Darren Hayes discusses sexuality, self-released album
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The last seven years have been a roller-coaster ride for Darren Hayes.
Since the breakup of his former band, Australian pop duo Savage Garden in 2001, Hayes has released two solo albums, come to terms with his sexuality and met and quietly married his partner Richard Cullen.
“I never wanted to be outed,” says Hayes, “It wasn’t until I was in a relationship where I felt really good about it and proud about it and I thought ‘why wouldn’t I want people to know this?’”
Hayes came out on his website and decided to start his own independent record label, Powdered Sugar, after his second solo effort was shelved by his major label.
His first release on the new label, This Delicate Thing We’ve Made, is now available.
“It’s a record that basically begins at the beginning of the story and says ‘I’m going to go into the deepest, darkest recesses of my mind’ and it chronicles me, you know, really being happy with myself, being happy to say that I like the fact that I’m a gay man,” Hayes says during a recent stop in Toronto.
“I mean I fought that for so many years ... (but) when all of that stuff was happening (with the record company) … I met Richard and so he is the moment of tempo change on the record when suddenly light fills the room and you realize you know what, there is someone for everyone.”
While questions about Hayes’ sexuality swirled around during his Savage Garden days, the singer admits that for years he privately struggled with his feelings.
“I think I always knew that eventually I would be open about who I was but the truth is that I was really sad for a lot of the years that I was successful with Savage Garden, the music was all I had and off stage I was a very confused person and a very sad person.”
On the new 25-song double album Hayes is perhaps more open than he has ever been before, penning songs that deal with everything from his rough childhood, to gaining courage and eventually learning how to be happy. And though he met with major labels prior to the release of This Delicate Thing We’ve Made, Hayes decided to do things his way, releasing an ambitious and deeply personal album heavily influenced by ‘80s pop and electronica.
“The idea of giving somebody this record and have the same thing happen again where someone says ‘You know, we’re not too sure about the first single or we’re not sure about the length of it, or the title — the idea of all of those people controlling me and telling me what to do ... was inconceivable and that’s why I decided to do it on my own label.”
The first single is called On the Verge Of Something Wonderful and with this record Hayes just might be right.