Composed of Donnie Moore, Madison Moore and Santiago Guerrero, the band Absolutely Not knows how to rock. This Chicago-based group is influenced by punk music while creating something absolutely new. Their latest endeavor is titled Errors and was released on No Trend Records.
Out frontman Moore talked about new videos and his long-running LGBT concert at Empty Bottle called Glitter Creeps.
Windy City Times: Where are you from?
Donnie Moore: My sister, who is in the band, and I are originally from Florida. I moved up here about nine years ago and she did five years ago.
WCT: Were you always in bands growing up?
DM: Yes. I was in two bands in Florida when I started writing Absolutely Not songs. I started performing those songs with a couple of friends down there. I moved up here and got new people to be in the backing band. Madison moved up and started playing keys. We found Santiago. Now we are the band everyone knows today!
WCT: Where does the band name come from?
DM: I was sitting around in Florida and asking my friends what to name the band. When I suggested a name they sassily said, "Oh, absolutely not!" It just clicked and I decided to name my band that.
You don't say Absolutely Not unless it is said with zest. It was just the perfect name for the style of music that I was going for.
WCT: What music were influenced by while forming the band?
DM: My influence grows from that birth of punk in the late '60s, like The Stooges, and the glam rock stuffalso post-punk music like Devo, XTC and Dog Faced Hermans.
WCT: Talk about the new album, Errors.
DM: We worked on it with Brian Fox, who is our engineer and co-produces the album with me too. He is dating my sister, the keyboardist so now everything is all in the family.
Everyone would come into the studio and try to capture the feel of how we play live. I would spend time on the mixing after that. I wanted the complete vision of what is in my brain. I didn't want it to be rushed.
WCT: What was the inspiration behind the video for "Blood Money?"
DM: The song and video is about a cyborg woman who kills men for money. It is a combination of my love for sci-fi mixed in with my love of music from the '80s. I loved the New York Dolls and The Dicks coming out onstage in drag. That whole time period is important to me and a big inspiration.
WCT: How do you dress at your live performances?
DM: I always wear all black: a simple black T-shirt, pants, and shoes. It is because I hated seeing bands wear clothes that were unobtainable to most kids. I don't like that people have taken rock music and made it into a style to fit into. I wear black to be nondescript. There is no band on it and I am not promoting a clothing company with it.
It also adds to the tall-man-in-black vibe!
WCT: I saw local drag artist Lucy Stoole in the video for "Strictly Top." How did that come about?
DM: That is the opposite of the horror punk of "Blood Money." "Strictly Top" is more of the Talking Heads influence. I wanted the video to have drag queens, transgender people, and other races in there. I had a white couple in there too. I tried to cover all of my bases!
I wanted a celebration of everyone, to show we are all friends and nothing else matters.
WCT: Have you always been an out musician?
DM: I came out in high school with one of the first bands I was in. As far as being in Chicago as Absolutely Not, I definitely never hid my sexuality.
In some ways it has been a very liberating, positive thing, but all there have been struggles. Chicago has been pretty good to me. The punk rock scene is not heavily gay in any city. I am alone in that world sometimes. I would meet other guys in bands at shows and they would all be straight. Sometimes I would feel very alone.
WCT: Where did Glitter Creeps start?
DM: It started at Archie's about four years ago. It was just a DJ night where I had musicians who were gay supportive or a part of the LGBT community themselves. After it did pretty well I went to the booker at Empty Bottle and asked to have bands there. She automatically gave me the third Wednesday of the month for six months. The turnout was always great.
We change the band every month. We haven't repeated a band yet. There are too many bands in Chicago to have the same band over and over again. The style changes every month too. One month we had a metal show, the next hip hop, it has everything.
WCT: There are plans for a tour in the fall?
DM: Yes, to the New York and Philly area. I do like touring. I am working so it is not a vacation, but beneath it all I am traveling the country. It's cool to wake up to different sights and sounds. It keeps me on my toes!
Moore of the band can be seen at the Auxiliary Arts Center, 3012 W. Belmont Ave. on Saturday, Sept. 30.