A few weeks ago, Akon called OC native Jeffree Star the next Lady Gaga. Akon had just signed the gay shock-pop purveyor, and many critics called him delusional. Luckily, Star is used to haters. In a phone interview, Star clarified what Akon meant. “I think what he meant was, when Gaga came out, there were a lot of doubters and a lot of people were like, ‘What’s with this chick looking all crazy?’” Akon wasn’t saying Star is going to be exactly like Lady Gaga; “He was more saying you have to see [this guy Jeffree Star] to believe it, it’s like a special thing.”
Being compared to Lady Gaga isn’t a bad thing, he says: “[My career] has been a struggle because a lot of people don’t know what to do with me. That’s why I signed a deal to have my own label distributed through Warner Records. It’s frustrating to have all this vision that gets clouded and ruined by all these business suits... so I feel like it’s finally my time to have someone take me under their wing,” he says. Akon and Star will work on the new album after Christmas. “There will be a Jeffree Star-featuring-Akon track, and one with Ke$ha too,” he says.
Star is especially excited to work with Akon because he’s always been a fan—but also because (he claims) no one in hip-hop has ever worked with a gay artist. “I think it’s a good step forward for the gay movement that someone like Akon, who’s sold 10 million records and sells out arenas, will work with someone like me. It’s a very macho world.”
In 2001, Weezer’s Rivers Cuomo told Rolling Stone, “[Pinkerton] is just a sick album, sick in a diseased sort of way... I never want to play those songs again; I never want to hear them again.” A few weeks ago, when he got on the phone with us to talk about the band’s Memories Tour (where they’re playing the whole Pinkerton album) and the Pinkerton reissue, he contradicted himself, saying “Right now—I don’t want to criticize any of our records; especially Pinkerton. It’s incredible. I love it so much.” He also says, “We really have played Pinkerton songs throughout this last decade, but it’s true that we haven’t played very many, most of the time. I think at the beginning of the decade, we were doing this crazy thing where we’d roll D&D dice—Dungeons & Dragons dice—to determine our set list.”
These days, for maximum fan enjoyment, he says the band look online to what’s selling on iTunes or what people are listening to on last.fm. “We can see what our fans talk about on our website, or we can just listen every night as we’re performing and see what songs get the most applause. And based on all of that, we ended up not playing a lot of Pinkerton songs. It wasn’t the most scientific approach but, you know, we were doing our best.”