Don't Kiss Me in Public
All Tomorrow's Carry
A Depravity Such As This...
Street Pulse Beat
Arriving in June 2020, into a world locked down by pandemic but rising up in anti-racist demonstrations, Special Interest’s second album reflects the turbulence of the age. Cloaked in the New Orleans band’s frenetic, galvanizing fusion of punk, glam, No Wave, and electronic, these songs examine injustice, violence, obsession, and change with honesty and wit. They’re stories of defiance and hope, expressions of autonomy and solidarity, a love song for a city and, as the four-piece’s Alli Logout tells Apple Music, “a love song from hell.” “There were a lot of feelings to sit with and unpack,” says the singer, guiding us through the album track by track.
“What can I say? We love drama. Often when we play this live, we loop a vocal sample from [Club 69’s ‘Drama’] over the beat that says, ‘My life is a drama, with a beginning, a middle, and no end...’”
“From the first time we jammed it out in practice, we knew it had to be the third installment of our Disco Trilogy. The first ‘Disco’ [from 2018’s Spiraling album] was critiquing cis gay dude culture’s cliché complacency. ‘Disco II’ [also from Spiraling] is a beautiful anthem about that feeling of being free in your body despite the world around you. For ‘Disco III,’ the pulsating nature of the beat deeply threw me into that moment where you and the girls are going to carry by any means necessary. For the verses, I went out and decided to describe everything that was going on in our chase for rapture. A lot of the lines in the song come from that night. Fighting and sodomy on LSD were just destined to ensue. In these moments of rapture, the greatest pleasures came from our defiance. Our defiance against this world, this regime, and our bodies. So maybe ‘Disco III’ is a love song...but from hell.”
Don’t Kiss Me in Public
“Heartless cinema is what I use to describe films that have no passion and were made with the intention of turning a profit off of exploiting a subculture. These films are often emotionally manipulative with no real character development of their black or trans characters. I see this more in TV right now, by the way. Anyway, I used it in the song to describe the performative gestures people use to claim your body. In that way that hurts, in the way that rips you from your autonomy. So pretty much it’s a song about being used, but not in the hot way. But, alas, I'm the one who is a titty baby in the end because I let myself be used again. Maybe there is some part of that darkness and sadness that gives me a thrill, but I think I've learned my lesson though.”
All Tomorrow’s Carry
“In this song, I was writing about the nuances of being a daily witness to Black suffering but also Black joy while also experiencing both those things in my own body. I was sitting by the train tracks at a punk show, as tanks rode by on a train as the bands played. For a long time I have focused on partying rather than actually trying to build trust and connections in my community, and that is one of the most violent things a gentrifier can do. I'm always thinking about violence and gentrification; we should all talk about it more, but it's just so easy to be complacent, especially when the world is a mess and your house is dilapidated and falling apart. You just want for everything to be easy and to escape, especially if no one has ever actually offered you concrete tools to heal yourself. I feel blessed I have people in my life supporting that growth and offering me those tools now, but I was writing about that feeling when you know you need to change but also don't know how—but actually you do, it just takes agonizing daily work. It's interesting now with the uprisings—I listen to this song and ‘Are we going out tonight?’ turns from a bratty, messy party girl inquiry to a commanding decree summoning us to go out and fight the police and YES WE ARE GOING OUT TONIGHT! That makes the song magic. That is exactly what New Orleans breeds, and I am proud to call it home.”
A Depravity Such As This...
“This was the only improvised song we made in the studio for this album. I asked Maria [Elena, guitarist] what it should be about and she was like, ‘Please, not another song about a girl! Maybe the city?’ And I was like, ‘What if I wrote a song about the city as if she was my lover?’ Everyone rolled their eyes, but it worked out and we all love it. I really just do love wet heat...”
“I was in a whole mood when I wrote this. I think the final lyrics—‘You and I are not uniquely fucked’—sum it all up. I am frustrated with the state of things. Especially how I feel that most view violence on some hierarchical system, that some violence is more harmful than others. The psychological terror of white supremacy is just so maddening and everywhere. We need to talk about it.”
“Ruth Mascelli [keyboards/electronics] back at it again with her dreamy textured soundscapes. This marks the middle of the journey through The Passion Of. There were a lot of feelings to sit with and unpack, and these textured sounds give a sense of wonder and disillusionment (the number one survival mechanism) as we persist and move forward.”
“We pop you out of your disillusionment straight into a whole-ass mess. A ticking time bomb of an explosion of obsession and suffering. This song was written years ago but didn’t get recorded in time to put on our last album, Spiraling, but still the song fits in the oeuvre of the Special Interest canon. I was battling with obsession, not being able to truly see myself or my actions. I wanted to be anywhere other than in my head with all my demons. It’s a fun song, but I feel the pain in my heart every time I sing it. There is nothing worse than the terror and illusions your mind can create when you are in pain.”
“This song is funny and fun. I love a lot of people struggling with substances and wanted to write a funny song acknowledging that struggle. I want everyone I know and love struggling with something to know that I am here for you always, sis! So yes, ‘Tina’ is another love song.”
Street Pulse Beat
“The street is alive, it has a pulse. It's the pulse that moves us forward towards liberation. When a love doesn't work, your street pulse weakens and you lose sight of who you are. It’s not a song of unrequited love—though at the time you couldn’t tell me otherwise—but about a love so pure it had to be let go. It's about wanting someone to save you when you know in the end you are the only one to save yourself. It is agonizing to love someone so. My heart rips open every time I hear or sing it. One thing I do know is that we will always be fighting in the streets side by side because our pulse now is strong within us both without each other. So in the end, this song is an ode to change. God is change.”
“Where are we now at the end of our journey? What have we faced, what have we learned? I had to end the album with this love letter directed at everyone who hears it. I wrote it over the course of five days as my friends kiki’d around me. It is a personal letter I wrote to you all, it is a spell. May we all keep transforming ourselves into the people we want to be. May we rise in the midst of all hope that has been co-opted by this regime. May we live our lives decadently, in splendor. May we learn to work with, understand, and struggle with everyone around us until we all taste the sweetness that is freedom. I look around the room and see nothing but black trans bodies laughing and smiling. My passion is our devotion to love and transformation. May all the mutants of the Mississippi River swim in clean water one day...”