There’s an incredible freedom, particularly in the arts, when you have a compassion or understanding for both sexes. When you realize they’re not as narrow as we’ve been taught, there’s this central drive that’s really wonderful!
The audience for Juliette And The Licks is so diverse it’s insane. I’ll get roughneck dudes from, I guess, Natural Born Killers. As far as gay fans, they probably sense that in an alternate universe, I’m a gay man as well! I know I’m a petite female, but I love the idea of channeling through “male energy” onstage.
Now, this may sound kinky, but it’s not. It’s just true. I’ve always been super flexible for no reason at all. I did gymnastics for a millisecond, and people think I do yoga. I’ve gone to one yoga class. But I just feel like a superhero onstage, and I’m really in touch with that primal energy—male and female equal. I think rock-and-roll serves as an outlet for that kind of dynamic.
I’m into sexual sublimation, meaning I like to use this drive and motivation in my art, not for meaningless flings that cause me too much mental anguish.
Our music is really rock-and-roll and spirited. Nobody’s gonna come to a Licks show and be bored or go, “Well, that was all right.” I feel like I gotta move every single person in that room. I really believe in rock-and-roll as a healing force, or at the very least as something that releases you from the stresses of the day.
My parents were always really free-spirited, artistic, wonderful people. I grew up with a lot of humor. Needless to say, I didn’t grow up with a mom saying, “Look pretty, dear. Where’s your dress?” I was free to express myself in any way.
But because I went through so many phases growing up, I had identity issues—which made sense that I went into acting. I had a flair for drama! So when I was little, I went through my Pat Benatar and Blondie phase. And disco, too, like Donna Summer. I was very much attracted to the image of these women as much as the music.
Article continues below...
Then I got into my black phase, where I was a black girl for a while. This was 1985, so hip-hop wasn’t in the vernacular yet. I was obsessed with LL Cool J, Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam, and Stevie B. I was dating a black dancer at the time, so we would go to these clubs and he would have danceoffs. He was exceptional!
When we went into our ’60s phase together, I introduced him to Jimi Hendrix, and he grew an Afro, which was really radical for the late ’80s. I also went into jazz, as well, and old torch singers like LaVern Baker, Billie Holiday and Anita O’Day.
Now I’m back to the things I missed in the ’80s, like The Police and The Cure. I’m inspired deeply by David Lee Roth, believe it or not. For showmanship, that guy has got it!
Back to when I was younger, I got in a few fights. I didn’t win them all. There was one time when I was malicious and I felt awful about it. I was fighting with this girl, and I held her hands with all my strength so she couldn’t throw punches. I said, “Face it, you’ll never beat me!” I did some psychological warfare on her! I looked her right in the eyes. “Face it, you’ll never win!” That’s voodoo, and it’s evil.
Basically, I like inspiring people, and I understand what it’s like being an underdog, although I don’t think the gay community should be underdogs at this stage of the game. Just remember, you should fight the good fight and be understanding and compassionate of other people’s ignorance at times.
I’m not shy. I’ve lived a life. I’m still young, but I’ve lived through some things, so I try to be fearless. That’s why we’re going to succeed. I don’t care what anybody might say or who might try to stop me, because I really believe in our band.
You can order Juliette And The Licks’ EP,…Like A Bolt Of Lightning, at JulietteAndTheLicks.com. The full-length album is in stores this April.