an interview with Shane Elks
It is hard to imagine speaking of Charlotte night life or the Charlotte art scene without mentioning the name Scott Weaver. So it is only suitable that I find myself featuring this personality for a segment of "Q and A with a Gay" Scott or Chaka is indeed king (or queen) of Plaza Midwood with expertise in being a designer, artist, make-up artist, musician, promoter, dj and one damn good party thrower. It was nice to grab a quick chat with Scott the day after his most recent successful party venture titled Shiprocked! You can catch Scott and the rest of the Shiprocked crew every Thursday night at Snug Harbor.
Shane: How was Shiprocked last night?
Scott: Pretty insane. Packed!
Shane: Fabulous! How did Shiprocked come about?
Scott: Well, I had done many parties and weekly gigs over the years, as you know, but had taken a break. When Scott McCannell, who is also the drummer in my band Babyshaker told me that he was going to open Snug Harbor, I knew that it would be the perfect spot to commit to doing a weekly gig again. And I knew that it could be anything that I wanted to do, which was more eclectic and at times, "out there" than what most bars were doing.
Shane: Has it evolved into something different than you expected?
Scott: Yes and no. I knew from my past experiences that people responded well to the kinds of parties that I had thrown. What I didn't expect was how long this one would last. And I didn't really expect there to be Thursday nights when there is sometimes a line down the block to get in, 5 years later.
Shane: Having hosted quite the number of parties throughout the years, what is one major change you have notcied among "the scene?"
Scott: Honestly, I feel like after all these years, it all just cyclical. With music and fashion, it all come back around and at the end of the day, people are and always have been looking for escapism, entertainment and permission to let loose and express themselves.
Shane: I truly appreciate that sentiment! Nasty and I always found the most success with our parties when we would just give people a reason to have a good time! Any plans for your duo with Hope to bring us a grand ki ki anytime soon?
Scott: I know you get what I mean! That's really what it's all about. I was born with a need to entertain people and play host. I did parties for neighborhood kids growing up. And I use the parties as a way flex my creative muscles. I love the production side - the decor, the themes, the costumes, the makeup...all of it. And yes, Hope and I are in constant contact and we have always worked creatively together, and have discussed some really conceptual parties that could happen in the future! More conceptual than anything that we have previously done actually.
Shane: I can just picture a little Scott throwing glitter in the culdesac while the kids roller skated to his jambox! And you know Ms. Nasty and I will be present at any Hope and Scott gala! Though "people are people" do you find the latest generation to be lacking in knowledge of their historic predecessors? Especially in the LGBT world?
Scott: You just totally nailed it! I clearly remember going to my neighbor's garage on Saturdays with my little disco light from Spencer Gifts and a portable record player and playing Queen and Abba 45s for the kids on my street!
Sometimes I do feel that way. But not everyone is as interested in that type of thing as you or I, regardless of their generation. Certain people, like my friend and drag performer BethAnn Phetamine* are are constantly exploring the history of what they do and are very open to being exposed to things that they didn't know about from past decades. It's important because, aside from paying respect to the past and the pioneers, that knowledge informs your own creative process through inspiration. All in all, I think it's an individual personality trait. * BethAnn being an example of one of my younger friends in the scene.
Shane: I can dig that...dated slang intended...Both you and I grab most of our inspiration from past artists and pioneers. What are a few modern artists you find inspiring? Or should I say "who" are a few modern artists you find inspiring?
Scott: Tons really. I am fortunate to have met and worked with so many interesting underground performers, like Kazwell, Amanda Lepore, Punk Bunny, and countless rock bands. the list goes on and on. I am not as interested in most mainstream artists. I am most interested in the people around me. People like Hope and all of my bandmates, Cherry Von Bomb, Bethann, Lilith DeVille, Malachi, Roxy C. Moorecox...I am inspired every week by them and the other creative, whacky personalities that I am lucky to come in contact with!
Shane: Gorgeous! So what is on the immediate horizon for you dear? New Babyshaker? Snagglepuss reunion? A Make-up picture book? Scott Weaver original works of art?
Scott: I just spoke to a couple of my Snagglepuss band mates. Babyshaker is slowly but surely writing enough new material that I think we will record a new record in the next year. And there is always the possibility of an event with Hope. But mostly, my goal this year is to start painting again. It was my original love, and what I went to school for, and now all theses years later, I feel inspired to do it again. I would love to have a solo show in a year.
Shane: Anything else you wish to discuss or include?
Scott: Thanks for including me and good luck with everything! xo Nah. I'm hungover, lol!
Shane: To you as well! You know the cure for that...more liquor please...