Yes fellow space cadets, I'm a man of my word. After a month or two of playing e-mail tag I finally managed to snag an interview with B. Slade. It's pretty lengthy so I had to break it up into three parts, but it's a very good Q&A if I do say so myself:).
B. Slade talks about everything--from preparing to play late disco icon Sylvester and the enduring magic of the Jacksons to the slightly scary influence of David Bowie's Labyrinth and Grace Jones. The singer also sounds off organized religion, closeted gospel artists, suicide among gay teens, being a role model and why Patti Labelle is "beyond beast." Here are few quotes from the interview:
On the Seventies-inspired sound of Stereotype:
"The Seventies to me was quite frankly the best music...there was something that was little bit more intrinsic about the Seventies. The chord structure, the changes, the heart, the lyrical content. You really had to have raw talent. You really had to have a perspective."
"He was a nonconformist. And he was fabulous in everything he did."
On the Jac5son Magic Mixtape and Janet & Michael:
"Michael of course was the epicenter of that whole family earthquake, but the aftershock, literally was Janet. They've had a major influence. Certain songs were more for Mike. But my allegiance and my biggest artistic influence as an artist has been Janet Jackson. Hands down."
On whether other gospel artists will come out:
"There are not many cut out to do what I did. A lot of people's complete career is built off of a perception, or an illusion...it's not for everyone."
On the current state of the black church:
"People are starting to see that the leaders of these religions are just as fallible, if not more, than its subjects. Now because of current events, things keep popping up that are forcing the black church to deal with issues that have been very prominent all along. I'm really interested to see how this is all going to play out."
On being an openly gay artist in the music industry:
"I think the majority of the people in the industry respect truth. As maniacal as the music industry can be, they can't fuck with the truth."
Update: All of B. Slade's commercial releases--The Jack5on Magic Mixtape, Gospop and Stereotype--have been removed from the singer's bandcamp page. According to an official website statement:
"To welcome in 2011, B.Slade is currently in a MAJOR career transition and wishes to thank everyone for their support and interest. Summer of 2011 will reveal exciting news & informtation. As of now B.Slade is focusing on his acting career & international securities. STAY TUNED."
For those who need a hit of B. Slade before then, the singer has released a new single called "Kaleidoscope," which is available on his bandcamp page. Listen to all three parts of the interview below: