That said, I also find it hard sometimes to get people to listen to my music and take it seriously, lyrically. Like, there is a song on the new record called "Falling." And it's a really joyous song, and from a sonic perspective, it's a song of joy and happiness. But if you actually hear the lyrics, it's essentially a re-telling of the story of Theseus. And it's a really tragic story: this young man is sent off to save his city from a curse, and his father says to him: "When you return from this mission, please change the color of the sail on your mast so I know that you're alive and that you've done what you said you wanted to do." And the son makes this one mistake and he forgets, and his father throws himself off of a cliff. And the song is called "Falling" because it's from the perspective of the guy falling. So, while the song is like "I'm falling/and I'm free," I wanted to write a dance song from a different perspective! From the perspective of someone looking down at a raging ocean with rocks in it, thinking to himself, "At least I know now what happened to my son — I've walked around for three weeks wondering if he's dead or alive, and in some ways, now I'm free." And that's just a re-telling of a myth that's enchanted me since I was a little kid, but there's other stuff that's more personal, that deals with topics in my own childhood, which was at times hard and abusive, and trying to escape from it, trying to find shelter.
I have another song, "Blind," with the lyrics, "As a child I knew the stars could only get brighter/That we would get closer, leaving this darkness behind." I was writing that because when I was four or five years old, it was one of the darkest periods of my life. I did not understand why I had been born. I thought that being gay was — like, I didn't know what it was but everyone around me knew that I was gay. I was terribly confused, and I thought that things could only get better. And this was from the age of four! So the songs aren't just happy-go-lucky disco songs.
And even classic disco songs aren't just happy-go-lucky disco songs.
No, they're not!
It's interesting that you refer to your usage of the Theseus myth as a "re-telling," because it seems like something more than that, the same way that naming your band Hercules and Love Affair takes an allusion to Greek mythology and puts it in a totally different context.
Yeah, it's not just a re-telling, but a re-contextualization of these things that have been passed down forever. The same stories that have been told in all cultures, you know, in different ways. And on some level, we all have that moment where we forget to change the color of the sails and let someone down, make a simple mistake. And those kinds of life lessons are told in many many different cultures in many many different ways. And I just happen to think that music is a fun and powerful vehicle for telling those stories.