Electro-pop duo Karmin got their big break on YouTube when they – ah, never mind. Go to Wikipedia if you want their bio. There are more pressing issues to address when Amy Heidemann, a former wedding singer, and Nick Noonan, who used to work at a boxing gym, get on the line: the pants Nick is unfortunately wearing on the cover of their second album, Amy’s hope for drag queen boobs and the gay wedding they’re planning.
Why isn’t Nick also wearing his panties on the “Pulses” cover?
Nick: Are you opening a can of worms right now? We joked that we were gonna switch for the next take, but it never happened.
Amy: His bulge was so big that they Photoshopped pants back on.
Nick: It’s quite the opposite of that, but whatever works. At least we know who’s wearing the pants…
So obviously you two are gonna make beautiful babies one day.
Nick: Hopefully not for a number of years.
Nick: We’re gonna start the conversation in five.
When you look in the mirror, do you see someone as hot as we do?
Amy: You’re so sweet and absolutely not.
Nick: Totally not.
Amy: We’re always like we need to change our hair; we need to exercise more. There’s a lot of people looking at us now!
Nick: We’re kind of nerds.
What’s your favorite duo?
Nick: Definitely Simon & Garfunkel. They’re at the top of my list.
Amy: That was an inspiration when we started the band. Obviously, I’m Simon.
Nick: I have the G-fro, so I’m Garfunkel.
Is it fair to say you recognized a gay audience as soon as you hit YouTube?
Nick: We didn’t recognize one. We didn’t really go out and think, “We’re gonna have the biggest gay audience.” It just kind of happened that way. We noticed when a lot of people from the gay community were gravitating toward our performance style. And you know, it’s amazing that we can stand up for something and have a voice. We were doing all these gay pride events and those audiences actually kind of developed our performance style. It allowed us to be freer and, I mean, as cliche as it is –
Amy: They’re the best audiences, for sure.
Nick. For sure.
Amy, you’re from Seward, Neb.; Nick, you’re from Old Town, Maine – both small towns. Did you know many gay people growing up?
Amy: There was, like, one who was out in each of our high schools.
Nick: There were a lot of kids we knew who were gay, but when we were in high school, which wasn’t that long ago, it was still an unspoken thing.
Amy: Yeah, 2004 – nobody talked about it.
You’ve done the Pride circuit. What’s that experience been like for you? I imagine there’s not a lot of drag queens in Old Town, Maine.
Nick: (Laughs) Not that I know of. I’m not in the Maine drag circle – but maybe I could be!
Amy: Maybe it’s pretty hopping! No – but we’ve gotten to see a fair share of people dressed as Amy from Karmin with suicide roll hair doing “Brokenhearted” at karaoke.
Nick: Yeah, we are seeing a lot of clips of people in drag performing “I Want It All.”
Amy: That’s our favorite, by far.
What’s it like seeing someone do you in drag, Amy?
Amy: It’s very flattering. I get a little self-conscious because sometimes they look more attractive than I do. Better makeup. Better outfits. Better boobs. I need to shop where they shop.
Well, concerning the boobs, they probably stuff.
Nick: Oh, she does too, though.
Who gets hit on more often at these Pride events?
Amy: I guess a lot of people have a crush on me, but everybody’s always chanting for Nick to take his shirt off.
Nick: Yeah, from a distance, me more. But when they get up close they just freak out over Amy.
Nick, have you ever taken your shirt off at Pride?
Nick: I have. It was Phoenix Pride.
Amy: Yeah, that was the night…
Nick: (Laughs) It was like 400 degrees and they kept chanting something and I couldn’t understand. Finally, after the third time, it was so loud that I could hear it through my earbuds and I was like, “All right, screw it.”
Well, it was hot. You don’t want heat stroke!
Nick: Honestly, it sounds like I’m just being that guy, but I could wring my shirt out.
Amy: Yeah, we’re usually drenched after. Have you ever been to a Karmin show?
Not yet. I’m only going if Nick takes his shirt off.
Nick: It’s gonna be like that, huh?
You started the trend, not me.
Nick: I’m just trying to be straight up.
Amy: We’re just gonna forgo all of our marketing and tweet before the show that Nick is gonna take his shirt off.
You’re gonna have to start playing arenas.
Nick: You think it’s such a good thing that I take my shirt off, but wait till I take my shirt off – you’re gonna be like, he should have left his shirt on.
So you two are planning on getting married sometime soon. With gay marriage sweeping the country, what are your thoughts on the progress we’re making?
Nick: It’s happening all kind of at once, and there are minor setbacks like in Arizona, but that bill (allowing businesses to deny service to LGBT people) was vetoed by the governor. So there’s always gonna be two steps forward, one step back, but I think it’s kind of been an explosion over the last decade. It went from a taboo to Obama, a sitting president, saying he was for it, which had never happened before. My home state has already approved gay marriage and more will down the road.
Amy: And I want our wedding to be a gay wedding. Gay weddings are more fun than straight weddings!
“Pitch Perfect” partly inspired one of the album’s singles, “Acapella.” If you could be any character in “Pitch Perfect,” who would you be?
Amy: Fat Amy. That’s who I would wanna be, but I have a feeling I’d be Aubrey – over organized and kind of annoying.
Nick: I’d be the Asian girl that nobody can understand.
When has being a couple and working together – essentially seeing each other 24/7 – been a challenge?
Amy: Every day.
Nick: Yeah, it comes and goes, man. It’s real life when you can’t turn it off. The hardest part is that Karmin becomes bigger than Amy and Nick sometimes and that’s when stuff gets out of whack, so that’s been the biggest challenge.
If you weren’t able to use YouTube as a platform for fame, what would have been your plan B?
Nick: Sleeping around. Especially before. God, there must have been so much sleeping around before the Internet.
Amy: Before YouTube I guess you had to sleep with everyone!
Speaking of using your body to get ahead, Nick, remember: Your shirt comes off at the next show I’m at.
Nick: You are already off the guest list!