IMAGE // Via God-Des and She
A few weeks ago I (Amy) was taking in a Big Freedia show, and over the course of an hour, had twerked to the point of physical exhaustion. I honestly don’t know how Beyonce does it.
But instead of going home and collapsing into bed, I found myself at the Mohawk just in time for a different act — lesbian music duo, God Des and She. I’ve never really been a hip hop fan, but quickly found myself falling in love with their sound and (to the chagrin of my lower back) DANCING! You just can’t argue with stuff like this:
Not only has God-Des and She shared stages with the likes of Salt N’ Pepa (!) and Amanda Blank, and not only have they had a cameo on The L-Word, but their advocacy for gay rights and equality has been at the core of their 10+ year career. These Austin locals are now about to release a new album, and with a CD release party this Saturday, I thought this would be an opportune time to sit down for a little chat…
1. You two have been bandmates and friends for over 11 years. How did that affect your creative process? Was it pretty collaborative or did you each bring your own independent influences to this fourth album?
Ha! You know, I’m actually surprised we haven’t gotten divorced yet! In all seriousness, we actually have learned to work together better with each new project. This record was done together. We talked about the topics, the style, and helped each other out if we were stuck on something.
2. It seems a lot of folks share my affinity for the track “I Want it Back.” I understand it’s a very personal number. Could you tell us a bit about that?
Well, I God Des, lost my dad to cancer nearly two years ago. I made the beat one day and the song started to write itself. I never actually intended to release it at all. I was just writing about my experience dealing with — and processing — such deep loss. When I played it for She, she was really affected by it and wanted to write to it as well. After I heard what She had done, we knew we had to share it with people. We debuted it at a show this summer and had an overwhelming response. Countless people come up to us after the show thanking us for that song. So we decided to produce it and put on the record.
3. I was floored after watching your first video release from this album, “God, I Know You Love Me,” after it premiered on AfterEllen. It’s very visually impactful. What was the inspiration?
We wanted to show the brutal truth of what many gay people face trying to make sense of being both gay and religious. The self doubt and fear is STRONG. And so many religious institutions openly condemn gay folks. We hope we bring visibility to this issue and empower queer people to be comfortable and happy with who they are.
4. I so admire your advocacy. How do you envision the spread of your message over the next year? Are there any organizations or nonprofits, LGBT or otherwise, that you’d like to work with?
We have contacted quite a few LGBTQ organizations to let them know that we admire them and are down to help in any way we can. We have met with LPAC, HRC, Trevor Project and many more. We are committed to using our voice to forge change and to bring equality to our country.
5. So after all this hard work on on such a lively and thoughtful record, you are having a CD release at Holy Mountain this Saturday! Tell us a bit about it?
This Saturday is going to be a blast. We have a few really fun covers planned and if you have never seen Las Krudas you are in for a treat, they are amazing. I am excited for people to be able to take pictures with the giant tongue from our “Lick It” video. The icing on the cake is going to be burlesque troupe the Southern Sirens. Let’s just be honest, who doesn’t love boobies?
6. You both moved to Austin from Madison and Brooklyn, so I have no doubt you now live a blissful, beer- and BBQ-fueled lifestyle. What’s your favorite food trailer and/or dive bar here in town?
I have a couple spots I really like. I love the Red Shed, strong cheap drinks and a good jukebox. The Brixton is always fun on the east side. I love the food truck Chilantro. Korean-Mexican fusion and amazing. I also love the Kebabalicious spot out side the Rusty Spur. I feel like Goldie Locks. Madison WI, my home town, was too small, NYC was too big; Austin, Texas is just right. It’s like Madison and New York had a baby and they named her Austin. I love it here.
Well there we have it, folks. Move over Carnaval…God Des and She are about to blow the roof off! Tickets to Saturday’s show are available here.
Many thanks to God Des and She for sitting down with AE. See you girls around!