We Want the Airwaves #16 We’re All Whores: An Interview with Miss Persia and Daddie$ Pla$tik (Part

2) Nia King: You work with kids, you have these straight day jobs, and then you‟re also talking about bleaching your asshole on the Internet. [laughter] So, like, how does that all work out? I think I kind of envy you guys for being so out there. Persia: Well, you have to, I mean at the MOMA one day, I just showed up in drag and I worked all day and they were like, “okay” and that led me to jobs, Actually, the MOMA hired me a few times. NK: To do drag? Persia: Yeah, I was Matisse‟s Woman With A Hat for Pride two years ago, and they loved my work, so they flew me to L.A. NK: Oh wow. Persia: And I was there for S.F. Travel. I took a trolley bus from S.F. to L.A. They made random stops and they were just advertising San Francisco. And so I got to ride on a trolley bus all day all over L.A. for two days from 6:00 in the morning to 6:00 in the afternoon in drag in, like, 100-degree weather. I was dying! [laughter]. But yeah, and then, so now that I‟m going to have a new job, my future boss was a drag king and so she‟s like, “Oh my God, I can‟t wait to tell the kids that you do drag!” and I‟m like, “Oh my God, I don‟t know I‟m scared!” [laughter]. So she‟s like, “Yeah, you‟re gonna have to do our fundraiser in drag” and I‟m like, “Okay?” [musical interlude] NK: Welcome to We Want the Airwaves, my name is Nia King. I don‟t know if you can here the helicopters flying above my house right now. There‟s a Trayvon Martin protest going on down by Lake Merritt, which is not too far from here, so that‟s what that‟s about. I really want the focus of this episode to be the artists, but I feel like I need to say something about everything that‟s going on. I haven‟t said much online because I‟m still kind of in shock. Y‟know… I think when you‟ve been involved in the struggle for racial justice for a little while you start to think that nothing can shock you and nothing can surprise you… stuff like this makes you realize that is not actually the case. That it is still possible to be dumbfounded by injustice, and… just the blatant miscarriage of justice. I though the American legal system was at least supposed to maintain some illusion of… something other than open season on black men. Clearly, that is not the case. That said, I hope you enjoy last week‟s interview with Daddie$ Pla$tik. I think that part two, which you‟re about to hear is even better and more inspiring. I hope that you‟ll find it as inspiring as I did and perhaps find some solace in this trying time. Take care out there, and enjoy the show.

NK: I think that‟s another interesting thing about being an artist is that you can be really famous and really broke. And it‟s not a contradiction at all. Vain Hein: It‟s totally weird. Persia: Oh, you‟re calling us famous! [laughter] I wish, girl, I wish! NK: But then, I mean, I guess the question is how do you capitalize on what you have? Or is capitalize a dirty word? Because it seems like feelings about money are not all positive. Tyler Hain: It‟s appropriate and dirty. Vain Hein: Yeah, it‟s very appropriate though. That‟s the world we live in, so that‟s how thing operate. San Cha: The country we live in. Tyler Holmes: Starving artists, literally. So at some point it‟s like, okay, we‟ll play that show. Can you feed us? Can you give us tips? Because we are actually starving. I think we‟ve gotten to the point where, we don‟t necessarily ask very much, but if we need to ask, we will. And I think that people are, I think they‟re a little more receptive or they‟re paying more attention to what is happening and they‟re offering those kind of things more because they appreciate what we do and they know that to get up there, we have to be alive. [laughter] NK: Yeah. Do you feel like there‟s sort of a stigma or do you feel like asking for money… Is anyone calling you a sellout if you‟re saying that you need to get payed? Persia: You‟re a sellout as soon as you say you want to be an artist or anything because you are literally prostituting yourself. So that word “sellout” to me, it‟s… Vain Hein: It would never hurt my feelings. San Cha: I feel like it‟s very subjective too. Like everybody has their own… Tyler Holmed: Definitions? San Cha: Just like what ugly is, what pretty is, is very subjective. But, selling out is very subjective as well. NK: Yeah. San Cha: It can mean different things to everybody.

NK: I‟m not trying to say that I think you guys are sellouts. [laughter] Just, some of the artists I‟ve talked to are like, “I‟m queer, I‟m brown, no one‟s going to give me anything that I don‟t demand, so I‟m gonna ask,” and other people feel really uncomfortable with money, really uncomfortable about asking for money, feel like art and money should be separate. San Cha: It feels uncomfortable asking for money. Tyler Holmes: Money is the problem though, not asking for help or food or any of those things. Money is the problem and it‟s the system that we live in and it‟s a big part of what I, personally, am trying to fight, because that‟s what creates all the problems. Not art. NK: They love art, but they don‟t want to pay for it. [laughter] Vain Hein: That‟s the problem though. I think art and music is important to the world. It‟s in response to what is happening, it‟s creating dialogue, and the fact that people don‟t want to fund is just sad. Tyler Holmes: People don‟t want to fund education either. Vain Hein: And as it continues, those artists become less and less able to do what they want to do to the level that they want, because they‟re working their asses off every day at a day job and being able to spend less and less time doing their art. Tyler Holmes: I‟m not going to give you my hard earned money to run around in a wig. Vain Hein: I feel like I‟m getting more to a point where I hate begging or asking, but I know that my shit don‟t stank, it smells good [laughter], and I want the whole world to smell it and I want people to pay for it. [laughter] NK: You said that, as an artist, you‟re literally prostituting yourself? Vain Hein: Yes. San Cha: We are prostituting ourselves. Vain Hein: We‟re all whores. When I said I was a whore earlier, I was kind of joking, but kind of not. NK: Okay, so I‟m curious, because I‟ve interviewed folks on the show who are using sex work to fund their art. And so, when you say you‟re literally prostituting yourself as an artist, I‟m curious what you mean by that. Persia: Well, we‟re trying to seduce you into tipping us more. When I host, I go to everyone and I‟m like, “Hi gorgeous, how are you? If you want to buy me a rum and diet, I wouldn‟t be opposed to that.” [laughter] It‟s like selling yourself. You have to. I was

talking to a man a few weeks ago and he was telling me how he put himself through college doing drag in Iowa because there, they pay you. They pay you for performance. You do a number, they pay you at least a hundred bucks just for a number. And they tip. You walk out of there with hundreds of dollars of tips. So, that‟s how he put himself through college. And then he was like, I moved to San Francisco and they were trying to tell me I was going to perform for exposure, and he did, and he didn‟t get a free drink! Or any tips! So in San Francisco, you have to, you have to seduce everyone. San Cha: Yeah, I mean, I literally take my clothes off on stage. [laughter] Tyler Holmes: Me too. NK: Yeah, but it doesn‟t seem like there‟s any coercion involved. [laughter] San Cha: No! Tyler Holmes: Well, there‟s positive sex work too. That doesn‟t mean I don‟t want to do it. NK: Yeah, for sure. It‟s just, when someone says they‟re prostituting themselves… sex work and prostituting yourself have different connotations. San Cha: Yeah, that‟s true. NK: I feel like prostituting yourself implies that there‟s some element that you‟re not comfortable with, that you don‟t really feel good about, that you can‟t be your whole self. Tyler Holmes: I think that‟s the thing that doesn‟t work for me. For me, sellout or any of those things would be someone telling me that I can‟t say something queer, that I can‟t make a feminist statement, that would be like “prostitution” for me. Getting slutty, taking my clothes off, shaking my ass, I‟m totally comfortable with that. San Cha: In your way though, in your way. It‟s not like, go over there, get waxed up, shave your everything, and… Tyler Holmes: I mean, if someone was offering tips, girl, I don‟t know. I don‟t know. San Cha: Yeah. [laughter] Tyler Holmes: I am hungry. San Cha: And I think that the more you start getting, I think the more your ideals change too. Tyler Holmes: That‟s true, yeah.

San Cha: And, I don‟t know, who knows what‟s going to happen? Tyler Holmes: That‟s how you end up dancing. San Cha: That‟s how you end up Britney Spears. Vain Hein: That’s How You End Up Beyoncé, a memoir by Vain Hein. [laughter] NK: Could you say a little more about that, because I‟m not sure what you mean. San Cha: About what? NK: About your ideals changing. San Cha: One day, my mentor, when I was a child… Tyler Homes: A child? San Cha: Like, 17. Was telling me about the music industry because I told him I wanted to be a singer, and he was like, “Well, if you‟re going to go into the music industry, you need to know about the business.” And one day he sat me down and told me, “Write all the things that you would never do, and write all the things that you want to do.” But, no, no. He just said make a list of things you would never do. A couple years later, we talked about that list and a bunch of the things on that list were already crossed out. Vain Hein: That you ended up doing? San Cha: That I ended up doing. At that time, I was very innocent and I was like, “I‟ll never take my clothes off.” [laughter] “I‟ll never sing without a band, I‟ll only be a real musician.” Tyler Holmes: Ew. San Cha: At that time I wanted to be a good musician. Tyler Holmes: Ew. San Cha: I think that as you grow older, or even as you learn more, the way you see things as black and white aren‟t so black and white. And things like nudity, that all had to do with being oppressed by religious and cultural elements that I grew up with, so for me to think that was very much my brainwashing. You know? And as you grow older you shed a lot of those things, so a lot of what… As you learn more, you get more open to it and you shed a lot of those things and that‟s what‟s happened to me, because I actually had to make a list and realized it myself. And now I‟m like, oh yeah, I would be willing to do that.

Tyler Holmes: We made one recently and it felt like it takes a long time to realize that. NK: You mention several times that feminism really informs your work, could you talk a little bit about how? Tyler Holmes: I think the basis for feminism being a part of my work is that I grew up with a single mother, in a single parent home, and people always ask, “Oh, when did you come out?” and I‟m just like, “Oh, people knew!” That was not a thing for me. Coming out was not a thing. So I feel like, being in a single-parent home and coming from a domestic violence background and being queer all very much made me appreciate strong women and female characters. And it very much made me understand and made me see firsthand that all that is feminine and all that is outside of gender boxes period is squashed or undervalued or disgraced or humiliated or destroyed or all of those things. So I think that being me and growing up in Marin and having the opportunity to see a lot more fluid gender things gave me a bit of an education on that and made me see that gender is really not a thing. Like your assigned physical, biological sex is more of a thing, and gender is really like what you‟re wearing today. And I feel like we‟ve been talking about this a lot because the term “drag” gets thrown around a lot. Especially us, we‟re not drag performers, Vain has done drag before and Persia has done drag before, but San Cha and I don‟t do drag and we‟ve been labeled drag performers. Drag phantasms because we put on makeup. San Cha: And not that we‟re not, but… Tyler Holmes: We don‟t lip sync, we don‟t… San Cha: You can‟t hire us to be a drag queen. Like to go over there and lip sync. Like what you think a drag queen is going to do. NK: I think people don‟t know what to make of you. [laughter] Vain Hein: It‟s great though. Tyler Holmes: So I think what I was thinking about this was that the term drag has become very confusing to me because no matter what I put on my body, in any sense, whether it‟s boy clothes or girl clothes, it all feels like drag to me. It‟s like boy drag or girl drag, there‟s nothing neutral. I feel neutral to begin with. And I feel like being restricted by religion and just other people‟s notions of what they‟re telling you to be based on what you are already has made it so the most important, or one of the most important things or messages that I can give to people, if I can ever pass on a message to anyone, is that who you are is fine and that we need to treat each other equally in all senses and especially regarding gender. Get the fuck out of my pants, treat me like a person. You know boy, girl, trans man, trans woman… San Cha: People ask me all the time if I have a dick, and I don‟t see why they‟d want to know… unless they‟re trying to sleep with me.

Vain Hein: I mean, they tell all of Facebook that you did have one today, that‟s different. Persia: You tell them too! But who cares? San Cha: It‟s funny when people feel like it‟s an important question to ask me, especially when they don‟t know me. I‟ve gotten messages about it. For people to really be that… concerned? Would that be the right word? Vain Hein: Curious. San Cha: Curious or… Tyler Holmes: Interested. Intrigued. San Cha: For it to be that important that they have to ask me is very funny. It‟s just like, why does it matter? Are you going to treat me differently if I say yes or no? Like, what is it, you know? NK: Yeah. Can we talk about art school? Vain Hein: Oh God. [laughter] NK: Did you go to art school too? Tyler Holmes: I went to a half art high school. NK: Okay. I dropped out of art school after one semester, because it was hecka racist. Vain Hein: Yeah. NK: And I‟m really interested to hear about your experience. Vain Hein: Well, yeah. I don‟t know if it‟s important if I tell you what led up to that, of me getting there. I don‟t know. NK: It‟s up to you. Vain Hein: Well, as we were talking about earlier, we all grew up in sort of dogmatic, religious, oppressive backgrounds. My dad was born-again Christian when I was four or five, and so I was still at a fresh little young age where all of the things that were fed to me I took in and believed very deeply. But, as I got older and hit puberty… I mean, it was always very obvious that I was queer even though I didn‟t have the language to talk about it and some of my family members didn‟t even want to address it, a lot of them knew. Cause, you know, it‟s obvious! But there was no dialogue about that in my family.

Especially from my father, he didn‟t want to address it. He told my mom he didn‟t want to address it because he thought that if he spoke it, it would become reality. But anyways, once I started hitting puberty and feeling sexual things, it became very clear to me. All of a sudden, everything else changed. All of a sudden, the things that were being told to me didn‟t make sense and they felt wrong. It didn‟t feel genuine. I felt lost, I was scared. I tried to get deeper into religion to suppress it, but it just felt worse and worse. And my mom - my mom and my dad were separated since I was very young my mom saw that I was miserable and she decided to let me live with her for the final couple years of high school and enrolled me in this charter art school. I think she knew that I was creative, but I didn‟t really know it. But she knew. Moms know best! So she just enrolled me and I was just like some sort of phoenix. It actually happened in Phoenix, Arizona [laughter]. I was born there, but lived with my father in Washington, but went back to Phoenix for this high school. And just sort of like this phoenix from the ashes, I exploded with all this creative, queer craziness. Art really allowed me to do that, so I was like, this is what I want to do. NK: Do you think that she sent you to art school so that you could be gay? Vain Hein: No, no. [laughter] No, she knew that I… My whole mother‟s side of the family is musical and artistic, but I didn‟t get to experience much of that because I lived with my father my whole life. But it was always in me and she knew that I needed some way of being able to express it. I knew that art, something artistic, is what I wanted to do with my life, but still being naïve and not having any dialogue about the possibilities of that, where I thought that I needed to go to college to explore that and be able to get a job in it because that‟s what people tell you that you need to do. NK: Yeah. Vain Hein: So there were a bunch of colleges that came during my senior year of high school. You know, “Come to our school! Come to our school! This is what you can do!” Persia: It costs $30,000. Vain Hein: Yeah, but they don‟t tell you that. [laughter] I was broke, but I still decided that that‟s what I wanted to do and my mom was into it. She knew I was going to be in debt, but whatever. I got there and it took me a while to get a hold of what was actually happening. I realized that I was there strictly because they wanted my money and that they could care less about me as a person or as an artist. There was not education on how to receive money as an artist. No classes on how to write grants, how to write a proposal. They just wanted my money and then on top of that I was realizing that the institution of art was very bigoted and geared towards white male domination. And it made me so

uncomfortable, but I felt like I had to finish it. I had set myself a goal and I felt like I had to complete it. I left feeling like I learned a lot about myself over a really small period of time that I‟m not sure I would have been able to do elsewhere, but I also learned what I didn‟t want in my life and seeked other things elsewhere and came across these lovely folks a year later. But, in a nutshell, I just felt like it was very racist, and sexist, and all of those –isms, and all that bullshit. San Cha: It‟s like, my dad would always tell me, “Why are you making music? You‟re not the daughter of a rich man,” and that‟s because of institutions like that. Vain Hein: I mean I was going to school with a bunch of kids who… San Cha: Trust fund kids. Vain Hein: Trust fund kids who were there because they thought it would be an easy A and I was there because it was what I really wanted to do. But their visions, their grander visions that they wanted to do, became a reality because they had money to do it while I was literally making things out of nothing. Which I think is awesome and it was great and I loved doing that, but things were picking up for other people that weren‟t happening for me because they had the means to do it and I didn‟t. Persia: That‟s why I left SFAI. Vain Hein: This one went there too. For a year? Persia: Yeah, for a year. I did a post-bacc in photography there, the same school, and I hated it. I didn‟t know about the financial woes of the school until I got there and I was already in debt. I lasted a year. The facilities were horrible. Before moving here, I had moved back home to L.A. and was going to East L.A. College where I was taking photo classes and everything was brand new. And this is East L.A. College! And then I come here and I‟m paying forty grand a year and the facilities wereVain Hein: Busted. Persia: Busted. Like, I didn‟t even know how to operate those things. And so, like Vain, I said I‟m going to do the one year, finish this, and see where I go from there. I will say I did meet some of the best teachers ever. Vain Hein: Oh yeah. Persia: What they lacked in facilities, and resources, and the horrible students, they make up with really great teachers. Vain Hein: Yeah, I met some really great mentors.

Persia: Yeah, it was really life changing for me and I got to go to Ireland because of SFAI, so I can‟t totally hate on it, but I did feel tricked. Vain Hein: I felt totally fooled. Persia: So then the teachers were trying to get me to continue with a Master‟s and I was like, hell no! [laughter] I was like, “You want me to be more in debt and not have a job after?” And because loans, student loans, those don‟t go away. So I‟m like, “No, I can‟t, I can‟t.” Vain Hein: Yeah, I would say that the best thing that I got out of it was learning about art history, or certain aspects of it, like performance art. Feeling, realizing, that there were these people that were getting known for doing these things and saying these things that I‟ve always felt my whole life, but never understood why, or if the feeling I had was valid, feeling like I was wrong the whole time. But there were people that were looked up to and adored for making these really bold statements about body and gender. All of my favorite art was performance art, like Marina Abramovic, Paul McCarthy, Leigh Bowery, all of those. So that‟s what I got out of it that I wouldn‟t have been able to get on my own. A validity in myself, and what I do, and my points of view, and a feeling of confidence to be able to go out in the world and say those things. Even though I knew, because when you are that kind of person, there is going to be a backlash. Knowing that I was accepting that because I didn‟t want to be anything else and not say those things. So, I did learn a lot about myself in it. But, at the end of the day, I was gypped thousands of dollars. And now I‟m busted and broke and in debt. [laughter] NK: You started to talk about going to school for music? San Cha: Yeah, it was a four year university that… I mean… When I was in high school, I did this program called Puente. It‟s an English class, but you have the same teacher for three years. You get put in an A.P. class as a junior and as a senior. They‟re really gearing you towards a four-year college. And as soon as I joined that program, by my freshman year, for some reason I knew I didn‟t want to go to college, but because of that program, they were like, “private universities are what‟s going to give you more money and four-year college is what you need to get to.” And so, that‟s what I thought. I was going into college, I went to St. Mary‟s College in Moraga, and I was going into it being like, “I‟m going be an International Business major!” And the first lecture I went in to do there, they gave us a lecture for freshmen or something, somebody said that Bachelor‟s degrees aren‟t even counting that much any more, so do what you love. I went straight out of there and I signed up for all the music classes. They had a tiny, tiny music major population, there were only four or five of us in our class, but it was incorporated into a performing arts major, so I was a performing arts major with an emphasis in music. I was also totally in debt from two years there. After

two years, I knew that I didn‟t belong there. It was a private school and there were a lot of really privileged kids. I was always broke, I didn‟t have money to eat out. Of course my friends would help me out, but after two year I couldn‟t do it any more and I transferred over to SF State where I had to retake all the music classes I had already taken and all the theory I had slaved over, it was so stressful. After a year at SF State, I dropped out of there and took music on my own. NK: And you also went to art high school? Tyler Holmes: I went to a school called Marin School of the Arts. Basically, the first half of the day would be “regular school” - regular school in quotation marks - and two periods of art. Over the course of the four years, my dream was to become a visual artist and installationist. I took painting and I learned to stretch my own canvasses and did things that seemed very expensive and very white to me. I had never… I got in based on the merit of my artwork, I turned in a portfolio, and I didn‟t learn until later that most people payed for it and somehow got in. NK: Like they didn‟t have to submit a portfolio? Tyler Holmes: No, no, no. People still submitted portfolios, but then their parents payed for it and I never payed a cent. A couple years into the program I was complaining about something, about not being able to do something creative, and they were like, “You didn‟t even pay to be in this program! Shut up! Everybody else payed $600 to be in this program!” and I was like gasp! [laughter] It was very interesting because Vain and I feel like we had inverted experiences in the art high school department because I very much learned classical painting, learned how to use traditional colors and stretch my own canvass and all that stuff and I took creative writing, but every time I wanted to think outside of the box, it was very much restricted. I remember we did our self-portrait, and mine looked like me, it was getting pretty nice, but I was bored just painting my face because I don‟t like painting, I hate it, and I‟d taken it for years. Half way through, by the time it looked like me, I made myself into a zombie because I was bored and didn‟t want to try to as realistically as possible get the colors on my face. At the end of the year, I was like where did my zombie painting go? And they were like, “Oh, we painted over it.” I had a pretty harsh experience in that way because I very much wanted to think outside the box and do conceptual art. NK: I‟m sorry, I‟m still kind of in shock. They took your painting and painted over it? Tyler Holmes: Gesso-ed right over it. It was a blank canvas. Persia: That‟s crazy! Tyler Hain: That sucked, I really did like that. I had a lot of experiences like that because I wasn‟t… The kids I was in school with had been taking art classes and had been drawing and doing all that stuff for a long time in a very classical sense where they had

lessons or they had instructors. I had been drawing since birth, writing lyrics, and doing all sorts of creative things, but I had never painted before in my life in that way. So that experience for me, I just wanted to be involved in something artistic and I didn‟t think that I could do music because I didn‟t know music and I thought that that was something for other people. In this whole time I was dabbling in music, but I felt very removed from it and very self-conscious about it, so I focused on the visual art. Toward the end, I started to find a vein that worked for me, I did a lot of stencil work, a lot of big graffiti, and a lot of pop art because I like representational imagery, I like what we do in pop art in the Andy Warhol sense, showing society or people what they are doing and offering conversation about that. Like this is what‟s happening, like with Google Apps. It is being gentrified, people want to be white. We don‟t want to be white, that‟s not a true statement for us, but… San Cha: I feel like, growing up in a mostly Latino, and Filipino, and Vietnamese community, a lot of people did want to be white. Tyler Holmes: Yeah, because white people have money and can afford to live their lives. Vain Holmes: People wear contacts to make their eyes blue. San Cha: People bragging about being lighter and all this stuff. Or they talk shit about people who are darker. It happens with our own communities. Like, Persia? Persia: I‟m the darkest in my family, so I was always called the dark one, el prieto, but in a put-down way. I mean, it never really affected me because I didn‟t care, but I knew other folks, other family member who did. I mean, I am dark, but I‟m not that dark, but between my sisters and my parents, I‟m the darkest. I have other darker relatives too, and they got a lot of shit for it. I was able to cope with it, but not everyone is able to cope with it. I know that, even now, my sister stays out of the sun purposefully because she‟s the lightest of all three of us and that‟s one of the things she prides herself with. She‟s like, “oh, I‟m the lightest of you all.” and I‟m like, “I don‟t care!” people pay to be tan like me, so get some sense. San Cha: This obsession with Louis Vuitton or Coach, I grew up in East side San Jose, so it‟s kind of middle class going into cholo neighborhoods, so you see people that save their money up just to buy a Coach purse so they can look like white people. Save money up to buy a Louis Vuitton purse because it‟s a staple. It‟s a real thing that people want to be white. Tyler Holmes: People that have eye surgery to make their eyes look more Western. Vain Hein: They see how white people are treated and have been treated over history and want a slice of the pie. I can‟t blame them, you know?

Tyler Holmes: Every cannon of beauty is oppressive and we threw globalization through the spread of American culture as the culture. Through things like Hollywood, that teach you that to be happy, you need to be a thin, white, blonde, woman, who attracts a wealthy San Cha: A Paris Hilton Tyler Holmes: A Paris Hilton, who attracts a wealthy man who basically pays you for sex and demands it because women aren‟t supposed to like sex. San Cha: And buys you with a diamond ring. Tyler Homes: Exactly. That purchases you with a diamond ring. Persia: I need a diamond ring! [laughter] Tyler Holmes: I would be pawning that shit tomorrow! [laughter] San Cha: Yes I will marry you! Yes I love you! [laughter] Persia: My boyfriend‟s two for one. [laughter] Tyler Holmes: I think that, going back to religion, that was a thing I always dealt with, with my father being very religious and saying, “You need to do this! And you need to do that!” and as the terrible person he was, I„d always be like, “how are you telling me how to live my life when you do terrible things?” Vain Hein: There‟s a biblical verse that‟s like, before you can take the speck out of your brother‟s eye, take the log out of yours. Tyler Holmes: He who casts the first stone… Vain Hein: I wish that I could remember. I wish that I could tell you which book that came from. [laughter] Tyler Holmes: John III! Vain Hein: But the fact that I know that, alone, is ridiculous. San Cha: Well, we all grew up on it. I was singing in the church choir since I was twelve. I was playing an instrument since I was ten. So that all developed into this whole goth, San Cha, whatever the fuck it is, kind of shit. But all of that imagery, I mean, I was up there in mini skirts singing with the choir, and all of my aunts would be telling my mom, “You let her go up there like that?” and she‟d be like, “Why are you looking at her? You should be praying.” [laughter]

Tyler Holmes: That‟s sort of the idea, but praying is not what I‟d like to tell people to do. It‟d be like, be critical of the things that are around you and we spend so much time… That‟s what they want you to do, they in quotation marks, they want us to fight each other over bullshit. Fight each other over “you‟re queer, you‟re different than me; you‟re brown, you‟re different than me,” whereas we don‟t notice the actual problems and the institutions fuck us to death. NK: Yeah. Tyler Holmes: Constantly. All of us. In every way. NK: So, is the religious background, is that part of why you guys are so explicitly sexual and kind of obscene? San Cha: Not the only reason, butVain Hein: A large part of it. San Cha: I mean, my brothers and sisters aren‟t the same way. Vain Hein: No. [laughter] San Cha: And they went through the entire same thing, but we, for some reason, grew up with a different urge. I don‟t know why. Vain Hein: Well, I mean, we‟re all different people, but I happen to be the one in my family where something snapped [laughter] San Cha: My neck. Tyler Holmes: My butthole. Vain Hein: I'd say it was a large part being oppressed, feeling like I wasn‟t allowed to feel the things I felt. Being attracted to men, oh my God! It does make it more extreme, almost, because I‟m pushing against it. NK: Yeah. Tyler Holmes: And body image is a big part of it for me. I‟ve been a bigger person and a smaller person for me it‟s about wanting to push positive sexuality and body acceptance and all those things. I‟ve always felt that there‟s nothing wrong with sex and there‟s nothing wrong with our bodies and that the way they‟re hidden and restricted is ridiculous. So I think that it comes out of me naturally, just being free in that way. I think that people take it so extremely because you‟re supposed to be covered up or whatever. And to us, it‟s not a big deal. We‟re not, I don‟t know, we‟re not actually having sex on stage, and even if we were…

Vain Hein: We‟ve discussed that as being the next step, actually. [laughter] I mean, in one of my upcoming music videos, I‟m being penetrated by a humongous lit-up dildo. Tyler Holmes: In my next music video, we‟re all going to barf. Vain Hein: I mean, it‟s not like an illusion, it‟s actually going to be happening. The thing is, I‟m willing to subject my body to those things because in a way, it‟s just a representation of the way that I feel like I‟m being fucked by society. Tyler Holes: Yeah, be literal. Vain Hein: It needs to be literal a lot of times, because people won‟t get it otherwise. San Cha: A funny thing I would think of at church, I‟d be like, being silent and being still and stuff, and when everyone was sitting down, because you have to turn and listen to the priest and I would always think, what would happen if I just threw myself on the ground and started screaming? [laughter] I thought of that so many times. Persia: And now you do it all the time! [laughter] Everywhere we go! Scaring the tourists and shit. San Cha: What‟s stopping me from doing that? What‟s actually stopping me from doing that? Nothing. Just me trying to be respectful of what? And at that time I was already questioning religion and everything that people were telling me. Vain Hein: It‟s funny that that was your moment, because I remember my “aha”, my literal “aha” moment was when there was a guest preacher, he was on tour [laughter] and he had gotten everyone in the church into hysteric holy laughter on their backs rolling around like [laughter] and I was trying to do it, and then I realized, oh I‟m trying to do this, it‟s not really happening and all these people are just bullshit. [laughter] And everyone was so involved in that bullshit, rolling around on the floor, looking like a dumbass, that I got up, I was like a young person, and left, and nobody even noticed. And I just walked around. I walked into the woods as far as I could go and back until church was over. And nobody even realized I had left until later. I just thought it was the most insane, scary thing I had ever seen. Me realizing for the first time that all of those people lying on the ground were completely brainwashed. Because I was faking it too. I swear, I saw a woman like [high pitched laughter and panting] [laughter] Like, ugh. Tyler Holmes: Oh my God. Vain Hein: I know! San Cha: I want to go there! Vain Hein: You would have been right at home there!

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