Review in Orlando Weekly: This Little Underground

imageBy Bao Le-Huu

Published: August 14, 2013

Nobody has expended more words on local on-the-cusp folk-rock band Roadkill Ghost Choir than me. And it’s looking like there will be much, much more to say in the near future, so I gotta save my wad. But their recent show (Aug. 8, Will’s Pub) was a reminder that there is probably no other area band, pound for pound, that deserves to break out as much as these deceptively mature young musicians. They’ve taken the time to do things right – with substance and authenticity – but music this ready can stay quiet only so long. And if this is their pre-prime – and there’s every reason to believe it is – then, goddamn, look out.

The Beat

The Black Rabbits are a band you may not remember, but they have some notable and somewhat involved local history. Formed by brothers Jetson and Skyler Black, the band started here and played the Orlando circuit back in the late 2000s until relocating to Asheville, N.C., for a couple of years.

Conversely, due to their recent national ascendance on Kanine Records, you’ve likely heard of South Florida’s Beach Day. Well, all those kids were previously Black Rabbits. From what Jetson tells me, Beach Day triggered a schism because drummer Skyler allegedly ditched the Rabbits mid-tour to join his girlfriend (frontwoman Kimmy Drake) in Beach Day, and the brothers have since been estranged for over a year. Now ain’t that some soap-opera shit?

Well, now Black Rabbits are local again, with a different cast under frontman Jetson, and working their way back. They’ve been gigging a bit around town recently and are now on an Eastern U.S. tour. Jetson says they’ll be recording their next album soon and that they’re talking to producers. He drops some big names but, then again, Stan Lynch (Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers) did produce their first LP, 2011’s Hypno Switch, so it’s worth paying attention.

When the Black Rabbits first came up, I noted their promise as a band with a young Strokes-like rock & roll heritage. From their brightly executed recent show (Aug. 7, the Social), their classic sensibility hasn’t changed much. And why should it? The Rabbits just dust it off with the youthful exuberance that rock & roll’s supposed to have. And it connects because they’ve always had an instinct for hook-sharp songs. It’s simple and direct, with enough shine to remind you why basic rock & roll done right will always remain evergreen. A lot has changed since they first emerged, but they’re a good, still-young band that’s been around the block now, and worth a fresh listen.

Headlining was Atlanta’s the Sexual Side Effects. Oof, that name. But fortunately there’s more here than juvenile winks, because they’re fronted by transgender musician Amber Taylor and their songs are relayed through her unique perspective. But that’s just background – it all comes down to the music. It would be awfully tempting to ride that angle for all its provocative, titillating mileage a la Placebo (man, WTF has happened to those guys?). To SSE’s credit, however, their music is pretty straightforward. In fact, despite the edge at their disposal, they’re kind of straight-laced in style – to a fault perhaps, but at least it’s not cheap sensationalism. They are an earnest, solid alt-rock band led by a frontwoman with skill and flair.

But even though I’m pretty sure I’ve seen her before, St. Pete’s Geri X took me by total surprise that night. Her appearance casts a Suicide Girl kind of splash, but her voice is a lovely, deep-reaching thing that radiates the kind of truth that could be a revelation in country and folk music. And it seems she knows, because her band’s rich, dark and dusty music is in that vicinity. Sounding like Murder by Death fronted by Mr. Gnome’s Nicole Barille, she’s West Florida’s full-band answer to Christina Wagner. I swear I’ve seen her at one or two of the local music festivals, but she has apparently come very far because this is the first time I’ve had no choice but to take serious stock of her. Well, I’m all ears now.

It’s Going To Be A Busy Weekend

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AFTER TASTE OF THE ARTS- oh yes folks we’re not finished yet!!! The Hummingbird has a circus. No that isn’t sarcasm in fact they really are having a circus.

From the press release:

This summer, Atlanta‐based rock band The Sexual Side Effects will bring their unique sound – which combines elements of 80’s post‐punk and new wave, modern pop, and indie – to venues all over the southeast. 

Led by main songwriter Amber Taylor, a dynamic presence whose experiences as a transgendered person color the lyrical narrative, the group—also including Rob Hulsman (drums), Mike Sidner (bass), and Will Thigpen (guitar)—are on a mission to touch hearts and minds with Taylor’s message, while captivating eardrums with the band’s innovative sound.

Showcasing the characteristic dynamism of their live shows, the tour will have many eccentricities. In Macon, Georgia, their show will be themed like a Rock n Roll Carnival, complete with burlesque and circus performers.

Frankly, I can’t think of anything more fitting after a Roaring 20′s party. I spoke with Kristen Thompson O’Neal from The Hummingbird about the event and she told me they are literally taking down parts of The Bird in order to install the equipment needed for this show. It’s going to be absolutely crazy- in a very, very good way.

So. Poetry. Party. And party some more.

And now bed- I gotta get up early tomorrow for a photo shoot. Later gator peeps.

Love to all yall,

 

Molly

Interview with David Magazine – Amber Taylor: Not So ‘High Maintenance’

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The Sexual Side Effects is one of the biggest bands to come out of the Atlanta rock scene in years. Performing with big names such as Hunter Valentine (who recently opened for Cyndi Lauper), they combine elements of indie music, British Pop and 80’s post punk to create a unique sound. Even more unique is that their frontwoman, Amber Taylor, is actually a male-to-female transgendered woman. I sat down with the rock star and we talked music, touring and how being trans has affected her career!

Hi Amber! Thanks for taking the time to talk with us! I just have a few questions for you. First question: who is Amber Taylor?

I don’t know! Who am I? (Laughs) I think we’re all still discovering that in ourselves. Actually, I can say that I’ve found myself more now than I have in the past. Now I realize I’m a musician, and I wanna make art. There was a time in my life where I went through a transformation of gender and that was consuming, that was the only thing on my mind. But now I’ve realized that’s not 100 percent sure of who I am. I find myself to be a musician. I wanna play guitar, and I wanna push instruments, and I wanna tour. I’ve learned business and marketing and it’s all for music. But you have to do that nowadays cause nobody’s gonna do that for you, unless you have a label pumping millions of dollars into you.

So, how long have you been doing music? How long have you been playing?

I’ve been playing guitar for 22 years now, longer than one of my guitar players has been alive, which is freaky to think about. I mean I’m not that old!

How old are you, if you don’t mind me asking?

I am – Oh, God. How old am I? (Laughs) I’m 35 now, believe it or not. I’m actually 25 in trans years. Actually I’d be even younger, I went through a second puberty and it totally changed the way I look. It made me look younger.

Who are your biggest influences, musically?

Well, they are always changing, ya know? Always changing. There’s definitely a core group of people that have always been there. I’m very into post-punk, I’m very into Brit-Pop. I mean, a little bit of everything. Recently, I’ve been listening to Kurt Vile. And Black Rebel Motorcycle Club has been like this huge inspiration recently. My band has been changing lately, I’ve got a new lineup, so we’re drawing a lot of inspiration from that band. Don’t know what it is but that’s just where I’ve been at lately.

That’s the biggest thing about music for me: the inspiration. I’ve been working on trying to better myself as a musician the last 6 months. I’m really just writing as much as possible, reading books on how to write better, reading poetry. Just filling in every little piece I didn’t have in my own personal education as a musician.

Like most rock-n-rollers, I’m a high school dropout. I left school, became a roadie, started doing audio. But ya know, there are areas in my life that I need to work on as a musician. I mean, everybody has areas in their life that they need to work on, but I’m just constantly evolving. I’ve been able to crank out all kinds of stuff on guitar, but writing the lyrics and getting the message across and telling the story have been the most difficult thing for me. But I’ll listen to a record of someone else’s work, and it’ll give you inspiration for something you’re doing, or want to do. And it’s weird, it’s not like you’re copying them but there is some weird spark of inspiration that puts you in a mindset and sets you off on a creative path.

Do you feel that people like Jayne County, and other transgendered musicians, paved the way for where you are at now?

Well, yeah! Jayne paved the way, not just for me or transgendered musicians, but for transgendered people in general. And the biggest reason why I think she paved the way is because she did her transition publicly. She, at first, was her old persona, and then she changed and became the new persona. And that’s a different story than my own personal story from where I did my transition and then finally started making music again. It’s definitely made an impact, and she has a lot of bravery for doing that. Plus, you have to roll back the clock to when she did it, back in the 70s, that’s just terrifying!

So were you making music before you transitioned?

Yeah, I played music before but I never really pursued it with the tenacity that I have in the past few years. All of that has to do with personal experiences in life. Like, my father passing away years ago. I was really close to him and after he passed, I decided to treat myself better. I became a vegetarian, I lost a bunch of weight, became a cyclist and became healthy. It was really a soul-searching time in my life. And time went on.

I actually started going into business a while back. I went into web development and I was really good at it, it succeeded but I realized that wasn’t my purpose in life. I had a greater purpose and I just said “Hey, I have to go do this music stuff”. And it’s not for egotistical reasons, it’s not even for personal fulfillment, it’s for an obligation that I believe I have. And every day I can’t work on that, it’s a day wasted on a gift that I’ve been given.

Who would be your number one dream collaboration?

There’s so many people, so I’m just gonna choose someone randomly! I have to say off the top of my head, Freddie Mercury. That’d be fun, right!? I wish I could have gotten in on the whole “Under Pressure” gig. If I could get in the middle of that song and play guitar, that would be so awesome! I should probably end that there, but there are people in Atlanta that I really find inspiration in their music. There’s a guy named Jade Lemons here in Atlanta, and you’ll be the first to know this, he’s actually joining the Sexual Side Effects as our guitar player. And so, I get to have that dream come true! It’s things like that! I’m really excited!

Awesome, well congratulations! So, you have toured previously, you’ve been all of the country, for those of us who haven’t done it, what is band life like?

The reality is, we should do more touring. I think we only played 50-100 shows last year. There are some bands that do 300 shows a year. But really the reality that needs to be expressed is, you have to have a day job that pays well. You have to work your way to the weekends and tour close to home. It takes years to build up something substantial. It takes years for an artist to do what they do. Some of these major record labels can afford to throw out millions of dollars and build it up quicker that way. But, the bottom line is, you’re going to be poor, you’re going to have to eat peanut butter sandwiches, and it sucks.

And the tour bus thing is even more of a myth, cause gas nowadays is so expensive. If you’re working your day job and one day you decide “Ya know what? I’m gonna start a band!” Then you have to find three other people who will basically destroy their lives, have no money, and sacrifice all relationships. Until you find those people, or replace people until you do find those people, it takes a long time. That’s what we just went through with my band.

But it can be real fun! Nowadays with Facebook, you can keep up with people that you meet all around the country. And the people who didn’t even tour with you become part of that whole circle. You meet people everywhere, and you just create a giant circle of friends. And the greatest thing about it is, you have can make all these people from all over the world part of your daily life. So, social media has really helped bring people together.

Awesome! Well, we look forward to seeing you guys out and about on tour! Thanks for taking the time to talk with us!

Not a problem! Thanks for taking the time to check in!

Legendz of the Road

Names can be misleading. There is no radio tower flying high above the WPBR Room. We pull in to the parking lot Nate and I make bets about what was inside this faceless, windowless, and deserted box. With no sign on the door and nothing but cigarette butts lying on the ground, it is hard to tell if we are in the right place….

READ THE FULL ARTICLE

The Sexual Side Effects infect Houston

Amber Taylor grew up in Dallas before moving to Atlanta, Ga., and fronting the Sexual Side Effects, a scrappy rock band with a fierce live presence. But Houston — shhh — has emerged as her favorite Lone Star destination.

“Being a Texan will always be a part of me,” she said. “But of all the cities in Texas and across the nation, Houston has been really receptive to what we are doing. We have met so many new friends here. We were here last year during the Pride Festival to perform, and it was amazing.”

SSE is skipping Dallas for Houston twice this time. The band heads to Cactus Music for a free in-store before performing at Mango’s as part of their Franken-Tour. But first, Taylor talked inspiration, motivation and naked fan photos.

What’s the story behind the band name?
I kept on hearing all the drug companies running commercials on TV that said, “May have a low occurrence of sexual side effects,” and it hit me one day that this name was just too epic not be used. It was intended for us by way of rock ’n’ roll destiny.

Why is your current run called the Franken-Tour?
We started in our hometown, Atlanta, Ga., where we had Franken-Party, which was about throwing all kinds of epic stuff into one night. Music, art, burlesque, bodypainting, costumes, go-go dancers, a light show, half-naked drunk people. The same concept goes for Franken-Tour. A different line up every night.

You’ve always been up front and matter of fact about being transgendered. What sorts of challenges has it presented as a musician?
At first, we didn’t really tell anyone, and life went on as normal. Of course, it’s kind of staring back at people in the name. People have been really supportive for the most part, especially if they are a part of the music first. It’s been so long since I have changed that I forget sometimes. I’m just a human being and glad I got to be the person I am and didn’t run and hide from it.

Who do you look to as a role model, musically and as a person?
As a performer and musician, I have always admired David Bowie. His career and music really inspired my own from the beginning. As a touring musician I really admire Martin Atkins of P.I.L. and Pigface. He wrote a book called “Tour:Smart” that is the definitive guide in how to do all this. It’s been really empowering to take your career into your own hands as an independent artist and to have a resource on how to do it.

If you had to pick one song to introduce people to the band, what would it be and why?
“Aurora” really captures the haunting and majestic qualities of the music we strive to write. A lot of the new songs we perform are not recorded yet, and they are all in the sonic direction of “Aurora.”

When was the moment you knew you wanted to be a rock star?
I started to get messages from people about how much one of our songs meant to them or helped them through a hard time in their life. It’s that moment where all the selfish and self-centered aspirations go out the window, and you realize this is something greater than yourself. That’s when it becomes a truly inspired obligation to others for the greater good.

Must-haves when you’re on the road?
Tea — it keeps the cold away, and there is whiskey involved. Blankets — when it’s time to tour, it’s time to sleep as much as possible because it’s usually never possible. Naked photos of people we meet on the road. Seriously, we have a collection going, started by a couple of crazy hot girls in Orlando. The smallest bag possible to fit everything you can into.

The last album you bought?
“Year of the Rabbit.” Kevin Andrews is amazing. Also Doves! I use Spotify a lot, and people always turn me on to new music. If you know any good music, please send it to me.

The very first album you bought with your own money.
The Cure’s “Disintegration,” “Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me” and “Boys Don’t Cry.” I bought these as cassette tapes for a girl I liked in sixth grade. I somehow ended up with the tapes and listened to that band a lot before I turned into a punk rocker. The Cure still has a parallel to our sound today.

The Sexual Side Effects
When: 9 p.m. Feb. 14
Where: Mango’s, 403 Westheimer
Tickets: Free; 713-522-8903 or thesexualsideeffects.com
Also: 2 p.m. Sunday at Cactus, 2110 Portsmouth

5GB With The Sexual Side Effects; Playing The Drunken Unicorn, Jan. 25th

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The Atlanta-based quartet The Sexual Side Effects defy easy categorization, seamlessly combining elements of ‘80s post-punk and New Wave with modern pop and indie, served with a healthy splash of space-rock psychedelia, but the band’s overriding focus is clear: bringing their haunting and majestic brand of music to the masses. They joined us for our 5GB series.

What’s the first gig you ever attended?

The first show I ever saw was Sonic Youth at the International Ballroom in Doraville, Georgia. I grew up down the street from there next to the oil pipelines and industrial wasteland. They were playing with Superchunk who I really enjoyed that night. I was probably about 13 or so and kept trying to crowd surf at the show. It was a blast and about half way through the show the bands kept yelling at us who were doing it to stop. At the time I was like “whatever”, but now I understand why it’s not so cool. Fugazi played over a thousand shows and through all of those shows over 10 people are now paralyzed from people crowd surfing and hitting them on accident. I just can’t begin to fathom being responsible for people never being able to walk again. Sorry if I got a little off topic, but it makes a difference to see it in the perspective of the band who just want to do their art and have people enjoy it…plus I felt like a douche every time Thurston Moore yelled at me from the stage.

What is the best gig that you ever played/performed?

We played over the summer of 2012 in Washington DC at a festival called “Phase Fest”. It was at the oldest known lesbian bar in America called Phase 1. We had been on the road and played a lot of shows with the band Hunter Valentine who are now in a successful prime-time reality TV show on Showtime called the Real L Word. Their main crowd (the lesbian/girl crowd) were really receptive to our show. That night we were playing with them again as well as other amazing bands like Vanity Theft and our good friends Glitterlust from DC. The show sold out at 300 people and they had to turn away 200 people at the door! It was crazy! The place was packed to the max, and I was surprised the fire marshal didn’t shut it down. When we played our last song the entire crowd was singing along, and they didn’t even know our lyrics! We cant wait to play DC again, what an amazing city and amazing people!

What is the best gig you have ever seen?

We played a show in Miami with this band called Radioboxer and when they hit the stage everyone eyes lit up! They can be described as the Cuban Flaming Lips from Hialeah The energy, the sound, the way the crowd melted into their hands, captivated at every moment was so amazing! What an astounding band! They would even sing in Spanish from time to time but they still had the ability to cross over the language barrier to “monolingual” English speakers at the show with their amazing energy.

Gig you would most like to play?

Wow this is a tough one. Most would saw Coachella, Lolapolloza or some crazy festval date in front of thousands. We have played a lot of festival shows and I have to say we prefer to play clubs a little more.

It’s so easy to get lost in the music in a club. With a crazy light show, smoke, the energy of the people right there with you. It’s like an out of body experience. Though a bit bigger than a regular club, I have always wanted to play the Fox in Atlanta…and sell it out! :-) One of these day, with enough hard work I am sure it will happen.

What would be the lineup for your dream gig?

We would love to open for Placebo, also David Bowie would be another big one. People keep telling us that we sound a lot like Placebo, and Placebo’s fans have been very attracted to our music. David Bowie has always been an idol for me, such a unique artist. If I could choose another it would be U2. I have always love The Edge’s approach to guitar and the whole time I would most likely be chatting with his guitar tech about his rig!

Catch The Sexual Side Effects at The Drunken Unicorn.

Kool Kat of the Week: The Sexual Side Effects Are on a Mission to Rock Your World: Amber Taylor on Growing Beyond Glam and Throwing a Franken-Party to Remember Friday Jan. 25!

Andy Warhol would have approved of the Sexual Side EffectsFranken-Party  this Friday Jan. 25 at the Drunken Unicorn. A rock ‘n’ roll fantasy collides with an art show. The crowd is scantily but fabulously dressed, clothes replaced by body paint. Go-go dancers twist and shake in Nancy Sinatra boots as multi-colored lights sweep across the dance floor. The epic extravaganza launches SSE’s Franken-Tour across the Southeast and Texas and also boasts Sarasota, Florida’s MeteorEYES, who are on their Winter Migration Tour, and self-proclaimed Atlanta nerd-rock band Go! Robo! Go!

The Sexual Side Effects have only been playing Atlanta for a couple of years, but to say they have taken the city and the Southeast by storm is like underestimating a thunderstorm before it starts firing up a tornado. In fact, it’s hard to imagine with all the high-voltage energy lead vocalist/guitarist Amber Taylor is channeling into the band, it won’t be long until they have the attention of the nation and the entire world, maybe even the galaxy if ETs are tuning in.

Over time, we figured some Kats would be so Kool that they had to be Kool Kat of the Week more than once, and Amber certainly qualifies in spades. Last time we chatted with her in July 2011, she was plotting a neo-glam revolution with her Gilded Trash events in Atlanta and New York. SSE still sports its glam roots in some of their sound, their audacious stage shows and encouragement to people to wear outrageous, sexy costumes to their performances, but the band has revealed itself to be much more. On the Retro side, one can see in-your-face post-punk, new wave and even psychedelic influences, and yet their approach feels right in tune to the 21st century. With a successful EP,an award-winning video, scoring “Best Local Rock Act” and “Best Band Name” in Creative Loafing‘s 2012 Best of Atlanta, sell-out shows from DC to Florida and a Franken-Tour on the horizon, we felt it was high time to catch up again with Amber to find out more about why their kick-off party in Atlanta this Friday is not to be missed and what’s up in a future so bright we imagine they’ll have to wear shades.

ATLRetro: Without giving it all away, what do you want folks to know in advance about Franken-Party?!

Amber Taylor: Franken-Party! is our new party. It started by making a silly flyer with Frankenstein partying with a couple of cold ones, and it inspired a eureka moment. We (The Sexual Side Effects) realized that one of the funnest and most successful shows we produced over the years was at My Sister’s Room in October 2011. The concept was simple – Art + Music. We played, had a couple of guest stars and bands from around town joined us on stage, had an art show, body painting, burlesque queens and tons of other fun eclectic art.

This whole experience can be summed up by the name “Franken-Party!” Pull all kinds of art into a blender – music, visual art, performance art, film, burlesque, drag, costumery, you name it. If it’s art, it has a home. I know I wasn’t supposed to give it all away, but, oh well, I guess we just slept on the first date. Don’t worry I like to make breakfast in the morning.

If Franken-Party is a rock concert, why so much art and half-nakedness? Do I have to be at least half-naked to attend?

It’s only part concert. It’s really an art-party that’s all about the people. People have to enter covering up their “naughty bits,” but if things get a little out of control, so be it! It’s not a party till someone get’s nekid!

You’ve expressed on Facebook a lot lately that you feel this is a big year for you and the Sexual Side Effects. Why now, what’s up and how does this relate to Franken-Tour?

Well, we have been working our tails off night and day over the last couple of years, and have reached a point where we have a team built to help us get more accomplished. In 2013, we have established an agent, publicist, radio promoter and are flirting with a couple of managers as well. This will enable us to put more time and energy into our art.

We hear Ryan McDougall is leaving the band. Who is replacing him and will Franken-Party being his last gig with SSE give the night a bittersweet tint?

RyGuy – which Mike the bassist affectionately coined him – is leaving the band. This will be his farewell show, and a farewell to one part of our journey as a band. It’s a positive thing though! The SSE has always had its core three members – myself, Mike Sidner [bass] and Clay McClure [drums]. We have evolved into a group that incorporates different people into it from time to time or project to project. We still have the same sound, same direction and personality, but now we just get to share the experience with more people and make it a bigger family. We may continue as a trio, or may get another guitarist. We have a couple of people we have auditioned, but either way the train will never stop until our dying days. Art is my mission in life, and it will never stop.

Photo courtesy of The Sexual Side Effects.

Looks like SSE is playing all over the South in the next two months on Franken-Tour. You’ve also played a lot of Florida dates lately. Any plans to go north of the Maxon-Dixon line?

We are going to work on the Southeast, Florida and Texas for a while. Too many bands want to go national overnight, and this is the biggest mistake they can make. The Wall of China was not built overnight; it was built brick by brick on a solid foundation. The U.S. is a big place, and every time we play a city we have to go back within two to three months. We are going to do about five rounds on tour in the Southeast and then figure out what’s next once SSE mania has spread far and wide. In other words, this shit is on!

It seems like your five-song EP HIGH MAINTENANCE and the video for “All She’ll Ever Hurt,” directed by David Joseph and the Comcast/Xfinity Video Award winner at the 2012 Georgia Music Awards, really amped things up for the band. Do you consider that a key turning point?

Well, it has helped a lot, but nothing happens over night. Art is hard work, and there is a long road to travel to get to the point where we want to be in our hearts. The video and the album are the introduction for the band to the world and they still get discovered everyday by people. Surprisingly the UK has really embraced us! As some point soon we will start touring there.

What’s been your favorite gig on this crazy trip so far?

Phasefest in Washington, DC, with Hunter Valentine, Vanity Theft and Glitterlust was one of the most magical shows I have personally felt yet. The club sold out at 300 people, and they had to turn away 200 people at the door AND it was $25 to get in! It was off the chain! I’m surprised the fire marshall didn’t shut it down. Well, at least my amp stayed cool. What an insane night; on top of that, we played the night before in Atlanta at a convention, got in the van after the show and drove straight to DC overnight. I remember being exhausted before we hit the stage, but when we plugged in, it was like a firecracker went off – for the next hour. Thank God for Red Bull! The last song we played the whole crowd was singing along – and they didn’t even know the words!

OK, since we’re ATLRetro, we always like to talk about the past as much as the future. Let’s go back to your roots. How old were you when you discovered glam music? Who was the performer, what happened and why did it appeal to you then?

Well, in all honesty about the glam thing, we have moved away from glam as a definitive title for us. Because of who and what I am, my relationship to Glitterdome  [at The Chamber] in the past, our parallel to the band Placebo, and of course, our Glam night we did called Gilded Trash, we kind of got that label in the begining. This isn’t totally fair to the listener though. We have a much different sound which is more rooted in Post-Punk, Psychedelic Space Rock, New Wave, Brit-Pop, Indie Rock and Indie Pop. Of course, there are elements of ’70s glam in what we do and our sound as well, but that is only a small part of the mixture. Of course, there is also the Joan Jett element of how I look, as well as the T-Rex-ness that gives that aura.

David Bowie, of course, was my all-time favorite. Pat Briggs from the Glitterdome was a big part of my fondness with David and glam in general. After I got to know and perform with him, I had a huge glam fetish. When the movie VELVET GOLDMINE came out, it seemed to boost that whole scene and the nostalgia of it all as well. Some people love that movie and some people hate it, but to me it is an important part of glitter fantasy that every child should have!

When we talked last year, you were talking about the Sexual Side Effects in the context of instigating a neo-glam movement. Do you still feel that’s the best term overall to classify the band is or has it progressed into something different? How do you describe your music to someone who hasn’t heard it before?

Well, we did set off down that path, but being true to the song and what has come out as an artist we found other elements and music we have drawn inspiration from. We are all about the fantasy of music, rock ‘n’ roll, and the show, but that manifests itself in new ways and new descriptions. It’s an art movement, creating musical art with no boundaries or constraints to what it is. We have come up with a new fusion of sounds that could be described as Progressive Psych Pop. The fun, charisma, and audience participation that glam has still manifests itself in who we are, but our sound is a little outside the box to perfectly fit in the neo-glam classification. We have grown a bit as artists as well which has made it morph into something new. Art in the context of the Flaming Lips is a better parallel for sight, sound, experience, inspiration for the show and audience participation.

OK, back to the future, are you recording anything else, perhaps a full CD, soon? What about more videos?

We have been writing and have a good number of songs laid out to be recorded. We plan to go back into the studio soon and record. We are hoping to have something proper released around Summer 2013.

Photo courtesy of The Sexual Side Effects.

You’ve said that “Really the next step for the band is to take our music and who we are and help change society beyond us.” That’s heavy stuff but all one has to do is look in your eyes to know you mean it. Do you have a master plan, and how can the Sexual Side Effects’ music change the world?

One person at a time. It takes a long time, but we have a whole lifetime. When a teacher has a positive life-changing effect on a student or a social worker or whoever, it’s that moment when they have a purpose greater than themselves. Music is our purpose in life. To help others, and to share it with others makes it even more amazing. It’s a universal language that connects us all, regardless of barriers.

Finally, you’re just having a helluva lot of fun, aren’t you?

Why yes! It’s been a mountain load of hard work though. I worked my fingers to the bone the last couple of years and realized I need to stop and smell the roses. So this year I have dedicated to having more fun in everything we do. I think part of having Franken-Party! is my need to throw down at an epic party, too!

If you miss Franken-Party in Atlanta, here are the preliminary dates for the Franken-Tour:

1/25 – Atlanta, GA – The Drunken Unicorn
2/7   – Knoxville, TN – Preservation Pub
2/8   – Birmingham, AL – The Nick
2/9   – New Orleans – TBA
2/10 – Houston, TX – Cactus Music In-Store
2/11 – San Antonio, TX – The Thirsty Camel
2/12 – Fort Worth, TX – Wherehouse
2/13 – Austin, TX – Parish Underground
2/14 – Houston, TX – Mango’s
2/15 – Baton Rouge – The Library (ex. North gate tav)
2/16 – Mobile, AL – Alabama Music Box
2/28 – Nashville, TN – 12th + Porter
3/1   – Cookeville, TN – Miracle Mountain Farms
3/7   – Carrollton, GA – The Alley Cat
3/23 – Asheville, NC – Boiler Room
3/24 – Charlotte, NC – The Saloon

More Dates TBA. Check the Sexual Side Effects’ Website  and like their Facebook page for updates.