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The Gruesome Twosome - Bottoms

Interview

OFFICE — If diamonds are a girl’s best friend, what is a bottom’s best friend?

 

JAKE DIBELER — Tops!

 

O — I thought you were going to say gallons of lube or something.

 

JD — Oh my god. Gallons of lube? How ‘bout no lube. For a top, too, because then they can pull out and you can still suck it.

 

O — What’ve you been up to for the past year?

 

JD — We just went on tour in Europe, got back in November, and started working on new music.

 

O — Oh rad! What should we expect from it?

 

JD — Well, we broke up so it gave us time to regroup and get back together in the way that we wanted to do it. We didn’t have to try and make music just to feel like we had to do something.

 

SIMON LEAHY — It’s a different direction because we had a lot more time to work—things feel less rushed and pressured. We’ve had a chance to collaborate and bring other artists on board. A few days ago we worked on a track with Eartheater.

 

O — That’s awesome! How is this new album different from your old material?

 

JD — It’s not a lot different, but we don’t have a live drummer anymore so everything is just electronic. When nothing is keeping you based in a live sound, it essentially gives you an open [platform].

 

SL — It does come with its challenges, because when we had our drummer, practice space was vital.

 

JD — Yeah, now our practice space is just in front of a computer screen. It’s also pressure for me because I’m the only organic thing in the band. I’m the bridge between it being just electronic music and it being real.

 

O — Is the new record still going to maintain that aggressively political queer edge you had on songs like ‘HI V’ from 2014, or is it more relaxed?

 

SL — Well, our new record is less about AIDS.

 

JD — It’ll never not be political or queer in that way. That’s just what we do. 

 
“People are generally either pretty scared of us or they know who we are.”

O — Should we look out for any songs about Donald Trump? 

 

JD — No, because you write about the things that are important and Donald Trump isn’t important. Queer people and trans people and AIDS are important. I’m going to write about the people in my world.

 

O — What was the response like from your European fans when you were on tour? SL — Well...

 

JD — [laughs] Don’t look at me! You’re looking at me like I fucked all of them, you bitch. Yes, we fucked every single fan it was so crazy. [laughs] People are generally either pretty scared of us or they know who we are. There were some really fab Asian girls in Hamburg.

 

SL — They were cute!

 

JD — Hamburg is a funny city because you go there and make jokes and they don’t know you’re making jokes.

 

SL — It’s just a very serious city.

 

JD — Yeah, so it was a club full of older techno dudes and these two young Asian girls who were just living for it so that was really nice.

 

O — How was the drag scene in Europe compared to New York?

 

JD — There’s not much of one. I would say Berlin has the craziest nightlife but—

 

SL — Yeah, Berlin’s drag scene...actually, I can’t throw shade because it’ll get back to them.

 

JD — The thing about New York is that when you live in a place where the nightlife is diverse and you go somewhere that’s fab but not really that diverse, nothing compares to New York. I mean that in a real way and not in a “’ You leave New York and you leave the world” way. I work at Happyfun Hideaway and it’s all queer people of color and trans people. I love Berlin but I’m like, where are the black people? The nightlife over there is missing something that I find really crucial here. 

 

O — I was at Happyfun for election night, actually! How’d you guys handle the election?

 

JD — Very well! I mean, what could you possibly cry about? You should’ve been crying for the past three months.

 

SL — I was born in Greece so I’ve been trying to apply for my Greek passport. If I apply for residency, I’d have to join the army.

 

O — I don’t think you’re much of an Army girl.

 

SL — Well, I’d get free boarding, free food, and a little bit of money.

 

JD — You’d get to suck off a lot of guys.

 

SL — [laughs] Yeah, I’d get to suck off a lot of guys and I’d get fucking muscles.

 

JD — Oh fab, darling! Let’s both go to Greece. It’s like fat camp but you might die.

 

O — Do you have any dream collaborators you’d like to work with? Who do you want to duet with?

 

JD — Nobody, because then you’d be able to tell that I’m actually a garbage singer.

 

O — Do you have any pre-show rituals?

 

JD — Cry. Scream for an hour. [laughs] No, we’ve both been doing stuff together for so long that we’re literally just talking and hanging out until the moment we go on stage.

 

O — Jake, you do a lot of performance art outside of the band. What’s the craziest piece you’ve done?

 

JD — One time I was riding a dildo in this gallery on Myrtle and Broadway and I looked across the gallery and there was a ten-year-old boy reading a comic book. I was lip syncing “I’m Sorry by Brenda Lee” and he was right across from me so it was right in my line of vision. I was just riding this dildo and lip syncing and thinking...that’s weird. What would you be doing, darling, if you weren’t doing music?

 

SL — I run the drag festival Bushwig and the New York City Porn Festival so I’m working on a ton of projects.

 

JD — We’re busy women.

 

O — If you had to create a new porn category, what would it be?

 

SL — I think they might all exist?

 

JD — Barebacking my real dad.

 

SL — [laughs] That’s fun.

— END

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