JD putting herself out there is bound to confuse some people, but I’m convinced it’s a good thing. From her persona to the way she writes and performs music, JD challenges people and the status quo. She told the interviewer that MEN had to compromise a bit in their first single, "Off Our Backs," to make a radio edit that ended up sounding a little different from the album’s overall aesthetic.
The radio edit was a very complicated decision to make, but in the end, you know, I think it doesn’t change who we are as people, and I think we’re willing to at least make a 7-inch with that edit, to make that compromise, and also give us a chance in the radio world, because, you know, I want people to be ready for music like ours.
And what is music like theirs? Samson says it’s long been a misconception that gay culture is more receptive to dance music than lesbian culture. "Le Tigre was one of the first really popular acts to challenge that perception, and MEN takes the beat-intensive party vibe and runs with it." She continues:
I think there was a different kind of dance [in lesbian culture], it wasn’t called "dance music." Like when I used to go see Tribe 8, I was dancing! I was moshing! I had blood all over my shirt when I came home from that show! [Laughs]
JD might have the look that makes straight people scratch their heads, but it’s her music that will have them dancing while singing, "Hold me one time, one time only; second time it’s gonna cost some money. I’m a tease." Political pop at its best.
Think of all the Los Angeles residents who glanced at this week’s cover of the Weekly and were intrigued to know more about this androgynous person. In a world of La Rouxs and other artists who aren’t afraid to put out a persona but also aren’t interested in using words that put them in a box, JD says "I’m here, I’m queer, get with it." How can you not respect that?