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Scissor Sisters’ Jake Shears Loves Magic Mushrooms and Kylie Minogue

Jake Shears

One listen to the Scissor Sisters’ new Magic Hour, the beloved disco revivalists’ shiny, exuberant fourth studio album, out May 29, and it’s clear that frontman Jake Shears’ irrepressible love for outlandish kitsch and vivid experience is still in full feather. Speaking with SPIN before a warm-up show in Manhattan (the band’s proper U.S. tour starts June 15 in Las Vegas), Shears shared what else tickles his fancy.

Favorite song:
It’s a toss-up between Bette Midler’s “The Rose” and Roxy Music’s “More Than This.” “The Rose” I never get sick of. I love singing it live. And “More Than This” is one of the best songs ever written, in my opinion.

Favorite new musical artist:
My favorite new artist is this French duo called Trust. Casey Spooner [of Fischerspooner] turned me on to them and their album, TRST. It’s really good, melodic, euphoric, spooky, goth synth-pop. The singer kind of sounds like a garbled frog, and it’s really scary, Buffalo Bill music, but really well done.

Favorite record store:
I love Rebel Rebel in Manhattan’s West Village for vinyl, but record stores are hard to come by these days. I almost don’t even use iTunes. I mostly use music subscription services. But I’ll go into Rebel Rebel once a month or so and buy everything I love on vinyl.

Favorite venue:
One of my favorite venues is the Bowery Ballroom in New York. I love the room; there’s a tiny stage but I really like the feel of it. The Showbox in Seattle is another one of my favorites, but it’s so in demand that you don’t always get to play there.

Favorite collaborator:
Kylie [Minogue]. We always have fun writing together. And it’s nice when you have a friend with whom you can use songwriting as an excuse to get together and have a good time, drink too much caffeine and dance around. It never seems like work.

Favorite tour keepsake:
I got really wasted in Austin, Texas, and went shopping for clothes in a vintage shop and I found a long, tux jacket that went down to the back of my knees. And some housewife on too many diet pills had painted all of New York City on the back in colored puff paint. It was one of the coolest things I’ve ever found. I wore it to a dinner party once and a photo of it ended up in Men’s Vogue.

Favorite way to kill time while touring:
We love watching The Swan. Season 1 on DVD never gets old. The Swan is a reality show from a few years ago where they would take women who didn’t feel good about themselves and completely fuck up their faces with plastic surgery and then put them in a contest with one another to see who turned out more beautiful. The first season is amazing just because they had no idea what they’re doing and it was like mutilation television. I shouldn’t enjoy it as much as I do. But we watch it on the bus and then have Swan pageants where we Scotch tape our faces.

Favorite food:
I’m such a fitness freak that I eat so plain, it’s gross. I have oatmeal in the morning and then I have chicken breasts and vegetables and spinach shakes.

Favorite drug:
Probably psilocybin. I love a mushroom, those are always a good time. And on the harmful scale from 1 to 10, they’re a zero. You just can’t go wrong. I like the way that they make me laugh and you can sit down and stare at trees for a long while and it’s super entertaining.

Favorite saying:
I travel so much and am always living out of a suitcase, so my favorite saying is “Wherever you go, there you are.” I love it because it’s reassuring to me that you have to live in the moment wherever you happen to be.