As one half of European synth-pop duo
Erasure, Andy Bell has sold over 20 million albums worldwide and
has become a name synonymous with dance and pop music. From 1986
to 1997, Bell and Erasure achieved 24 consecutive Top 20 hits
including "A Little Respect", "Chains of Love", "Oh L'amour" and
"Always" and the band became extremely popular within the LGBT
community. Following the
Stonewall Summer Pride Twilight Parade in
Fort Lauderdale on Sunday, June 24th, Andy
Bell will take the stage for what promises to be a memorable and
exciting evening filled with timeless dance classics.
recently spoke with Mark's List about Stonewall Summer Pride,
President Obama and the current state of pop music.
does it mean to you to be a part of Stonewall Summer Pride in
I've always felt an affinity with Stonewall
because it is the grassroots gay pride organization, and they
are always on the front line here and in the UK fighting for the
recognition and rights of the LGBTQ community.
What makes a good Pride celebration?
A great sense of community spirit and the
coming together of all people from all walks of life—young
and old—and also the booze.
What do you enjoy most about
performing for your gay fans? How have they changed since you
started performing in the ‘80s?
The clones and bears have gotten older
gracefully and disgracefully—along with myself, so everyone's a
bit more mellow. I really admire the camaraderie and the sense
that we've achieved so much and come through some really tough
times throughout the years. I'm always at home with a gay crowd,
but I still get nervous nonetheless.
Do you know which songs you are
going to perform or is it a surprise?
I know what I'm going to be performing, but
I like to throw in a few surprises for people who might not
necessarily know my solo stuff. I always go by my mood and like
to feel satisfied, but I make sure that the whole thing flows
and captures the spirit of the occasion.
What are your thoughts on President
Obama’s recent support of gay marriage?
I think it's great that he has put his neck
on the line for us because it really is a civil rights issue,
but he should put his foot down and make it a Federal law. I
always thought America prided itself on being a frontrunner for
civil liberties, but the government seems to have been high
jacked by the religious right. That is a shame because it is not
so much about the tolerance and love that Jesus was about, but
more about brainwashing and money laundering.
How do you think pop music has
changed since 1986 and your time with Erasure? Are there any
current musicians who stand out or you enjoy listening to?
The attention span is progressively being
purposefully shortened by advertisers, and the music industry is
one of the biggest pushers. I am no pop princess, which seems to
be the fashion these days. The music industry is all about the
dress, or lack of it, and having songs written for you or being
a completely marketed brand. I'd rather be 'branded' than be a
brand. I do have my favorites, though, like Rihanna, Nicki
Minaj, Adele, Kylie & Madonna, which have become one in the
What do you think of the onslaught
of all of the reality singing competitions over the last 10
years? Have they been good for the music industry?
They have ruined everything with TV &
Hollywood (except Tabatha Coffey). I'm waiting for the “Gay
Husbands of Miami” so I can be on it.
What are your plans after Stonewall
Summer Pride? Are you planning on recording any new music?
Just pottering around literally getting my house in order
and doing a few experimental bits & bobs.