‘Graduation’ Gay

Chris Azzopardi
By | 2006-06-22T09:00:00-04:00 June 22nd, 2006|Entertainment|

Having two gay men tie the knot and lock lips in Head Automatica’s “Graduation Day” video, a before and after look at high school graduates, wasn’t a difficult decision for lead vocalist and guitarist Daryl Palumbo.
“One of the most shocking experiences was how often times, with the angry, testosterone-laden jock, sometimes the script gets flipped after graduation and you find out a secret about the jock: that he enjoys boys,” Palumbo tells BTL.
When the envelope-pushing idea for the video took shape, Palumbo was all for it. “Isn’t that f–king great?” he says, laughing. “I have gay men kissing in my new music video. I love it!”
“Graduation Day” hits TV tubes as gay marriage continues to stir controversy, but Palumbo thinks it’s “asinine” that there’s even a debate. “I think that anybody should be able to marry anybody,” he says. “Anybody can love anybody they want, including you, including me.”
Palumbo wouldn’t even object to dating a man if the right one knocked his socks off. “If I decided that I was strongly attracted to a man more so than I thought I was capable of being attracted to a man, then so be it,” he says. “I’ll be happy with my decision, and I would hope that everybody else, from my father to a f–king politician somewhere in the Midwest, would be OK with my decision as well.”
He’s the first one to admit, in fact, that he’s no Rambo. “I’m not a very masculine, very manly person,” he says. “I’m not a very ‘grrr’ type of guy.” He’s even been attracted to a few men. “If somebody’s beautiful or if somebody possesses some qualities that turn me on, it doesn’t really matter who it is I imagine,” he says.
Head Automatica hit the road in the middle of this month, and Palumbo says they’ve been breaking in the new tunes from their sophomore album “Popaganda.” The framework of their set is complete, but Palumbo says the set list will be tweaked along the way.
“If we’re feeling saucy,” he says, laughing, “we change up a bunch of tunes every night. You want to keep the show energetic, and when you’re playing the same set list for f–king five months on the road it gets a little stagnate.”
While the band doesn’t have any ancient Chinese before-the-show ritual, they do sit together and soak in some tunes, usually to a “band we wanna make believe we are that night.”
For Palumbo, performing live is a change of pace from the controlled studio recording environment, but the band still aims to emit a live-vibe through “Popaganda.” “Thirty years ago rock records were made in a studio and they were very live – what you were hearing was the actual band, you were getting the real band,” he says.
Now with digital enhancement tools, recordings become more polished and less organic, he believes. “I think that we try to keep that when we do it on record you’re still hearing … the live band,” he says.

About the Author:

Chris Azzopardi
As editor of Q Syndicate, the international LGBTQ wire service, Chris Azzopardi has interviewed a multitude of superstars, including Cher, Meryl Streep, Mariah Carey and Beyoncé. His work has also appeared in GQ, Vanity Fair and Billboard. Reach him via Twitter @chrisazzopardi.