Thursday, October 31, 2013

Artist Interview: Enid Ellen / Queer New Music Series

Enid Ellen / The Birth of Enid Ellen

Friday, November 1st – 10:00pm / The Club at La MaMa


Queer New York International Arts Festival / New Music Series 2013


An Interview with ENID ELLEN by Katherine Cooper for 
La MaMa’s QUEER NEW MUSIC SERIES:
You’ve said that you began writing from a feminine perspective in your songs. What did that feel like? What did it open up for you?
It felt very natural. Growing up in rural Ohio there weren’t many gay men to identify with. I therefore identified mainly with straight women. I think it was the mutual attraction to men. For the longest time I thought I would become a woman when I reached a certain age bc I thought that was the only way it could work but as I have grown and met more gay men I have seen other ways it can work. But when I started writing these lyrics I really was trying to go back to that other voice. I saw myself in the 50s writing love songs. It felt right to be female. Strong male energy is something I have never completely understood. It feels so fake to me and I wanted the words to be sincere. And I wanted an excuse to wear a dress.
What does queer mean to you right now?
Queer means thinking outside the box. To tell you the truth I never really identified or saw sex or gender until others put it onto me. When and where I am comfortable, people call queer and I’ll take it. That label is me.
Can you tell me a formative moment from childhood?
I remember being told by my Sunday school teacher that Jesus wouldn’t want me to be this way, referring to my queerness. I remember thinking she was wrong. I knew deep down I was living my truth and that Jesus would be very happy for me.
Who are your musical and theatrical heroes?
Jessica Lange, Marilyn Manson, Betty Davis, Bette Midler and Tori Amos are some of my heroes. I’m a huge fan of Hush, Hush Sweet Charlotte.
[Photo by Evan William Smith]

An Interview with ENID ELLEN by Katherine Cooper for 
You’ve said that you began writing from a feminine perspective in your songs. What did that feel like? What did it open up for you?
It felt very natural. Growing up in rural Ohio there weren’t many gay men to identify with. I therefore identified mainly with straight women. I think it was the mutual attraction to men. For the longest time I thought I would become a woman when I reached a certain age bc I thought that was the only way it could work but as I have grown and met more gay men I have seen other ways it can work. But when I started writing these lyrics I really was trying to go back to that other voice. I saw myself in the 50s writing love songs. It felt right to be female. Strong male energy is something I have never completely understood. It feels so fake to me and I wanted the words to be sincere. And I wanted an excuse to wear a dress.
What does queer mean to you right now?
Queer means thinking outside the box. To tell you the truth I never really identified or saw sex or gender until others put it onto me. When and where I am comfortable, people call queer and I’ll take it. That label is me.
Can you tell me a formative moment from childhood?
I remember being told by my Sunday school teacher that Jesus wouldn’t want me to be this way, referring to my queerness. I remember thinking she was wrong. I knew deep down I was living my truth and that Jesus would be very happy for me.
Who are your musical and theatrical heroes?
Jessica Lange, Marilyn Manson, Betty Davis, Bette Midler and Tori Amos are some of my heroes. I’m a huge fan of Hush, Hush Sweet Charlotte.
[Photo by Evan William Smith]