Today we met up with one our favourite fans for a lunch hang and picked his brain about what it means to be a Mandette, a term he coined.
S: Let's go back to the beginning, How did you hear about us?
G: It all started when I went to a free show at Harbourfront during Panamania last summer. I was there to see Kawehi a musican from Hawaii, I was wearing my favourite Hawaiian shirt, it was a warm "Lover's Summer Day", haha. I made sure to get down there early and check out the opening act, which was you guys!
S: That was such a coincidence, we were filling in last minute for a band from China that had to cancel, which is why we were in an acoustic format.
G: I didn't know that, very cool. I remember there was one song that I was jamming to, playing hand rhythms on the chair in front of me.
S: So fast forward. We were so stoked when we saw you using the hashtag #Mandette on social media. Our whole vibe is about inclusivity and individuality (our motto is Sequins For All People Equal). Can you describe what it is to be a Mandette?
G: At first it started off as just a play on words, being a male fan of The Spandettes. When I bought the CD I just thought of it. But over time, I guess it changed into someone who isn't afraid to be themselves.
S: Let's dig into that a bit. Have you felt like society has set definitions of how people are supposed to be?
G: Yeah, definitely. Growing up I struggled with societies' definition of masculinity. And I found it hard to be myself because I knew I deviated a bit from the norm. I had been ridiculed and bullied, and ultimately, that made it hard to be myself. Like as a man who doesn't fit in the normal masculine box I was labelled in different ways. I'm a vibrant, colourful person, and I don't need to fit a mold.
S: How do you live the life of a Mandette?
G: One way that I try and embody the message is just everyday, wherever I am, being myself. It's really important to love yourself and be confident. Embrace your quirks, because that's what makes you stand out. When I discovered you guys I instantly connected with your authenticity. I think that's something that's lacking these days in a world where people try to be something they're not. I want to inspire people to just be themselves. One quote I think about a lot was when I was at a Metric concert and Emily Haines said, "whoever has the most fun wins". That's something that comes to mind when I feel the energy that you guys bring to a show, it's just that fun vibe.
S: Any advice to the Mandettes of the world?
G: Dance like no one's watching. Because everyone's on their phones and they're not really watching anyways! A Mandette is someone who just doesn't give a f**k who's watching, he or she is going to have fun anyway. It's your life, and your fun. If someone is watching you and caring enough to make fun of you or bully you, it's their loss.