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TheQueerist interviews Sabrina Chapadjiev

TheQueerist interviews Sabrina Chapadjiev

March 10, 2010

From Courtney Gillette of TheQueerist‘s interview with Live Through This editor Sabrina Chapadjiev:

Gillette: How was your tour?

Sabrina: A-mazing. Really. I thought I was an idiot booking a tour through the East Coast in February—which still was probably not the brightest idea, but I just got back and I’m still sort of in shock from the incredible response I received. I’ve played in a burlesque show only a few times before, and wasn’t sure how people at the Cheeky Monkey Sideshow or Dutch Oven Burlesque would like me. I mean, they’ve got people walking on glass and driving nails up their nose—or extremely sexy ladies taking off their clothes in hilarious sketches—so I was pretty nervous about holding my own. Luckily, I just put on some fishnets and a halter top and sang my dirtiest and bawdiest songs. After I came off stage, one of the burlesque ladies turned to me and said, “This is your home,” which made me feel great.

The lectures on the book also went incredibly well. It was a bit hard to make the switch from coming home at four in the morning, to getting on a train the next day, dusting the glitter off and immediately lecturing about women, art and self-destruction. It was a bit hard to switch hats like that, but talking on this subject is always good because the audience is almost always one that has a real vested and personal interest in the topic.

Gillette: … Is there a queer sensibility to your music/your performances? How would you describe it?

Sabrina: Well, all of the songs off the album are about exes, which have been women, so in that sense, yes, there is a queer sensibility there. Although it sort of surprised me that some people haven’t gotten that [my songs are queer]. I play with one particular band quite a bit—they open up for me and I open up for them. The main singer knows I’m queer, and finally he was like, “But you don’t say that in your songs.”

Now, there are songs where I straight up am talking about a woman— I mean, I couldn’t get more specific in “Idiom.” But then there are songs like “Little White House,” where I have the lyric:

A kid on the way
due sometime in May
we’ll dance in the kitchen while the radio plays
You’ll bring home the bacon
I’ll try a new recipe
In our little white house with a key

I was like, “Oh. . . I guess I could see why you were confused. . . but I was still talking about a girl there. I just like butch girls. And I like to cook.” He was like, “Oh.”

I was surprised he even had to ask. I spend so much time in the queer scene, but often forget that people are still confused by me. I have long hair. I have big boobs. Sometimes I wear a tie, and sometimes I assume a more gender neutral stance in my songs. But sometimes I write straight up femme-y songs. I just have all of these sides to me, and they all seem pretty natural to me. I know I’m supposed to make some grand public statement about all this, but the fact is, I just want to keep on singing, and I get my greatest strength from the queer community.

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