Genderfucking DJ, performer and musician extraordinaire JD Samson has been a regular visitor to our shores in recent years, thanks to her (now defunct) relationship with our own Sia.

Her current visit, though, will include her very first stop-off at one of the world’s biggest queer events, the Sydney Mardi Gras, where she’ll DJ at the parade after-party.

Samson is in Australia with MEN, her latest musical outfit (following her stint in Le Tigre) and a band which is equal parts party-starter and political rabble-rouser.

As Samson told the Star Observer, the group aims to inject a bit of intelligence into a comprehensively Guetta-fied dance music scene.

“I think the point of dancing is about taking up space and sweating, letting go of your body and feeling safe enough to do so,” she said.

“It’s important to talk about identity politics, challenges and struggles, so I always saw the [dance] genre and powerful lyrics to work hand in hand.”

With MEN’s blueprint for musical rebellion, the events of the past year must have been particularly exciting for Samson. From the Arab Spring to the Occupy Movement, it seems we’re in need of music to soundtrack a revolution.

“We were all so very excited to be a part of Occupy, but when it came down to it, things have settled down here in New York and people have forgotten,” she said.

“Not everybody, but some. We can only hope that protest will continue, and we will fight for equality and economic change.

“Our new record has a lot of songs that came out of the big year of protest.”

Away from music, Samson voiced her frustrations as a jobbing musician on the fringes of mainstream success with a divisive article on The Huffington Post last year.

Titled ‘I love my job, but it made me poorer’, it examined how her life as a queer artist, and her need to ‘keep up appearances’ in the New York music scene, had left her financially unstable.

The piece provoked a huge reaction — from those who sympathised, and from those who condemned her for complaining about what they saw as a privileged lifestyle.

“I had no idea so many people would read the article, so I was kind of caught with my pants down,” she said.

“It was definitely a huge shift in my life. I’m not sure what it did, but somehow almost every day people come up to me and say ‘Thank you’. I’ve always been an activist, and if it took me to write an article instead of a song to get people to respond, I don’t care. We all struggle to be happy with what we have. But I wanted to be clear that a lot of us — no matter what we do — are having a hard time.”

INFO: MEN play Australia, including the Mardi Gras party, February 24 – March 4. www.menmakemusic.com

Pictured: JD Samson (at right) will play Mardi Gras for the first time.

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