Brontez Purnell on Bed, Boyfriends, and Betrayals

Dress by Palace Costume, Jewelry by Mondo Mondo, and Shoes by Pleaser.

If Brontez Purnell has anything, it’s audacity. Purnell has made his mark through writing his book Since I Laid My Burden Down, as editor of the zine Fag School, frontman of the punk band The Young Lovers, and founding the Brontez Purnell Dance Company. The multi-hyphenate exposes himself in our work questionnaire, divulging all things including dirty details about his romantic involvement with Satan.


INTERVIEW: Where do you work?


INTERVIEW: Where are you now?

PURNELL: OMG, like, literally in bed. 

INTERVIEW: Who do you work with? 

PURNELL: Sophia Wang, my art wife; and Jackson Howard, my art brother-husband. Also, in a romantic sense, Satan.  

INTERVIEW:What’s your morning routine?

PURNELL: Deep avoidance. 

INTERVIEW: What gives you energy? 

PURNELL: Avenging past betrayals.  

INTERVIEW: What are you made of ?

PURNELL: (I’m) Pussy.  

INTERVIEW: How much stamina do you have? 

PURNELL: It takes a really long time for me to cum and not in a manly virile way, more like, everything takes on a sense of theater when there’s an audience, and sometimes trying to bust a nut for the person who came before you as a symbolic way of showing how hot you thought it was or whatever, I start to feel like I’m on this game show I never asked to be on where if I cum in time the crowd will be like, “WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAH.” More and more lately I would just rather not cum and high five or something?  

INTERVIEW: What gives you stamina?

PURNELL: I feel like procrastinating strangely returns my energy to me. 

INTERVIEW: How many hours a day do you work? 

PURNELL: Six at the least.  

INTERVIEW: What is the hardest you’ve worked? 

PURNELL: I would say when I was a go-go boy touring with Gravy Train!!! I mean we would only tour like a month out of the year, but like every night straight I was onstage around an hour-and-a-half or so, like, DANCING, unloading the amps and guitars and equipment into the van, sleeping four hours, and doing it again. I was, like, a SHOWGIRL. Sooooooooooooooooo fun.  

INTERVIEW: What makes work fun? 

PURNELL: Taking breaks.  

INTERVIEW: How do you build stamina? 

PURNELL: Practice?  

INTERVIEW: What’s your motivation? 

PURNELL: Immortality.  

INTERVIEW: What counts as hard work? 

PURNELL: Doing shit you really really really don’t wanna do. This is only one example.  

INTERVIEW: What holds you back? 

PURNELL: From going as hard as I WANNA go? Oof, self-preservation.  

INTERVIEW: What’s your dream job? 

PURNELL: Getting paid to not do a goddamn thing. 

INTERVIEW: When does it feel like work? 

PURNELL: When does it not? 

INTERVIEW: What got you in trouble at work? 

PURNELL: Thinking that I was too good to be there ’cause I had a college degree.  

INTERVIEW: What do you do on your days off ?

PURNELL: Drugs. 

INTERVIEW: What’s your favorite workout? 

PURNELL: SWIMMING!!!!!!! I didn’t learn how to swim until I was 26, and my fave is to swim an hour lap. FUN FACT: I can fly in my dreams at will after I’m in a regular swim routine, but to “fly” I always have to use, like, swim motions in my dream? I think it’s just my brain mimicking its muscle memory of weightlessness.  

INTERVIEW: How long can you last? 

PURNELL: It really depends… 

INTERVIEW: What keeps you going?


INTERVIEW: What makes you tired?


INTERVIEW: What keeps you awake?

PURNELL: Not much.  

 Dress by Olivia Latinovich, Jewelry Brontez’s Own, Shoes by Pleaser.

INTERVIEW: What makes you sweat? 

PURNELL: The path of least resistance.  

INTERVIEW: How do you endure? 

PURNELL: Begrudgingly.   

INTERVIEW: When do you crash? 

PURNELL: Like, honestly around 7 a.m. Eight if I’ve been really bad 😉 

INTERVIEW: Where do you want to retire? 


INTERVIEW: Has the work paid off ? 


INTERVIEW: What’s the atmosphere like at work? 

PURNELL: I work from home so I’m always fucking cozy.  

INTERVIEW: What do you need? 

PURNELL: A monogamous boyfriend. 

INTERVIEW: What gets you down?

PURNELL: Like, thinking about it too hard. Whatever “it” may be.  

INTERVIEW: What keeps you up?

PURNELL: I would feel too trashy admitting it in an interview.  

INTERVIEW: Who do you want to be? 

PURNELL: I want Miranda July’s career, but like three times the money.  

INTERVIEW: What do you want to create? 

PURNELL: That which defies the laws of physics.  

INTERVIEW: What do you want to leave behind? 

PURNELL: A reputation for being the fucking DOPEST.  

INTERVIEW: What’s worth fighting for? 

PURNELL: I can better tell you about what is worth giving up… 

INTERVIEW: What’s your reality? 

PURNELL: “I’m too uppity to be this poor.”  

INTERVIEW: What are you made of ? 



Hair: Ronnie Lynn

Makeup: Juanita More!

Production: Emma Yun

Photography Assistant: Jung Fitzpatrick

Fashion Assistant: Kelly Peters