In anticipation of this year's championship, Air Guitar LA went all Behind The Music and interviewed our champ to get a little more insight into her background and the method to her madness.
Kingslayer: I did a one-woman comedy show last year, and Bjorn Turoq's girlfriend at the time, (a singer) opened up for me, so he saw it. My show is very physical and pretty bonkers and he convinced me that I would love air guitar. I didn't believe him, but I went down to San Diego so I could come back with a story to tell my friends.
AGLA: Your first performance was last year. Tell us what that was like. How did you prepare? How did you feel on stage?
KS: I fell pretty hard for air guitar. All those weirdos I was expecting to make fun of turned out to be the most wonderful, smart, funny people - Lt. Facemelter, Tyrannicus, Vlad... I couldn't believe how seriously everyone took it. How amazing the costumes were, how everyone committed to their characters. It was a craft for them. I was wildly underprepared. My entire idea was that I would eat my guitar, play it with my tummy, shit it out, and play it again. (which is a great idea, no doubt) But I think I practiced 5 times.
AGLA: You're damn right that was a great idea! One of my favorites ever.
AGLA: How did your approach change this year?
KS: I practiced a lot more.
AGLA: What did winning the qualifier feel like?
KS: I had competed in San Diego a few weeks earlier and barely made round two. I was disappointed, but when I saw the video, I realized my jokes weren't coming across and technically, I was still a mess. So, then I got kind of obsessive. Going into LA, I knew my routine was pretty unique, but getting a 6 from Rockness [Monster, former US Champ and Qualifier judge] was surreal. Going into round two, I was so far ahead and the crowd loved me so much, that I felt free to just go out there and screw around. It was the most fun I'd ever had! Side note, about a week later I was walking past the Viper room and the bouncers called out to me, "Hi Champ!" Amazing.
KS: The semifinal blew my mind. I went into it really wanting to qualify for nationals, but seriously doubting I'd finish in the top three. There were so many great performers that night. Getting a 6 is a crazy thrill, getting two is unbelievable. And humping the face of a young, strong dude in front of 500 people while pretending to play an instrument is heaven on earth. It was a great night.
AGLA: A big thing this year was that your son competed. People were pumped! How did that come about?
KS: The biggest thing! I didn't even want to compete this year, but I had taken Air-O-Dynamic [Paige's son Bunker] to the Nationals in LA last year and he loved it so much. So when Lt. Facemelter [current national champion and San Diego Qualifier host] asked me to do SD again, the kid wanted to do it too. Facemelter got special permission for him, and then you got him into the Viper room in LA too. He's the one who wanted to do both shows. I was just going along for the ride. By the way, Air-O-Dynamic is the youngest competitor ever in Air Guitar, and at only 17, was forced to sit outside these 21 and over clubs until it was his turn to perform. San Diego wasn't so bad because he was hanging with Tyrannicus (20). But, in LA, he was sitting all alone on Sunset Boulevard. Thank god not in his costume. (it's a Speedo guys, and West Hollywood is notorious for young men in Speedos whose performance art is of a different ilk.)
AGLA: Did you guys work on your performances together, or independently?
KS: Together, Duh! Two is stronger than one.
AGLA: How did you feel watching him on stage?
KS: Like an eagle must feel when her eaglet learns to fly. It was the single best moment of my life.
KS: I guess you'd think that a 17 year old getting beaten by his mother at air guitar would be a blow to a young man's ego. But, it's not like that with us. One of us wins, we both win. Besides, he knows he's got a lot of years ahead of him to take this thing, and I'll be dead soon.
AGLA: What are you most excited about at nationals?
KS: Well, Nordic Thunder said he'd carry me on his shoulders again if I win. So, I'm excited about that.
KS: This thing is bigger than me now. It's bigger than my family. It's bigger than my home town. It's as big as 49.76% of the world's population. Do you realize a lady hasn't worn that belt in 10 years? That, my male friend, is bullshit. So, do I have anything big planned? Yes.