Each time the Scissor Sisters have toured Australia, they’ve been at another, very different juncture in their unusual career.
Back in ’04, they were the New York upstarts packing out sweaty clubs, while only a couple of years later they found themselves playing arenas off the back of the unsustainable success of their megahit I Don’t Feel Like Dancin’.
Come September, they’ll embark on a victory lap of the country with a theatre tour that includes a stint at the Sydney Opera House.
“I can’t actually say we’ve played any opera houses before. And it’s not just any opera house either – it should be a special night,” the band’s resident multi-instrumentalist and adora-bear Babydaddy told the Star Observer.
One pitfall of playing in an opera house is that audiences can stay glued to their seats. Will ringleaders Jake Shears and Ana Matronic work extra hard to get the crowd up and dancing?
“They’re very good at that anyway. It is one of the challenges of playing theatres with seats, but we don’t allow people to stay seated – it’s as simple as that.”
With the band’s fourth album Magic Hour a couple of months old now, one song in particular has emerged as a clear fan favourite: Let’s Have A Kiki. Celeb fan Anne Hathaway even used her interview on The David Letterman Show to wax lyrical about the benefits of having a Kiki.
“We weren’t aware of the impact it would have. That’s what makes it pretty special. We write songs that we think our fans are going to enjoy, but you never know what’s going to connect,” Babydaddy said.
“That song is so true to who Ana is and what she brings to the band, so it’s a great surprise to see it connecting with people in such a good way. People in this industry try to make a lot of predictions about what’s going to be a hit, but in the end, the public decides.”
While Kiki is an undoubted highlight, there’s a little something for everyone on Magic Hour, from the widescreen pop of Only The Horses to the throbbing ‘90s house of Self Control. The diverse nature of the album came in part thanks to the band’s wealth of collaborators this time around: Pharrell WIlliams, Diplo, Azealia Banks and John Legend among them.
“It’s certainly our most collaborative album. We just wanted to change things up and keep things exciting for us, but I think the real challenge was making sure none of the collaborations got bigger than us.”
Indeed, they seem to have pushed their collaborators out of their comfort zones, enlisting hip-hop head Pharrell for a slice of blue-eyed soul and dance maestro Stuart Price for the album’s quietest ballad.
“We’re in this funny collaboration culture right now where everyone seems to be borrowing sounds, or producers give their sound to an artist, but the real idea of collaboration for us has been to bring people in that we respect to make music for our band. It’s about getting fresh ideas about what the Scissor Sisters can be.”
INFO: Scissor Sisters, September 25 @ Brisbane Arena, 26 @ Melbourne’s Hamer Hall and 27 @ Sydney’s Opera House. Tix on sale now.