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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, September 10, 2010 - Volume 38 Issue 37
Arts & Entertainment
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Scissor Sisters' Del Marquis talks Tokyo shopping, tour details

by Albert Rodriguez - SGN A&E Writer

The smell of club floor sweat and meaningless sex - often a winning combination - are vividly captured on Scissor Sisters' newest full-length release, Night Work. The album is the third by this disco-pop troupe and collectively its most appetizing, a set of very danceable tracks with a promiscuous, dark alley vibe - exactly the sound lead singer Jake Shears was going for, drawing inspiration from Berlin's midnight bar crawls. These songs are now being road-tested on the band's North American tour, landing at The Showbox SoDo on September 15 - visit www.showboxonline.com for remaining tickets.

Del Marquis, guitarist and supporting vocalist for the Grammy-nominated quartet (downsized from a five-piece), was in Chicago when our phone lines tangoed last week. Scissor Sisters had just wrapped sound check and Marquis was headed to a dinner engagement with friends in the city. This is the second time in six years that Marquis has interviewed with Seattle Gay News, and while we don't give out golden stars to those who re-grace us with their presence, he certainly ranks high on our like list. Here's what Del Marquis of the fab and glammy Scissor Sisters had to say when he worked it out in "The Music Lounge."

Albert Rodriguez: It's been announced that Scissor Sisters are going to be touring with Lady GaGa.

Del Marquis: We don't know where that came from, because it's not something we're aware is happening.

Rodriguez: So you can't confirm that?

Marquis: No, I can't confirm that.

Rodriguez: Are you a Lady GaGa fan, though?

Marquis: I'm a fan of her chutzpah and her ambition. [Laughs.] There's a lot of things that she does better than anyone else out there, and I admire her work ethic.

Rodriguez: Do you remember when you and I were shopping for jeans at the Diesel store together?

Marquis: Yes, yes, I remember going into the Diesel store and maybe looking at sunglasses and jeans. I don't shop anymore; it's my rule on tour. I do not want to fill up my suitcase, and therefore I have a shopping moratorium.

Rodriguez: What if you see something that you really, really like?

Marquis: You only see it if you go shopping, and I don't go shopping. I save shopping for one country, one city only, and that's Tokyo. If you're a man with slight shoulders or a small to average build, it is the mecca of clothes. I have a 36-inch inseam and can never get suits or jackets or things that fit me right, I always have to have them taken in. Over there, I wear mediums and larges, and I buy up everything.

Rodriguez: You guys have a loyal fan base in the U.S., but you have a huge following in Europe and play big arenas there. How do explain this?

Marquis: We have great shows here in the States, our tour's been amazing here. The only difference is that dance music never fell out of favor overseas, at least not in Europe and the UK. If there is one thing particular that Lady GaGa has helped to maybe open up a few doors for us again, is that it's brought dance music back into the mainstream chart.

Rodriguez: Between the last album, Ta-dah, and the new one, Night Work, did you do anything on your own or take time off?

Marquis: I wrote and recorded four EPs. These are records that I co-produced and wrote and played most of the instruments. They're on iTunes only, under my name.

Rodriguez: How is the rest of the band doing?

Marquis: We're all doing well. We've never really gotten on this well before and everyone is in extremely good shape. We have a trainer on tour and he's watching what we eat, so we've been treating our bodies like athletes. We don't stop moving, there's a lot of energy on stage.

Rodriguez: Does this mean no Frappucinos on the tour?

Marquis: Oh God, no Frappucinos! I don't even do coffee anymore. I only do iced tea.

Rodriguez: What's been the reaction from live crowds to songs from Night Work?

Marquis: The first month and a half, the album wasn't out, and you'd see people listening intently, trying to follow along and by the second verse they'd want to start singing. Now that the album has been out, people know the whole verse and our shows are even tighter and the crowds have been great. We enjoy playing this record, and play almost every song off of it.

Rodriguez: I'm really loving "Sex and Violence."

Marquis: That's the only one we sometimes play and sometimes do not. I'll make a note to try and get that out for the Seattle show for you.

Rodriguez: Does the set list vary from city to city?

Marquis: We have a locked-in set for most of this leg of the U.S. tour. We may throw in "Sex and Violence," and there's a couple of B-sides that may pop up, but it stays pretty much solid.

Rodriguez: Do you have a favorite song from the new album to play live?

Marquis: I love playing "Skin Tight" and we all love doing "Invisible Light," which is towards the end of the set - it's a big climax with lasers and full production.

Rodriguez: Tell me about your outfits for this tour, because you guys like to wear shiny, shimmery, glittery stuff. What are you guys sporting on stage?

Marquis: We're more concerned about how our show is sounding, so the clothes have dialed down a bit. In the time we started, we've seen a lot more people using stylists and pushing their stage outfits to extremes, in ways we really can't afford to keep up with. But I still want something that's gonna make me feel really body conscious - that usually means it's tight - and it can't be something you would wear on the street. It has to elevate your regular personality to an almost superhero version of yourself.

Rodriguez: Do you guys hit the Gay clubs after the shows?

Marquis: We usually just set aside maybe three dates on the tour for after-parties, and I'd say those are the only times we go out and party. If you go out drinking every night, you'd never be able put on a great show night after night, so we pick and choose which cities we want to party in.

Rodriguez: Is there lots of porn on the tour bus?

Marquis: I'm sure everyone has their own personal porn collection on their computers, but it's not put on the main television.

Rodriguez: The road crew wouldn't appreciate that too much, probably.

Marquis: The road crew has their own bus, and I'm sure it's full of porn playing 24 hours a day. They're way randier than we are.

Rodriguez: Should fans bring any kind of accessories or items when they come to your show?

Marquis: Just wear light clothing, and expect to take it off at some point.

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