renaissance man – a Jake of all trades. “My dad was 50 years old when I was born. In his lifetime he did everything from flying planes and becoming a fire-fighter and racing cars and breeding horses and building fishing boats. He’s always had this very kind of amazing, entrepreneurial, passionate life with lots of different lives inside of it. By the time I’m his age, which is now 83, I wanna be able to look back and have done something similar.”
One successful extracurricular project Shears has on the go at the moment is his musical adaptation of Armistead Maupin’s Tales Of The City novels.
“It just went into its first production last year in San Francisco. It ran all last summer. A big fucking production. I’m hoping to bring it over here eventually.”
Staging musicals is a notoriously risky business. You haven’t had any Spiderman-style disasters like Bono and The Edge?
“No, thankfully,” he says, shaking his head. “The New York Times said I was a much better musical-writer than Bono and The Edge, which made me really happy. But no, it’s taken six years so far and it’ll be at least four more before we bring it over here. It’s a fucking mammoth of a show. The budget is in the millions. We’ve got a cast of 25 people, a small orchestra, 3,000 pieces of costumes, and a set that’s moving all over the place. It’s not a lucrative business, but I’m not doing it to make money. It’d be gravy if I did, but it’s just for the sheer pleasure of doing it.”