simon leahy

Huffing Poppers with Bottoms

Backstage at Palisades, a tiny music venue in Brooklyn, a gay punk dance band called bottoms huddled in bathroom huffing poppers. This week, they release their first EP, Goodbye, on JD Samson and Inge Colsen’s Atlas Chair label, but they’ve already built a bit of a following, with The Faderand Pitchfork praising their blend of throwback electro and politicized lyrics about HIV and self-hatred.

The band seemed more playful than nervous or grim before their show. “Publicity stunt!” Jake Dibeler, the self-proclaimed “lead screamer,” shouted as he inhaled a popper and struck a fierce pose for our photographer, showcasing his socks and high heels. Simon Leahy, the keyboardist and songwriter, who was rocking a dirty blond Jennifer Aniston–style wig, followed his lead. “Quiche!” he said in a thick Manchester accent. “I keep saying ‘quiche.’ Everyone says I sound like Ja'mie [from Summer Heights High]!”

External image

Dibeler, the “lead screamer,” bites on a bottle of “designer” poppers

The band formed a year ago after Leahy and Prommasit’s previous band, Teeth, broke up because their other band members found “real jobs” or moved away from New York.

“We started [bottoms] because we wanted to get laid,” Leahy said. He was joking—he’s married—but his bandmates are still on the prowl.

“I’m terrible at being a boyfriend,” Dibeler joked, “because I want every dick inside me—pull quote!”