Features

Gay People Like to Party

And the Lesbians on Ecstasy Wanna Make You Sweat

Think of it as a history lesson of lezzie hits: The Tracy Chapman song that made you realize you were a queer, the Team Dresch riff that gave your late-teen anger a pumping fist, or even the k.d. lang radio jam that made your elevator ride so much more comfy. It's all there.

But twisted. Darker; not sampled exactly, but duly "interpreted," taking each song's theme and lyrics and hitting it with a prickly electro-punk, bass-ridden techno vibe that lets you know exactly why they can tour in Germany. It's the kind of music dark corners of bars were made for.

Meet The Lesbians on Ecstasy, a Montreal-based lesbian dance party in a can. Front-monkey Fruity Frankie (Montreal DJ Lynne T) doesn't give a damn if you're dancing; she's dancing ... her ass off to the laptop noodlings, keyboard lines, and sampled dyke classics laid down by the electronic mastermind behind the whole outfit, Bernie Bankrupt, whose foundations for genius would be nothing without the charged, invigorated thumpings of Veronique Mystique on bass and Jackie the Jackhammer on electronic drums and kit.

They wear leather chaps. They carry whips. They say "aboot." And they want you to get sweaty.

AC: So where are you right now?

Lesbians on Ecstasy (Bernie Bankrupt): Talking on a cell phone, somewhere in the mist, in a van.

AC: Cool. When do you descend upon Austin?

LOE: Late Tuesday, early Wednesday. It all depends upon how much driving we get done. We're about [as only a Canadian can say it] 15 minutes from the border.

AC: Aboot. Yeah. Fantastic. Okay. So we want to know if there are any songs when they were changed to "The Lesbians on Ecstasy" genre especial, you just knew that was how they should be?

LOE: With the Indigo Girls song, ("Closer to Dark," a remake of "Prince of Darkness") we sang it over and over until we found the right genre. We knew it had to be drum and bass; we knew we had it. And we went with it. It felt right.

AC: So you're coming to Austin, with its fair share of guitar-toting Indigo-Girls-for Life-tattooed-on-their-forehead kind of lesbians – what do you think they'll think of your spin on their classics?

LOE: (Laughing) Oh my god, are they gonna hate us?

AC: Hope not!

LOE: We're just hoping that people who really like these artists can just hop on for the ride. Once we played a show in Denmark and met this guy who told us that his best friend refused to come to the show because we were totally desecrating her favorite Indigo Girls' song. She refused to even come in. Think about that; it does really happen. Maybe some people just take it too seriously.

AC: How do you pick which songs you're going to play with?

LOE: Well, it depends. Some of the songs we love. And some of the songs we love to hate. A lot of it is what was around us, stuff we either knew really well because it was played on the radio all the time, or some of the stuff like Tribe8 and Team Dresch was stuff that I really liked when I was coming out of the closet. It was really important to me, and it's music that I listened to over and over and over again, so I was excited to play with it.

AC: What is SXSW about for you cats? Have you been to Austin, Texas before?

LOE: No, we've never been to Texas. This will be our first Texas experience. Don't Mess with Texas. The SXSW thing just kinda came up; we just got the opportunity to go, and we decided we've never done anything like this, kind of like industry-oriented before. And we're not all young and starry-eyed about it; it's not our big break or anything. For us, what we really like is to meet other bands that we would want to play with and to meet other bands that are doing stuff that is awesome. I feel like the only real networking that has given us opportunities is always with our peers. And there are also great people out there running small labels, doing things that are associated with the industry but aren't necessarily capitalized industry. I mean, I don't know what SXSW is like; that's just what I've heard from people. Just a lot of industry.

AC: It is a lot of industry. But ... it still can be fun.

LOE: Yeah, it is fun just to hang out, and there's also that it's March in Montreal, and it's just quite dismal here, so we're looking forward to being in nice weather and drinking some cold beers.

AC: Totally, man. It was 80 degrees here today.

LOE: Oh my god. I love it.

AC: Eighty degrees and beautiful and sunny.

LOE: We have this little temperature-what-do you-call-it thing in our van, and it shows us the temperature outside, so we're really excited to watch it get warmer and warmer.

AC: Hell yeah. So are you guys going to do the full leather in 80 degrees?

LOE: I don't know. That's sort of like our standard outfit, but we also like to sorta play around with it, too. When it's really hot, sometimes we don't go full on. We'll see.

AC: So you guys are really doing a whole side scoop of queer showcases to round out the weekend?

LOE: Yeah, I know, right. It wasn't like we were like, "Let's just go there and just be as gay as possible." We are just sooooo gay. No, it was just people that we knew. Our drummer Jackie knew someone in the Tunahelpers, and we knew the Assacre kid, so it was stuff that just came together. So we're really excited to play and play and play. There are just so many showcases; you take a look, and it's just like, "Wow, there are a lot of gay people here! Let's do it."

AC: Well, we do have a big population of gay kids for Texas.

LOE: Yeah, and gay people love to party. We just want to party with the gay people in Texas. Get sweaty with some Texas girls.

AC: Well, right on. Have a safe trip. And we'll buy you a beer when you get in town.

  • Gay Place

    The Gay Place gets all extended re-mix for SXSW, with interviews, chats, pics, blog entries, and more.
  • Hey Willpower! Can I Get a 'Hell Yeah!'?

    Imperial Teen’s Will Schwartz goes solo, Top 40, and asks, “Why the Hell Not?” with his new thing, hey willpower!

    Transformations

    A Conversation with the three directors of the SXSW premiere Cruel & Unusual
  • Hey Sailor! You Here for a Conference?

    The Gay Place polls Austin’s GLBTeratti, who welcomes you with open arms and tells you what’s hot about our town

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 36 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
SXSW Looks Queer in 2019
SXSW Looks Queer in 2019
Latest round of speakers include Laura Jane Grace and Lance Bass

Sarah Marloff, Nov. 27, 2018

SXSW Gets Virtual
SXSW Gets Virtual
VR film pioneer Jessica Brillhart announced as 2019 keynote

Richard Whittaker, Nov. 27, 2018

More by Kate Getty
So You Think You Can Hate?
So You Think You Can Hate?
Homophobia shown over same-sex dancing couple on awful show.

May 26, 2009

Shameless 'Shame on You' Plug
Shameless 'Shame on You' Plug
It's coming soon. June 8 is the release date.

May 19, 2009

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

SXSW, Gay Austin, gay Place, Kate Getty, Kate X Messer, lezzie, electro-punk, Lesbians on Ecstasy, Canadian, Canada, dance music, Austin Pride

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle