bio photo
Kevin Ritchie
"There is another chapter, and this record is like the definitive line in the sand."
left arrow 1 / 1 right arrow
arrow down right

Solo Sister

Derek Gruen recruits Prince's band for his new solo project


When Fab phones Scissor Sisters guitarist Derek Gruen (aka Del Marquis), he is holed up in a gallery on New York’s Lower East Side installing a friend’s video art show. The 35-year-old is in his element. Before becoming the pop group’s ax-man, he worked in furniture design. “I have some very butch skills,” he says. “I’m in here using a cross-saw, spackle, nail gun and all that kind of shit. I’m looking very un-glamorous.”

During the show’s four-week run, Gruen will stage a series of performances to mark the release of his debut album, Cosmos, under the moniker Slow Knights. When the Sisters decided to take an indefinite hiatus after their European tour last fall, Gruen shifted his attention to the solo project.

He recruited The New Power Generation — Prince’s former backing band — and singers Rod Thomas (aka Bright Light Bright Light), Xavier, Chrissi Poland, Bridget Barkan and Mykal Kilgore to help him realize a glistening funk-pop sound that reflects the slower tempo he hopes to maintain now that the Sisters are hibernating.

“We’ve been dragging our carcasses across the world for a decade, which may not seem like a lot of time for some bands but for us felt like just the right amount,” he says. “I would really like to do something outside of music — like return to design. There is another chapter, and this record is like the definitive line in the sand.”

What is it like going back to playing do-it-yourself shows after touring arenas?
It’s very different. Any young artist is doing so much behind-the-scenes work that people aren’t aware of. Everyone’s presenting the bedroom records with amazing production, and nobody knows if you spent nothing or you spent $20,000 in a fancy studio because the technology is so democratic now.

You still, obviously, have access to an insane number of guitars.
It’s true, but if I’m putting a couple shows together I’m probably not going to have that person that connects my equipment and breaks it down. And no, I don’t need to borrow any guitars!

I’m sure when Prince does a club show he’s not setting up his own equipment.
I have such a good story about Prince. When he was doing that 360 tour where the stage was set up in the middle of the arenas, in order to get him there unnoticed the roadies would hide him in an ATA case — what you would normally put amps in — and roll him through the audience like a fucking vampire. I don’t know if I can call that kind of shot, but it’s something to strive for.

There is a song on the album called “Legendary Children.” What inspired it?
There’s been this recognition of gay history among the younger generation, and there have been documentaries out this year like How To Survive a Plague. There is finally a reflection that there is a history to being queer that you should be proud of. This song is not “We’re fierce and let’s dance,” which is great, but what I’m saying is know your history, share your stories and lament the fact that so many people who fought for gay rights and HIV medication died before they realized their potential.

What’s your greatest guitar moment?
I used to watch a lot of Prince and even Beyoncé performances to figure out how to move and play complicated guitar parts at the same time. There were moments on the Night Work tour where I would choreograph different moments in the songs — especially during solos. Someone watching would say, “Is he actually playing that guitar, because he’s spinning around and I don’t hear any notes being missed?”

When that synthesis came together, that was the most fun for me. I want to be Beyoncé with a guitar. Basically, that’s all I want to do, but now I’m too old. I’m gonna be 36 at the end of the summer, and I don’t want to have a double hip replacement in 10 years. I needed to stop pounding the stage in heels. It’s unnatural.

Cosmos is an independent reliease and is out now on iTunes. Click here for the official website.

Comment has successfully been submitted.

Comment has been rated as Spam and can't be shown.

Join the FAB Conversation

* Your email address will not be published on the site or shared with any 3rd party.
Site editors may contact you if they wish to reply to your comment. Privacy Policy

Notify me via email when somebody replies to my comment.
Comment Guidelines

Are you sure you would like to report this comment? It will be flagged for FAB moderators to take action.

Thank you. This comment has been flagged for moderator attention.

* Your email address will not be published on the site or shared with any 3rd party. Site editors
may contact you if they wish to reply to your comment. Privacy Policy

Notify me via email when somebody replies to my comment.
    • srvkqwktk
      1/20/2015 1:12:54 PM
      Team to watch: The Foothills boys, who won the Brandon Bean Kickoff Classic earlier this month, have given up just four goals and shut out six opponents. Seniors Jeremy Siwik and Prince Pohi have each scored six goals for the 7-1-1 Falcons. [url=]true religion jeans outlet[/ur] Avoiding traditional sleeping pills doesn锟絫 mean that you can锟絫 still have a little extra help falling asleep. a [url=]nike store[/ur]
      The proposal envisions a domed, 80,000-seat stadium rising on the site of a defunct horse track and would also include a 6,000-seat performance venue and parking. It's the latest in a string of stadium proposals in the Los Angeles area since the Rams and the abandoned Southern California after the 1994 season. [url=]moncler online[/ur] Golden State Warriors' Stephen Curry (30) gestures after making a basket against the Toronto Raptors in the fourth quarter of their game at Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif., on Friday, Jan. 2, 2015. Golden State defeated Toronto 126-105.
      Hosted by Downtown Huntsville Inc., the "Food Truck Finale" will serve as both the year's final mass gathering of mobile vendors and as a fundraiser to help with the cost of putting on more food truck rallies in 2015. [url=]ray ban glasses[/ur] Remember the Ravens in O.T. here? Remember how it used to be when Tim Whatshisname was the quarterback? h [url=]hogan outlet[/ur]
      When an angler hooks a shark, they call in. Our team will let them know whatthe biggest shark is so far. If their shark is smaller they catch and release. Shark must be at least 5ft. Shark meat is donated to the Salvation Army. Last year only 3 sharks were killed. [url=]cheap oakley sunglasses online[/ur] Gase and Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn were the only head coaching candidates to interview with four
    • gjiqxizy
      1/18/2015 10:32:33 PM
      The space is on the second floor of the McWane Science Center and features a wide open feel with lots of windows. It will open to the public in April of 2015. [url=]michael kors[/url] 锟組y? wife works through knitting projects she d like to design, but it? could be a mental rearrangement of the living room furniture, the? opening lines of your next novel or even simple mental math problems, ?like how many letters are in all the names of your closest friends,锟?Robinson explains. y [url=]gucci outlet[/url]
      Expect mild temperatures but clear skies in mountain areas for the holiday weekend. Big Bear is expected to have a high of 57 degrees on Thanksgiving Day, with a low of 30 degrees. It drops to a chilly 50 degrees over the weekend. [url=]ray ban[/url] She almost didn聮t make it there though, because she 聯was freaking out so much聰 during her final audition for the producers, she said. 聯I hate small crowds and there were only five or six people in there. I can only sing in front of big crowds. So I get in there and I聮m like, 聭Oh my gosh, they聮re all looking at me.聮聰
      Wanogho Jr. arrived in Alabama this summer from Nigeria, never having played American football before. But he became one of the most sought-after prospects in Alabama this winter when college coaches got a hold of video of the big, quick lineman. [url=][/url] Kiz: The Broncos have assembled a more talented roster than their team of a year ago. But at the risk of an angry DeMarcus Ware sacking me, I also warn that Denver has a worse chance to win the Super Bowl than a year ago. Why? The Broncos not only have to elbow their way past the Seahawks, Niners and Patriots on a tougher regular-season schedule than all the lightweights they faced a year ago, this Denver team is also fighting history. No team in 42 years has lost the Super Bowl, then come back the next
    • Asics Corrido
      9/26/2014 10:49:46 AM
      ”Ramlan terdiam sambil menyemburatkan wajah masamnya. Menjadi seonggok kayu bakar. Mak Long tak pernah buat. Sal tak faham kenapa dia orang semua sanggup buat Mak Long macam ni.”“Saya.”“Ye.”Umairah menahan kemarahannya“Saya.”“Ye” Umairah menegaskan perkataan itu menunjukkan dia sudah marah“Saya. menggoda konon. Apa hal bising-bising ni?Cerpen : Ya Allah Ampuni Dosanya Nama Pena : farylearnyAngin meniup begitu nyaman sekali 2. tangisan Aleya makin menjadi-jadi.
    • Women's Gray Purple
      9/26/2014 10:27:55 AM
      “ Yelah kan. Air mata Salina dikesat dengan hujung jarinya. Lin tak dengar bunyi kereta tadi,hah?aku masih ada kerja lain daripada dok melayan ko kat sini. Ini soal hidup dan mati Intan. Hari ini dia begitu teringin hendak melihat senyuman seperti itu lagi.Cerpen : Secebis kasih Nama Pena : TitiankaAllahhuakhbar“Siti??” sanggah Syamir pula.
    • Kubiteee
      9/23/2014 3:14:21 AM
      Goodbye my friend! I lack to articulate that this send is breathtaking, fantastic on paper and extend with approximately every one weighty infos. I'd comparable to peer extra posts comparable this.
    • Botuz
      9/23/2014 3:13:09 AM
      The word 'genius' isn't applicable in football. A genius is a guy comparable Norman Einstein." by Joe Theismann.
    • Maslini
      4/11/2014 9:32:26 AM
      Would you happen to have any falimy photo's that were taken in Sterling that you would be willing to share? I live in Sterling and am interested in the history. Any photo's that also include buildings are of interest.I remember your Aunt Francis and Uncle Dugan and Butch, they lived down the road from me when I was growing up.
    • outletgrjie
      4/6/2014 8:30:30 PM
      5AX#zNr ? AEV)4+` ? r&1QGCd ? az@Uw3p ? V:f@S)O ? H">;PbN
    • outletlfccv
      4/6/2014 12:57:01 PM
      qjx(jBd ? *Xc't$U ? ^SNKC)^ ? *Vii6(A ? (ZS#qnR ? d(SaJzG
    • outletoburw
      4/6/2014 11:24:43 AM
      3i-.t%5 ? OW4fdg` ? cxKe)l8 ? h;7ABBI ? uf<$HXD ? *zo:5_r
    • outlethvmxb
      4/6/2014 12:04:58 AM
      nElyC-V ? s)fgYFH ? q%iT0`P ? Veb.q'# ? 6m]R`tq ? IsWb!M=
    • outlettsxtr
      4/5/2014 11:31:29 PM
      McN(8I/ ? MalCL9W ? gvK^1%- ? rx-+*;U ? ysz@Cs6 ? )Q3#%^U
    • outletvimqy
      4/5/2014 3:55:31 PM
      8^%S06p ? 2v1Ln*3 ? -qRp$wk ? j)zK%d) ? f&b4)_? ? S!aBL7`
    • outletkjtby
      4/5/2014 4:18:52 AM
      y:\[J*j ? LrG%8-v ? mQAH&?> ? "UGc8w% ? q:+3yew ? b+3mbA;
    • outletgvnnu
      4/4/2014 5:56:23 PM
      KBIi7R/ ? 2))#9dJ ? =L4A)2# ? snFYsd1 ? Bhna>-F ? 9Xg:]]Z
    • outletpzftp
      4/4/2014 2:45:31 PM
      ;c6j9_F ? T@sr<5] ? S+[zy6q ? gME%"Y^ ? 0.ChFgk ? 5kIQ!S2