You said that your first reaction to the shooting at Pulse in Orlando was deep sadness. Where did your mind go next? Did you feel like you needed to take some kind of action, or to write something?
I know where Pulse nightclub is; I know that area. We play shows there all the time. I grew up going to that area. So it touches you in a different way when you can relate to that. Even with the Bataclan [shooting in Paris], I’ve played the Bataclan, so I can picture myself there, trying to think what would happen if I was there. It’s insane, but that’s naturally what you start to do.
My immediate reaction [to Orlando] is not wanting to write about it – no. It’s more like I fucking hate people; I hate humanity, I don’t know what’s wrong with the world. It’s more that kind of disgust with what’s happening in this day and age.
“My immediate reaction [to Orlando] is not wanting to write about it – no. It’s more like I fucking hate people.”
Through your Web series and your column, you’ve hosted discussions about the everyday violence that happens to transgender people. Does the public conversation about this mass shooting also need to include discussions of the violence trans men and women face regularly?
It’s hard to relate the two because [Pulse] was a queer nightclub but it’s not like the transgender people were specifically targeted in what happened. But I do think it’s important to talk about the everyday violence that happens against transgender people. That’s what talking about HB2 is really about. It’s like laws like that, people’s mentalities like that, that are thinly masked transphobia and that equates to violence.
Last week you tweeted that you wrapped your new album. Can you tell us the name?
We’re still arguing that out [laughs], but it’s coming out in the fall.
What are the major themes of this new record?
They’re love songs. I’m feeling like I’m in a place where I can write about things that I’ve never been able to write about before. It’s a fairly cliché topic but it’s also always relevant. Being able to write about love through a trans lens is something that’s not really represented when it comes to love songs.
What song on the album stands out to you right now?
A song called “Suicide Bomber.” I was thinking about the crazy shit that’s happening in the world today and about the people who are on the periphery of that – like someone’s parents. It’s the idea of, as a parent myself, how does your love relate to your kid if your kid grows up to do something so fucking horrific like a shooting or a bombing? How does the love of a parent then change based on that? How does the idea that you as a couple created something that went on to create such havoc or such terror or chaos? How do you wrestle with those feelings? I wrote that song shortly after the Bataclan incident, thinking about, how do the parents feel? It wasn’t their fault. Do they no longer love their kid?