Rick “Zombie Boy” Genest has led an unconventional life, to say the least. We caught up with Lady Gaga’s comrade-in-arms to talk about being the new face of Rocawear and his philosophy on life.
Since you have become famous, have people’s reactions to you on the street changed?
Well, first some things stayed the same. My life style was already nomadic, living out of my backpack; working odd jobs, meeting cool people, as well as often being stopped and photographed. This hasn’t changed. What changed was the masses’ reaction to me. Prior, I had my place amongst those who understood me and had the luxury of privacy. Now I often feel that every walk of life either has a question or an opinion about the way I breathe air – although I do seize this opportunity to raise awareness for tolerance, acceptance and embracing our differences.
What’s the philosophy behind your tattoos?
The zombie concept is also often used as a metaphor for runaway consumerism. Rebelling from this notion is the very meaning of punk. The origins of the zombie creature came about from stories of people being buried alive in times of plagues and such crises; that would come out the other side ‘transformed’. Zombies, to many, represent a pervasive xenophobia. As in my life, I was often out-casted, hated or misunderstood.
You’ve just become the face of Rocawear. Can you tell us more about that?
Growing up in the city as a teenager, I have always embraced urban culture and style. It is a great honor to represent what I live, breathe, and bleed for as long as I have. I’m excited to be involved with Rocawear’s re-launch across Europe for Spring Summer ’13.
You and your art have become synonymous with Lady Gaga. How do you feel about that?
I would defiantly have to say that we both share love for art, the love for revolution, and fearlessness of self-expression.
You’ve recently filmed a part in 47 Ronin with Keanu Reeves, is acting something you have always wanted to do?
Since my childhood, I had a profound interest in pirates. I recall in particular the movie Hook, starring Robin Williams, as well as pirate LEGO. As life went on, I had spent the greater part of my time living in likeness to the lost boys and pirates.
What would be your ideal film role?
I’ve had a chance to play as a punk rocker, a carnie and a pirate. My ideal film role yet would be as a deranged psycho in a horror picture.
Are you planning on any more tattoos?
I’m still working on my tattoo project. As well as finishing my bodysuit, I soon wish to sharpen my teeth, with likeness to those of a reptile.
What do you have planned for 2013?
In 2013, I will be starting to work on a music project, but more details would ruin the surprise!
Words: Siobhan Frew