Q&A Category Archive

!! OMG, a Q&A with director Allan Moyle !!

Director Allan Moyle
At the onset of the ’90s, writer and director Allan Moyle’s films were a precursor of a trendy period for big film companies looking to cash in on indie culture by building films around the promotion of so-called “grunge” compilation soundtracks.

Following closely behind the release of pioneering pitch-black teenage comedy Heathers, Moyle’s film Pump Up The Volume, released in 1990, delved into the underexplored dark recesses of the suburban American teenage nightmare. Up until this point, no film had so boldly presented onscreen themes of teenage sexuality, suicide, and family based trauma.

Following an initial series of inexplicable bad reviews from critics potentially not yet prepared to see these dark youth narratives played out in a pop-cultural context, Moyle retreated into a brief retirement from the industry. In the meantime, other directors made a slew of films — SFW, Reality Bites, Tank Girl — that succeeded with these same themes.

It wasn’t until five years later that Moyle returned with Empire Records, his quirky stoner comedy follow-up to PUTV. With an ensemble cast of soon-to-be-stars featuring a young Liv Tyler, there was the hope that Moyle would finally get the credit he deserved for his contributions to the genre, only to have the film buried completely and never properly released into cinemas.

Despite the impact of films like this on the industry, Moyle’s films continued to be panned by mainstream film industry critics only to develop large cult audiences in the decades to follow.

We spoke with Allan before his packed screening of Empire Records at this year’s POP Montreal Festival about staying resilient after constant rejection by the mainstream film industry, as well as to reflect on the impact his films had on the teenage movie genre he helped create a language for.

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!! OMG, a Q&A with Cody Critcheloe of SSION !!

Cody Critcheloe of SSION
I first met Cody Critcheloe back in 2007 when he was promoting his latest album Fools Gold, a snarling collection of trashy art-punk-glam-pop songs. The record marked a step away from the self-released lo-fi thrash of the DIY punk records he had been making up to that point, while maintaining all the loaded inspiration he took from early Riot Grrrl acts such as Bikini Kill, transgressive feminist art-terrorists like Lisa Suckdog, and gay boy go-to idols like Madonna. The album featured tongue-in-cheek pop-romps explicitly detailing Queer experiences where bored business men go cruising midnight parks for hook-ups, and the rapidly dwindling spirit of the gay male/feminist revolutionary alliance.

Under the guise of his genre-defying, media-spanning group SSION, Critcheloe formed early working relationships with fellow freaks at his art school in Kansas City, Missouri and began making elaborate animated music videos, as well as doing art work for it-bands such as The Yeah Yeah Yeahs. These skills snowballed into an instantly recognizable aesthetic, which can now be seen in more recent stints in the directors seat for the likes of major queer pop idols such as Kylie Minogue and Robyn, as well as indie darlings Grizzly Bear and Perfume Genius.

SSION O cover art

Having refined his sound on the Pet Shop Boys-esque 2011 album BENT, Critcheloe took a breather from the music thing, which gave him time to write and record his new opus O, a record that features an artillery of guest appearances spanning from ’90s grunge dream-queens like Jennifer Herrema of Royal Trux and Patty Schemel from Hole, to reigning queer art-goddess Róisín Murphy.

O is a pop record for the unsatisfied masses. It’s a direct roll call to the Queers who love pop music but are bored of being pandered to with shitty Adele remixes and vacuous club bangers.

I spoke to Cody recently about the what it’s like to be working as an artist and musician for this long, the new record, and how his work is here to let the world know pop music can be conceptual, feminist, and punk AF… if u want it.

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!! OMG, a Q&A with Tracey Thorn !!

Tracey Thorn portrait

Tracey Thorn writes lyrics that make everyday things worthy of pop immortalization and melodies that feel like old friends after only a couple listens. From her post-punk beginnings with Marine Girls to her jump into the international spotlight with Everything but the Girl and her subsequent string of stellar solo albums, Tracey is a master storyteller whose deep, expressive vocals manage to give both the text and the subtext equal weight.

With her new album Record, she’s going to make you dance with a collection of songs she calls “feminist bangers.” The lead single “Queen” wraps introspection and uncertainty in a glorious, shimmering pop package while stand-out track “Sister” is a defiant message to The Man, backed by seriously satisfying disco grooves and a mesmerizing outro that makes the 8-minute-plus track seem too short.

We had a chance to sit down with Tracey and talk about how music is like a needle, how clubbing is like food, and how Twitter should be approached with caution. Read the full Q&A after the jump!

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!! OMG, a Q&A with Partner !!

Partner band photo
If you’ve ever wondered how gross secrets and a mutual love for Melissa Etheridge can help you form one kick-ass band, just ask Sackville, New Brunswick duo Partner. Co-frontwomen Josée Caron and Lucy Niles are two friends who spent years playing in different bands together, bonding over being gay, their expertise in guitar, and their deep admiration for queer icons like k.d. lang and Tegan and Sara (a group that’s one of their biggest inspirations). After celebrating the coming out of actor Ellen Page with their viral hit “The Ellen Page” in 2015, Caron and Niles began to explore the hilarious voice they created for themselves through songwriting.

Their stoner jam sessions eventually led them to the goofy, ‘90s inspired alt-rock anthems on their critically-acclaimed 2017 debut In Search of Lost Time. With playful punchlines and dirty jokes hiding behind every patch of reverb and soaring guitar riffs, the album’s charm and exuberant nature is fueled with anecdotes from Caron and Niles’s shared queer experiences. Whether it’s “finding a sex thing in your roommate’s room” on “Sex Object” or the aforementioned “Gross Secret” alluding to something too gross to reveal, every Partner song is just the day in the life of two oddballs with great chemistry who love sex, snacks and weed as much as the next guy.

We caught up with Partner about relocating to Windsor, Ontario, writing queer love songs, and what their obsession with Melissa Etheridge is really all about.

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!! OMG, a Q&A with Macy Rodman !!

Macy Rodman
A beloved fixture in Brooklyn’s queer scene, Macy Rodman first caught our attention a couple years ago with her irreverent viral smash, “Lazy Girl.” On her full-length debut album The Lake, she’s flexing her impressive musical range, bending genre conventions, and staking her claim as an artist to watch out for.

!! omg blog !! guest writer Eric Kostiuk Williams got a chance to chat with Macy about her upbringing, musical influences, the NYC hustle, and quickly came to realize she ain’t so lazy, after all!

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