Porcelain Black: Black in the Saddle
BY Diane Anderson-Minshall
December 13 2011 7:18 PM ET
Do you feel like you belong now?
When your mom remarried into a sort of suburban cookie-cutter world, how old were you? What was that experience like?
I was 10 or 11. It was whack, but I was just like, Screw this! And I would go hang out with my dad at his hair salon, Beaton Colors, after school. I didn't really care about hanging with people from school. I was at photo shoots and backstage at fashion shows and cool after-parties instead of sleepovers.
Your father was a hairstylist who occasionally worked for Vogue. He must have been around a lot of gay folks in the industry. Were you exposed to LGBT individuals while you were growing up? How did that impact you?
Oh, yes. Me and all the gay boys that worked at my dad’s hair salon got along quite nicely. [Laughs] I was exposed to all kinds of people and learned at a young age that people's differences are what make them beautiful. It’s what makes the world go round. If we weren't different, the world would be boring.
You actually ran away as a teenager. What was that time like? How did you live?
I got kicked out of two schools when I was 15. My dad died of cancer. My mom hated me for being different. So I just ran away. I went and lived with older punk-rock friends and moved around a lot. I lived at some friends’ places in Detroit, lived in Cleveland, Florida. Went on tour with friends’ bands. Went to Seattle. I was all over the place. How did I live? How didn’t I live? I lived life to the fullest and did whatever I wanted. The world was my oyster.
It’s been said that Virgin wanted you to sing like Avril Lavigne, not Marilyn Manson meets Britney Spears. Is that true? How do you fight that?
My A&R at Virgin was way cool. I actually love him! But yes, I wasn't down with the music direction so I got out of that deal. Always stay true to your art.
Does looking like a bad-ass affect how people treat you?
Yeah, because they are either afraid of me or super-intimidated but I’m the easiest person to get along with. As long as you’re real and have a good heart, we will get along. Just be cool, and we'll be cool. Cool?