They’ve knocked Justin Timberlake down the charts, they’re frequently in gold lamé, and now, they’re Dancing with the Stars – or rather, performing for them. But just who are the Scissor Sisters?
The New York quintet – falsetto-voiced singer Jake Sheers; earthy co-vocalist Ana Matronic; bassist Babydaddy; guitarists Del Marquis; and drummer Paddy Boom – make smart dance music that borrows lovingly from ’70s-era Elton John and the Bee Gees. And with their second album, Ta-Dah (released Tuesday in the States), they already have had a No. 1 single in Britain, taking Justin Timberlake’s top spot with their single “I Don’t Feel Like Dancin'”.
PEOPLE caught up with Ana Matronic while she was en route to Los Angeles to tape Dancing (airing Wednesday night at 8 p.m. ET on ABC) and got the scoop on everything from their North American tour (which kicks off Thursday) to Joey Lawrence (“He has no hair anymore. It’s very strange.”), fashion and more.
You’ve said you don’t watch television, but what are you expecting on Dancing with the Stars?
My mother’s husband loves it. He is going to be 70 this year. I do know we are the musical entertainment, and that it’s quite popular. I’ll just be like moonwalking and be like, ‘Hey, wanna dance?'” So, what are you all about?
Freedom to love who you want to love and like what you want to like. To dress, act, look the way you want to and express the individuality of everybody. One of the Scissor Sisters said we don’t believe there’s such thing as an ordinary person, and I really like that.
How do you define your style?
Everybody in this band has a really different approach to styling and the way they look. My favorite era is the ’60s. I live to look like I just walked out of a Fellini movie. Every designer, I’ll give them a copy of La Dolce Vita and 8½ and say, “Watch this movie and watch the people in the background. They are the most amazingly dressed and insane costuming you will see in just about any movie.”
Is there a theme on tour? Maybe glitter?
I think every musician want to look like the music sounds, and I think sequins are definitely very much a part of our sound and our look. I love sequins, and also, they look great from stage. After conquering Britain, what do you have up your garters this year to win over Americans?
More than soccer, more than beer, more than rugby, British people love music and it really is the national pastime. And they love showmanship. I think that America is starting to catch on. I think it’s going to be difficult here, just in the way pop music is these days. I don’t know if we’ll be able to have the same sort of success here, but frankly, if it didn’t go any further than this, I’d be more than happy with what we’ve achieved.
We know dance inspires you, but what’s Ta-Dah drawing from?
We were asking ourselves the question, “What was dance music before drum machines and sequencers and synthesizers were around?” So, I was listening to a ton of old, early ’70s disco and R&B and funk. And also ragtime and ’20s-era Dixieland stuff. Elton is a huge fan, and he collaborated with you on Ta-Dah. How does that work?
Jake calls him the weird, fun uncle. I think of him as sort of a godfather in a way. He’s someone who’s so a part of everyone’s consciousness. Whether you’re a fan of his music or not, you know all the words to at least one of his songs.
The first time we met him he had his dog with him. We were opening up a show for him in England. And we were talking all about his dog and how his dog knows the last song in his set and will come and wait by the stage for him. It’s those glimpses into somebody’s real, regular every day life that makes you realize their humanity.
More Scissor Sisters: See the psychdelic video for “I Don’t Feel Like Dancin'”