GayBiGayGay showstoppers DavO and Krylon Superstar – aka Double Duchess – just can't quit us
Since 2010, the DIY duo of Double Duchess have hopped, skipped, and jumped their way from San Francisco into the limelight and our hearts with quirk, a jerk, and a twerk. The in-demand duo of Krylon Superstar and David "DavO" Richardson are one of the hottest acts on the queer circuit. Their raw, bold beats and brazenly queer, sex-positive messages on their debut EP Hey Girl! and their current booty bangers "Bucket Betch" and "Deviant" have taken them from the bedroom, where they created their first song on a whim, to stages across the country. After taking their fierce, fashionable live show all over gay America and impressing queer Austin during South by Southwest, they bring their energetic act back to preform at Austin Pride.
Austin Chronicle: You two sort of met by accident, right?
Krylon Superstar: We found we have a lot in common as far as musical influences, boys, and our attitudes towards life, so one day we got together to mess around with some beats and something just clicked. David "DavO" Richardson: We were both fairly new to San Francisco. We met through a mutual friend. He was trying to start a band and he reached out to both of us. The music was okay, but I think because we were both the gays in the band – not that that matters – we started to be homies. I've always done production, and Krylon's always done vocals, so we just collaborated on a track one day which turned out to be "What's That All That," the first video we made. It just kind of happened.
AC: How long did recording that first track take? And how did it turn into Double Duchess?
DR: We recorded it in one day. It was fast. We just hung out with it and showed it to some friends. The reception was great, and we were having a lot of fun with it, so we came up with Double Duchess soon after.
AC: Before meeting, how did each of you get started in music and preforming?
KS: I started off in San Diego pretty young. I was going to a bunch of raves. A friend gave me an issue of a 'zine called My Comrade which described all the club kids in New York, and I just fell in love. I started seeing them on talk shows and everything. I went from goth kid to colorful disco queen. A friend of mine, Mylar from San Fran, moved down to San Diego, and we started a rap duo caller Mylar & Krylon. Mylar moved to New York and pushed me to move, too. Eventually I drove cross-country and made my way into their world. My first night out I went out to the Limelight. I immediately got rushed through the door by the bitchiest door guy ever. I got rushed into the VIP room, and apparently somebody roofied me. I wound up puking everywhere. Michael Alig saw me and offered me a job dancing because he thought it was a great performance art piece. So I was a dancing and performance artist in that world during the club kid heyday. I was doing a lot of runway and learned to vogue just by mimicking what I saw. I got so good at it that Willi Ninja offered me to join his house. I said no, if you can believe that. That was the biggest mistake of my life because the House of Ninja is legendary. I was experimenting all over New York. I took opera lessons and found that I loved singing as well. That took me to Berlin where I was in a band. We were more of a fashion band, performance art based.
DR: I started playing drums in my early teens after bothering my folks to get me some drums. I wound up being a percussionist, songwriter, and vocalist in a band called Jepetto back in my hometown of Annapolis. We got fairly big. We went on to play the Warped Tour and open for bands like Cypress Hill. That gave me a lot of experience in producing and DJing – a lot of the stuff that informs Double Duchess.
AC: You guys are really proud queers but was it always that way?
KS: My story is amazing, and I'm grateful. And I know it's not every queer boy's story. My aunt and uncle were really supportive. My aunt was a major force on me coming out to my family. When I was young, she and my uncle would do stuff like take kids to STD prevention classes. She sort of knew I was going to be gay and wanted me to be prepared. She kind of came out for me [laughs]. It turns out my whole family knew. My mom is very supportive. It was really easy coming out. Having my family accepting me like they did is really amazing and rare, unfortunately.
DR: I'm kind of a late bloomer. I didn't come out until I was out of high school. I was 19 or 20, and I was in a band that was doing well and touring. I was a little afraid to come out, because I felt there was a sort of spotlight on me. I came out to my close band mates and no one really cared, but it took me a while to really act on it and be open about it. It took a couple years. I was out, but I wasn't really going to gay bars or anything. My parents are okay with it. They saw that I was a lot happier and it's now basically a non-issue.
AC: What's Double Duchess' high point so far?
KS: I know for me, playing for a bunch of wonderful queer folk at GayBiGayGay at the end of South by Southwest was pretty big. Being on the same stage with Le1f and all the other amazing artists was great. Austin is one of my favorite cities now.
AC: Has your success with Double Duchess allowed you to quit your day jobs?
KS: That is the plan. Being able to travel and live off Double Duchess and expand and grow with the music and in the industry. But yes, we still have day jobs ... and night jobs!
AC: What's on the horizon when you get back home?
DR: We're currently recording our debut album which we just had a Kickstarter fundraiser for. We reached our goal, so right now we are recording with the goal of having it out in spring, 2014. We'll play shows here and there and release a single or two before the record drops.
AC: How is recording going? What is the vision for the album?
DR: We went down to Los Angeles recently to work with a friend who is helping us produce, engineer, and co-write a bit. We want to do a full-length record, because there are two types of sound we want to introduce to people. It's nothing out of left field, but we want to do more than high energy booty stuff. There is definitely that stuff on the record, but there are a few songs that go darker and slower. We want to make music our allies will love as much as our queer folk.
Double Duchess and Hi Fashion (see p.26) both perform at the Werk! Fashion Show at the AT&T Conference Center on Fri., Sept. 6 and on the Main Stage for Austin Pride during the festival at Fiesta Gardens, Sat., Sept. 7. www.austinpride.org.