Beth Ditto

The thing about being on the majors, from the beginning, going into this, I was like, “I’m not going to be treated like a factory,” because that’s never the way it was done before. You’re talking about a major label, we’re talking about serious business; you’re not an artist anymore, you’re a business, you have to work in terms of product, you have to release a product, and I don’t really think that way at all.

I think from a major-label perspective, if you were on the flip side of things and that’s the world you were used to working in, your interpretation could be, “Oh, they’re having trouble writing songs,” when really it’s like, “No, I’m not ready to write songs, I don’t want to write a song right now, if I did write a song, it would be forced.”

You don’t pigeonhole yourself, people pigeonhole you. If the world is not at a place yet where it can just be like, “This music is gay and it’s music,” then it’s not my fault that it gets pigeonholed, it’s not the people in the band’s fault, it’s because people won’t just let music be music, people who need to put a name on something or to critique something.

My life hasn’t been conventional and it hasn’t been linear. I’ve had to make it up as I’ve gone along, which has taught me a lot. If you don’t accept the obvious options that are laid out for you, it’s up to you to work out where you’re going and to create your own specific rules and goals.

I’ve never had a very quiet voice. I tried in choir to make it smaller, and it just didn’t work out. And I listened to a lot of soul music when I was growing up on my own accord. But I was mostly into Mama Cass and Gladys Knight, and they all had big voices too; just different than mine.

I feel dance and pop music genres are extremely female and extremely gay. When it comes to art and pop culture, queers are f – king weirdos. We don’t have gender rules that tell us what we can and can’t be. We just make it up as we go along. We have full creative license to be whatever we want to be.