Scroll To Top
Celebrities

Alaska Talks ’90s Nostalgia, New Music & If She’d Ever Do Drag Race Again

Alaska Talks ’90s Nostalgia, New Music & If She’d Do Drag Race Again

Alaska Thunderfuck
Photo by Albert Sanchez
rachiepants

If there’s one thing that drag star Alaska Thunderfuck knows how to do, it’s how to stay both booked and blessed. For instance, this week alone, her album Red 4 Filth drops, and she kicks off a three-week run of her live DRAG: The Musical at L.A.’s Bourbon Room, alongside fellow Drag Race alums Peppermint and Jackie Cox.

But that’s not all.

Next month, Alaska is hitting the road on her Red 4 Filth Tour, which shockingly is the drag star’s first-ever headlining concert series in North America. It’s going to be a show her fans really won’t want to miss. “I’ve done a shit ton of shows in front of humans since as soon as the pandemic would allow me to. But this is the first time doing a proper tour that’s going to be a full-ass show with dancers, a storyline, and visuals, and we’re going to be taking it from city to city and sort of music venue to music venue. It’s really exciting,” she tells PRIDE. “It’s unlike anything I’ve ever done before, so I’m shitting my pants a little but it’s cool. I can’t wait.”


What can concertgoers expect from an Alaska show? “Drag, beauty, fashion,” she says without hesitation. “We’re gonna have dancing and we’re gonna have singing and it’s gonna tell the sort of ‘story of a young alien creature from a different land who finds herself in a world she doesn’t really know what to do with herself in’ narrative.”

Alaska will be performing songs from her new album, a ‘90s nostalgia bomb full of catchy bops that call to mind the bubblegum pleasure of Europop bangers and punk pop anthems. Listening to the album is like stepping into a time machine to the era of when Ace of Base ruled the radio waves, which is entirely by design. With this album, Alaska wanted to connect to a pivotal time in her life.

“That’s the time when I learned what music was really. That was when it really formed a connection with my soul,” she explains. “That’s when I got my first tape, which was Ace of Base’s The Sign. And it’s when I got my first CDs, which was No Doubt’s Tragic Kingdom. My god, those albums are imprinted on me in a way that no other music is. So we wanted to sort of set the album in that time period because it’s juicy and fun.”

Alaska Thunderfuck Photo by Albert Sanchez

The song that best exemplifies that pre-’00s flavor is the track “XOXO Y2K” which calls to mind iconic ‘90s tunes like Aqua’s “Barbie Girl”. “When I was a teenager or whatever, I would always draw pictures of like, impossibly low-rise jeans that were not even physically, aren’t structurally even possible. But I would always draw that. I don’t know, I have an obsession,” she says. “I have such a fondness for those phones that were really, really difficult to text on. And so we didn’t text as much. They should just make phones harder to text on and then we would spend less time on them.”

Another stand out track, “Wow”, shows off Alaska’s versatility as an artist and vocalist as she leans into the punk boy-band vibes. In the video for the song, Alaska switched things up by appearing out of drag, and that proved to be more of a challenge than the seasoned star expected. “This whole album experience is doing stuff that I haven’t done before. And that was the scariest video I’ve ever done,” she shares. “We were in front of an audience of people who didn’t know drag and didn’t know Drag Race. The Disciples are the band behind me and they were so nice to let me come in and fake perform a song at one of their shows, and I was terrified. I was like, I don’t have drag to protect me. I don’t have the, you know, sight gag of that to protect me. And so it was very scary to do that video. But once we started the audience loved it.”

While there’s no shortage of upbeat tracks to dance and pump your fist to, “22” again takes the album in a new direction — in this case inward. It’s an emotional song that recalls a time before Alaska had discovered the art form of drag that would forever change her life. “It’s very much that Drag Race episode where RuPaul holds up the picture [and asks] ‘What would you say to eight-year-old Daniel?’ It’s very that in a song because 22 is the [age] I discovered drag,” Alaska explains. “Before that, I really didn’t know where I belonged or what I was doing, or who I was going to be. I felt like that for a lot of my childhood. I feel like a lot of people do until they figure it out. So it’s just a song saying, you know, ‘It’s gonna be alright.’”

Did it feel good to get these feelings out? “It was like a fucking therapy session,” she admits. “We were crying and holding each other. [It was] really, really good stuff.”

Since her time on Drag Race, Alaska’s career has skyrocketed with music, television, and movie appearances; pageants; a hit podcast; and now even her own tour. But the question is, now in this All Stars All-Winners era, would she ever want to go back to Drag Race and compete again? The answer is... complicated.

Alaska ThunderfuckPhoto by Albert Sanchez

“I don’t really want to go back, but I would if they ask me,” she shares. “I don’t want to because it’s too hard now. I had it so easy. I was in the early days of Drag Race where you could buy something off the shelf at a store and wear it on TV. And that was drag, because to me that is drag,” she explains. “Now it has to be everything is custom. And then it moves and it’s mechanical, and everything is covered in rhinestones, everything you can see. The wigs are sculpted into a fucking alien braids. I’m like this is too hard. Drag is supposed to be fucking easy. You can pick up some trash out of the fucking garbage and make yourself a drag queen. That, to me, is the drag. So I don’t know. The challenge for me would be that I want to be elevated and I want to use the platform to show off the work of talented artisans, but I also want to stay true to the fact that drag should drag, it shouldn’t be that fucking hard or that expensive.”

“I keep threatening that if I ever go back, I’m just gonna bring a bag of dirty laundry and just be like, this is what I have.”

“I have no intention of winning because trying to win makes me crazy,” she admits. “So I’d need to just go in with the intention of having a great time. That would be my goal.”

As for who she’d like to compete against, Alaska has some ideas. “I think Aquaria would be really great, because she’s so fucking good at drag,” she says. “Also Violet Chachki. I really like her. She’s terrifying, everyone’s scared of her, but I quite like her a lot.” But then when hasn’t Alaska done the things that scare her? That strategy seems to be working out quite well.

UPDATE: Alaska dropped a new video for her cover of "All That She Wants" by Ace of Base today, which co-stars fellow Ru-girl Bosco. "It's a part of me," she says of the original song. "It was really cool to get to cover a song that I love so much and re-envision it as like even gayer."

Red 4 Filth is available for preorder. Tickets are on sale for both DRAG: The Musicaland The Red 4 Filth Tour now. Watch PRIDE’s full interview with Alaska below.

VIDEO

RELATED | Why We’re Hooked On Plastique Tiara & Wouldn’t Want It Any Other Way

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Jonathan Groff and Wayne Brady

From our Sponsors

Most Popular

Latest Stories

author avatar

Rachel Shatto

EIC of PRIDE.com

Rachel Shatto, Editor in Chief of PRIDE.com, is an SF Bay Area-based writer, podcaster, and former editor of Curve magazine, where she honed her passion for writing about social justice and sex (and their frequent intersection). Her work has appeared on Elite Daily, Tecca, and Joystiq, and she podcasts regularly about horror on the Zombie Grrlz Horror Podcast Network. She can’t live without cats, vintage style, video games, drag queens, or the Oxford comma.

Rachel Shatto, Editor in Chief of PRIDE.com, is an SF Bay Area-based writer, podcaster, and former editor of Curve magazine, where she honed her passion for writing about social justice and sex (and their frequent intersection). Her work has appeared on Elite Daily, Tecca, and Joystiq, and she podcasts regularly about horror on the Zombie Grrlz Horror Podcast Network. She can’t live without cats, vintage style, video games, drag queens, or the Oxford comma.