I'm sitting in Yvette's purple and green van. We're parked illegally on Seymour Street and taking turns diverting our attention out the windows, eyes open for any ticket officers or eager winches. The vocalist for Mollies Revenge doesn't want this night to enter the tow-away zone, and I don't blame her -- she's broke.
"We are flat broke. I wish we were still recording because that's the only time we were really taken care of. The band was all together living in a house in the woods with a little jacuzzi, and we even had a car rented for us."
I find it hard to believe the band is broke, having bought into the myth that major label deal equals largesse, but Yvette points to Dr. Seuss whenever anyone mentions her becoming really big.
"I did an interview with Access Magazine and they asked me, 'So what's it gonna be like being so large?' and I said, 'You know what? I'll always think of Horton Hears a Who, that no matter how large you get, you're still a speck. Not an insignificant speck, but a speck nonetheless.'"
If she is a speck, then she's a speck for the future: Mollies Revenge are freshly signed to David Foster's 143 Records label, mostly due to Yvette's perseverance and positive solo reputation, but also due to the band's chemistry, their kismet -- or, as she calls it, their "chemical voodoo." That the band has just released their major label debut, Every Dirty Word, is perhaps a tad unspeckish -- and would a speck have the cojones to gender-flip the Kinks' beloved "Lola"?
"For Ray Davies, Lola was a heterosexual disappointment and Lola for me is a homosexual disappointment. You find this beautiful woman and she turns out to be a man. Obviously Ray Davies doesn't have a problem with it [the band's cover of the song], 'cuz he gave us the rights to use it. I think if we'd trashed it he might feel differently, but we did a very nice 90's version of the song."
Yvette also writes very provocative lyrics of her own, so forward and vivid that, when she expresses her sexual feelings in "I Like to Watch," "I Wanna Be" and "Every Dirty Word," you feel like a voyeur. When she lets the intensity and introspection loose in "Threshold" and "I am Not Here," you feel like an empath.
"I write very much first hand and very much through the people I meet. 'Threshold' is actually about the death of life. It's about the utter monotony and succumbing to its absolute complacency. Being queer has a lot to do with the topics I address because once you are dissected and labeled because of your sexuality, the coming out is more than just saying, 'I sleep with women.' If you're coming out that way suddenly you relate to all minorities."
Surely being queer and in the limelight she must respect k.d. lang and Melissa Etheridge? And what about Ellen DeGeneres riding her lifestyle guessing game all the way to sweeps month and the bank?
"I think it's a bit weak-hearted to get famous and get wealthy and then come out, but nonetheless k.d. and Melissa were our forerunners and they came out a few years ago when it was even harder. Television is harder still. Ellen DeGeneres has a really mainstream audience. Her show is clean white America, so you know that for what she's doing it would be very hard for her to be out, but what if she was just out? Maybe there would be less questions."
"The whole thing of the boiling point like, okay, okay, here we go, we're gonna show, oh the sheet's off, there she is! She's gay! They pay attention to the fact that she's gay [now] as opposed to just being gay from the beginning. It's like a black person cannot one day 'come out' as black 'cuz it's their skin colour. No one's gonna say, 'Oh my god. I didn't realize he was black...'"
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