From The Desk Of Pansy Division: Roddy Bottum (Faith No More, Imperial Teen)


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 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?
I just played a show with Imperial Teen in SF last week. Will Schwartz, the other guy in the band, is like a brother to me. The whole band is very family. We get together and rehearse, but it’s really just a big therapy session going into the show. We spend as much time on us as people and our relationships with each other as we do on our performance. This band ethic influences most things I do artistically. I always try and put the personal spectrum up front.

Who was the first queer icon who made an impression on you?
There were real slim pickins out there when I started making music. Most people in rock were kind of in the closet and not available. I met Marc Almond and Bob Mould around the same time. They were like polar opposites. I remember telling Marc the effect of his show on me. I was describing it to him, and I was like, ‘Yeah, it was really intense and just got more and more focus, the energy got faster and stronger and just blew … ’ I unconsciously described an orgasm to him. He thought it was really funny.

What was the last song that you listened to on repeat?
I listened to “Work” by Rihanna a whole lot. I love that song. “Happiness Runs” by Donovan had a big chunk of time last week, too.