No band has waved the rainbow flag more proudly than Pansy Division. From its origins and involvement in early-’90s Bay Area punk to becoming de facto leaders of the “homocore” movement, Jon Ginoli, Chris Freeman and a rotating cast of straight and gay drummers (the band is now rounded out by drummer Luis Illades and guitarist Joel Reader) never shied away from graphic depictions of queer, bi and questioning dudes getting sweaty with each other and a variety of apparati. But as acceptance of queer culture and community has grown and the band’s members find themselves in their 40s and 50s, the topics on new album Quite Contrary have also progressed. Pansy Division will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our new feature on them.
Luis Illades picked up the pink emergency phone and checked in with his closest friends and icons that Pansy Division has met along the road to check in about their experiences with the queer past and present. As well as trying to get a tip on the newest jamz.
Who was the last queer artist you collaborated with and how has their experience influenced your attitude toward your work?
Not much of a collaborator, and I don’t check people’s tags, but I admire Marissa Paternoster from Screaming Females, have worked with her a bunch and keep her on the text equivalent of speed dial. I have copied her cadence appreciably as a vocalist, could never get close to her shredding on guitar.
Who was the first queer icon who made an impression on you?
Fred Schneider and Ricky Wilson. Can’t separate the two as the first exposure to the B-52’s was so influential.
What was the last song that you listened to on repeat?
“Great Light” by the band called E. Also highly recommend “Confetti” by Motherfucker