Brontez Purnell on Bed, Boyfriends, and Betrayals
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?
BRONTEZ PURNELL: In bed.
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?
INTERVIEW: What’s your motivation?
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 ?
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?
PURNELL: “LOVE IS MY SEASON.”
INTERVIEW: What makes you tired?
INTERVIEW: What keeps you awake?
PURNELL: Not much.
INTERVIEW: What makes you sweat?
PURNELL: The path of least resistance.
INTERVIEW: How do you endure?
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?
PURNELL: N E V E R.
INTERVIEW: Has the work paid off ?
PURNELL: IT’S NOT ABOUT THAT.
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 ?
PURNELL: “THE AUDACITY.”
Hair: Ronnie Lynn
Makeup: Juanita More!
Production: Emma Yun
Photography Assistant: Jung Fitzpatrick
Fashion Assistant: Kelly Peters