Chad Radford: How did the Perez Hilton Presents tour come about?
Perez Hilton: The tour is like my baby who has been in gestation for several years now. I've wanted to do this for quite some time, and it's finally happening all at once: the tour, my record label Perezcious Music through Warner Bros., my first signing: Sliimy, who's releasing his debut on Sept. 15. It's a very exciting time for me and it all feels very natural and organic. The tour is a natural progression of what I've already been doing - I've put on events all over the world, from SXSW to CMJ to events in Toronto and Liverpool, and I've had varied people perform: Kanye West, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, N.E.R.D., Eric Hutchinson... A lot of the acts on this tour as well. Those events have mainly been invite only or where people could win tickets. Now I've taken the concept of a a cool mini-festival, taken it on the road, made it all ages and made it affordable, which were very important to me.
Is there a cross-over with your audience between your blog and what you're doing with the label and tour?
The audience for the label is a lot more varied from my traditional reader, which is a young female in her twenties. But for the music I couldn't pinpoint the demographic that specifically. Out of the events I've thrown everybody goes and everybody has a good time.
What is the thread that ties the acts that you've signed together?
The thread is that they all make music that is great in a club-like setting. It's all up tempo stuff and that's important because you want people to be into it. The worst thing would be to have straight-up singer-songwriter types on the tour opening for Ladyhawke or Ida Maria and have people talking through their sets. Everyone performing is going to make the audience want to dance, mosh, sweat and have a great time. I've hand-picked all of the acts, and I've mentioned them all on the site before and have been supporting them for a while. The most common thread is that they make really good music of varied genres; everything from punk-pop to glam rock to dance. It's very eclectic.
And you will be emceeing between sets?
I 'll be at a lot of the shows, and I'll definitely be in Atlanta because it's the first show of the tour and I'm so excited!
Do you get nervous talking in front of that many people? It's not like blogging.
Not really because I don't have to do anything but talk for a little bit, as little as possible. It's not about me, it's about the music and the artists. I don't know if a lot of these artists have toured in the markets where we're playing before. Like I don't know if Ladyhawke or Ida Maria have played in Atlanta; some of the acts have never played in America, like Frank Music and Sliimmy and Julian Perretta. I would not be surprised if Julian Perretta was nominated for a whole bunch of GRAMMY awards in 2011. Then he can say that his first shows in America were on my tour. Things like that have happened. I had Katy Perry perform at my concert in Austin for SXSW back in March of 2008. I had Lady Gaga perform at my 4th of July party and at my CMJ party in October 2008. A lot of times I mention artists before they become mainstream and go on to do really well. I wish and hope for fame for all of the acts on my tour.
You mentioned punk rock a minute ago. Is it accurate to say that you are the Johnny Rotten of the celebrity gossip blog world?
I would take that as a compliment. Johnny Rotten is very iconic, and love me or hate me I'm definitely one of the first people that come to mind when you ask what's a blogger, or who is a well known blogger, or what's a popular bloggity blog.
I guess I have a punk rock attitude in that I don't really care if people like me. I don't care if I'm perceived as a bitch. The only thing that I care about is that people are reading my website. They are and I've yet to suffer any decline in traffic, thankfully. That's mostly attributed to the hard work that I put into everything. I work harder than anyone I know.
Blogging itself is a full time job, on top of a label and curating a tour...
Checking the thousands of e-mails that I get everyday is a full time job, launching my new website CocoPerez, the record label and the tour are all full time jobs... I have been able to do it all because I love what I do... I also don't have a life and all that I do is work.
What is the one piece of journalism that has really resonated with you over the years?
I used to love reading Blender Magazine. Sadly they're no longer around. Their approach was fun and it felt fresh and authoritative.
In the video you made after being punched by the Black Eyed Peas' manager, you say "I like writing about other people's drama. I don't want drama in my own life." When you're authoritative, or critical of people's music, lives or what have you, they're not always good sports about it, as you know. Do you think about the repercussions of your words?
Not really because I don't care what people think. I don't care if the celebrities don't like what I have to say because I don't need to have access to them and I don't need to have a relationship with them. I don't take that into consideration when I'm working. Thankfully I've only had that one incident happen in the 5 years I've been blogging, and that's actually not that bad.
How do you deal with the criticism that's pointed at you, or the comments on your blog?
I don't read the comments, but it doesn't bother me because Perez is just a character. I can put him in the closet and go to bed and sleep really well. The one thing that does bother me is when people say I'm lazy because I am the hardest working person I know - possibly on the whole planet.
(Photo by Michael Tucker)
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