The children are LIIIIIIIIVING, omgomgomg, for Adore Delano‘s new look, new sound, and brand spanking new music video.
Watch it below.
The season six standout spoke to Brandon Voss of Billboard magazine about the release of her new album, Whatever.
What sets Whatever apart from your first two albums?
I wanted to give more of the vibe of the s–t I liked as a kid, so I tapped into all the bands I listened to when I was younger, like L7 and Babes in Toyland. I’m super into chick bands.
You made headlines earlier this year when you filed a lawsuit against your management company for alleged mishandling of funds. Are you working with a new record label?
No, this is my first independent project. I flew out to Arizona and teamed up with my friend Nathan [Morrow], who produced the album, and we just rocked out with his band.
Did you feel like you couldn’t be your true self on your other albums?
I think I was in different headspace. It’s the same book, different chapter. In a year’s time, traveling the world and having so many experiences, I feel like I’ve grown five years. I’m like Catwoman — I’ve died, like, four times.
Your young fans have really responded to your electro-pop anthems. Do you worry whether or not they’ll get on board with your harder punk sound?
That’s the gamble, man. You never know what the kids are going to react to, but a lot of my fans like the same bands that I like, and they know my vibe. I created this music to go with my performance style, so I think they’ll be receptive. If not, they still have my old s–t. Whatever.
Hence the album title?
Exactly. People will take it or leave it. Yeah, it’s a different sound that won’t be easy for everybody to swallow, but that’s OK. RuPaul once told me, “They’re either going to like it or they’re not. That’s life. Get over it.”
Many Drag Race alums release parody and novelty songs. Does that make it harder to get people to take you seriously as an artist?
Yeah, and it also makes it harder for me to sell some of the hardcore Drag Race fans on my music. As I evolve as an artist, I get more serious about my craft, because I’m smoking more weed. [Laughs] No, but I do feel like I’m evolving as a serious writer, and I’m tapping into cool s–t that the kids need to hear right now. So, yeah, it’s hard when my competition goes the parody route, but, you know, there are a lot of colors in the rainbow.
Punk and drag make sense together. I’m surprised we don’t hear more of that sound from the queens.
I know, right? I’m completely baffled, because the idea of drag itself is punk rock, total rebellion, going against the grain. We need to bring that back.
A lot of anger comes through on the album. What personal issues influenced your songwriting?
This entire year has been a rollercoaster, from the political climate down to my legal battles that I shouldn’t talk about. There’s a lot going on that’s helping me grow up really quickly and see life from a completely different perspective. I’ve been reading, learning about what’s going on, and it makes me angry, man. I had to get some aggression out. But there’s some heartbreak and sex on the album too.
You also recently moved to Seattle. Has that influenced your sound?
I’ve always been inspired by Nirvana and that whole vibe, but yeah, just living here, walking down the street in the frickin’ rain, has been a big influence — especially for my song “27 Club.”
And what about “Whole 9 Yards,” which we’re premiering?
There’s a sexual double meaning there, like, I’ll take your whole nine yards and I’ll take you for everything that you are. We wanted a young, summer thing for the “Negative Nancy” video, but the “Whole 9 Yards” video is completely different — sexier, more grownup, more makeup.
You opened up this year about identifying as nonbinary. What has the response been like from your fans?
They’ve been really receptive and loving. We’re in this weird, cool sexual and gender revolution with people broadening their horizons and trying to figure out where they’re at. It’s a ’70s vibe right now that I’m in love with. I’ve been picking my mom’s brain, like, “How were the ’70s? Were the ’70s like this?” She’s like, “No, b—h.”
How has embracing your gender identity influenced your music?
I remember growing up with Mechanical Animals by Marilyn Manson, seeing that imagery and being like, “What the hell? He’s literally on MTV with tits!” That really influenced me, so I want to explore that whole idea that gender isn’t a real thing — that it’s just something they came up with to categorize and control people.
Do you see yourself ever releasing more music as Danny Noriega?
Yeah. I don’t even know where it starts and ends anymore — Adore is turning into Danny, Danny’s turning into Adore, and pretty soon I won’t know the difference. There’s some Pete Burns s–t about to happen next year.
You expressed some regrets last year after quitting RuPaul’s Drag Race: All-Stars 2. Would you consider returning for another All-Stars?
Like the next one? Hell no! In the future? Sure, probably, yeah. But I’ll give you the PC answer and say, “Right now I just want to focus on my music.”
Top pic via Billboard/Mitch Fong