Scrolling through the whimsical, trippy photos on Harry Hains’s Instagram account, you might peg him as the kind of person who would have a fantasy world inside his head. You would be right—as ANTIBOY, the Australian model and actor will soon release a concept album called A Glitch in Paradise, and its lore is expansive. In the universe of A Glitch in Paradise, ANTIBOY is a gender-fluid robot living in a future where all labels have been abolished. The human race has merged with artificial intelligence, and all memories are uploaded to a cloud, where they are readily available. Unfortunately, ANTIBOY has a glitch in its system, so it can only think about heartbreak. On top of this, the other denizens of ANTIBOY’s society have become addicted to inseminated memories that function as a sort of drug. The first song, “Devil,” is out now; check out the music video to get a glimpse inside ANTIBOY’s mind.
Recently, we had the chance to send Hains a few questions. Read on to learn about his favorite Sylvia Plath poem, his ideas about clothing and gender, and his vision for an ANTIBOY TV show.
What inspired ANTIBOY’s name?
The name ANTIBOY originated as being the antithesis of a modern boy band or male artist — a title given to someone to represent rebellion against social norms and constructs, challenging the expectations and appropriateness of a “pop star.”
The ANTIBOY concept revolves around the idea of robots. What about robots intrigues you? Why did you decide to include them in the ANTIBOY story?
ANTIBOY is a character from the distant future where the constructs of gender, race and sexuality (minus physiological desire) have been obliterated. In this future, we are more concerned with the divide between human and AI rather than the minute segregating we made within the human race as a whole.
Your character ANTIBOY has a glitch in its system that renders it stuck in a loop of heartbreak. In your opinion, what are the best ways to deal with heartbreak?
ANTIBOY deals with heartbreak by escape, pure escape, living out memories as fantasies of what was once some form of heaven. Focus on the positive, the heartbreak made you better. It made you stronger. It built you to this point. Never allow heartbreak to take over and destroy you. Let it carry you forward, create the greatest version of yourself, since we will continually become heartbroken again and again until we learn to love ourselves more than anyone else.
A Glitch in Paradise is heavily story-based. Was the premise inspired by any books or movies?
The story was inspired entirely by my own vision of the future. This is what I think would happen when we fuse with AI and become one collective consciousness. How the repercussions of entering this new society, where AI can upload themselves into a cloud to live forever happens. Think Brave New World meets the Matrix meets something totally new as I’m looking hundreds of years into the future. Not one of us, right now, will come to see in our lifetime.
You’re interested in the possibility of A Glitch in Paradise becoming a sci-fi musical TV series in which each song on the album corresponds to an episode of the show. Which song would you be most excited to adapt for film? What would that episode look like onscreen?
The first episode has been written out for Devil which first gives us a glimpse into this new world that is being created. Having just released this song and already receiving such positive response, I’m looking forward to getting to adapt this as people will be most familiar with it and can provide real context for where the story begins. We start with a glitch in the virtual world, and ANTIBOY breaks the cycle to return to his own memories when he was not just a mere robot.
You’ve said that you like to stray away from the norm of what men are traditionally “supposed” to wear. What are some items of clothing that you love, but aren’t traditionally seen as “menswear”?
I do not believe clothing has a gender. We have established what is “normal” in our little world. We have been told what colors suit what gender. We have been told how long our fabrics should be for our gender. Gender is an illusion, it’s a construct. Clothing is universal…it’s art. Wear what makes you feel powerful and confident, regardless of the label provided. Being masculine or feminine has nothing to do with wearing a suit or a dress or a skirt. Let yourself decide what makes you feel a certain way and own it.
In addition to making music, you’ve acted in several films. Which of your characters would you say is the most like you? The least?
This is a hard question to answer, because the way I am on screen is not about finding a character, it’s about expressing myself through the role. I find what is real and honest and how I can connect to it, rather than how I can change to suit those needs. I feel it gives a lot more honest of a performance, as emotions are emotions, they are either real or not, so find truth in that character or point of view, and shine through in a way that feels most authentic.
You’ve said that hypothetically, you would love to honor a music legend by playing him in a biopic. Are there any particular artists whom you’d like to bring to life onscreen?
I think it would be brilliant to be able to play someone like Kurt Cobain from Nirvana or Jeff Buckley on screen, and to be able to connect my own addictions in my life to theirs and how it was their ultimate downfall, as I think that’s a fairly human thing we can all relate to.
You’ve also said that you’ve been memorizing Sylvia Plath poems for years. Which of her poems is your favorite?
I really connect with Fever 103, which is a poem challenging that we only become real after death. I actually have “too pure” and “for you” tattooed on my outer and inner thigh respectively on my right leg from the line “I am too pure for you or anyone, your body hurts me like the world hurts God.” I think it’s one of her many beautiful and haunting depictions of the utter madness she experienced as a tortured soul on this Earth before she took her own life. It inspired a musical I wrote called, “Too Pure” also.
Thank you so much for the interview! Is there anything else you’d like to say to the readers and fans?
Check out my debut single, Devil, and stay tuned, there is more to come- the static is rising!