The Boulet Brothers interview: Learn about ‘Dragula’, Halloween balls, and more
Who says Halloween can’t last all year? The Boulet Brothers have been dominating the weird & wonderful world of drag. They continuously push boundaries and remain as fierce as ever. Swanthula & Dracmorda are the Boulet Brothers and never fail to keep us entertained.
Their masterpiece Boulet Brothers: Dragula provided horror, healthy competition, and a lot of drag. Creating art using drag is what Swan & Drac live for, as do we! So what’s in store for the drag queens? Will they be providing more comic relief during the mess that is 2020?
Find out even more about the Boulet Brothers in their exclusive interview with us here.
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Horror & drag
Dragula is described as “unapologetic queer artistry” that will “make you laugh, make you cry and make you sick to the stomach”. Three seasons of Boulet Brothers: Dragula has provided tons of horror-obsessed drag kings and queens who compete to be crowned the “next drag supermonster”.
Since 2016, we’ve experienced Dragula’s ups & downs. With contestants jumping out of planes and eating plates of raw meat, the Boulet Brothers bring the horror every time. Dragula embraces the unique. Without individuality, everything and everyone would be dull. Thankfully, the Boulet Brothers provide those unique individuals with a place to express their art and creativity.
With a lack of diversity still on screen, having Boulet Brothers bring Dragula is music to the LGBTQ community’s ears. They started as two drag queens in live events and ended up building their own empire. It’s easy to see why so many drag queens and kings look up to the dynamic duo.
More Dragula content?
The Boulet Brothers aren’t finished yet (even with COVID-19). Last month, the Boulet Brothers released The Boulet Brothers’ Dragula: Resurrection on Shudder. The platform Shudder is known for releasing horror, supernatural, and thriller-inspired content. Previous contestants from the last three seasons of Dragula will return to compete for a $20 thousand cash prize.
We’ll be treated to a more in-depth look into each of the competitors as the Boulet Brothers travel across the U.S.. The competitors will be challenged to conceptualize and design three original Halloween-themed looks and present them in performances to be filmed at haunting and horrifying real-world locations including an abandoned Georgia train station and a haunted mansion in the woods of North Carolina.
Following Dragula’s success, we’re all looking forward to seeing what the Boulet Brothers bring.
The Boulet Brothers exclusive
We had the pleasure of interviewing drag superstar duo the Boulet Brothers. They deep-dived into all their latest projects, how The Boulet Brothers: Dragula was created, and advice for those in the LGBTQ community. Take a look at the transcript below.
What drew you both to do drag in the first place?
I think it was more about us always having an interest in theatre, and performance and our and makeup and horror and all those things, you know, we started off, expressing that in different ways we used to do comic books and we would design comic book characters and worlds together and we went into nightlife and we started building these fantasy worlds, doing shows and performances and theatrical things so we get up and build sets and perform and it just sort of all evolved into drag.
What inspired you to become queens of the horror scene?
Well, that’s just the natural evolution as apex predators you naturally run. But the truth is, we were doing nightlife events for years and years in Los Angeles and then we started doing events all over the country really in parties in London and you know touring and stuff but one of the parties that we really resonated with kind of celebrated this darkness and this punk energy and that was wild kind of like nightlife personas and that really grew into Dragula.
This is sort of the culmination of stuff that we’ve been doing for years so I think the show and the Boulet Brothers in general have tonnes of spirit, and people can really feel that it’s genuine and it’s alive and it’s electric, And I think that’s why people are attracted to it.
You both founded the Los Angeles Halloween Ball. What do you think of the event now versus when you first created it?
Los Angeles Halloween Ball is definitely an event that helped put our name on the map, I would say, I think so too. Yeah. As for icons and just people you know we work with so many people on that event like Clive Barker and Elvira and just like everyone you can think of.
It’s certainly gotten a lot bigger. I mean people you know just more and more people came every year. So now, you know, the Globe Theatre in downtown Los Angeles is, you know, a huge level like a mega venue. It’s like super gorgeous Art Deco renovated and we pack it to the gills and people are turned away at this point,
I never thought when we moved the event there that we went sell that space I when I first walked through that space I was like, wow, I was like, Okay, this is going to be a feat. And I was like, oh my god we have to open all three levels within the first hour of being open and it just sells out every year now so I mean I can’t imagine ever having to move it again maybe let’s do.
Wait, because we used to sell it to our other place too. And we would do two nights we do Friday and Saturday so potentially we’ll go back to doing that who knows but it’s grown in that way it’s also grown in a way that I miss is that you know we used to be able to get a lot more hands on with the event and building all the props and I used to go on, we would spend months, building all the props and things that would happen in that haunted house, and I would build these little animatronics and stuff they kind of remind me like kind of retro like 70s thing, and I love this and watch it she thought they were stupid but I thought they’re awesome.
Doing that we can’t do that anymore because now we kind of fly around everywhere and host other Halloween parties and other cities, and we fly back, just in the nick of time to go on stage to do this one so we can’t get as hands on with this as we used to but it still has our spirit written all over it.
What made you create The Boulet Brothers’: Dragula?
So Dragula was a party, before it was a television show, and there was a competition much, you know, the spirit of what you see on TV, was sort of there happening on a monthly basis in Los Angeles for a few years, and it was super PAC, I mean literally lying around the corner on the very first night, and it was like it was super f******, it was super punk rock, people were there was a mosh pit on the night that we launched the party and it was amazing.
So we took that party on the road to San Francisco, we would do it in leather bars up there we did it at the Austin international drag Fest in Texas, we took it to Brooklyn, and we quickly realized that that show had just a really powerful impact on people, and there are way more like misfits and outcasts artists types and just people that never really felt like they were in the inner circle and the spirit of Dragula takes those people and tells them they’re not only celebrated. They are now like the coolest kids in the room.
Yeah, it gets like an answer to mainstream society right it was like, essentially what queer acceptance or what we see as queer acceptance today. More people are saying well we embrace queer culture now and you know, but it’s not necessarily sincere it’s almost like general society embraces queer society, when it’s presented them in a very whitewashed and safe way. And so I think Dragula as an event appealed to people because it went back to that gritty dirty nightlife adult version of queer entertainment that we all grew up on, and I think it sort of made people feel like, you know what, I don’t buy into this TV made for TV fantasy of queer culture, this feels real and authentic and I think that that’s why they resonated with that and then we felt, well, you know, we’ve wanted to work in TV forever we’ve always been like in the background working on that.
And the first night we did Dragula someone said it was sold out and that night I was like, we need to turn this into a reality show and so from that moment on, we started working on making that happen. It is an interesting detail. We started Dragula. It was Halloween night.
Three years later, to the day on Halloween night, it launched on Netflix, so it went from an idea that we had. And we worked our asses off but most of it has to do with like faith and focus on abilities and your vision, and it was on Netflix, three years ago to the day.
Three years later to the day, I remember the first person’s office I went to pitch the show. And this is before even anything was filmed and I was like, we’re gonna make this show. This is what it is. And I want it to be on Netflix. And at the time we had done nothing and the TV industry yet and I know that the person just looked at me like, Okay, you know.
But, you know, we’re fortunate enough that it didn’t work out that way but we’ve killed ourselves to make it happen and we’re very proud of that. Um, you know, another thing I want to say about the idea of why it’s a TV show, is I think it’s important right now especially to present queer stories in an authentic way, it’s important to talk about, if you want acceptance then let’s get people to accept us for who we really are, and not like a proper version of ourselves right let’s show warts and all like everything like there are people in our community that deal with, you know, drug addiction that have their families, throw them out they’re homeless I mean there’s things that queer people have to deal with that the rest of the world don’t necessarily know about. And those are the stories that we want to tell you know
How have your years of hosting and MCing events helped you host The Boulet Brothers’ Dragula?
Well, you don’t need to wear a plastic tarp when you watch it on the show, and when you would come to the bank, it would be a smart idea unless you wanted to get covered in blood and fish guts. Yeah, and you don’t get as drunk, watching it. You were wasted just by breathing the air.
No, I mean the spirits still the same honestly it’s just you know obviously with the show, we can take it so much farther. You know we got to locations and we can plan things out for days in advance the show is very, you know the live version of it was very raw things you had to do on stage, which we challenged I mean we did do crazy stuff when it was a live event we made it rain inside of a club one time we like flooded the inside of the club that was pretty awesome.
We can actually bury people alive or throw them out of planes in a nightclub. So, once he went to a television platform we are the world of possibilities just opened up dramatically and our minds were like, like, just the end of calculating the possibilities. So much more fun.
Why do you find it important to keep your private life out of the spotlight?
I think there are several reasons but I think the first one is and probably the most prominent one is, it’s a fantasy. We create fantasy, whether it be our nightclub environment that we invite you to step into our world, a world of our creation. And it’s the same thing with Dragula as the television show, and in, in that world, we are selling to lay brothers and we’re not going to give you anything else.
It’s us and it’s entertainment, so you don’t really need to see behind the curtain, you don’t need to see what the wizard looks like just enjoy the show.
What do you hope people take away from your legacy in the LGBTQ+ community?
I hope that they remember to not play safe. I hope they live a little dangerously and they live wild and loud and unapologetically, I want to see right I want I mean, don’t worry about offending someone offends someone like do it, you know like, as long as your heart’s in the right place and you think you have a message go screaming, you know if you get your ass before, then so be it you’ll learn from it and grow and change but just live out loud that’s the message I hope people get from watching the show.
What advice do you have for the next generation of drag queens and kings?
There are so many resources and people to look up to. Now, you know with the advent of other reality competition shows our show the internet like you could really learn in the safety of your own home, and just experiment.
Don’t take it too seriously. Have fun with the makeup have fun with what you’re creating it is a little extension of theatre, step into the fantasy, and you know we all start somewhere we didn’t always look this gorgeous and flawless it takes some time to get there, though it may take someone new to get there too, but you will get there if you don’t give up. Enjoy the ride and laugh at yourself because it’s half the finance when you get home at night and you’re like, I feel so good I look so cool tonight, and then you’re like, oh my god I look like total s***. And it’s funny you know they just get into. I laugh at drag all the time.
What’s LA like during the 2020 pandemic?
It’s been nightmarish, honestly, I mean I think everyone’s been dulled down and desensitized at this point but the first couple of months were shocking, it felt like another country, it didn’t feel like we were in America anymore. I mean granted we live right in the heart of downtown Los Angeles, really high up in this tower and we felt so I don’t know I felt like we had been transported into like a nightmare.
Yeah, I mean it’s weird, because it was like a war zone down here for a little while because obviously at the pandemic and it was on lockdown well during the lockdown. Then there were riots and protests that were happening. So you, you are already locked up and couldn’t leave the house.
And then there was like smoke in the air and there was people screaming outside and then there was like tanks in the streets for a while, and like helicopters and last, we realize what the f*** is happening like wow like this is really an I mean it shows you what bad government can do how quickly, everything can go to hell. If the wrong people are elected and I hope people remember that when it comes to Election Day this year.
What’s next on the docket for the both of you?
We’re really focused on Resurrection, that is our main focus so excited. It’s the best content we’ve ever created. And it’s taking 100% of our energy right now and that’s what we want to focus on. Yeah, we’re really pouring ourselves into it, the show. Boulet Brothers Dragula: Resurrection premieres in just a few days on the 20th. That’s at 12 am Eastern time so it’ll actually be airing in our timezone the night before at 9pm so we’re just a couple of days away.
And when we, when the world finds out who wins that competitor will go forward to be on the fourth season of the show so we’re really excited for this moment we’re very excited for them. And that is our Halloween this year.
When’s the next party?
I mean we can’t like do a party so definitely not more TV content for sure we’re working on a lot of things behind the scenes I think people are gonna be very excited.Swanthula