The local band challenging national anti-gay laws

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On Monday Pink News brought you the story of Paparazzi Whore cancelling a gig in Pacha Marrakech over problems with Moroccan law regarding homosexuality, Dave McElhill meets a band challenging African attitudes.

Speaking to lead singer Micci leaves you in no doubt that Paparazzi Whore are a band on the rise, with their strong lyrics and fun take on life.

We spoke to the band about the cancellation of the Morocco gig, the late arrival of the Cooper Temple Clause album, and the band’s aim for success.

Were you looking forward to the Pacha Marrakech gig?

Micci Yes, very much so. Its a very beautiful place Morocco and we were looking forward to it, not that it is going to happen now, though.

When did you first sign up to gig?

Micci This year, in June.

There was no mention then that homosexuality is illegal in Morocco?

Micci No, we were not made aware of the rules at the time. We weren’t warned of any of the restrictions that are put on people.

Were you surprised by the potential problems at Pascha?

Micci Yes, definitely. It was a huge a shock. We assumed that because it was a top European resort it would be OK. It is deeply unfair. Pacha should try to do something about this problem.

Has having been open about your sexuality regarding the band caused problems?

Micci No not at all, I am very proud of who I am. How dare anybody question my choice, how dare they question who I am?

Do you worry that you can be pigeon-holed as ‘homosexual’ band by the media?

Micci No, not at all. When you look at artists like Madonna or Kylie Minogue having a huge gay following has been no problem. People will think different things about us, and we can’t claim to be one thing or the other.

After your next gigs in Hull (20 Sept 2 Oct) do you have any other dates booked?

Micci We are waiting for our manager to confirm four dates in London over October and November at venues like the 100 club, the Carling Academy and Barfly Islington.

What are your next moves as a band?

Micci Getting it out there and gigging as much as possible, and getting through to people. We’re doing this through gigs, interviews and magazines, no matter what their interest and sexuality

Why the interesting choice of name?

Micci It basically just describes the society that we live in today. Society has taken a big turn into promoting things like Pop Idol, about becoming a star quickly. These people on the shows have some talent, but they haven’t put the work in that bands will touring and playing gigs. They’ve managed to get in front of the camera for a few minutes.

This has stopped talented people who have worked hard and who deserve it getting in front of the camera. ‘Paparazzi Whore’ just means becoming a slave to the media. We’ve had quite a few people offended by the name who wont have us play. People don’t like it because they think of the word ‘whore’ in purely sexual terms, not in the way that we are using it.

Have you enjoyed the response to your music so far?

Micci We like people to just enjoy themselves when they listen to our music. When we ask “where’s your sense of humour?’ at the beginning of I don’t think so we don’t want people to be taking us seriously, there’s too much serious music at the moment.

What’s your favourite music at the moment

Micci Definitely Muse, the Cooper Temple Clause ( they’re still going? – dave)… oh yes, we are all big fans and are going to watch them when they come to Hull in October. We love the energy that some bands have, we just love bands who have that drive and energy. Also a fan of Supagrass, they do tongue in cheek music very well.

And the worst music you’ve heard of late?

Micci (Laughs) Anything that is basically manufactured. I won’t mention names…(go on we don’t mind – dave )… well people like a certain women who was number one recently. I find bands that are a watered down version of original bands very irritating, like the bands that have followed on from Coldplay.