There is not much one would consider as understated when it comes to pop band Scissor Sisters, what with their in-your-face shows and their Bowie, Queen, Roxy Music, Elton John and Beck influences. That is,
perhaps, until you have an opportunity to speak with lead guitarist Del Marquis.
Maybe it was his busy day that saw us connect while he was out doing errands before the band’s New York show (who knew he would be dropping off his own dry cleaning) but most likely it is, as he says, his desire to play his guitar and not have to worry about being the front man and always be “on”.
Don’t get him wrong though, Marquis (pictured far right with band members Babydaddy, Jake Shears and Ana Matronic) says he isn’t foolish enough to not enjoy the limelight, he just prefers to not have to worry about it, especially if he might be a little off on any given day. “If I’m having a bad day, you’ll know it,” said Marquis. “I don’t want to worry about what I say when I’m having an off day”.
Despite his surprisingly reserved nature on the phone, there was a definite spark
(no pun intended) when we started talking about the group’s most recent video for “Any Which Way” and his pyrotechnic helmet. “The director of the video had always wanted to do something like that and it was a great deal of fun,” said Marquis.
“My hair was covered so I wasn’t really worried about that. I was more worried about my clothes catching on fire or burning my hand. I was warned not to raise my hands but you can see at one point I do and I was just really lucky I wasn’t injured”. Despite the inherent dangers though, Marquis
says he wants a helmet just like it for their live shows.
We touched briefly in the early days of Scissor Sisters, especially of Marquis’ first reaction to the band. “I saw them first perform in a gay bar in New York standing on top the bar itself, singing to a CD. It wasn’t something I was really interested in.” But a little time and some coincidence (his best friend was dating frontman Jake Shears) eventually brought Marquis back to the band.
One of the first tasks was to create his new persona which saw Derek Gruen became Del Marquis. “Del is a nickname for Derek in the UK and I was into dandyism at the time so the name Marquis sort of fit,” he explained.
Not the band’s first trip to Vancouver, Marquis remembers the beauty of the city and its location, comparing it to both Seattle and San Francisco. He also remembered Richards on Richards, a venue the band played in on a previous tour and did not sound surprised to hear it no longer existed. What did seem to catch him by surprise though was in finding out their Vancouver show will be held at an outdoor venue (Malkin Bowl in Stanley Park), something he is says the band is not used to playing.
But being outside will make it that much safer if he gets his wish and lights up
his pyro-hat for Vancouver’s audience. That and play his guitar, of course.
Malkin Bowl, Stanley Park
16 September 2010
Back with their latest album ‘Night Work’, dance masterminds Scissor Sisters light up Malkin Bowl in Stanley Park on September 16th. Tickets now available online or by calling 604.280.4444