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Joy of singles: Imperial Teen's Will Schwartz goes pop with his bubbly side project, hey willpower.

Will Schwartz first won fans as one fourth of queer alt-rockers Imperial Teen. But his current side project, hey willpower, hews closer to Gwen Stefani than Green Day. "I sincerely love radio pop music," admits the San Francisco denizen, citing tracks by Mariah, Missy, and M.I.A. among his recent favorite jams.

Working with singularly named keyboard player Tomo, Schwartz has concocted six sublime urban pop gems for hey willpower's brand-new self-titled debut EP (on Cochon Records). Percolating along with stripped-down rhythms and teasing lyrics, the lead single, "Double Fantasy II," is pure TRL fodder, right down to the video (shot by Justin Kelly), which features synchronized dancing and a scantily clad Schwartz and company romping in a bubbling Jacuzzi.

Then there's the twinkling "On the Floor (Uh Uh Uh)," which comes complete with its own dance craze. On recent tours with Le Tigre and Scissor Sisters, the band which includes backup dancers in coordinated costumes--taught audiences a choreographed routine so they could join in the antics.

"At one of the Le Tigre shows I invited people up onstage to dance," the singer recalls. "By the end of the number the whole stage was filled with dancers. The tour manager wasn't very happy about that." Schwartz works out most of the steps himself, with input from his friends and bandmates. "And, of course, Debbie ... Allen," he jokes.

This fall, hey willpower will spend a couple of months in New York City, putting the finishing touches on its full-length debut. 'We're still working on songs, but we definitely have an album's worth of hits," Schwartz concludes. "We're trying to write all singles. The album is going to be like Thriller, but with even better songs."

Reighley is the author of Looking for the Perfect Beat (MTV).
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:MUSIC
Author:Reighley, Kurt B.
Publication:The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 13, 2005
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