The two boys WHO became Boytech saw something they liked in the hyper-masculine arena of the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) — its testosterone-fuelled staged bouts and homoerotic posturing and oversized personalities caught in a neverending battle of good versus evil were inspiring. As adults, Randall and Zion turned that admiration into an electronic duo that has hit the Toronto scene in a sweaty fury with a cock-proud battle cry: “Love us or hate us, fight us or fuck us!’
When asked who their favourite wrestler is, the two answer in unison: “Brutus the Barber Beefcake, the Bryan Ferry of the WWF.”
Zion also admits to having the Hulk Hogan workout tape and weight set.
“If we had to pick a second, definitely Ravishing Rick Rude,” says Randall. “He’s up there. Great villains!”
“He has the best quote: ‘I’ll show all you fat Canadian pigs what a real man looks like!’” adds Zion, laughing. “It’s the costumes, showboating, the honest egomania and just putting it out there. There’s really no reason for the actual wrestling.”
A Boytech show is a reflection of this overstated and overtly sexualized male identity. Randall and Zion lift shimmering golden weights, strike classic physique magazine poses, clasp each other close and flex and tease the audience. With all their interaction, the audience is often left wondering if these guys are more than just workout buddies, and that’s one of the best parts of the show.
What’s on the Boytech boys’ minds as they sing about sex with women? “I don’t think it’s a mixed message,” says Zion. “For us what we’re doing is very Franco [Columbo] and [buddy] Arnold [Schwarzenegger]. But there is that other side of it. There are two men together. It’s suggestive. People will put that together for sure. What we do onstage is act like men and ultimately both women and gay men like men. The fact that we’re very confident and on display means that all the avenues are open for attraction. Sex is sexy. I have a lot of gay friends who love straight porn.”
The music itself is a dancefloor-friendly mix of synth-driven electro with elements of disco and ’80s pop. Super-sexual lyrics like, “I don’t want you to trust me I just want you to touch me” round out the mix. The music lends itself to the heavily choreographed live show and gets their audience dancing.
“We didn’t really know how Boytech was going to turn out until the first show,” says Randall. “We were going to run through the show, workout, and see how the audience reacted.”
It went well. Very well. In fact, Boytech recently hit Toronto Fashion Week for a show right on the runway.
“It was a really weird experience,” says Randall. “We were asked to perform, but no one wrote it down. By the end of it apparently we offended a major sponsor and can’t get the footage. I’m not sure if fashion is about honesty. We’re completely honest when we’re onstage, so maybe fashion isn’t a good avenue.”
As for ego and honesty, Boytech do show a lot of both, onstage and off, but defend what can be perceived as macho arrogance by what they call rebranding.
“Confidence is appealing,” says Zion. “You set the tone for how other people are going to treat you. With Boytech there’s an idea of exclusivity: Boytech is a club, there’s two of us and membership is closed. And this is the best club.”