Profiles

Praga Khan of Lords of Acid on the role of sexuality in his songwriting and writing music for Mortal Kombat

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Ww: Your use of sexuality in your songs seems to me playfully cartoonish, so how do you feel about some of the negative attention you've received because of that?

P: The thing is that it's very hypocritical. If there's one thing in this world that everyone is doing, even priests, it's having sex. Everybody is interested in sex because that's our nature. So I don't see why we can't talk about it, or why we can't have a little fun with it. It's the most normal thing in the world. Not everyone is doing drugs or playing football or baseball -- we all have different hobbies -- but if there's one thing we're all very interested in, it's sex. I don't see a reason why I can't talk or sing about it.

As long as people have fun by having good sex and not harassing people or doing things like having sex with children or stuff like that, as long as it's adults knowing what they're doing, for me they can do whatever they want. But don't harass or abuse me. Having sex is having fun, and that's what it should be.

A lot of people came up to me years ago and said, "I'm gay, and I have a lot of problems, but listening to your records made me feel that I was not a criminal because I was gay. It helped me explore my sexuality." In a way it's also therapeutic. When it's fun, I really like it, but when it goes into perversion with children or stuff like that, I hate it. As long as it's done by adults, who am I to judge or throw the first stone?

Most of the time the people who have a problem with it are the worst of all. You see what's happening in the Catholic church? They're shouting from the rooftops about people being gay going to hell, and then the scandals come out the priests are molesting children -- that's the worst. It's not like I'm against the Catholic church -- because I am Catholic myself -- it's just that aspect of some people's hypocrisy is a bit much.

Ww: Why did you go for more of a rock sound with Farstucker?

P: I'm always looking for new challenges, and I try to make each album different. At the end of the day, it's still dance music, and if you use techno sounds or rock sounds... a lot of people think dance music is disco. But to me dance music is anything you can dance to. Salsa and Rhumba are dance music or whatever you can dance to.

I don't see why Iggy Pop's "The Passenger" isn't dance music or punk. I always try to experiment with styles, and I don't want to put myself in a position where I can't do this or that because I don't like restrictions. If I'm restricted, I can't be creative anymore. I do what I feel, and what I feel is what I do. That's why it always sounds new and innovative, because I try to keep up with the newest sounds.

I'm a music addict, and I listen to a lot of stuff going on. What makes Lords of Acid special is that there are no rules. We did a country song called "Don't Kill For Love," we did a reggae song, "Marijuana in Your Brain," we did drum and bass with "Voodoo-U." We can do whatever we want as long as there's Lords of Acid sauce over the top.

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Tom Murphy is a writer, visual artist and musician from Aurora, Colorado. He was a prolific music writer for Westword and a documenter of the Denver music scene.