Kool Kat of the Week: Gilded Trash-Talking with Amber Taylor of The Sexual Side Effects

Return to the outrageous glittery days of ‘70s glam rock at The Masquerade this Friday July 22, from 9 p.m. into the wee, wee hours. The theme party promises not just classic hits from the likes of T. Rex, David Bowie, Iggy Pop and Brian Eno—we imagine there’s got to be some Gary Glitter, too—spun by Glitterdome’s DJ Tiny Tears but also live music from neo-glam bands The Sexual Side Effects, Chattanooga’s The Unsatisfied and New York’s Starbolt 9. And that’s just the tip of the sequins as attendees are fully immersed in the glam-orous life with burlesque by the always provocative The Chameleon Queen, scandalous banter by model/artist Dax Exclamationpoint, body-painting by Erick Jara’s Dreamskin Art, gilded go-go dancers on the dance floor, a glam-inspired art show by Chris Buxbaum and vivacious vendors such as Diamond Star Halo and Aries Chain Mail.

ATLRetro tracked down Amber Taylor, the creative mastermind behind this glam resurrection and lead vocalist/guitarist of The Sexual Side Effects, to find out all the dazzling details about what’s happening Friday night, what’s new with her band and whether the rumor is true that she’s about to become a TV star.

When ATLRetro first saw the profile shot for The Sexual Side Effects Facebook page, we had to do a double-take because we thought that cute chick in the middle stomping her foot was Noel Fielding. We’re guessing you’ll take that as a compliment?

If you want to get it on with Noel then the answer is yes, because chances are I want to get it on with you too 🙂

OK, let’s get to Gilded Trash? How did you get the idea and why a tribute night to glam rock in 2011?

The night is about classic Glam Rock old and new—not ‘80s hair metal. I know a lot of really great musicians around the world who are influenced and inspired by the Glam movement of the early 1970s like I am. What better way to bring all of these people from across the globe together than to have a full-blown crazy club night with burlesque queens, circus freaks and half-naked body-painted go-go dancers where they can put on a real show.

Other glam-inspired nights I have seen or been involved with have everyone playing cover songs. While this is great, this is where we bring something different to the table by showcasing original music, hopefully cultivating a classic glam revival in the music scene. Even more important than that is to give the glam experience to a new generation that is bombarded at all angles by Disney princesses, hip-hop and dance-pop that has been run through so many record label marketing groups and filters that there is no real music or emotions left. This is about bringing classic Glam Rock into the hearts and minds of the 21st century.

You’ve put together a pretty diverse line-up of live acts, DJs, go-go dancers and burlesque performers such as The Chameleon Queen? How did you decide on the line-up?

The only way to create a magical night that is this big and have as much reach is to get as many people involved as possible. The live music is the core, but we didn’t just want to have another concert, we wanted to augment the night into something beyond that. We put the word out and started getting different types of performers and components involved with the night. It doesn’t stop at bands, burlesque, dancers, drag-queens, DJs and vendors. We have so much more we want to do as far as showcasing performers in the future, but we simply have ran out of room on the bill for this first night.

A lot of credit goes to the Gilded Trash team as well—David Dominick, our production manager, and Meredith Greer, our stage manager/talent coordinator. They have been the key in cultivating the talent and organizing the night.

Does your band, The Sexual Side Effects, have any special plans for that night that you can tease us with?

There are some last minute additions to the show that will inject a metric ton of fun into our set. All I can say is BARBARELLA, Alien Girls and Spacemen.

What advice do you have to folks who are afraid to glitter and boa it up and otherwise show off their glam self? And where’s the best place in Atlanta to go shopping for glam clothes and accessories?

Well, I know a lot of guys who don’t want to reach out to their inner-drag-queen. Glam is not all about being feminine there are many ways to be glam in a masculine way. Glam is about dressing up, it’s about fashion as a whole—or the lack there of. The mods of the ‘60s to me are glam before their time. Rockabilly, punk, Halloween, it doesn’t matter; just look good! Take you shirt off, Guy-liner (it’s not just for breakfast anymore), wear death metal gauntlets (yes, I may rock these if no one else does). We all look good in different things. If you’re a guy and don’t want to rock the glitter, put on a sharp looking suit, shine up your shoes and style your hair like Moz. A little blue streak in your hair may help, too.

For shopping, there are so many places to go. I would suggest going to Little 5 Points or to your local thrift/consignment store to find some goodies. In L5P, Libertine is great for make-up and fun accessories, Stefan’s for old vintage stuff, Junkman’s Daughter for crazy weird stuff, Rag-O-Rama and Psycho Sisters for budget glam. Party City and costume stores are other places that may be closer to you. The list goes on. At Gilded Trash, we will have Diamond Star Halo selling really fun jewelry and accessories, as well as Aries Chain Mail.


Any hint as to what you’re going to wear, or will that have to stay a surprise?

I am too hot for clothes, they just diminish my presence.

Will Gilded Trash be a regular feature at Masquerade, and is it true that you’re planning a Gilded Trash in New York, too?

We have plans to do this show throughout the year. It will not be month by month, so if you miss one, it may be a while till you get to go to the next. We will be bringing it to NYC, and I am currently working with people up there on planning the event.

You’re no stranger to glam, having headlined The Chamber‘s Glitterdome and goth/psychedelic band Cobweb Strange. How did you personally discover ‘70s glam and what about it gave it such a lasting appeal to you?

Being transgendered has had the biggest impact on my attraction to Glam Rock. When I was younger, I had many conflicting feelings about my gender-identity, and Glam was a medium that helped me break down the walls within myself that society forced on me. As my physical form has changed over the years, my attraction and emotions toward glam remain consistent.

Who’s your favorite ‘70s glam rock performer and why?

Primarily David Bowie, but not just because of Ziggy Stardust and the costumes/theatrics. His songwriting, unique voice, and strange approach to music all inspire me. I also love Marc Bolan. My favorite thing about him is how he brought the rock with his guitar. He truly is an inspiration I feel when I play guitar on stage. It is a real shame he is not around anymore.

What’s next for the The Sexual Side Effects? I hear you have an Aug. 12 gig at Drunken Unicorn and you’re recording a CD with Drivin’ N Cryin’/Edwin McCain producer John Briglevich.

Yes, we have a gig with our friends—and old bandmates—Flat Cat at the Drunken Unicorn on August 12 at their CD release party.

We are currently working on an EP in the studio. It has taken a lot of time because of scheduling and all of the other things in play with the band—shows, booking, promotions, etc. We don’t have a release date yet, but will be filming a video around September-ish with a highly acclaimed Hollywood director. More to come. 😉

Can you tell us anything about the 2012 TV show/music series you’re starring in? If not now, how soon will you be able to let the cat out of the bag?

Right now, the first footage is being edited, that I filmed in L.A. back in June. I have seen a brief clip, but that is all I know for the moment. We will be making announcements about the show in the near future as things move forward. What I can say: It is a very well-known director that is behind the project, so expect very, very, very, big things.

Anything else you want to share about your Glam-orous life?

I am really grateful for all the other people here in Atlanta who have supported us, people in the music scene, our friends, the press, the clubs and promoters. Nothing could have happened if it wasn’t for them and I want to thank them all from the bottom of my heart. I want to continue to get to know new people around town as well as on tour and look forward to running into you!

Photo credit for all images of  Amber Taylor and The Sexual Side Effects: Christy Parry. Used with permission.

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