“So are you and Tommy Lee gonna go troll for women?” we asked in our recent interview with Patrice Pike. Patrice breaks into a laugh at the question, a laugh that hints at her lush, low singing voice.
The question might be funny now, but Pike is one of the final seven contestants on Rock Star: Supernova. If she wins, she'll be fronting a band whose other members are Gilby Clarke, formerly of Guns N' Roses; Jason Newsted, who spent 15 years as a bassist for Metallica; and of course, Tommy Lee of Motley Crue fame. It only follows that Tommy, one of the most notorious rock star playboys of our time, and Pike, who has long been openly bisexual, might team up for a night on the town.
But even though the Rock Star contestants have already partied in Vegas with the guys of Supernova, Pike insists that for the moment, all such diversions are on hold. “I'm here to audition for Supernova,” she says. “I'm totally focused on that.”
Queer fans of Rock Star: Supernova may themselves be focused on Pike's sexual orientation. She's often mistaken for a lesbian, but as she told The Austin Chronicle in 2002, "I am bisexual. I have always had wonderful, very satisfying relationships with men. But when I started dating a woman, I discovered that nobody wants you if you're bisexual."
She officially came out as bisexual in an interview with The Chicago Tribune, when a reporter asked her directly if she was gay. Pike recalled in the Austin Chronicle interview, "It was one of those moments where I could give the easy answer and bond with her. I was dating a woman at the time and getting a lot of support from the gay community. But it was important to me at that moment to be clear and accurate about where I'm coming from.
"So I told her I was bisexual, and I could tell she was disappointed. It took some of the wind out of her sails, but I was happy. I don't want people to support me based on an image that's not real. For me, it's about the truth."
Looking back over her 16-year musical career, it's apparent that Pike, who is 35, isn't afraid to stand out. Since her teens, Pike has been writing and playing her own music, first with the band Sister Seven, then fronting Patrice Pike and the Black Box Rebellion, then on her own. She has toured the world, shared stages with the likes of Dave Matthews and Sarah McLachlan, and scored more than one Billboard hit.
Pike is an accomplished, nationally known musician in her own right. In fact, it was her career and her reputation for searing, live performances that caught the attention of the Supernova producers; they called her to invite her to audition for the show.
“At first when they called I was like, no way,” Pike says. “It was a total 180 as far as what my intentions have been for the past few years. For the last six months I've been mixing my new record, which I've been working on for two years, and getting my label [ZainWayne Records] ready to launch the record.” Pike released her last album, Fencing Under Fire, on her ZainWayne label in 2002.
“But then I started thinking about how much I missed playing in a rock band,” she recalls, “and how fun it would be to get out of the bubble I had created for myself for the last five years. I realized that I kind of lost this edge of being crazy, going off the wall and doing crazy creative things.”
She continues: “I'd been doing a lot of over thinking my career. I wanted to pull back and make a lot of decisions intuitively, based on how I was feeling.”