By Adam Lowe
Recording artists don’t come more alternative than DragChrist – the names rhetorical. John Waters kitsch starlet Divine is sighted as being DragChrist’s goddess of inspiration, and while at first glance there is very little in common between the 7ft (in high heels) DragChrist, and the rotund behemoth of peroxide B-movies and Hi-Energy disco, DragChrist’s aesthetic does resonate with a certain degree of trashy divinity. Visually, the credo of DragChrist is that a thing of fierceness is as fake and over-painted as possible, that or, checkout what’s currently in vogue and then create an antidote!
Perhaps we could start by getting a bit from you explaining who you are and what you do.
DragChrist evolved out of my fandom for pop music fronted by gender fuck visuals. Gender confusion as a way of self-expression has always appealed to me because my personality is one that is predisposed to stand out like an erection in spandex.
When did you start dressing up?
During the early 80s, I latched onto the lipstick scene, being trail-blazed by the gender bender movement that accompanied the New Wave sound of the decade. I felt affinity with men wearing makeup and being flamboyant peacocks, and adored everything about it. I’ve always worn makeup and dressed to please myself. If man was not meant to walk in high heels they wouldn’t make them in masculine sizes!
I left the northern province I had grown up in and moved to London during the mid-80s, and became a regular partier at the London Hippodrome and Heaven, becoming increasingly fanatical about the clattering Hi-Energy wall of sound, which both venues championed.
My fantasy became to record my own dance single.
So what did you do next?
I endeavoured to put together a garish pop group of my own, but nobody was quite as garish as me, so I had no choice but to become a solo artist and hog all the limelight instead. I was living in Brighton by the early 90s, when drag suddenly experienced a renascence after RuPaul hit the big-time. Suddenly, everybody wanted to be fierce again, and the gay music scene exploded with drag queens fronting bitch house anthems. My own gender terrorism was already well established and my music was a work in progress, so it seemed logical to bring both these elements together.
Was that when you started recording then?
Once you have a name, it’s imperative that you own it, so I wrote a track called ‘Starfucker (We are the Club Kids)’. It was an electro amalgamation of drum-splashes and perverse vocal mantra. A label based in Pittsburgh, USA, loved the track and licensed it for commercial release. The track instantly connected with kindred spirits on New York’s underground club scene. The next breakthrough came when I was signed to an indie label in the UK and released a track called ‘VixXxen’, which become a hit on the global alternative club circuit. After that success, my high heels were on fire and I have continued to produce dance singles and strut my tacky mess across all boundary lines.
What inspires you?
Everything, which originally fired me up about dance music, continues to inspire. I take inspiration from tarnished glamour and celebrities on the skids, sexual promiscuity and the darker recesses of the queer experience. I think a hot mess is far more fabulous than its polished counterpart. There’s an exceedingly tongue-in-ass-cheek vibe to what I sing and the way I style myself, which I personally feel requires no explanation whatsoever.
Even if nobody listened to my music, I would continue to record it—it’s my creative outlet first and foremost. Same thing with my look—if I was locked in an attic I’d still dress-up and tease a wig. Who cares if no one can see me?
Why this song at this time?
I’m of the belief that every song I am ever going to sing is already written in my subconscious. I simply record them as and when they choose to materialize. Now happens to be the preordained time for my new single ‘Your Ass is the Bassline’.
What do you aim to achieve?
It’s long been my approach to put myself out there and let the audience find me. I don’t target what I do to a specific demographic, and as a result, I have found support from a multitude of diverse quarters around the world.
DragChrist’s new single, ‘Your Ass is the Bassline’, is out now on EML Recordings; available on iTunes. He’s to be found all over the web – you have been warned!