SW Exclusive: Perez Hilton on Starting a Record Label, His Upcoming Tour, and Katy Perry

Self-proclaimed "Queen of All Media" Perez Hilton recently added concert promoter to his job resume, thanks to an upcoming national tour, Perez Hilton Presents... Tour 2009, for which he handpicked talent from around the world. As a religious follower of his gossip site, I jumped at the chance to talk shit with the blogger prior to the tour's Seattle stop. Unfortunately, Hilton doesn't like to talk shit about music. And he's a lot funnier on his website than he is on the phone. Read on and see for yourself.

You've started your own record label and created your very own lineup for a national tour. Are you experiencing backlash from people who want you to stick to celebrity gossip?

Yeah, but I don't care. I genuinely am passionate about music. And I can do it so I'm going to. I understand that not everybody likes me. I'm very well aware of that. But if you love Ladyhawke, you shouldn't let your dislike for me get in the way from coming to the show. Just get over it. It's not about me.

How did you go from blogging to dabbling in the music industry anyway?

It's a natural evolution of what I've already been doing. I created a series of events "One Night In..." during which I've had everyone from Kanye West to Katy Perry to Lady GaGa to N.E.R.D. perform, as well as less mainstream acts. But those were invite only or you had to win tickets. This is taking that concept on the road and opening it up to everyone.

It's a big deal for an obscure act to be recognized on your website, given you get an average of eight million hits a day. How do you pick these artists?

I'm a believer that the first time you hear a song it should be a good song. I don't read any music magazines. I don't read any music blogs. I discover new music through my readers. They suggest new artists for me to check out. I literally get 30 recommendations a day--I listen to them all. A majority are crap. But on a rare occasion, there's something that turns out to be really good.

You've got Ida Maria, Ladyhawke, and Semi Precious Weapons lined up for the Seattle leg of your tour. We're big fans of Ida Maria at the Weekly.

Ida Maria is a powerhouse. She reminds me a little of Beth Ditto... I mean, she's not a big girl, but she's a got a big personality. She kind of scares me live. She's amazing and intense. She makes me wanna mosh. And I'm not a mosher.

Yes, she's great. But I can't say I entirely trust in your taste in music. For instance, you've been very public about your friendships with Lady GaGa and Katy Perry. I get the GaGa hype. But Katy Perry? Really? Do you really think she has a shot at a long-term career in music?

It depends on the music. I think so. Her debut album wasn't as strong as Lady GaGa's--but I think she knows that and her second album will be even better.

I've seen her live twice. It was horrific both times.

I think she has a great energy.

Well, to each his own. Thank you, Perez.

Thank you.

Ladyhawke, Ida Maria, and Semi Precious Weapons play the Showbox at the Market on Monday, Sept. 28 at 8 p.m. All ages.

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