The Lavender Scare formed just last year in 2016, comprised of core members James Delos Reyes (songwriter and multi-instrumentalist) and Luis Servin (multi-instrumentalist), worked together to write and record a debut single called "Drag for a Queen". The story behind said song goes like this, it is a satirical story of a drag queen who renounces his old lifestyle and finds God. It's in the church that he works to convert others, preaching about the dangers of the life they lead, only to secretly fall back into his old ways behind the scenes. It's deeply reflective of the times, condemning the use of conversion therapy and showcasing the harm that comes to those who are put through it. The reverberating, dark instrumentation hums and crashes along with Reyes gritty, frustrated growl. The sound builds as the dissatisfied emotions do, booming away to an intense finish that leaves a lasting impression. The duo got together to talk about this release and their future.
1. Please tell us about the history of your band and its members.
We are a new band from LA having officially started in 2016. The core members of the band are
Luis Servin and I, James Delos Reyes, who are both multi-instrumentalists. As the lead singer
and songwriter, our songs thematically pull a lot from my personal experience of being gay and
having grown up in the church. So you’ll hear a bit of a bite and sarcasm to our music. Our
latest single "Drag for a Queen" is a great example of that.
2. What’s the origin of the band’s name?
The Lavender Scare is a historical phrase used to describe the mass firings of gay and lesbian
workers from the US government in the 1950's. The term is a riff off of McCarthy's Red Scare,
which happened in conjunction, during which gays were described as "lavender lads." Besides
the direct historical reference, we named ourselves the Lavender Scare to speak to the broader
message of LGBT discrimination and discrimination towards all minorities as a whole. This
theme is something that is always at the forefront of what we do visually and musically.
3. Where is the band based out of and what is your music scene like there? Are there any local
bands you could recommend?
We're based out of Echo Park/Silver Lake in Los Angeles. The area is known for its thriving and
diverse indie scene. We’re glad to be a part of it.
4. How would you describe your style?
Growing up in the church, I was taught that there's really only two genres: christian music and
secular music. So in jest, I like to dub our style "secular music."
In our short history, we’ve gotten a wide range of comparisons. I’ve heard comparisons like the
Kinks, Jeff Buckley, Radiohead, jazz music, and cabaret. The most common comparison I hear
is Nick Cave when it comes to my vocal delivery. I think our sound isn’t easy to pin down which
is why people come in with many different vantage points.
5. What is the story behind your new single "Drag for a Queen"? Do you see this track to be
made into a video?
"Drag for a Queen" is a satire centered around the story of a drag queen who finds religion.
Disowning his previous lifestyle, he then preaches church to church telling others that they too
can change. As the song progresses, we see the duplicity in our character's actions as he never
fully is able to change himself. The story is comedic but at the same time a sharp criticism of
conversion therapy practices which still happen here in the US and abroad. We have a video in the works, so look out for it in the coming months. It may or may not have a drag queen.
6. Do you have anymore new music in the works?
Yes, we have a large catalog of original songs to pull from. We are always writing and plan to
record more at the end of the year.
7. How about playing shows and touring, have anything planned out?
Currently, we are just playing shows in the LA scene trying to make a name for ourselves. We
hope to do some touring in 2018.
8. What plans do you have for the future as a band?
Our plans are to continue to grow as a band. We want to sign with a label, tour, and make more
9. Where can we listen to your band and where can we buy your stuff?
You can listen to our music on Spotify, iTunes, Apple Music, Amazon Music, Google Play Music, and on Soundcloud. We have 7 inch vinyls of "Drag for a Queen" for sale only available at
shows, so come see us if you’re ever in LA!
10. What is it you’d like a listener to remember the most when hearing your music for the first
That it won't be the last time you hear of us.