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Beyond a shadow of a doubt, Sharon Needles is the biggest breakout star from the reality TV show RuPaul’s Drag Race. Now she’s killing it with her new album, PG-13, which debuted on the iTunes pop charts at #4.
Today, Sharon Needles is back on Feast of Fun to play her entire album exclusively for premium listeners and to tell us the terrifying tales behind the making of the album.
Please support her by not throwing out some coin for this one… It’s definitely worth it
Sharon Needles beamed down in Dublin recently and stirred up quite the frenzy among fans of RuPaul’s Drag Race. You can catch her interview in this month’s issuehere, but there was plenty more juicy gossip we couldn’t fit in. Read on for Sharon’s experience on theDrag Racecruise (!), what she really thinks of RuPaul, and Lady Gaga, her love of punk, her opinion onRuPaul’s Drag Race AllStarsand much more.
“I’ve worked with a lot of celebrities this year because of the opportunity I’ve been given, and some make me tingle and some don’t. RuPaul will always be a perpetually terrifying presence in my life. She scares the shit out of me. She is, in my opinion, the realest star in the world. In. the. World.
A black man from San Diego California who’s created himself into almost a Caucasian bleach blonde supermodel with a sense of character that is so unbreakable – that it is terrifying. And even though I worked with her on the show for two months and I worked with her on my album, she scares me more than any other star in the world.”
On Lady Gaga, who tweeted about Sharon’s outfits during one episode:
“I thought she was riding onmyfucking coat-tails. I thought someone, a 23 year-old girl, was trying to staple herself to true references of pop culture. But do I hate Lady Gaga? Absolutely not.
There has never been a pop culture phenomenon in the entire history of the world since David Bowie that made the world feel okay about us just being a little bit awkward or a little bit off the beaten path. And you know I’m not that well known of a star, so could I also ride on the coattails of Lady Gaga? Yes I could. Could I put on my website that she tweeted me that she wanted to borrow my costumes fromRuPaul’s Drag Raceon herMonster Ball Tour? Yes I could. Did I? No I didn’t, because there is a fine line between true artistic intention and bullshit.”
On her references and how she differed to other queens on Drag Race:
“I had queens on that show who’d never heard of Leigh Bowery, I’d queens who’d never heard of Divine, that had never watched Paris Is Burning. I’d queens who never watched Married With Children. I’d queens who’d never heard of Elvira, and fuck those fucking queens because if you are basing yourself on being a drag queen just to emulate a pop star that gets a lot of attention, then you need to look for another job.
But if you’re a drag queen that understands her history and her sense of where we’ve come from, what we’ve done – these insane, iconic, classic characters, that have been created in the name of, basically, a middle finger to culture then I’m down with you. That’s why I’ve more in common with a boogered down queen who looks like shit who can perform a lipsync presentation to a Divine song than a beautiful fucking polished queen who knows every dance step to a Nicki Minaj song.”
On what she considers ‘real drag’:
“Real drag comes from a place of taking things we are so afraid of, exaggerating them, making fun of them, throwing them back in the face of people who are afraid of them, and it’s all-healing by watching it. We can heal through humour; we can all fucking get off on a sense of it’s just funny, you don’t really feel this way and we really don’t hate anyone. And that’s the way I use racism, misogyny, fat phobia and interracial and international anxieties into my shows.”
On her love of punk culture:
“I really embrace original punk rock culture done in America, done with the Andy Warhol Factory group, with Max Kansas City – that’s what started Blondie, the Ramones, Jayne County, the Sex Pistols when they came to America. I mean, I’m not an old queen; I’m pretty young but I want to know where we came from and having an obsession with that culture and with punk rock and an obsession with when faggots used to be feared and not just, ‘Oh, I’ll make your wedding cake, I’ll do your hair, I’ll find your new wedding dress’. I liked when faggots were like the fucking punkest kids on the street – that’s what I identified with.”
On her boyfriend Alaska Thunderfuck being in the new season of Drag Race:
"We do make jokes about production, but I don’t let her tell me about how it goes. Because not only am I on RuPaul’s Drag Race, I’m also the biggest fan of the programme and I don’t know what to know how it ends up, I don’t want to know who wins. I don’t want to know who got where and even though working in casting slightly I know more than I want to know, I always tell Alaska, "don’t tell me. I’d rather just watch that beautiful story unfold"’
On the Drag Stars at Sea cruise that saw numerous stars from the show bundled together:
The great thing about being onRuPaul’s Drag Raceis we have these secret Facebook pages where, just us sisters, we get to read everybody, every queen in every club. We were so worried about the cruise, but what the cruise ended up being was a real family affair, where my season sisters, my sisters of previous seasons and I were allowed to come together and not work a red carpet. Not work an event.
We were really just allowed to sunbathe and have a cocktail and get to know each other. It was fascinating whom I found friendships with. Venus D.Lite and I became really close and I didn’t know that much about her. Michelle Visage became much more than a sister – we did a mother and daughter formula. And it was great to see Chad Michaels who is very professional cut loose for a dance and have a couple of cocktails and dance on the dancefloor. It was great to see Yara Sofia run through the hallways in full drag and be a total monster. It was great to hang out with Shangela and dance with her to a Moroccan band and it was great for me and Manila Luzon to get off the boat and make a sandcastle together right after Sahara died, and have time to reflect on how fucking scary this role as a rolemodel really is. It was amazing. Way more amazing than I thought it would be. We all thought it was gonna be a horror movie, but it really turned out to be a family comedy.”
On Watching the All Stars season of Drag Race that followed hers:
“It was weird to watch like, my friends and my co-workers and my family members work on the show. And as much as I was best friends with Chad Michaels, I had this internal feeling of wanting Raven to win. I think that it was a consistent feeling with the world. But when it all was done and finished, I realised I why Chad won. When it boils down to it, and I’m sorry that I didn’t see it at the time, she really is the only winner. And one of my best friends.”
Sharon Needles appeared at The Dragon courtesty of Dragged Up which takes place every Saturday. Picture above via The Dragon on Facebook. Sharon Needles’ album PG-13 is released on iTunes and SharonNeedles.com on the 29th of January.
Short video of Sharon in Amsterdam