Enlarge William DuVall photo credit: Stefan Brending via Wikimedia Commons. RuPaul photo credit: David Shankbone via Wikimedia Commons

RuPaul Was a Fan of Alice in Chains Frontman’s Punk Band in the ’80s


Alice in Chains frontman DuVall has spoken about his punk rock roots in the past, but nostalgia for any musician’s teenage band will of course usually be forced to take a backseat to their main gig. But, with Chains off cycle at the moment, DuVall is shining a light on that band, Neon Christ, with a re-release of their 1984 album.

In a new interview with Metal Hammer, DuVall revealed that he and drag icon RuPaul came up in the same scene, and that the two would often cross paths at an Atlanta club where, in a sense, all the freaks and geeks who were rejected everywhere else would congregate. He explains:

“Our gigs at the Celebrity Club would have different countercultural mixes: you’d have the punk rockers coming to see us and mixing with the gay crowd and the drag crowd. Everybody was: ‘Hey, we like high energy music’, and we were so committed to our thing. I think people recognize that level of commitment no matter where you’re coming from. And RuPaul was part of that scene.”

He continued:

“He was promoting himself as a superstar way before anyone knew who he was. He was plastering his flyers all around the city – we were wondering what kind of glue he was using, cos I swear the flyers he put up in 1985 were still there in 1995! We were doing the same thing in terms of promoting ourselves, and in terms of that and the energy and the music, I think he recognized something he liked. He would come to our shows – there are tapes of him screaming at us from the audience. We really respected him and  think he respected us.”

DuVall says he hasn’t spoken to RuPaul in years, but would relish the opportunity to reconnect. “I would accept it in a heartbeat,” he answered when asked if he’d appear on RuPaul’s Drag Race TV show if invited.

Neon Christ consisted of DuVall on guitar, vocalist Randy DuTeau, bassist Danny Lankford and drummer Jimmy Demer. Their self-titled 1984 album’s reissue will come out on June 12 via Southern Lord / DVL.

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