Another Crossroads

Former Sister Double Happiness frontman Gary Floyd re-confronts his (and America's) musical roots

Floyd has long been a vocal advocate of gay rights, sometimes angrily so -- on "Where Do We Run," from Sister's 1993 album Uncut, he sang: "I knew some tough guys who went out to have some fun/ They got a gay guy tried to shoot him with a gun/ That gay guy struck back and cut the bastards' throats ... they are weak, weak and going down." The same attitude pervades Black Kali Ma's "Gotta Keep Movin' On," which Floyd wrote in tribute to James Byrd and Matthew Shepard.

"If you think [San Francisco] is bad, just leave for a while," he says. "You get out of here, there's a lot of fucking racist, homophobic shit going on, sexist crap that goes on that even would shock the most politically incorrect people in this city." Referring to Shepard, he says, "Even if he'd gone up to them and said, 'Can I suck your dick?' " -- and here, his voice rises an angry octave -- "you don't kill people for that."

In the late '80s, Floyd tried to get away from music; soon after Sister Double Happiness released its first album in 1988, he broke up the band and pursued what he calls a "spiritual journey," studying Indian religion and even contemplating joining a monastery, an idea he dismissed fairly quickly, though he routinely credits a spiritual adviser on his records. "I figured if I joined a monastery I'd probably end up being a pretty bad monk. Miserable me, you know, fucking fag sitting around a monastery pissed off at everyone."

"There were times that I didn't feel like being a part of the scene anymore, but that's not a choice that I make. I actually accept it now: I'm always going to be doing music. I tried to quit music a few times. I tried to say that I'm not going to do any more bands now, but I figured out that's not really a choice now.

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