“The last time I was there was when I was sweeping up,” says Boy George with a laugh, referring to his most recent visit to America in 2006 — when he was performing community service for a misdemeanor charge in New York City.
The house DJ and ‘80s pop icon returns to the States later this month for the first time in seven years for a tour alongside his new collaborator DJ Marc Vedo. While the former Culture Clubber is releasing a new studio album this October titled “This Is What I Do,” this tour will be all about putting his considerable experience as a house music DJ to the mettle, albeit in a much different landscape than when he last left it.
“I’ve been DJing for 25 years and I’ve played a lot in America but not since what you call the ‘EDM explosion,’” George explains. “That happened in my absence. It will be really interesting coming back because obviously I don’t play that stuff. What I play is really more rooted in the original house music that came from America back in the day. It’s a bit like selling coals to Newcastle I suppose.”
While he describes himself as a house DJ, his tastes are far from confined to a single genre. Between 1999 and 2002, George released six mix compilations, including an Essential Mix, each showcasing an eclectic musical taste that is definitely more underground than today’s big room, festival-oriented EDM. Still, George is happy appeal to a crowd, particularly in how he pays homage to his original fan base.
“I’ve created some special tracks,” he divulges. “I’m probably going to get a few ‘80s heads at my gigs, so I’ve kind of cultivated some really interesting bootlegs.”
“Like any DJ, when you play you want people to have a good time,” George continues. “At the same time, you don’t want to be a jukebox. I’m hoping that all these little tricks I’ve got up my sleeve will leave people with a big smile on their face.”
In addition to the changes in the dance music landscape, George will find a new experience on his first American tour in nearly a decade if only because of the changes in his own life.
“It’s going to be quite emotional for me,” George confesses. “I’m really looking forward to it. I’m totally sober now. I’m going to be like Columbus. And I won’t be wearing orange, ok?”
Boy George’s tour starts Sept. 26 in Seattle and wraps up Oct. 26 in LA.