The infamous “Party Monster” of the 90’s and leader of the Club Kids, told us about the partying years in New York, how did he change and which are his goals from now on.
Hey Michael, it’s a pleasure speaking with you, tell us a few things about your latest exhibition “Inside Out: An Outsider’s Perspective From The Inside”. How was the experience?
The “Inside Out” show was my very first art exhibition, I was extremely nervous, having my work be seen by thousands of people! I never realized how much anxiety is involved in showing your artwork to strangers. I was expecting the critics to be vicious…thankfully they were not!
Did you always like painting? Was art always important to you?
I had never painted a thing until I started in prison, after my friend Freez suggested we buy some art supplies to pass the time. We both began painting, just to have something to do, and we were blown away with some of the pieces we ended up making. Freez had always been an artist, he painted and made clothing and music and was just an all-around kind of artist. I was never like that, so it was very surprising when it seemed as if I could actually paint.
I’ve heard that you’re starting your own fashion line. Could you give us some details about that project?
Yes! I have a new clothing line coming out, its called SKRODDLEFACE, which is a term that may seem confusing or maybe even like something from another language, but if you are or were a club kid, you would understand perfectly. It’s an ambiguous, all-encompassing kind of word that could mean anything from “sweetie-pie” to “cock-sucker,” but generally leans more toward sweetie-pie!
What are your inspirations when it comes to fashion? Any designers you admire?
Well, obviously Leigh Bowery is a huge inspiration…as are Boy George and Steve Strange and all of those Blitz Kids, from London. I’ve never really cared too much for mainstream designers, I tend toward the more edgy, underground clothing lines like Body Map and Discount Universe. Both of those are big inspirations to me.
Lets go back to the 90’s. What do you miss the most about the NY party scene and the Club Kids era?
I miss the era of the gigantic Superclub! There is a frenzied, chaotic energy to a huge nightclub that you just don’t get in a smaller club. I’m rarely inspired by smaller clubs. Unfortunately, the rising cost of real estate in NYC makes it virtually impossible for a larger club to make a profit. There haven’t been any large clubs in NYC in years and years, and I don’t see any opening any time soon…
How do you think you’ve changed through these past years?
The most major way I have changed over the years is that I am now an extremely patient person. I was never even CLOSE to patient before! I was extremely demanding, to the point of being annoying. I can’t believe anyone was even my friend back then. I look at footage of my behavior from that time and I cringe. The one thing prison teaches you, is that you are not more or less important than anyone else and that you must wait your turn. My friends all notice this change in me and they can hardly believe it!
What’s something totally bizarre about you, Michael?
I guess the thing that is totally bizarre about me….is that there is nothing really bizarre about me. I am actually pretty normal…well, you know, at least as far as I am concerned. Some people might find some of the things I do a little strange…I don’t know if normal people piss in other people’s champagne glasses, for example…but then, I don’t do those things anymore, either! 🙂
What do you enjoy the most doing in your free time?
Free time!!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAA!!That’s pretty funny!!!
Talking about the present, what usually takes place during one of your typically night outs?
Unfortunately I don’t have the time to go out very much…I have been out maybe five times in the past year. I am always home working, or planning a project, or writing my Gay Times column, or an article for the New York Post, or meeting with potential investors, or brainstorming ideas for future projects.
Any other future plans/projects? Should we expect any new surprises?
Besides my clothing line I am writing a screenplay called “#underdogg,” recording two new singles for Traxx records, working on two books: a postcard book of my artwork, and my autobiography, “Aligula.” I am also painting, getting new pieces ready for Art Basel, where I will be exhibiting my paintings in Miami, in December. I am working on a reality show/art collective called “Countdown,” my daily web show, “The Pee-ew,” and AligMart, the shop at michaelalig.com where you can get all kinds of merchandise. In fact, I need to go right now in order to upload today’s new episode of The Pee-ew! Bye! 🙂
Interview by Yannis Skarakis