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Bands to Watch – Scissor Sisters

Onthe set of his band’s photo shoot, Scissor Sisters frontman Jake Shearspolitely requests that five mirrored disco balls be removed from thepremises. He’s seen the Sisters referred to as a “gay disco band” onetoo many times, and doesn’t want to stoke the, um, inferno. “Writersthrow out these references because I’m gay and we dabble in dancemusic,” Shears says. “Fuck off. We’re not the Village People.”

Indeed:The band’s self-titled debut album is often campy but never kitschy.And while Shears’ falsetto hits helium heights worthy of the brothersGibb, there’s nothing disco about the boisterous single “Take YourMama,” which evokes Elton John at his honky-tonkin’-est, or “Lovers inthe Backseat,” a seamy tribute to Scary Monsters-era DavidBowie. It’s an appropriately eclectic range of influences for a bandfronted by a former go-go dancer with a degree in fiction writing and atattooed, statuesque diva (covocalist Ana Matronic) who honed her chopsas the ruling “faux queen” at a weekly San Francisco drag show calledTrannyshack.

If their reception overseas is any indication, the Sisterswill be dazzling American audiences before too long. When theyperformed in London, “it was like someone took a fire hose full ofEcstasy and doused the crowd,” Matronic says. “I’m surprised peopleweren’t hurling themselves off the balcony,” Shears marvels. “I’venever seen such a wall of bliss.”