More than three years after work started on Men’s debut LP, Talk About Body, the electronic trio can finally celebrate its release as it continues to tour worldwide. Join the band on March 25th at the Rickshaw stop.
In a phone interview from the road, we spoke with vocalist/producer JD Samson, an outspoken member of the LGBT community who is also a member of Le Tigre.
How is the tour treating you so far?
It’s good. We are really excited, and we’ve had some really awesome shows. Last night in Denver was great.
I saw a picture on Twitter of a tumbleweed at that show.
Yeah, that was last night. We were driving and we saw a tumbleweed so I ran and picked it up and put it in the van. We took it on stage and I danced with it. And after the show, all of these girls were dancing with it.
That sounds like a lucky tumbleweed.
It was a lucky tumbleweed. Her name was Vicious Tumble weed.
Why didn’t you do SXSW this year?
We had a really good time last year, but it feels like a lot of times band go there to get a label, distribution, or management. We just put out a record and we have a label, so we thought it was more important to have a record-release tour and see all of our fans.
Now you find yourself heading to Salt Lake City. What are your shows like in areas that aren’t particularly known for acceptance and openness?
There is a lot of oppression in Salt Lake City, so a lot of people actually end up coming to our shows. It’s a chance for a lot the queer kids to go out and feel safe and be around people like themselves.
But, it’s funny because tonight Lady Gaga is also playing. We are wondering if there are enough queer people in Salt Lake City to go to both.
That’s some big competition. Are visual elements a big part of your show?
Yeah, costumes have always been really important to me. I think it’s important that you step into a different persona when you step on the stage. It shows that audience that you are doing that extra effort.
It’s really important that you do something new and different every time and create a show. You have to make it the best that you can. It really helps the audience feel like it wants to be there.
One concept Men is embracing is the “radical potential of dance music.” Can you explain the idea behind that?
I think dance music works really well with politics. Both are about movement, vulnerability, and being true to yourself. When you dance, you kind of create this vulnerable space for yourself and you are really accepting your body and where it is, and being around the people that it is with. Politics works in a similar way.
It really works for us to be radical with dance because we are able to talk about lots of different movements politically and also physically.
Was that always in the plans when you started Men or did it build as you started working on new material?
The band Le Tigre was very similar. Just doing the work that I’ve done with electronic music, it’s been interesting to pick apart what dance music really meanings to me. There’s has been an interest in the political side since I was a teenager, so I think bringing those two things together wasn’t too weird.
Men performs at Rickshaw Stop on March 25th. Tickets are $12 and doors open at 8:30pm.