Sharon Needles on RuPaul's Drag Race: "They Took Away Our Booze and Terrorized us"
Sharon Needles is coming to Tempe.
The spooky, fashionable drag queen Sharon Needles has been busy since she won season four of RuPaul's Drag Race. She's kept up with her mantra of "when in doubt, freak them out," releasing a record full of catchy songs about Ouija boards and Halloween and recently starring as Dr. Frank-N-Furter in a live production of The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
But you don't need to pick up a Ouija board to contact Sharon Needles, she will perform live at Fetish Prom at Marquee Theatre on Saturday, May 24. And yes, expect lots of latex. Jackalope Ranch recently caught up with Sharon Needles to discuss her experience on RuPaul's Drag Race, what it's like touring with an ex, and the art of compromise.
Sharon Needles called us while she was enjoying a rare, sunny day in Pittsburgh. She considered sunbathing for a bit, but was concerned about ruining her ghoulish complexion. After all, what would Elvira think?
You've been good about performing in Arizona in the past. What keeps bringing you back?
You guys have a lot of Republicans and a lot of religious people. I find that gay communities that are surrounded by political or religious repression tend to be a lot more punk rock. I think there's a big calling for Sharon Needles in Arizona. I was just in Tucson and I had a really good time. A lot of people find my show very offensive, so I like going to places where we're pushing buttons. Send me to Russia.
When you come to town this time, you'll be performing as part of Fetish Prom. Will you be doing anything extra kinky?
There is something very beautiful and sexy about my character. Sharon Needles, the way I've designed her is I want people to think she's sexy, but not want to ever have sex with her. It would be borderline necrophilia. Necrophilia is a topic that pops up more than once on my album.
People who are very visually outrageous tend to be so fucking vanilla, so there will be a lot of acting. I don't know anyone who has a latex collection like my own. So you can expect a lot of latex, and of course I have to be in the hottest fucking place in the United States to be wearing full rubber, but the only way to get me to wear rubber is if it's turned into a gown.
Well, it is inside, so it won't be as bad.
The air conditioning better be set to morgue. I was raised on bands like My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult and Lords of Acid, which were very heavily influenced by the fetish scene. My aesthetic is definitely derived a lot from the European, mostly German and Amsterdam fetish scene. I don't get peed on in them as they're intended to be.
That's actually the perfect transition to my next question...
If I get peed on?
Oh, sure, by all means.
You're asking if I get peed on? Never intentionally.
That's good, unless you're into that.
It takes all kinds.
I was going to ask about your album, given your musical background, I was a little surprised that you released a pop record. Why did you decide to go that route?
The bands I listen to do make pop records, they just didn't make commercially successful pop records, but it's still electronic music. The reason the album is called PG-13 is because I'm an R-rated act in a PG system.
After winning RuPaul's Drag Race, which I never suspected I would do, I realized that the goal to the longevity of my career was through compromise. Hollywood definitely demands a lot of compromising. I really like being famous, and I always wanted to be famous, and to keep it you must apply a sense of meeting the industry halfway.
I'm looking at my record shelf right now, right next to my Ministry LP is a Britney Spears LP. I like the production of pop music, and I like what pop music is. It's a candy coated piece of bubblegum reflecting the current times of technology and production and brainwashing and mind manipulating through beats I wanted to make a pop record. The compromise with me was that it was going to be written the way I wanted to write a song. I wasn't going to say "let's all go out and party tonight, tonight's our last night," I wanted to make a pretty clever, tongue-in-cheek and horror-inspired pop record.
It's not all pop, I did songs like "Why Do You Think You're Nuts," which is a punk song, I did a song called "Hail Satan" with the legendary transexual punk artist Jayne County, which is a metal song. The album plays more like a soundtrack than a pop record. I did want to make a punk record, but I also wanted to make fucking money. I also work in nightclubs that play club music, so if I'm going to be paid a retarded amount of money to be in clubs where there's club music, I thought it would be more appropriate that I had club music being played, just doused in a bucket of blood.