The video for Lady Gaga’s intergalactic smash hit ‘Stupid Love’ showcases Mother Monster in a seemingly post-apocalyptic world, and in a nod to our own future, masked up. As the lead single off of her latest smash album Chromatica, Gaga led us down a futuristic dance floor rabbit hole, but one that we have not gotten to experience live and in color on an actual dance floor-at least in America. For the Little Monsters Down Under, dance floors are back and Chromatica is the soundtrack to them.
I caught up with Scott McCormick, one of Aussie’s biggest Gaga fans to discuss Australia’s return to normalcy (and nightclubs) and how the response Down Under to Covid compares with the USA response. He also exclusively shared with me what it was like for Gaga herself to retweet the sheer joy that the boys of Australia are having by finally being able to dance to Chromatica together on the dance floor.
Michael Cook: So let’s start with the important stuff; you guys in Melbourne watch RuPaul’s Drag Race UK in the bars; who are you loving to take the whole season? Are you ready for Drag Race Down Under?
Scott McCormick: Yeah, I’ve been absolutely loving Drag Race UK! The queens are all so talented it’s so fun to watch, honestly. It was hard last week because my two favourites were Cherry Valentine and Tayce, so to see them up against each other was a kick in the guts. So I could definitely see Tayce with the crown on her head. But I’d be so happy with any of them because they really are so good at what they do. It’s amazing.
Yeah Aussie Drag Race is going to be so good. I think the queens here provide so much entertainment and it’s going to be so great that the world can see how amazing our talent is here and how lovable they all are. And I know RuPaul’s husband is an Australian so I know he’ll be in good spirits the whole time!
MC: How long have you been able to party safely there? What has changed from your perspective in terms being out in a post-COVID world?
SM: We’ve been able to party for a while now actually. We had an outbreak a few weeks back and shut everything down, but our tracing is really up to par now so they were on top of it and now we’re back to Covid normal; it’s great actually. Melbourne was the epicenter for the second outbreak in Australia back in July so we went into a four month intense lockdown where we all had to work from home. You weren’t allowed to leave the house for more than an hour for exercise, you weren’t allowed to leave further than 5km from your home unless working, and you had to wear a mask at all times outside your house. It was seriously intense. So to get to be back in clubs, it’s just something we never thought at the time that we would get to do.
I’m pretty proud of Melbourne and how we all banded together to do what needed to be done; definitely feels like a great accomplishment. Being out now, compared to the ‘before’, you definitely are much more cautious with your surroundings. I think we all are. Even when I watch old tv shows and I see people hugging I get a little twitch. I think it’s more difficult obviously in a club, but we’re all definitely more conscientious than before.
MC:So you tweeted out that you all are living your best Chromatica lives in Melbourne. Tell me-what was the first night back in the bars and nightclubs when you could actually dance and hug your friends again?
SM: That first night back…Honestly? It was one of those events in your life that you just know you will remember. Everyone was just so happy; It was brilliant, it really was. Literally everyone was so bloody happy to be there, everyone was just shouting drinks all night haha! There were so many great pop albums released by the girls this year it was so upsetting that we couldn’t get out and dance to it, so the first time you hear Chromatica or Kylie Minogue’s Disco or Jessie Ware What’s Your Pleasure, let me tell you, it was like my homo level was on 1 (laughs)! I understand how hard that must be for everyone around the world to see people living their dream. I know in our intense lockdown that when I saw people doing things we weren’t allowed to do it was really difficult, so I feel for everyone. That being said, the memes that came from this, soooooo fucking funny, gays are so funny!
GOODBYE COVID HELLO DANCING🥳💕 happy for Australia! Praying for the rest of the world that we all can be dancing together soon 🙏 https://t.co/pxnBQrHg1e
— Lady Gaga (@ladygaga) January 26, 2021
MC: Lady Gaga herself retweeted you; absolutely amazing! What did it feel like? Did you or your social media explode first?
I know-Lady Gaga saw my video!!! It was honestly one of the most surreal moments. She’s just so important to me and a lot of people here, so it was pretty crazy to see her reach out and congratulate us. But then I realised that meant that she heard me butchering the bridge of ‘Replay’ in the video and I think I blacked out for a minute (laughs); it was crazy! I’m mutuals with a big Gaga blog on Twitter and they reblogged it and it caught the attention of a lot of other Gaga blogs and one of them finally caught her eye. It was probably for the best that she saw their tweet instead of my original one because I captioned it something stupid like “We did it Joe” and they actually explained what was going on (laughs)!
MC: What does Lady Gaga mean to you as a fan as well as a gay man? Are you ready to see her live again when the opportunity arises?
I don’t even know how to explain how much she means to me. For over a decade she’s provided a safe space through her music and her activism and her support of the LGBTQUIA+ community. She made a lot of us feel like we belong and our existence is valid. I know a lot of people owe a great deal of who they are to her so when she released Chromatica with so many bops, it was hard to not be able to go somewhere where you could celebrate that freely with like minded people. I think seeing us doing that in Australia is what’s been so hard for so many overseas.
OH MY GODDDDDD CHROMATICA II INTO 911!!! I LOVE AUSTRALIAAAAAA pic.twitter.com/6GOUyyBd7P
— Matt (@matterial_girl) January 25, 2021
I can’t wait to hear Chromatica at a tour level! I don’t know if you’ve ever been to a Gaga concert, but it’s an experience. It’s all just light and love and acceptance and joy, and that’s all because of her. She gives so much to us and she puts on so much of an experience. I can’t wait honestly. I hope we can all get back to some sort of normality, so we can experience that again.
MC: What is the perspective in Australia on the United States response to COVID? The past four years must have been like watching a movie happen on the other side of the world!
That’s a bit of a tough one. I think mainly we just feel a lot of sympathy for them. It’s crazy to me that so many people don’t just believe that Covid isn’t real, but they’re actively fighting against it? Yeah it’s a bit surreal sometimes. I have a lot of friends in the USA and I know that a lot of them are hurting. But it’s hard to weigh in properly because I’m not there. And you see Instagram accounts like GaysOverCovid who are calling out people doing the “wrong” thing and that brings up a whole divide in the community and I just wish they would stop blaming each other and direct that energy at their government to do better.
MC: Many of us have never experienced it; what is the LGBT community like Down Under?
SM: The LGBT community here I’m sure is like everywhere else. Although I think, because we grew up Australian, we all naturally are a lot more relaxed and chilled. Nights out are wild and the friendship groups are strong. It’s a small community, but I think we’re awesome. I know a lot of communities around the world have their issues and I’m sure we do, too, but I always believed I hit the jackpot being gay and being gay in Australia!
MC: How long was the actual lockdown there? And what do you think you have learned the most from the entire pandemic/lockdown experience?
SM: Our second lockdown was 112 days in a row of intense restrictions; It was brutal, it really was. I read somewhere it was the most intense lockdown anywhere in the world. I’m not sure the validity on that, but I definitely would believe it! It felt like it was never going to end. I know our State Premier copped a lot of flack for how long he kept us in lockdown, but look at us now, world!
What have I learned most? Probably that the things they tell you in life that matter really don’t. That you can find the extraordinary in the ordinary, in small things like being outside for more than an hour, seeing more than two friends at once and dancing in a nightclub.
Aand that Lady Gaga makes really good music to dance to in a club!