Out­ra­geous po­pa­ganda.

DNA Magazine - - CONTENT -

DNA: When did you form Di­vine Knights? Ger­ard Searle: We ac­tu­ally started in Lon­don about six years ago. Beef and I had started song­writ­ing in Mel­bourne and as I was an ac­tor it took me to Lon­don. Beef came over and it’s grown since then. We moved back to Australia about five years ago. Daniel ‘Beef’ Beck: We re­leased an al­bum in­de­pen­dently in Australia, then we were in­vited to be part of Australia’s Got Tal­ent. Ger­ard: They said they re­ally wanted some­thing like Lady Gaga! We thought it could be a ter­ri­ble idea but they gave us $20,000 worth of pro­duc­tion. Beef: They said we could have what­ever we wanted and our eyes went – bing! In hind­sight, was a re­al­ity show the launch­pad you needed? Ger­ard: No. In some ways it was a stupid thing to do, but we did get fans in some weird places. Beef: We have peo­ple from Rus­sia and Ukraine watch­ing us who thought we were the shit. Ger­ard: Most Aus­tralians prob­a­bly looked at us and went, “Oh no, what the fuck was that [laughs]!?” How far did you get on the show? Ger­ard: We were semi-fi­nal­ists. Beef: We didn’t dis­grace our­selves, but our semi-fi­nal per­for­mance was so over the top. It was based around The Nev­erend­ing Story and they had to build th­ese huge sets. We got a bit of ex­po­sure out of it, toured and then dis­ap­peared for two years. We didn’t cap­i­talise on it in the way most peo­ple would. Ger­ard: Since we started Di­vine Knights it was all about be­ing cre­ative and per­form­ing and that was just an­other way of do­ing that. And now fi­nally you have your first EP, Po­pa­ganda! Ger­ard: We were in the stu­dio for a year-anda-half. We wanted it to be per­fect and we love it. We loved do­ing the videos and we have started crys­tal­is­ing what we are about and the sto­ry­telling is a lot clearer. It’s more fun and less navel-gaz­ing than what we’ve done be­fore. We hope peo­ple em­brace it and can re­late to it. Is this a full-time oc­cu­pa­tion for you guys? Beef: You can’t be a mu­si­cian th­ese days and not work full-time, un­for­tu­nately. We do have to work to pay the bills for the record­ing and the videos. We are self-fund­ing, which is ex­cit­ing, and we re­tain the con­trol. Di­vine Knights also seem unashamedl­y gay. Ger­ard: We will al­ways be our­selves. Ev­ery time we present our­selves we are go­ing to be openly gay and very much about our work and our cre­ative vi­sion. We are not hid­ing any­thing or chang­ing any­thing. Beef: We al­ways said that it would al­ways be a non-is­sue for us. We are more than happy to talk about it. We are proud of that and I fuck­ing love be­ing a gay man. Why wouldn’t I want ev­ery­one to know that? Ger­ard: We are pop artists so there is not a lot to read into that ex­cept we have the po­ten­tial to write sto­ries and be peo­ple that can change things, or in­spire other peo­ple, or make young peo­ple be­lieve that you can be what­ever you want to be. Your sin­gle, Hearts On Fire, was in­spired by gay ac­tivists of the past, right? Ger­ard: It was in­spired by Australia’s fight for mar­riage equal­ity. Beef: One of the things I like about Sam Smith is that he writes love songs and sings about men just the way a man sings about a woman, or a woman sings about a man. It’s not gar­ish. He’s just singing what is true to him and that’s awe­some. It’s pretty in­spi­ra­tional. He’s prob­a­bly one of the first artists to do that in the main­stream and that’s pretty cool. Do peo­ple as­sume you guys are a cou­ple? Ger­ard: Yes, they do. We’ve been best friends for over ten years. We are re­ally com­fort­able with each other, but I am mar­ried to a won­der­ful man and he is in a re­la­tion­ship with a won­der­ful man. Beef: We haven’t crossed that line [laughs]. Can two gay men re­ally work so closely to­gether and not be at­tached? Ger­ard: Any­one who meets us gets it straight away. You can see there is no sex­ual at­trac­tion, but we’re best bud­dies. Beef: Well, I am at­tracted to you… but only on Fri­days [laughs].

Divine Knights: Ger­ard (left) and “Beef” Beck (right).

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