Chiffon Dior: Hey Kelly! I’m glad we’re getting to sit down and dish a little again. Welcome to the new and improved WERRRK.com! We’ve spruced up the place since last time we talked. How are you doing gurl?
Kelly Mantle: I hit the Refresh button, and didn’t even recognize the place! It looks fantastic, congrats! I’m doing great! I refreshed myself as well. So I’m lookin’ good and feelin’ gorgeous!
CD: Last time we talked you were getting set for your show in New York City. Catch us up on what you have been up to since then.
KM: Boozing. Whoring. Drugging. Ya know, the life of a rock star. No, I was touring non-stop right after my show at The Laurie Beechman. And then recently I took a little break to go into the studio and write and record all this new music.
CD: Your new song, “Keyboard Courage” and the video for it are both out today. Its a tad bit more poignant than your typical “drag queen song”. Where did the inspiration for this come from? Why is the message of the song important to you?
KM: Well, I’m a singer/songwriter so it’s only natural for me to put my life experiences to music. The three albums I recorded and released before my time on Drag Race are chalk full of personal songs. One of my favorite things to do is to sit down with my guitar or at my piano and create a song about something that just happened to me. I’m all about turning life into art. When I decided to go back in the studio to record my new album, I knew I wanted my first single to be a song for the Drag Race fans. It’s also the first time for most of them to see me in my element making music and playing it live on stage. I was inspired to write this song because I’ve had so many people send me messages or tell me stories at the meet-and-greets about how they’re being victimized by online bullying from other kids in their schools or just random trolls. And they tell me how it leaves them feeling suicidal. That’s a scary thought that someone’s heartless mindless words could actually drive someone to suicide. So I was inspired to write “Keyboard Courage” as an anthem for anyone who’s had to deal with cyber bullying in hopes that it can be that song they listen to when they’re feeling down about it, and be reminded to not get discouraged by keyboard courage.
CD: Anyone who is in the public eye is going to get their share of mean tweets and comments these days. How do you combat the online bullying and negativity that’s been thrown your way since your time on Drag Race?
KM: I never had to deal with much negativity online before my appearance on RuPaul’s Drag Race. So this was new territory for me. But I also receive TONS of love from the fans so those are the comments and tweets I focus on. I personally don’t get affected by mean tweets from trolls. I actually feel sorry for them. Tortured souls want to torture souls. Ya know? And besides, I’ve been in show business for yearrrs…so I have developed a VERY thick skin. It’s gonna take a lot more than a mean tweet or comment to get to me. It’s mainly just a bunch of clueless kids misusing the word “Shade” or telling me there’s only one type of drag. I also have a really wicked sense of humor so a lot of times I find myself laughing at the mean things people say about me. My favorite tweet I’ve ever received was “Kelly Mantle is so ugly. She looks like a burn victim going through chemo!” That one made me laugh so hard. I’m like…now wait, does that mean I already had cancer prior to getting burned? Because I don’t think burn victims go thru chemo, do they??
CD: I would be remiss if I didn’t throw one Drag Race question at you. How many times have you been asked if you’re on All-Stars 2 in the last few months?
KM: 525,600 times.
CD: As if new music and your “Keyboard Courage” campaign wasn’t enough to keep you busy, what else do you have cooking in the coming months that you can share?
KM: I’m in a new movie coming out in 2016. It’s called “Middle Man” with Jim O’Heir (from “Parks & Recreation”) and Andrew J. West and Josh McDermitt (both from “The Walking Dead.”) My full album will be coming out in 2016. The working title is “Duality.” And I’ll be constantly touring. We’re working on my first UK dates which will be in January or February.
CD: Thank you so much for making the time to talk with me today Kelly. I know you’re super busy right now but you better not wait over a year again to come back and spill the tea with me again! So before we call it a day, do you have any final words of wisdom to leave us with today?
KM: Yes! Laugh at everything! Laughter is life’s lubricant.