Darren Hayes reveals sad detail about iconic Savage Garden video

Darren Hayes screenshot from Savage Garden's I Want You video
Images: Supplied

Darren Hayes has reflected on some of the “disgusting” homophobia he experienced and witnessed in the music industry earlier in his career, as he celebrates the release of his new solo album, simply titled Homosexual.

The title of the new album, released last Friday, is Hayes’ way of reclaiming the “word the 11-year-old me used to be terrified of” as well as taking aim at the music industry “gatekeepers” that he says were “working very actively to destroy my career”.

Speaking to News Corp, the former Savage Garden frontman said he only recently discovered the reason he was predominantly filmed in a metal head brace (above) in the band’s music video for 1997 debut single I Want You was “because the lead singer looks gay when he moves.”

“They were just going to tell me it was an ‘artistic decision’. I’m still f___ing angry about that,” he said.

“What was really hard for me after the break-up of the band wasn’t just starting off as a solo artist but as a gay artist.

“It was like there was a ceiling put on how far they thought I could go.

“I was never going to be Justin Timberlake in their eyes.

“I remember overhearing some of the disgusting conversations they had about Ricky Martin, who at that time was the biggest-selling artist on the label.

“And I thought, if that’s how you speak about one of the biggest stars in the world in front of me, how do you speak about me when I’m not even in the room?”

Hayes has said executives also treated him just as badly when he went solo in 2002, after the end of Savage Garden.

‘Homosexual’ album is reclaiming his identity

Darren Hayes announced the title of the new album in August, and said he picked it for a variety of reasons.

“The most obvious, is that I’m a gay man who grew up in an era when that word was used to shame and vilify people like me. So I wanted to reclaim it,” he said.

“I’m also a recording artist who came up in an era where being openly gay was frowned upon and I experienced firsthand, the attempted erasure of my true identity from the marketing department of a major record label.

But he said “perhaps the most important reason” is that in the US, his home, the freedoms of LGBTQI+ people are at risk.

“Moments like the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill in Florida, or the constant attacks on trans people, have made it clear to me that now is the time to be as loud as possible about who I am,” he said.

“On the [cover] I’m proudly lounging upon my version of a stairway to heaven. Blazoned across me, in the brightest hot pink neon, is a word the 11-year-old me used to be terrified of.

“Now it’s my word. Now it means whatever I want it to mean. If you haven’t worked it out yet, I think it means something magical, amazing, unique and essential.

“My name is Darren Hayes. And I’m a proud Homosexual.”

Darren Hayes touring Australia next year

Early next year, Hayes will embark on his Do You Remember? national tour to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Savage Garden’s debut album and his solo career.

The tour will begin in Perth on January 31, 2023, before Melbourne, Sydney, Newcastle, Brisbane, and the Gold Coast.

He said he was “beyond excited” for the concerts “after almost a decade out of the spotlight and all this time in lockdown.”

“You never know how much you love something until it’s taken away from you,” Hayes said.

“I found myself really missing the electric feeling that only a live audience can bring.

“To sing these songs again after all we’ve been through is going to feel like a family reunion.”

For the latest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) news in Australia, visit qnews.com.au. Check out our latest magazines or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Jordan Hirst
Jordan Hirst

Jordan Hirst is an experienced journalist and content creator with a career spanning over a decade at QNews. Since 2012, the Brisbane local has covered an enormous range of topics and subjects in-depth affecting the LGBTIQA+ community, both in Australia and overseas. Today, the Brisbane-based journalist covers everything from current affairs, politics and health to sport and entertainment.

QNews, Brisbane Gay, App, Gay App, LGBTI, LGBTI News, Gay Australia

1 Comment

  1. Peter Turner
    13 October 2022

    I can’t wait to get tickets.

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