By Jesse Marx
By Chris Parker
By Jake Rossen
By Jesse Marx
By Michelle LeBow
By Alleen Brown
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Carroll asked to meet the neighbors, and soon they were hanging out with Huff. "She's got Ziggy Stardust blaring on the stereo and she's sewing at the sewing machine," he says. (A fashion designer, Huff would go on to make all the band's clothes; she also organizes fashion events.) As the band tells it, the story of that night ends with the cabbie's car stalling on Washington Avenue, the driver puking out the passenger's side window, and Huff jumping out of the driver's seat as a police car rolled up. "I don't know what's going on," she cried.
"She had platform shoes, hair up to here, a sequin outfit," says Carroll. "She was this Burning Man punk goddess. And this poor dumb fuck Mr. Anderson the cop from Minneapolis comes up, looks at her tits, and goes, 'Well, yeah, you should just pull your car over.'"
Tim Carroll made as vivid an impression on Wade the first time they hung out, the night they were kicked out of the Front for nudity. "We're dancing around, and there's all these jocks," says Wade. "I look down, and there's Tim's pants around his ankles. And there's his butt hole looking up at me. The jocks were into it. They were like, 'Hey, dude, that was pretty cool.'"
Wade had booked shows for a decade back in Rapid City, South Dakota, fronting the thrash-metal band Resin and otherwise gaining a reputation as the sort of character who might one day play in a band called Faggot. "Jason is one of the most bizarre and interesting people I've ever met in my life," says alternative folk singer Haley Bonar, who knew Nielsen and Wade in Rapid City, and lived with Huff and Wade when she first moved to Minneapolis. "There were several times when I came home where Jason would just be buck naked, flailing his dick around. He'll greet people like, 'What's up, bitch?' He's making a violent experimental film called Stabber and got $10,000 to do it. They like to dress up pretty much every day. They find costumes they're going to wear."
While still living in "Rapid," Wade went on The Jerry Springer Show with two friends. "Jason was wearing makeup and his hair was really long and flowing," says Bonar. "They'd made up this total lie about a love triangle. I think it was Jason's idea, because he was like, 'Dude, they fly you to Chicago, you get food, and you stay in a hotel, and you go on TV.'
"When I played a show with Mason Jennings a couple years ago at the 400 Bar," she continues, "those guys all showed up dressed to the nines. They were like, 'Hey!' They missed my show, of course. And I went over to them and was talking to them by the door, and they're like, 'Who's this?' I was like, 'That's Mason Jennings.' The set started with that song from O Brother, Where Art Thou?, like [singing] 'as I went down to the river to pray,' and everyone was quiet. And Jason goes, 'Fuck this!' Like really loud."
Faggot enjoy pushing people, but only so far. They say they're the only band in their southeast Minneapolis building to take advantage of the glass bubble skylight above their practice space, which opens out onto the roof. On June 9, two weeks after the Church show, we walk across the gravel top under a clear night sky, peering down into somebody else's practice studio. "We once opened this window and threw rocks at the band while they were playing," says Nielsen. "They were like, 'What the fuck is going on?' They never looked up."
"Hey, did you tell him about the tattoos?" says Carroll.
"Hold on a second, let's finish this story," says Wade. He has been starting to say something about himself, Huff, and Nielsen getting baked and listening to a lot of Hawkwind, Judas Priest, and Mötley Crüe before they met Carroll.
"Beginnings, beginnings," says Huff. The musicians sit down at the edge of the building, gazing at the downtown skyline, and do "team shots" of tequila with lime.
"You can understand how we met Tim, and we're like, 'This guy has to be the singer of our band,'" says Wade.
They played together and talked about using the band name Faggot before, says Nielsen. "And there was pretty much no way we were going to use it." Though the other three members of Faggot profess ambisextrousness—"I'm just waiting for the right guy," says Wade—Carroll is the only one in a committed relationship with somebody of the same sex, and the only one not attracted to the opposite sex. Wade and Huff's relationship might be a source of a bizarre false rumor that nobody in Faggot is homosexual—a sort of modern twist on Prince's dilemma in "Controversy."
Last year, the group independently released an eight-song, self-titled demo cassette wrapped in a condom, and Carroll has kept up a sort of homosexual version of Ice Cube's "The Nigga Ya Love to Hate" act throughout Faggot's two years. Part of that project involves stage antics: Carroll has put any number of things into his ass onstage, from guitars to a pair of tighty-whities wrapped in a condom. He gave a male audience member fellatio at the Slipper Club in Madison, Wisconsin, last year. ("This may sound odd," says Carroll's boyfriend, actor Charles Schuminski, "but it quite honestly doesn't occur to me to be upset about it, to even really think of it as a true sexual act, because it's a persona.")