Hunk du Jour: What gigs does Vintage Youth have lined up for Pride Season?
Giulio Pellcoolj: We have two appearances coming up for Seattle PrideFest. We'll be part of the Hard Times takeover of the PrideFest DJ Stage and then immediately afterward we head over to the Main stage. I'm very excited to be part of the Hard Times/Qulture Qreative crew and to play alongside DJ L.A. Kendall. We recently played a fashion show fundraiser in support of 3 Dollar Bill Cinema for the Run and Walk with Pride.
HDJ: How would you describe Vintage Youth to a new friend?
GP: We're an electronic dance-pop cabaret. We take songs we love, usually having a queer aesthetic, and create all-new electro dance jams and perform them live with costumes and visuals. I'm crazy about synthesizers and a bit of a gear junkie, so I'm always trying out new musical toys in my studio and interesting ways of performing live. We look backwards for material and forward for sound, production, performance, and concepts. You could say we go back to the future. There is darkness to the material we choose and a decidely sexual undertoe.
HDJ: How has the group changed/evolved since its creation?
GP: I had been something of a semi-professional Pet Shop Boys groupie, following them around and appearing in Q Magazine with them, when I heard they were coming to Seattle for the first time. I freaked out and asked my friend John to start a Pet Shop Boys tribute band with me - and West End Boys was born. In 80 days we sequenced 13 songs and performed them live from John's Fantom keyboard at the ill-fated Sugar nightclub. It was a fantatsic good time.
GP: From there I spent some years learning production and evolving the concept, opening it up, and attemping to create something more uinque. I worked with a number of collaborators and the idea of Vintage Youth eventually formed. It seems to have stuck and people just get it.
HDJ: The group has a distinctive fashion style... what can you tell us about it? How do you put the looks together?
GP: I'm inspired by bold, angular, tailored fashion. I love the separateness that costumes create - a sense of mystique and the alien. Daft Punk are an extreme idea of this - and our original mirror costumes (ahem) reflect that. They are darkly sexual, and I actually bleed from cuts everytime I get in and out of them. For summer and Pride we lightened things up. I call our new look Douche Bag Supreme. I never thought we would get to the point where you find gay guys acting like douche bag frat boys - so it's kind of making fun of that.
GP: The cube and mirror costume designs are collaboration with my friend, the costume designer, Jamie Stratton. She's amazing!
HDJ: How is your onstage persona different from the person your friends & family know?
GP: I'm fairly exuberant in life and onstage so I think I'm the same person, only more so (to steal a line from Casablanca). I'm probably more reserved and less of a show off in my personal life - I would hope so anyway!
HDJ: What goes through your mind before performances?
GP: I'm usually stunned and touched that people came out to see us. It often inspires me to reach for a better performance.
HDJ: What are you most grateful for in your life today?
GP: So many things! I have a lot of gratitude for a very loving circle of friends and family.
HDJ: Who inspires you? Who do you strive to impress/please?
GP: People who can do two things in life: be wildly successful in their own definition and be engaged and committed to the well-being of others. My friend, the board game designer, Joshua Balvin creates social opportunities everywhere he goes. And Hard Times honcho, David Richey is one of the kindest and coolest people I know. I greatly admire his ability to be a decisive social artist while maintaining inclusivity and compassion.
HDJ: Who has been most instrumental in your growth as an artist?
GP: I learned about sound design and production from my friend John Epperson. He has always been generous with techniques and critiques of my tracks. He has absolutely golden ears - just sitting with him and listening to tracks improves my hearing skills, which I think is the most important thing.
HDJ: Name the top five albums everyone should have on their MP3 player?
GP: Introspective - Pet Shop Boys
Witching Hour - Ladytron
Hounds of Love - Kate Bush
The Understanding - Royksopp
Cosmic Thing - B-52's
GP: Robyn's Body Talk has been my sound track this year. And Blondie, always.
HDJ: Do you have other artistic endeavors that you pursue?
GP: I'm a graphic designer and web designer under the name DUOMO DESIGN.
HDJ: What is your guilty pleasure?
GP: I do a very good impression of William Shatner singing I Will Survive.
HDJ: Are you single? Available? Looking?
GP: I'm single but dating a great guy right now.
HDJ: What does a guy have to do to catch Giulio's eye?
GP: Have some pizzazz, sparkle, charisma and a point of view. Be kind-hearted and generous and I'm yours.