Traci Lords is ever the polymath—author, actress, DJ, mother, former adult film star. And she took the occasion of the release of her new dance-music compilation, Traci Lords Presents: M2F2 (Sea to Sun), to tell us about the soundtrack to her multifarious life.
What was the last thing you listened to before you went to bed last night, and the first thing you listened to when you woke up this morning? The last thing I listened to—this is kind of embarrassing—was the Little Einsteins theme song because that’s what my son watched last night. And the first thing I listened to this morning was the theme song to Scooby Doo. The only time I listen to grownup music is when I’m driving my car.
What do you listen to when you’re driving? I was actually listening to my live DJ set from a few weeks back, which was kind of groovy. I had some of the House Rejects, a little bit of Moby, Deadmau5, Sylvia Tosun. It helped me where the coffee did not, and I took it into the gym. It was a nice break from Scooby Doo. Those kids’ songs get stuck in your head. It’s crazy.
What was your first concert? The Beach Boys with my parents. But I took a very drastic turn when I got into junior high, because then it became about Ozzy Osbourne and the US Festival and sneaking out the window and going with my friends.
What were you listening to the first time you smoked pot? Ozzy Osbourne, of course. I was in the backseat of a Fiat in the school parking lot. It’s so bad.
Was there a song that made you want to be a DJ? I don’t think it was a song that made me want to be a DJ. It was the experience of doing it. I was looking for a way to express myself musically, but it was difficult to do a live show with techno at the time. I wasn’t in the mood to lip-sync or do club dates, and I was working a lot with [composer] Ben Watkins [of Juno Reactor] at the time, who was known for doing live drums and very tribal stuff. A lot of his and Killing Joke’s stuff inspired me.
What do you listen to on a film set? If I’m doing something serious I try to listen to happy music. I make mixes for my makeup trailer, like Katy Perry, some Blondie. If it’s something like a sitcom, then I tend to listen to darker, harder techno like Ron Reeser or Dan Saenz.
Which of your films had the best soundtrack? Blade, by far. The director who put that together, Stephen Norrington, was really into electronic music. He directed with his headphones on. In that scene with the dancing and the bloodbath, you can really feel the music. And he cut that, he directed that. It has such a rhythm and such a beat to it and I've never seen a director work like that.
Who of your former coworkers has a better taste in music: Russell Crowe, Wesley Snipes, or Seth Rogen? Seth Rogen. He was very eclectic in his musical taste. He listened to a little bit of rock, he could definitely have fun with a little bit of disco, he liked some oldies, some new stuff. He was fun.
What’s your favorite movie soundtrack? You’re going to laugh, but I love Hairspray, because it’s fun and I love John Waters. I love the soundtrack to Fight Club because it’s got a mix of really cool rock.
Name a playlist on your iPod. I’ve got the Gym Beat, for sure. I spend a lot of time there, and you can guess what’s on there. Usually it’s the latest DJ thing I did, or stuff I’ve been gathering. And then I have the Love Mix, too. That was pretty much where the idea for M2F2 came from, being able to put it on and not switch it over because it interrupted the mood.
What song do you want played at your funeral? Maybe “Here I Go Again.” It has a bit of a sense of humor, doesn’t it? A little bit of Whitesnake at one’s funeral?
Who would you portray in a rock biopic? Maybe Pat Benatar. She’s fascinating, because she started in opera and I know she’s trained that way. Pat Benatar’s a fun lady. If I played her I’d have to lip-sync.
You don't like to lip-synch, though. If I played Pat Benatar, I might have to.