Amber’s not one to filter herself. Ask her about President Bush, and she’ll lash out with a harsh expletive. Ask her if she ever wished for Britney Spears’ success, and she’ll exclaim: “Hell no!” Ask her why she’s cooped up at her home-office in New Jersey and not soaking in the sun, and her reason hits like a curve ball.
“I was diagnosed with skin cancer a few years back,” Amber says after a draining working weekend, “and that is something that I do not want to play with at all. And I’ve never been really somebody who burned and baked in the sun, but thinking back when I was young, you just don’t think about slapping on SPF.”
These days, though, the cancer-cured dance crooner’s mind is working overtime. The “Sexual (Li Da Di)” singer is playing the Pride circuit, including a stop on June 23 at Menjo’s in Detroit, and mulling over future musical ventures. Just don’t ask her too much about them.
Are you working on any new music?
Honey, I’ve been doing quite a bit of work, but obviously that takes a lot of finances. So I have certain things in mind, which I’m not going to talk about right now ’cause when I do, honey, the queens will rip (me apart) and just ask me every 24 hours. But I’m thinking about certain things. We’ll see. Eventually, I said I will have to bring out an entire “Best Of,” with just different remixes that I have to accumulate. That’s probably one of my final pieces that I’ll do and then call it a day really; ’cause after a while you just have to pass it on to the 15 and 16 year olds.
You have a special relationship with your fans. I jumped onto your Web site’s message board (at www.amber-mcc.com) and I noticed that you regularly post on there.
Well, absolutely. It’s something I’ve been doing (for) quite a few years. Actually, when I went through a pretty tough divorce a few years ago, I said to myself, “I want to rethink what I’m doing, I wanna rethink my career and I wanna take a little bit more charge.” And I was just tired of the people surrounding me, including my ex, and I sat down and said, “Why can’t I have a message board where I interact with my fans directly? Let’s do that.” Because they’re the people that buy my music; they’re the people who support me actively. All these people out there – these artists out there – always put themselves on this triple high pedestal – “I’m better than you and I don’t have to shit and die like you guys.” And I wanted to connect and that’s why I started out my message board. … I’ve always had that special relationship with my fans, and I will never turn a fan down, that is one thing that I’ve never done throughout the years. I’ll sit down after shows and have meet and greets with my fans. It’s all part of what I love to do – and what I would like to hold onto for a couple more years.
Now, I also dig the Bush countdown feature on your Web site.
Ah! Don’t get me started on that ape. Oh, my God. I get aggravated when I just hear his damn voice somewhere; I just have to switch the channel. I just wanna say, “Shut the fuck up, you dumbfuck.”
You have a similar sentiment for Paris Hilton, right?
Oooh, honey, don’t get me started! I don’t even wanna waste a word on that – Jesus Christ!
If you had to pick one or the other as president who would you pick?
Oh, hell no. I’d have to hang myself.
You’ve obviously had several pretty big hits and you’ve created a niche of fans, which are mostly gay, but have you ever thought, I wish I was at the same caliber as Britney Spears or Madonna or Kylie Minogue?
Same category as Britney Spears? Oh-hell-no. I mean, I don’t lip-sync at shows. No, no. I am what I am. I’m sure that sometimes everybody looks at the other grass and thinks it’s greener but it’s not, honey. I have my own qualities that other people don’t have. I’m an individual like everybody else … . And, quite honestly, I think I sing better than Britney Spears and Madonna. So I’m not worried about that.
So, what’s it like playing for a massive amount of gay guys versus for a mostly straight crowd?
Well, I feel very blessed. I’ve been doing this now for 11 years. I’m still touring. … I have a way of connecting with people when I’m on stage but the gay guys go an extra mile because they’re extremely enthusiastic. They wanna get on stage with you, they wanna dance, they just want to have fun. Usually the promoters from the gay venues take extra special care of you ’cause they just adore their divas.
Were you a gay magnet back in school?
I really cannot remember. I must honestly say my father’s an opera singer so he works in a theater, so, you know, in a theater there are gay people, especially the prima ballerinas (laughs). But I just grew up with it as normal so I was never really aware, or had gaydar, or that kind of thing. It was just there. Growing up in high school and stuff I do not remember having one gay person next to me. I have a very mixed fan crowd still. I have straights and gays. But it (having gay fans) became more predominant through the years and, quite honestly, I’ve always wondered like, Why the hell is that? It’s just my fate ’cause I do not go with straight guys; gay guys adore me. So, I said to my mom, “You know what? That will be it. I will have a nice gay guy without the sex (laughs).”
Have you ever fallen for a gay guy?
No, no. I’m not Grace. My gaydar will go off. Especially throughout the years, you learn how to read it.
What makes you think, Wham! He’s gay?
Well, they take care of themselves in a certain kind of way. They’re very groomed. … I don’t have to be scared (that I’ll) be stalked by some greasy, nasty straight guy who wants to assault me but (I) get followed by people who really like (me) for what (I) do and they’re really groomed and cute looking (laughs). There are quite a few giveaways actually – the grooming obviously, you know doing eyebrows. But then you have the metroseuxals.
I was going to say, metrosexuals throw it all off.
Yeah. But, no. I looked at Clay Aiken once, and I was like, “Come on, people!” There’s just a certain demeanor about them. The way they talk, the way they pronounce their words – very precisely – you know, you hear it in their voice.
So here’s the tough question. Am I gay?
Yes, of course you are. That’s something I can hear in your voice right away. No question about it, honey (laughs).