You can’t talk about the "good ol’ days" of nightlife without homage to Larry Tee. However, Larry, like myself, likes to be remembered for what he has done and acknowledged for what he is doing in the "now.” Larry and I have worked together many times. Sometimes the relationship has been testy, but it is always respectful. He has constantly redefined nightlife and our culture. I was around when he coined the term “Electroclash” for a genre of music that few knew about then. He helped push artists like RuPaul, Peaches, Fischerspooner, and Scissor Sisters into our vocabulary. He talked about Williamsburg while we were still paying Manhattan rents and listening to boring disc jockeys.
His Love Machine party with his Atlanta clan RuPaul, Lahomma Van Zandt, and Lady Bunny was the precursor to so much of our fabulously forward nightlife. He was pushing Amanda Lepore when she was still sporting a push-up bra. I remember hearing him talk about Princess Superstar when she was Princess "I wanna be a” Star. Larry has always been in front of the action. He has always gone where no man has gone before. So when he says that something’s going to be the next thing… we better listen. He and I were partners in crime at Le Palace de Beaute with Michael Alig before the famous crime(s). He has made a rock star out of Perez Hilton and created W.I.T. This can go on and on but as I said up top, Larry is still making it happen in a huge way and we chatted with him about it.
We met many years ago and worked together often. I have always looked at you as an innovator. Electronic music, RuPaul… talk to me about the things and people you helped push into the public view.
I have always been lucky to befriend people who have big talents, from my friends in Georgia like Michael Stipe and RuPaul, to the Scissor Sisters and Afrojack more recently. I have always loved other peoples’ big ideas and have tried to push them into the spotlight too since it’s exciting to watch. My whole Electroclash period of festivals and touring groups like Peaches, Chicks on Speed, Fischerpooner, etc., was all based around my love of outrageous and often political shows. And lately my work has been hi-jacked by more mainstream stars like Santigold, Shontelle, Steve Aoki, and Princess Superstar with my song "Licky" and Afrojack, MDPC and Roxy Cottontail with my "Let’s Make Nasty" track. As ‘crazy’ gets more mainstream with Nicki Minaj and Lady Gaga, my brand has been dragged into the mainstream too, thankfully.
Your single comes out today! Tell me about it and how it started.
The song is called “Charlie” and features 15 dogs in wigs dressed as contemporary artists like Chihuahua Del Rey and Stinky Minaj, designed by Lady Gaga’s hair couture genius, Charlie Le Mindu.
How do you get 100 million views on YouTube? That was the question when I decided to make a video with Charlie Le Mindu. Google-image him for sure. After some research, we realized that if you didn’t have Justin Bieber, Rihanna, or Eminem in your video, you better have children or animals. The song “Charlie” is a collage of sound effects, mad pianos, electro-synth riffs, a 60-year-old subway singer, and hyper-percussion bongo breaks, and so we needed something equally madcap to make the video pop.
So we got Charlie to make wigs for 15 dogs. When we were finished shooting, people kept saying that this dog looked like Lana Del Rey or this one looked like Amy Winehouse so we took the idea further and gave the dogs fake celebrity names like “Chihuahua Del Rey” and “Madogga.” It was one of the most satisfying projects in my life, I tell you.
Do you still DJ? What else do you do with your time now spent in London? Why did you abandon us?
Since I have had so many breakouts on the dance floor and in movies these last couple years, it’s led to a DJ residency at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas which is amazing. I was arm wrestling with Pete Wendt from Fall Out Boy at the pool party I did there last week. In London, Super Techno Party Machine at East Bloc is my residency every Friday/ I have guests like Rolf from the 2 Bears, Severino from Horse Meat Disco, Rueben Wu from Ladytron, Chicks on Speed, supermodel Luke Worrall, Richard Mortimer from Ponystep Magzine, and Carmen Xtravaganza from the house of Xtravagnza. What do these guys have in common? Nothing except if I wanted to put on an amazing party, I would want to have lots of diverse guests and sounds! And some fabulousness! And I still consider New York to be my spiritual home, but it was becoming like Groundhog Day where every day seemed like the one before…London has inspired me to make new things and experiment with new sounds, so I’m super happy.
While we are on the subject…what’s great in London club-wise, for people with…er… different perspectives?
London always has new hot spots popping up that are worth a try. Destroy Cluture raves are amazing featuring the Boy London DJ Team, Alis Pelleschi, the post-rave fashion goddess, and Sean Bass, the graphics genius behind the DISNEY bastardizations. Hot Boy Dancing Spot is just what you would expect: BUTT magazine come to life.
Wake up to Good Night Mr. Lewis in your inbox. Find out first-thing about the latest parties, brawls, launches, and appearances every Monday and Wednesday.