For Jake Shears, Wanting To 'Make People Smile' Helped Him Become A Star

The Scissor Sisters frontman recalls his rise from go-go dancer to glam-pop rocker.
Jake Shears looked back on his career in a candid interview with "Sparkle & Circulate with Justin Sayre." 
Jake Shears looked back on his career in a candid interview with "Sparkle & Circulate with Justin Sayre." 

It’s no secret that Scissor Sisters frontman Jake Shears got his first taste of live performance while working as a New York go-go dancer. 

In a new interview with “Sparkle & Circulate with Justin Sayre,” the singer-songwriter took a candid look back at his career thus far. As it turns out, Shears, 38, found solace in music in the days following the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. 

“I was loving dancing, but then, I got kind of bored with it,” he tells host Justin Sayre in the clip below. Post-9/11 Manhattan, however, was “such a strange time” to be pursuing a new career objective, but nonetheless, Shears connected with musician Scott “Babydaddy” Hoffman. 

“We just started hanging out at his place and recording really dumb things that we thought were hilarious,” Shears recalls. Eventually, the two men wrote a new tune, “Bicycling with the Devil,” which they performed at New York’s Slipper Room. “I felt like it would be fun to go out and do something that would make people smile,” he says. It was there they met singer Ana Matronic, and the Scissor Sisters behind hits like “I Don’t Feel Like Dancin’” and “Let’s Have A Kiki” were born. 

Shears’s full “Sparkle & Circulate” interview with Sayre can be heard here. Previous interviews have included “RuPaul’s Drag Race” champion Jinkx Monsoon, “Queer as Folk” icon Randy Harrison and singer Gabrielle Stravelli

Sayre, a writer-performer based in New York and Los Angeles, is best known as the host of “International Order of Sodomites” (I.O.S.) which, for eight years, gathered monthly for “The Meeting,” a variety show honoring gay icons and cultural works.

He’ll return to the stage with a brand new show, “I’m Gorgeous Inside,” which plays Los Angeles’s Au Lac, Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater in New York and Oasis in San Francisco throughout the month of September. 

You can also view some previous performances from “The Meeting” on Sayre’s official YouTube page. For more Sayre, head to Facebook and Twitter

Catch the latest in LGBTQ culture by subscribing to the Queer Voices newsletter.