Katy Perry: Not just one of the boys
A minister?s daughter turned pop provocateur brings some candy-colored girl power to the Warped Tour
By Scott Thill
Special to Metromix
June 16, 2008
Joan Jett meets Pat Benatar? Yes please!
Katy Perry grew up singing in the choir as a minister's daughter in Santa Barbara, Calif., but now she's singing songs about girls kissing girls, guyliner-wearing emo dudes and other secular topics on her debut full-length, ?One of the Boys.? What happened?
?It?s similar to coming out of the closet,? Perry says of her transformation from Christian good-girl to Perez Hilton?s favorite new foul-mouthed pop vixen. After smacking down the pop emoverse with an underground hit called "Ur So Gay" and scoring a top iTunes download with the provocative "I Kissed a Girl," Perry is crashing the Warped Tour sausage fest with her sassy girl-power pop-rock. Too bad her parents still just don't understand.
Have you been talking to journalists all day?
You know, you're my first. You get the best. I've been working on my music video, so everybody's running around like chickens with their heads cut off. I'm not exhausted, but I'm excited to the point that I can't sleep. I'm shooting my first real big-budget video, and I'm nervous.
I played "Ur So Gay" for my wife and she said, "Can you make a song that says that?"
I love her already. I never thought my mean moment would live on forever. It's also a warning to future boyfriends. It takes the piss out of boys I know so well, who are also my friends. But I'm a jokester. I poke fun.
It's reportedly about an ex of yours. How did he take it?
We had a conversation about it. We had some words. He was fine. I played him the song when I first made it and said, "C'mon, motherfucker, you're gonna dump me?" And he was like, "Oh shit."
Have you gotten any beef from anyone in the straight or gay community about it?
I haven?t really got any protests. Here and there, there have been people who don't know the premise behind it. They live to be offended and leave anonymous comments on my profile. I got a couple people calling me a dumb bitch whore who should just throw herself in the river. But that's intense, and I don't acknowledge it.
You like to mess around with sex: straight boys who act gay, girls kissing girls.
You know what's weird? When I first made [this album], I never thought it would turn out this way. I've been making it for a period of four or so years. These are the best songs, and some of them turned out to be about relationships. But it's definitely straddling the line between sexy and cute. I'm about bubblegum and pastels and pinks, but I do have a burlesque side to me.
Your album cover riffs on the original film adaptation of Nabokov's ?Lolita.? Are you a fan?
It's my favorite movie in the world. I have this weird obsession with her. I love the Kubrick movie, but I also love the other movie with Jeremy Irons and Dominique Swain. I've been obsessed with that movie for years now. I just got a soft pink Gibson Les Paul and I named it Lolita.
What does a guy have to do to afford you on the song "If You Can Afford Me"?
That's about a girl being sassy to guy: "It takes more than a wink, more than a drink." It's a weird thing dating these days. In Hollywood, a guy asks a girl to go to dinner and think he's going to get something out of it. So the song is a message that says, "Please, I'm worth more than that."
It must be trip going from a Christian upbringing to that.
Yeah, it's similar to coming out of the closet. You grow up restricted and told no your whole life, then all of a sudden everything changes. For me, I guess it's not intentional. I'm 23, I am who I am. My parents love me and I love them, we have a great relationship. I'm not sure I'm the poster child they wanted me to be, but who ends up that way? They're proud of me, but wish I would change as well.
What do you mean?
Well, both are ministering in Europe right now. I called mom and said that Madonna went on the radio and said "Ur So Gay" was one of her favorite songs. But her first reaction was negative, about how she sees Madonna's spread legs on every subway stop through Europe. That was her only reaction. But it's OK; I don't need to change them. They love what they do, and I support them.