How can you actually not like Alaska Thunderf**k? One of the biggest stars to come out of RuPaul's Drag Race (she won All Stars 2, duh), Alaska has taken the world by storm in many different entertainment facets.
One of those aspects happens to be music, where she's given us endless amounts of hits to savor, enjoy, laugh at, get turned on by and more. Now she's formed an amazing group called Alaska & Jeremy with her old friend named… wait for it… Jeremy.
After nine years of making music together, the duo are finally releasing their first musical effort called Amethyst Journey, which comes out this Friday. The first single from the album, "Aliens", will also be released on the same day. So what is this all about? Does it have any guest appearances? Do they plan on touring? And why does Alaska f***ing love beans so much?
They answer all of this and then some in our exclusive interview below. Take a look.
I'll get this out of the way: "HIEEEEEEEE." OK, let's get serious now. How did you two come together?
Alaska: Hieeee- I love that noise. We’ve been best friends for years and years and we’ve always been making music. We decided it was a natural progression to take it to the next level and put some music down on paper and record it in the studio.
Jeremy: We met in psychology class in the autumn of 2003. From there we spent time in classes at the University of Pittsburgh, became roommates in West Hollywood, and spent lots of nights listening to Fleetwood Mac and singing loudly. It’s a natural blossoming of our time together as chosen family and performers!
How would you describe your sound overall?
Alaska: We’ve always been informed by strong women. We love Dolly, Stevie, Whitney, Cher. We also have a Lilith Fair streak and we worship Joan Baez and Joni Mitchell and Tori Amos. So all these convergences of forces swirl around together and that’s us.
Jeremy: Eclectic and queer. I love folk, opera, rock, EDM, and pop, so those flavors are in our musical cauldron. But the voice parts aim for a Savage Garden / Simon & Garfunkel sweetness and power like Anne and Nancy Wilson at their witchiest.
You have a debut album coming out on Friday called Amethyst Journey. Tell us about that.
Alaska: We went into the woods with the intention of writing music. We let the woods speak to us. The river. And the crystals. And Amethyst Journey is the child born out of that experience.
Jeremy: Oh wow… it’s a moment of crystallization as performers and chosen family. We went into a lovely home in the Russian river valley to be with one another and nature—redwood tree families, the awakening spring streams fed by melting winter snow—to face subjects of personal and collective import. We confront issues such as savior and Armageddon complexes, ETs, fame, touring, isolation, ecofeminism, radical spiritual experiences… I wanted something really difference from the usual flavors of radio pop to give the ears a triple take and get us present as a global family.
I'm not too surprised that the title of your first single is called "Aliens." Why that and what is the song about?
Alaska: It’s really about humans. If there were aliens they probably wouldn’t want to get anywhere near us because our planet has a lot of growing up to do. So, it’s about all the fears and the hopes that come along with aliens, and that maybe it’s just us and no one out there is going to save us. It’s up to us to save one another.
Jeremy: I adore ET lore and legends. I dare to believe that I’m some sort of transhuman angelic ambassador of love, joy, and healing. So, I have a responsibility to bring that in my work. The song for me is about how we project saviors and dualistic good/evil complexes upon anyone outside of our safe personal zone. The “aliens” could be any outsider… so my intention is for people to reconsider ponder the Big Question raised by the social conscious music of folk legends like Jewel and Peter Paul and Mary—what do we do about confronting major life changing circumstances?
Which song on the album is your favorite and why?
Alaska: I have a strong attraction to “Son of a Mother.” It’s an angry, pissed off song that tells the men who have run our planet- remember where you came from. Men have done enough damage to the planet. Let’s let the feminine take over.
Jeremy: Arrrrg! Alaska knows my soul swims in the majesty of “So Far Gone”. It makes me cry. And it’s my love letter to my chosen sister about the pain and psychological-spiritual trials of touring and notoriety. I could listen to the last lines of the chorus on repeat… “And I can’t recall / how it feels to feel alright…” I miss my sister when she’s touring without me around to joke and play and bring levity to a hard life as a public persona and performer. It’s my healing gift to Alaska in song. And it’s the fiercest way I knew to go to the core of life in the public eye and the weight of collective thoughts and feelings on my sister… to help her through the long nights and weekends. I’m so happy we’re together more regularly now. And the harmonies… darling, the harmonies!!
Do you two plan on touring for the album later this year?
Alaska: We’d love to take it on tour early next year.
Jeremy: With all my heart, I do believe we are going to create a tour experience that gives the messages of the album their due. That’s what I trust and believe!
Alaska: thoughts on the most current season of Drag Race and All Stars? Are you happy with who won?
Alaska: I think it would have been amazing if Shangela had had a chance to lip sync for the crown. She dominated the season and has come so far. But I’m happy for Trixie (Mattel) and I think she’ll wear the crown with dignity and pride and do great things for the kingdom.
Anything funny or silly you would like to add to this interview?
Alaska: First of all, I love beans. I eat them all them all the time. That being said, buy our new album on iTunes.
Jeremy: Hah. I love how Alaska and I have somehow created a sisterhood of using laughter as a source. We say terrible but hilarious things about one another as a form of inverted love pokes. For me it’s like one of the laws of the Four Agreements, an amazing distillation of spiritual precepts, that we don’t take each other’s ups and downs personally. It’s a queer way of knowing what we’ve got is an amazing bond that goes beyond lifetimes. Also, I avoid beans cuz mama don’t keep Beano around and we love our burrito bowls. In a Golden Girls way, we balance each other— I’m mostly Rose Nylund becoming more Sophia, and she’s a lovely blend of grounded Dorothy and ideal and flamboyant Blanche. I love my silly sister with all my heart