Alejandro Morales: Hi! So where are you now?
Ana Matronic: Washington, DC. We’re wrapping up the last part of our US tour. We started in vegas, went through the west coast, made our way across up into Canada — Toronto and Montreal and over to new york.
AM: Have you gotten better at touring as the band has progressed?
AM: We toured at least twice for every album, so we’ve probably been on eight or nine. We’re very good at it now. It’s a regimented military operation; rolling in a few hours before, setting up hairpieces and makeup and then executing it. We’ve gotten pretty good at touring. We look back and laugh at how green we were and how long it took to get used to playing to the people in the kinds of spaces we were in.
AM: How do you blow off steam between shows?
AM: We’re all big readers. Because our stage show is so energetic and high intensity we tend to be kind of mellow off stage. Lots of reading watching movies. We’re surprisingly normal. We like to save our energy for the shows. There will be times that we have a night on the town but for the most part it’s just getting back to the hotel and getting into a good book.
AM: Is there anything in particular you’re reading now?
I’ve been working on a comic book and doing a lot of research for it. My main character is mathematician, so right now I’m reading “Meaning and Philosophy of Numbers” [by Leonard Bosman]. And, just today I picked up a book for our sound guy; it’s a copy of “The Unbearable Lightness of Being.” It’s one of my favorites.
AM: Was the songwriting process for The Magic Hour similar to the way you’ve worked in the past?
It was essentially the same: Going over to the studio and getting in there and starting out with a lyric idea or a sound idea, and that much has stayed the same. We’ve gotten a lot better. This record took about three weeks to write. Before it was a question of years, and that was really surprising. We’ve never written a record that fast. That partly has to do with the fact that Jake [Shears] wrote a musical last summer, so that experience gave him a confidence and a clarity about what he wanted to say with this record.
AM: Do the demographics of your shows skew a little gayer?
It’s all kinds of people. In the States we tend to have a more gay, or more underground following. We sell arenas in the UK, it’s 18,000 people of all walks of life. Our fan base is incredibly varied. Europeans are a lot less uptight and quite a bit less judgmental towards other peoples lifestyles. It’s a real testament to the attitudes of europeans, they don’t care who’s making the music, they just care that it’s good. It’s something that i really didn’t expect. I thought that by nature of who we are that we wouldn’t be where we are today, and the fact that we are gives me hope that more artists in the future can be themselves on stage.
AM: You’re playing The Electric Factory Thursday. What do you think of Philadelphia?
I love Philly and I’m a big fan of Benjamin Franklin. A couple years ago I went on a Ben Franklin hunt: I saw the old street where his workshop was, I went to his museum… I also visited Elfreth’s Alley and called those phone numbers they post that have historical stories. I love history, and Philadelphia is a microcosm of American history. I love [local Hip Hop artist] Spank Rock. We worked with him and did some shows with him, he’s one of the sweetest coolest people on earth.
After Ana Matronic takes the 4th of July off to “have some beers and blow things up and other patriotic things,” The Scissor Sisters will play The Electric Factory on Thursday, July 5th. Tickets are available through the Electric Factory website.