Spinner Instagram SXSW 2013 was exciting. Usher played with Afghan Whigs, A…
- Posted on Dec 29th 2010 3:00PM by Kenneth Partridge
Secret City Records
If Morrissey's coyness on the subject reflects his private nature -- surprising, perhaps, given his songwriting -- and desire to preserve a degree of mystery, O'Regan can relate. At the same time, he says his refusal to self-identify as gay or straight is more the product of uncertainty and not feeling like he has to pick a side.
"It's not really as calculated as people want to believe," O'Regan tells Spinner. "It's about my own strong belief that outside of maybe the inner workings of my MacBook Pro, binary code doesn't really translate to the natural world."
O'Regan used said MacBook, as well as synthesizers and electric guitars, to create 'Special Affections,' one of year's finest debuts. Featuring tight, tuneful electro-pop tunes, the album reflects O'Regan's views on sexuality and ongoing efforts to understand himself.
"That idea of dividing things into one way or the other or reducing our existence down to these little categories is never really made sense or appealed to me," he says. "That's why a lot of the record is about me coming to terms with my own lack of understanding -- a lack of understanding of my own self and recognizing that doesn't have to be a bad thing. We're encouraged to figure ourselves out. You go to high school, you go to university and then you learn some stuff and that shapes who you are and your opportunities and you're done growing at a certain point. To me, I've never really bought into the idea. That goes for sexuality, my own personal interests. I know how I am now, but that might not be how I am tomorrow or the next month or year or anything. It's not about keeping people guessing or wanting to be private; it's about not needing to label myself in a certain way."
'Special Affections' arrived in a year when bullying and suicide among gay teens were hot-button issues. While O'Regan neither set out to be a role model nor is "naïve enough to think" he's going to change lives, he says there is a message in his music.
"I write songs," he says. "I'm not a doctor. I'm not anything else. If I can affect people positively, that's great, but really, it's because I believe in it. I wouldn't be doing what I'm doing now if I didn't have a strong belief in my own self. I want to let people know it's OK not to know. It's OK to feel confused. It's OK to be anything you want to be. It's about having the courage to go for it and be true to who you are."