Dorian Electra gesteht: "I'm a troll at heart." 💚🗡🎩

Hier geht's zur ganzen Sendung mit Musik

Kaum ist Dorian Electra auf der Bühne, schreit die ganze Menge: In Zuge der MY AGENDA WORLD TOUR stattete der Star auch Zürich einen Besuch ab, spritzte homo-machendes Wasser in die Menge und performte neben Songs wie Career Boy und F The World auch Ram It Down zusammen mit Lil Mariko.

"The best songs are always ones where I'm in the studio with somebody and we're laughing about it. And it is not necessarily laughing because it's like “ha ha ha funny” but just like laughing out of surprise or the novelty of something."

Kurz vor dem Konzert haben wir Dorian Electra im Backstage der Roten Fabrik in Zürich getroffen. Wir sprachen mit they über die jetzige Welt-Tournee und ob sie their Erwartungen getroffen hat. Aber damit hat das Gespräch erst begonnen: Dorian Electra hat den Tag in der Schweiz nämlich gleich genutzt und es sich nicht nehmen lassen das Landesmuseum zu besuchen, um sich neben mittelalterlichen Bildern auch die neuere Geschichte der Schweiz anzusehen. 

Wenn gross über die Vergangenheit gesprochen wird, lohnt es sich oftmals genauso sehr in die Zukunft zu blicken: Kommt bald ein Cover-Album von Dorian Electra auf uns zu? Und ist die Zeit bald reif für Electro Swing?

Im ganzen Interview spricht Dorian Electra ausserdem über Cringe Culture, wie they über their Musik vor Flamboyant denkt, was they inspiriert und eine kurze Partie  "Would you rather?" durfte auch nicht fehlen.

Interview als Podcast (Englisch)

Für die Leseratten

Riley: You said on social media that you hope everyone makes new friends during your shows. How many new friends did you make during tour? 

Dorian Electra: I've definitely made some new friends in Milan and London. Anywhere that we've had an after party has been fun. It's still been kind of hard because we're trying to keep it as COVID safe as possible. But in the cities that we have some off days, it's been fun to have friends that we get to see. 

Ilayda: Today you have a friend from America joining you in Switzerland (Lil Mariko). 

Dorian Electra: Yeah, Lil Mariko is going to be amazing! I just love getting to listen to and see her set all the time, it’s great. She's doing some new songs too that are not out yet that are really good that you'll get to hear. 

Ilayda: This is your first international headliner tour. What were your expectations going into this and has the world met them? 

Dorian Electra: Honestly, everything has exceeded my expectations really. The last time I played a lot of European cities was when I opened for Charli XCX and that was amazing. I just had no idea what to expect. But I feel like all the crowds have just been going absolutely crazy. It's just been amazing. 

Riley: Are you also playing older music on your tour that you released before “Flamboyant”? 

Dorian Electra: Uhm, nothing that I released before Flamboyant. But I'm doing a lot of stuff from Flamboyant because the Flamboyant tour was what got cancelled with COVID. It's been cool to do that and “My Agenda” and be able to blend those together. 

Riley: Do you have a special relationship with your older music (before “Flamboyant”)? 

Dorian Electra: I still really love my song “Jackpot” and “Mind Body Problem”. And then some other educational music that I don't really consider part of my “Dorian Electra now”(era). I always look back fondly on all those times and all those experiences and work (that) shaped who I am now. But I definitely consider who I am now really starting with “Jackpot” probably. 

Ilayda: You said educational music - Do you think your music is not educational anymore? 

Dorian Electra: I mean, I think and hope it probably is. But I think I'm definitely less explicitly educational than it used to be. Where it's express purpose was “You're making an educational video for a platform that was asking you to it” you know. I mean, it was less like “I'm doing my own thing with it”. But I definitely always think about music as being educational, and that's definitely something that has always been a part of my work and probably always will be. 

Ilayda: This past weekend, even in Switzerland, my personal social media timelines were bombarded with videos from Coachella. Do you have “fear of missing out” while being on this tour? Seeing your other friends enjoy festivals? 

Dorian Electra: You know, every once in a while, when I see stuff like that, I'm like “Oh yeah, it would’ve definitely been fun to see some of my friends playing”. But as far as being at the festival itself... I find a festival going experience, not playing it, but like going to festivals - I really don't like it. I really don't like huge crowds or lines for the bathroom. It stresses me out. But I it'll be fun to do Coachella when I play it at some point. And also, I know that I'm doing Primavera with a lot of the same people and we're going to do after parties together, so it'll be really fun. So I'm not missing out too much. 

Ilayda: Doing this tour I guess is exhausting. You're sleeping in buses, you're in a new city every day - Do you get to write new music right now and what has been stuff that inspires you during this tour, seeing all these places? 

Dorian Electra: I pretty much work on music in a very compartmentalized way. Right after this tour ends, I'm doing a weeklong writing camp in London. I will definitely work on music best in that atmosphere. Where it's like “OK, nothing else.” it's just music for 5 or 6 days and that's it. Right now I'm just collecting a bunch of lyrics. And I'm doing visual mood boarding for my next album. So I've been really enjoying going to museums, taking pictures, watching YouTube videos and just kind of getting into the zone. Trying to soak up as much stimuli as I can from each location I'm in because it's something that I can't do when I'm just at home on the Internet, you know. So yeah, that's been very cool. And it's definitely a big part of my artistic process. 

Riley: Talking about museums – Today you were in a museum in Zurich looking at medieval costumes and swords. How was that experience? 

Dorian Electra: That was really cool. I don't really know anything about Swiss history. It was talking a little bit about Swiss history, which I found really interesting. I feel like, not being from here, you kind of know the stereotypes, which they also explored in the exhibit which I thought was really cool. Like: “These are the stereotypes of Swiss culture and Swiss people with the pros and the cons, the good and the bad”. I didn't know women only got the right to vote in like 1971. That was crazy. Or something like 15% of the population's millionaires. You're like, “whoa”, you know. I always love learning those things. I think it's very interesting and puts a lot of stuff in perspective. I love learning the history of places. So everywhere we've been going, I've been trying to do museums. And when we’re on the bus I'll watch YouTube videos on the history of things to try to get in the zone. That's probably my biggest hobby. I watch history videos on YouTube. 

Ilayda: So we're going to play the “would you rather game” before we get into the more musical stuff. 

If you had to limit your next album to one genre only, would you rather choose country music or stereotypical Tumblr era indie rock? 

Dorian Electra: Uhhh. That's interesting, I would say Tumblr era indie rock. Because I feel like that can actually be really broad. There's a lot that can actually fall within that. So I'll take advantage of that and do that. I mean country would also be really cool, but I feel like it was having like a trendy moment. The Tumblr one would be interesting. 

Ilayda: If you could only wear one outfit for the rest of your life, like a cartoon character, would you rather choose a furry costume or a Christian schoolgirl outfit? 

Dorian Electra: I would have to say Christian schoolgirl. Just because I think it would be a lot more comfortable and I'm being practical with this answer. 

Ilayda: If you could collaborate with an artist, would you rather choose David Guetta or Björk? 

Dorian Electra: I think doing something with David Guetta would be pretty sick. All respect to Björk of course. Actually, it's funny because when Charlie did a song with David Guetta I was in the music video. It was like in 2017. It's called “Dirty Sexy Money”. Go watch that video. You'll see me in it. It's pretty funny. There's a David Guetta impersonator on set. He wasn't actually on set. It was a guy that kind of looked like him. 

Ilayda: Would you rather drink water that makes the frogs gay or go fracking with RuPaul? 

Dorian Electra: I'd rather drink water that makes the frogs gay. Because I already am doing it and so are all of us. I mean it’s just regular drinking water at this point. 

Riley: If you could only listen to one album for the rest of your life, would you rather choose Chromatica or ARTPOP? 

Dorian Electra: ARTPOP. 

Ilayda: Why? 

Dorian Electra: Uhm, remind me which ones are on there again? 

Ilayda: Venus, Aura, G.U.Y.  

Dorian Electra: Oh I love G.U.Y. I like that style of production. It’s more interesting to me, I think. 

Riley: If you had a child, would you rather want their lifestyle to be “Christian girl autumn” or “career boy realness”? 

Dorian Electra: I mean, Christian girl autumn seems happier if I'm being honest. I would want them to be whatever they would want obviously. But honestly, I mean, career boy seems stressful. And I feel like he may not be as happy. There's something nice and simple about Christian girl autumn. So honestly, I would be happy if that was their life. 

Riley: Yeah, that was the would you rather section! 

Dorian Electra: That was great. I love it. 

Riley: And so we're going to the serious question I suppose. To me you often look like a character from a video game or anime in your music videos. Are there characters in anime or games that inspire you? 

Dorian Electra: It's going to sound crazy and really absurd, but I've never really watched much anime. And I've also never really played many video games. But I feel like I've been around those influences a lot. I feel like a lot of my influences are secondary. Like secondhand smoke. I feel like it's things that I absorbed from people around me or friends around me. 

As a kid I watched the Rugrats a lot. There's a lot of movie references in that. There would be (references to) taxi driver or stuff from the Godfather or other classic movies that I hadn't seen until college. But yet, I felt like the influence made a stamp on me even as a kid. So I feel like I ingest a lot of things like that. Without getting directly into them. 

Ilayda: What do you think will be things in the future that influence the next generation in a “second hand” kind of way? 

Dorian Electra: I'm not sure how to answer that question. I think we're just seeing the nostalgia timeline acceleration going faster and faster. 2013 witchy Tumblr stuff is already coming back. Stuff that people my age cringe at. Because they're like: “Oh God, I'm trying to delete these Facebook photos.” from this era while young zoomers on TikTok are getting super into it. It's getting faster and faster especially with stuff like TikTok where aesthetics come and go so quickly. 

Riley: You once said that you get bored of things that aren't extreme. 

Dorian Electra: Definitely yeah. I like the element of surprise a lot. It's just something I'm attracted to as a person. When things get predictable, I get kind of bored of it. I think that also relates to humor in a way that's not just like: “Oh, I want to make funny music like lol laugh out loud.”. The best songs are always ones where I'm in the studio with somebody and we're laughing about it. And it is not necessarily laughing because it's like “ha ha ha funny” but just like laughing out of surprise or the novelty of something. You're like “whoa this is crazy, I haven't heard this” or “this is insane”. 

There's something about the element of surprise that is related to humor. But also it’s related to trying something new and challenging yourself. And sometimes the most shocking thing you can do is right there in front of you. The most normal basic thing. It's all about context. I always like playing with that. I have to make myself laugh about something or I'm not vibing with it. 

Ilayda: So the element of surprise really is a big thing for you. For example, in the “F The World” music video as well, which really surprises you as a viewer. Are you ever under pressure while working on something where you're like “I don't know if this will surprise people enough”. Not that you make something “for the people”, but you know, it's important to you. Are you ever afraid you will run out of ideas? 

Dorian Electra: Yeah, totally. I feel like at the end of the day the goal is to make good music. I think I have to check myself sometimes because I am so into the shock value or surprise element. I have to ground myself. 

I definitely feel more like an artist in a larger sense than “just a musician”. Music is what I’m very passionate about. But when I meet with other musicians who are like “that's the biggest thing that they're passionate about”, that's definitely not me. Because I'm passionate about so many other things. The videos, the visual, the fashion, everything else with it. 

I think every artist definitely gets anxiety. Especially as they do their second or third project. They want to make people happy and have something that plays enough to those expectations. But they also want to be able to switch it up and gain new fans. And they also get tired of doing the same thing over and over again. 

For me, I feel like there are still so many things out there that I haven't done and want to do. But I definitely experience the insecurity and anxiety, as I think probably all artists do. 

Riley: You also surprised your fans with a bunch of covers. For example, a cover of “Happy” from Pharrell Williams. Is there another cover you would like to do? 

Dorian Electra: Yeah, I have like a whole list of covers I want to do. I want to do a cover album. I've just been so busy with the tour and everything. 

I've had so much fun making them. You definitely learn something new as you're doing them. And part of the art of doing the covers is picking the song. Like again, I like to pick something that is not expected. But then.... you might want to follow that up with something that's extremely expected to break the pattern of doing things that are unexpected, you know. It's always an interesting balance. I'm excited to do more. 

Riley: Every time I look at your discography or your videos, I get the feeling that you can do quite anything and my question to that is: You tweeted a bunch of times about Electro swing. Now I just have to ask - when will we hear a true Electro swing project from you? 

Dorian Electra: I've tried to do a couple of them so far. I feel like it's harder than I thought it would be. I think I just haven't hit the right one yet. I've got a couple of things that have some flavors of that. It's about trying to find the way to mix it in. But I'm working on it. 

Riley: That's really great to hear! Back to “My Agenda” for a quick moment. Do you think that with this album it was your goal to kill cringe culture? 

Dorian Electra: It wasn't an explicit goal of mine. It's so cool that the album became so much more than I initially intended. We were coming up with the ideas as they were happening. I did a lot of music videos for it during quarantine. And a lot of it was really engaging with fans online. Like in a really intense way. It was like “OK I did this. I did this. What's the next?”. 

I had a little bit of the furry stuff in “Edgelord”. And then after that I was able to get feedback and make it a discourse. It wasn’t like I had every video planned out. And the thing with the furry stuff is very genuine. I love that community and I identify as a furry. It's really interesting to watch people's reactions when they are so negative. Where did that even come from? 

Even I used to have a super negative opinion of furries. And I know where it came from. It’s this episode of CSI, where they had furries involved in some murder or something. That was one of the most mainstream representations of furries up at that point, and it was negative, you know. And I was like 11 years old and was a big fan of that show. I mean you can trace these things. 

I like to embrace things that I do think are very cool that get shit on in our culture. I love to watch people squirm and I love to watch their shocked reactions. And I definitely get off on that in some way. It definitely drives me as an artist. I can't help it, I am a troll at heart. But it also comes from a really sincere place, you know. And I think that's what makes it different than just shock for shock sake, which I'm not really into and find to be boring. 

Ilayda: So it's shocking, but it's also deep. 

Dorian Electra: I mean, I hope so. I hope people interpret it that way. 

Ilayda: And looking a bit into the future, you said in another interview that your next project will get “more mature”. What do you mean by that? You have to elaborate. 

Dorian Electra: I'm definitely really trying to challenge myself to write in new ways as an artist. To expand, try different things. To try to step away from the ways that I usually do things so that I can just see what else there is out there and what else could come out of me. So I think that's what I mean by mature. A little more seasoned, more well rounded. We'll see what it is. 

Riley: We are both from a pretty conservative little city with little to no activities for queer people. Can you say something to the young queer people that live there? Maybe something you also wanted to hear when you were a teenager? 

Dorian Electra: Totally. I'm very grateful that I did grow up having had Myspace. That's where I met people that had similar interests. I feel like I could express myself online even more than I could in real life. Even if it feels like there aren't people around you that are supportive or that you vibe with just know that there are people out there and that you're not alone. I think that's probably the most important thing to remember. And that's why I hope that people can come to my shows and make friends and maybe get inspired to start a club night. If there's 600 people in this area that have this interest, there could be a club night once a month or something where people get together on the weekend and support cool local queer artists and stuff like that. That's what I hope happens in every city. 

Ilayda: Yeah, I think it will happen tonight if we look at all the people waiting outside the venue already. That's it from our side, thanks a lot. 

Dorian Electra: Cool, thank you guys so much. Thank you for listening. 

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