Sunday, May 03, 2009
Yes, Pink Has Been Bi Her Whole Life
Perez Hilton is going ga-ga over Pink's recent admission she is bisexual. But she told me pretty much the same thing back in 2003 when I interviewed her.
She had a girlfriend when she was 13, and wouldn't rule out future girlfriends (or at least same-sex shags). Here is that feature, which ran in a few LGBT regional publications...
And by the way, I think it's great she's even more forthright about being full-on bi these days. Go Pink!
by Lawrence Ferber
“I just do whatever the freak I wanna do and I do it with kindness,” insists Pink. Smoky voiced - kinda like the cool tough chick in high school who interceded when jocks got too far into your face - and good-humored, the 24-year-old multi-platinum-selling pop star has managed to infiltrate the mainstream with unpretentious punk attitudes, political mindedness, hot tunes, and, well, any hair color she pleases.
“I did it as a joke and kept it,” she notes of her hair’s bubblegum-tone between 2000’s debut album release, Can’t Take Me Home, and 2001’s M!ssundaztood. “But I get bored way too easily to keep shit like that.”
Try This (Arista) is Pink’s third album, and it’s a big ol’ peach. An uber-accessible tasty buffet of pop-rock with electronica (a la Garbage), R&B, soul, and retro/new wave touches depending on which of the generous 14 tracks you’re listening to. Pink reunited with M!ssundaztood’s out lesbian co-writer/producer (and erstwhile 4 Non-Blondes member) Linda Perry for several tracks. Other collaborators include Rancid’s Tim Armstrong, Billy Mann, Damon Elliott (Dionne Warwick’s son!) and “hardcore rap siren” Peaches (on “Oh My God”).
The album, set for November 11th release, is under tight security thanks to scurvy musical pirates, so I jaunted over to the publicist’s office for a leisurely listen on an iPod. Twenty-four hours later Pink’s on the phone, a little weary from the week’s press frenzy but in pleasant spirits, giggling often.
On what sets M!ssundaztood and Try This apart, Pink proffers: “different producers, different time in my life, and the biggest difference I guess is it’s not as painful, as in just bearing my soul.”
“When Linda and I collided two years ago, it started a shitstorm and M!ssundaztood was the child we had,” Pink explains. That “shitstorm” included a massive hit, “Get The Party Started,” which swept awards including a BRIT, MTV VMA, and Nickelodeon Kid’s Choice.
Apparently, Perry’s ace card was the ability to draw out Pink’s deepest personal traumas and emotions (“She handed me beers,” Pink jokes of Perry’s secret technique), resulting in an intimate, personal disc. As a result, some record executives were keen on tampering with Pink and Perry’s labors. “M!ssundaztood was a total fight, a knockdown drag-out fight,” Pink shares. “But you have to fight for something you believe in and put everything you have on the line and it was totally worth it.” In the end, some 12 million copies sold worldwide.
Try This was a far less arduous endeavor when it came to the label suits, emotions, and recording sessions. “Working with Tim I didn’t take as long,” she notes - Armstrong produced and co-wrote most of Try This. “There was no trauma! Three songs on this album were recorded on a tour bus driving down the street. ‘Trouble,’ ‘Oh My God,’ and ‘Save My Life’ -- you can [hear the motor running] - it’s pretty terrible. You have to [isolate] the vocals in order to hear it (laughs)!”
Regardless of the producers involved, many songs on Try This reflect aspects of Pink’s own life, both dark and light. “The Last To Know” chides an unspecified “stupid fuck,” for standing her up. “I’m not telling who!” Pink laughs when prodded for a name. “Save My Life” is a musical cry for help, of which Pink shares: “I actually wrote it about a couple of friends of mine, but I have been there so I know how it feels. I have a lot of friends struggling with depression, loneliness, drugs.”
And “Trouble,” the album’s first single (co-written with Armstrong), is a concept familiar to Pink since her youth. You name it, she’s caused it, she claims. “My favorite thing to do in school was organize walkouts. My whole life I loved to piss people off and make them question their own world and values and rules and all that shit. Nowadays I do it that with my music.”
Born in Doylestown, PA and raised in Philly, Pink (nee Alecia Moore) was first groomed for a musical future by her guitar-playing father. She was raised on Bob Dylan, Billy Joel and Peter, Paul and Mary (and some edgier stuff like 2 Live Crew and Skid Row, thanks to her brother). Come thirteen, Pink was enlisted to dance and sing Mary J. Blige hooks for a local rap group, Scratch n’ Smoove, and began writing her own songs. A year later, she recorded one, and fervently pursued attention at Philly clubs like hip-hop Club Fever, where she landed a five-minute guest spot every Friday night. This gig resulted in Pink’s discovery by an MCA A&R representative, and, respectively, placement in their fledgling black R&B group, Basic Instinct. The experience proved brief and ultimately unpleasant: Pink says her fellow members ousted her due to her skin color. A subsequent group, Choice, followed, which led to Pink’s discovery and signing by Antonio “L.A.” Reid, co-founder of La Face Records.
As for her (literally) colorful nickname? Rumors and origin tales abound, ranging from it’s the color her face turns when embarrassed to, more lewdly, something a boy cried out when she shoved his face, ahem, down there. “Ah, it’s all true,” Pink responds, mildly amused and clearly used to this question. “It was just a nickname people gave me when I was younger. My friends called me ‘Pink.’ It was just like ‘junior’ or anything else, and it’s become a lot larger than it was intended to be.”
Getting back to that trouble-causing habit, Pink’s been putting her personal feelings, voice and ethics to use for social causes. Recently, she shot off a letter to Petco’s CEO, Brian Devine, asking him to do something about what she alleges is the company’s cruel mistreatment of animals - allowing dead animals to rot, freezing live sick ones, overcrowding cages - in its stores (see the letter and details at http://www.peta.org/feat/pink). “I sent a letter to him, I sent a letter to Vogue, I sent a letter to Prince William,” she adds. “I’ve sent a lot of letters recently. And Petco released a statement that said everything I said wasn’t true, but,” she says, “ it’s already been proven that it is true, so all I’m doing is making people aware that that’s how they’re treating the animals.”
Pink’s also lashed out against homophobia, racism, and bigotry whenever she’s witnessed it. “I’m just a tough bitch,” she admits. “I used to get in a lot of fights. Over disrespect. I like respect and I don’t like sexism or all that prejudice and stuff. Most of my fights have been over something like that.”
Since her youth, Pink has mixed with a pretty diverse crowd, including the queer boys. “Right now I’m perfecting my catwalk,” she laughs. “I’m really coming close. I twirl the pussy, yes.” She admits to twirling with lesbianism as well - at thirteen she had a girlfriend, “and she left me for my brother. It was pretty sick!”
Would she date a girl now? “I don’t know, I don’t know. I don’t like the word ‘date.’” How about ‘sleep with’ a girl? “It depends.”
It definitely wouldn’t be one of the girls from long-since-dissolved Basic Instinct, though. In fact, Pink doesn’t have many words to spare about those gals.
“I have a tattoo on my wrist that says ‘What goes around comes around,’ so I don’t usually need to say anything to people,” she affirms. “I let karma bite them in the ass.”