The Boulet Brothers draw inspiration from Bozo the Clown, Disney villains and Faye Dunaway, as Joan Crawford in Mommie Dearest, who, as they put it, “taught us what good morals were and what it really took to get ahead in life.” They’ve made Los Angeles the playground for their “perverse pansexual monster” fetish parties and are now bringing the latex across the border for Vancouver’s 2014 Fetish Weekend.
Xtra: How did you start in the fetish party scene?
Boulet Brothers: Back in the old days when we lived in New York and were just starting out, Mayor Giuliani was cracking down on all of the wild clubs and ruining everyone’s fun. Club promoters were getting fined, and all the good clubs were getting shut down, and we finally just decided to move to Los Angeles and do something different.
When we got here, everything seemed very segregated as far as sexuality and parties went — the gay clubs were over here and the straight clubs were over there and the fetish clubs were somewhere else, and it was just making it hard for everyone to hook up and have sex, so we decided to throw our own parties and just mix everyone together.
Do you get something out of fetish events that you don’t find in other areas of nightlife?
Absolutely! We find there is a certain freedom of expression that comes with fetish events that we love being a part of. People are really wearing, doing and acting however they want with no fear of judgment, and we live for that kind of energy and freedom. Also, it’s much easier to seduce straight men into becoming our concubines when they are getting dazzled by all the nudity and gender confusion that comes with a fetish party, so that is a bonus, of course.
What is the most memorable party, look or performance you’ve conceptualized?
Oh, it’s all memorable and outrageous . . . Last month we had garden hoses hid in the ceiling and turned them on onto the crowd while a drag queen performed to Donna Summer’s “MacArthur Park.” Someone had a seizure from the strobe lights we used to make lighting, and a lot of cellphones were ruined, so I imagine it was a pretty memorable night for some people.
Vancouver’s Fetish Weekend kicks off our Pride Week. What does Pride mean to you?
For us it means living openly and honestly in a safe environment without fear. Also rainbow merchandise, molly, drag queens and circuit parties.
As fixtures of the New York and LA club scenes, what do you think of Michael Alig’s recent release from prison? Are the club kids about to be reborn?
Well, I never knew you could murder someone in your 20s and not only get out of prison before you were 50, but also become famous for doing it, so colour us surprised!
As far as club kids being reborn, I think people were dressing crazy before Disco 2000, the club where the original club kids proliferated, and they continued to dress up after Disco 2000, and they will continue to as long as there are parties and people wanting to express themselves. Obviously, the scene stars from that period were inspiring to a lot of people, and their influence lives on through reinterpretation that you see in clubs today.
I interviewed James St James last year and he talked about how he feels like the real scene is happening on the internet, not at the clubs anymore. What are your thoughts on that? Are major cities like New York and Los Angeles still on the pulse of what’s cool and innovative?
I disagree about the internet versus the clubs thing. As nightlife producers, we have always celebrated the theatre of nightlife and creating fully immersive club-land fantasy experiences, and I don’t think anything can replace the feeling of being in an actual club and being a part of it all yourself.
I also feel like every new generation of kids are going to want to go out and drink and party and feel like they are a part of the real thing, and I don’t think technology will ever be able to replace that. Social media does have a huge part in nightlife, but I think it’s being folded in and becoming part of the scene, not replacing it.
What can we expect from you at Vancouver’s Fetish Weekend?
We’re going to look sickening, we’re going to make you challenge your misconceptions about alcohol poisoning, and we’re going to inspire you to quit your jobs, enter open relationships and dance for three days straight.