Ke$ha’s so crazy she pees in wine bottles and pukes in closets. Because of that frat-boy behavior, she’s just as easy to love as she is to hate. But try denying the power of her bratty brand of bust-a-move pop, so manipulated that it’s almost inhuman. The apropos name of her unruly debut, after all, is “Animal” – the album that knocked Susan Boyle out of the top spot and spurred the chart-hijacking club-catch “TiK ToK.”
The sassy troublemaker spoke to us about naysayers calling her a one-hit wonder, the Hollywood sign she allegedly defaced and being legitimately bisexual.
So you like to drink.
I’ve never had alcohol in my life! (Laughs)
What was your first drinking experience like?
I told my mom I wanted to try alcohol, and she’s like, “OK, you and your friends can just sleep in the basement and I’ll buy you some alcohol and you can see what it’s like.” We drank this bottle of coconut rum, and me and my girlfriend ran around in circles and then passed out, and I was puking for two days. I didn’t drink for at least two years after that.
How old were you?
That’s when I was, like, 17.
You seem to have some sort of puking problem.
No, it was just the Malibu rum and eating bad sushi and drinking champagne and dancing too hard.
Is that the same mix that caused you to throw up in Paris Hilton’s closet?
You could say that.
This album, as you’ve said, is pretty autobiographical.
It is. It’s something that either I or a close friend has gone through, so it’s all personal experience – whether it’s my personal experience or a close friend or a good story I heard.
A lot of it, though, isn’t that deep – intentionally so, right?
If you went through my iTunes and listened to all the music that I’ve ever written, I’ve got some deep ones, I’ve got some political songs, some country, some blues. But this record, I’m young and I’m irreverent, and the world can be a very pretentious place and I’m frankly just sick of it, so why not put out a record that’s kind of just ridiculous – unapologetically so?
In 20 years, when you’re in your 40s, what kind of music will you be recording?
Hopefully when I’m 40 I’ll be recording a sick punk-rock album – and have, like, purple hair.
Some people are quick to call you a one-hit wonder. How do you feel about that?
Honestly, I think that’s hilarious. I’d rather be a one-hit wonder than a no-hit wonder (laughs).
Now the whole Hollywood sign hoopla, where you wrote your name over it so it’d read “Ke$hawood.” What’s the real story?
Legally, I’m not allowed to tell.
Seriously? Says who?
Uh-huh. Says my attorney (laughs). All I can say is just watch the video. Um, OK, I’m getting a look (from my manager).
You ambiguously acknowledged your sexuality in an Out interview, saying you like “people.” What does that mean?
I just appreciate people – just good, sexy people with great energy. I’m not saying I haven’t made out with a girl, because that would be a lie. But I definitely like dudes, too. So I’m not even confused. I just like what I like when I like it.
Were you drunk when you made out with a woman? Were you in a relationship with one?
I’ve never actually been in a real long-term relationship with a woman, but I’m not opposed to it. I’m totally open to falling in love with a man, woman, or anything in between. I just think it’s all about how people make me feel and what my instincts about someone are. That’s really why I named the record “Animal,” because I am an animal and I’m not scared of anything.
So you’ll act on those animal instincts if you have to.
Absolutely! I would be doing my life experience an injustice if I didn’t act upon things I think I should.
A lot of people, though, are reacting to your bisexuality as if it’s part of a Hollywood fad, that you’re just using this as a publicity ploy like Katy Perry. How do you feel about that?
That’s ridiculous, because I wasn’t using this as a marketing tool in the song. I’m not singing about it, and I’m not doing it for attention. Have you ever seen a picture of me kissing a girl? I mean, there might be one out there, but I’ve never seen one (laughs).
So I’m not shoving it in people’s faces – and if you talk to me, it’s my philosophy on life. If you listen to the last song on the record, I’m in love with what we are and not what we should be. Some people don’t think I should make out with women. I think that’s fucking ridiculous. All people should be treated exactly equal on every level. People can say what they want, but I’m definitely not using it for any sort of marketing.
Good. We don’t want another one of those.
If I did, I’d be making out with somebody in a video, being more public about it. I’m just saying if I want to, I’ll do it and nobody can stop me – and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it.
You did say you’d kiss Susan Boyle after dethroning her from the No. 1 spot on the albums chart.
Hell yeah I would! She looks like she needs a make-out session. I’m not saying I’m going to get Susan Boyle off, but I’ll make out with her.
You were raised in Nashville and listened to Dolly Parton and other country greats. How did your country upbringing rub off on you? Did you ever consider going in that direction musically?
I love country music because it’s all stories, and it’s honest and to the point and very blatant. I took that and twisted it to be in the words of a rambunctious, crazy party animal. I really like punk rock, and I love the Beastie Boys and I love early Madonna, so I really think my record is a reflection of all my influences growing up.
You’re close to your mom, who even co-wrote several songs on the album. How has she influenced you?
One of my first memories is when we were really broke growing up and she’s like, “If you want something, you gotta take it. It’s up to you to get what you want.” And I feel like that’s really good advice for anyone. You can’t depend on anybody else to provide you with what you want. You have to go out there and put your balls on the table and take that shit.
You’re performing for gay audiences in April at Dinah Shore Weekend and the White Party in Palm Springs. What do you have in store for partiers?
It’s going to be amazing. When I play a show, I want to be the commander-in-chief of the dance floor, and I go crazy on stage. I just hope I inspire people to go nuts and lose their minds. Again, going along with this whole “Animal” vibe, if you want to dance, or if you want to make out with the person next to you, or if you want to jump on stage, or if you just want to go nuts, go nuts! When you’re at my shows, that’s your safe place to give in to the rawness of your instincts.
What’s different about performing for gay audiences versus straight ones?
Um, gay audiences are the best audiences in the entire world! (Laughs)
Uh-oh. You’re going to offend all the straight fans.
(Laughs) Sorry! Maybe they should come to a gay show; they would agree. I just played a gay dance party in Paris. It was so insane. All these gay French men – it was so hot and amazing. I just feel more at home around people that aren’t pretentious, and I feel like gay men and I really have an understanding that we’re here to have fun. It’s all about having a really good time and dancing and being happy as opposed to being jealous or putting me down for any reason.
Why are gay men drawn to you?
It’s the irreverence. We share a kindred spirit of caring about the right things, but of really not being uptight about our sexuality.
Adam Lambert is a friend of yours – maybe more, based on some flirty tweeting that’s gone on lately.
(Laughs) I know. He’s my gay boyfriend.
Has he given you any makeup tips?
Yes! We’re the king and queen of glitter.
Who’s the queen?
(Laughs) Well, we haven’t decided that part.