Gay Times Summer 12 - Issue 407
Almost a decade since they broke the mold as an openly gay band that could sell music by the millions, much has changed for the Scissor Sisters. As they release their fourth album, Magic Hour, GT meets founder members Jake Shears and Babydaddy to discuss closet case celebs, how they rebelled against mainstream success and turned their back on bears
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It doesn’t take much for Jake to get his top off,” Babydaddy warns GT with a grin, as he himself stands before our camera, shirt unbuttoned and exhibiting a chest so bushy and dark, it could be mistaken for a mohair vest.
Having transformed himself from care bear to gym bunny, a newly slim-line Babydaddy is still self-conscious enough to keep his shirt draped over his broad shoulders like a security blanket.
“I’ve been taking care of myself,” he concedes, almost a little embarrassed. “It’s tough to eat right and work out when you’re on the road. So I’ve been going to the gym while we’ve been making this record.”
Meanwhile Jake, a man who has no flesh-baring inhibitions, has scurried out of eye line into the kitchen. He only makes his presence known through a series of breathless grunts as he puts his body through a vigorous mini work-out of sit ups and push ups before the camera’s shutter clicks. Five minutes later, and with his biceps still pulsing, Babydaddy’s prediction proves correct. Jake’s sans apparel, striking more poses than Vogue-era Madonna and resembling a man a decade younger than his 33-years.
“Does my chest need a manscape?” he mutters to no-one in particular, ruffling the hair on his pecs before his fingertips wander down towards his pubes. “I sooo need a trim.”
While manscaping is de rigueur for even White Van Man in 2012, it was a grooming regime confined mainly to gay men and David Beckham when the Scissor Sisters began blasting from our radios nine years ago. Spewed from the glittery bowels of the scuzzy, gay New York nightlife scene in 2001, it took Jake, Babydaddy, Ana Matronic and Del Marquis just two short years to conquer the airwaves.
“There wasn’t too much music that sounded like what we were doing being played on the radio then,” recalls Babydaddy. “So it was a strong decision on our part to keep pushing forward and wait for people to jump on to our bandwagon and accept what we were doing.”
“Nobody had to tell us that we might have a limited audience because of our sexuality and image,” continues Jake. “It was just a given. Then something strange happened. It went in a completely different direction.”
To read the full article, pick up the latest copy of GT out in all good retailers, online and downloadable on your iPhone or iPad.
Words: John Marrs
Photographed for GT by Leigh Keily assisted by Stephen Conway, Style Editor Dennis Maloney, Styling by Russell Philip Peek, Assisted by Sophie Blakesley and Sophie Pethers, Grooming by Evan Huang using MAC and Giorgio Armani, Jake wears vest by Inspired Clothing, inspiredclothingco.com, leggings by Bernard Willhelm, bernard-willhelm.com Babydaddy wears shirt by Berthold, berthold-uk.com, Trousers by Forgotten Future, forgottenfuture.co.uk, Belt by Esprit, esprit.co.uk, Shoes by Mango, mango.com. Chain by Thomas Sabo, thomassabo.com