AUSTRALIAN electronic music duo The Presets have performed at San Francisco’s infamous BDSM and leather event Folsom Street Fair twice now, and for duo member Kim Moyes they’ve been memorable occasions.
“There’s a lot of S&M going on, there’s a lot of fetish going on, there’s slaves and that sort of stuff,” Moyes told the Star Observer.
“But the weirdest thing is the guys walking around who look like they’re just from the suburbs, with big bellies and really awful collared shirts on and spectacles on and Reeboks on and no pants. And they’re filming everything and kind of jerking off while they’re filming.
“All the others are just what you’ve seen before, but it’s when the accountant comes out that it really rocks your world.”
The Presets have indeed been a fixture at LGBTI events for years now, and in January they will headline the Confetti dance party as part of Melbourne’s Midsumma festival.
Their recognisable sound on chart-topping tracks like My People has cemented their status as Australian music icons and garnered them a huge gay following, despite Moyes and partner Julian Hamilton being openly straight.
The image of The Presets as a gay act has been reinforced by their unique visual style, with promotional material occasionally depicting the two shirtless and embracing.
“We’ve pissed off gay people because they were convinced that we’re gay and then they found out that we weren’t and were upset that we were ‘pretending’ to be gay, and then we’ve pissed off people because they just think that we’re homos, which is typical of Australia,” Moyes said.
He argued they’ve never been cynical about cultivating a gay aesthetic—it stems from the band’s roots.
“Some of our first shows ever were at our friends’ gay parties up in Sydney like Bad Dog and Kooky. We were embraced by our gay uncles and aunties pretty early on,” Moyes explained.
“Especially up in Sydney, some of the more interesting clubs that we grew up in were gay clubs, or not just gay clubs, but queer and whatever goes. That world was really a big part of what we were. We never thought we were a gay band but we thought that we represented some of those ideals that we were exposed to when we were younger.”
While some gay men reject the club scene as something from another time and at odds with political engagement and a more diverse LGBTI community, Moyes argued the club scene can play an important role in building community.
“Fighting for rights and equality and all that is great, but if you don’t get time to actually enjoy your time with your friends or experience the other side of life that isn’t so serious then all the seriousness that you’re fighting for is kind of wasted,” he said.
“I think more people should be spending time having a good time and being amongst their friends and listening to music and getting immersed in that world.”
The Presets will headline Confetti, playing alongside World’s End Press, Raf Daddy, Stereogamous and more on January 12, the evening of Midsumma’s Carnival.
INFO: Tickets online at www.midsumma.org.au