Eve Salvail has been basking in limelight for 20 years, though you’d never know it by her approachable and unassuming attitude. The 35-year-old talks to GO! (in that sexy Québecois accent) about coming out on national television, her new career as a DJ, being single, and being a number cruncher. What a catch!
GO!: What was the experience like, coming out to Tyra on her show?
Eve Salvail: I was so nervous; right after it I couldn’t remember what was said or done. It was fun to see her, because I worked a lot with her back in the day. The whole thing was quite pleasant actually.
Has life been any different since?
I feel definitely more open about it, but it hasn’t aired on TV yet, and I think that’s also going to change a little bit once everybody sees it [on January 9th].
Did you ever think about coming out while you were still modeling?
No, I never wanted to come out during my modeling career. I never felt it was important. I felt like my private life is…private.
Do you have any insight into why so many old school supermodels are coming out of the woodwork to reclaim the runway?
No, I don’t know why, but I’m very happy about it. I worked with a lot of them, so I know them a little bit, but mostly I miss the era of the supermodel, where you knew the name, you knew what they ate and what they used as cream. When I was a young model starting out I looked up to these girls.
So have you always been gorgeous, or did you go through an awkward phase as a child?
We’re always a little over-critical of ourselves I think, and I don’t see myself as gorgeous, but thank you very much. No, I was always the ugly kid at school, because I was always extremely skinny, very tall—just like, clumsy as hell, and always a punk… I had a Mohawk on my head, so I was very unpopular with the boys at school. At the time I didn’t know I was gay, so I was going after boys.
When did you first realize you were attracted to women?
I think I was 19, there’s a girl that got me out of the closet. She just pursued me forever; I really tip my hat to her. I was very stubborn, I was like, there’s no way I’m gonna kiss a girl, it’s just weird!
Do you mind if I ask you about your girlfriend?
We just broke up.
Oh, I’m sorry. So…then you’re single?
Uh-huh, that’s right. I’m single, and willing!
There must be a swarm of admirers around you when you’re spinning…
Yeah, it’s pretty cool actually.
What motivated you to stop modeling full time? Was it an epiphany, or did something specific happen?
Literally, I just wanted to quit while I was on top. That’s it.
Did you ever fantasize about being a DJ before that night you were called to fill in for a friend at Pangaea?
No, and in fact I did not like DJing for the three or whatever years that I started. I did not like it one bit because I wasn’t good. Not to say that I’m fantastic now or anything, but I’m getting better which in turn makes me love it. And I’m very curious now about learning new tricks, new things, downloading new songs.
There must have been a reason why they wanted you to do it, you must have been a natural…
I think it was mostly because I was hot and because I was a supermodel. I think that’s how it started. But I have a big ego and I don’t like to just be considered “that hot girl” and it stops there, you know? So I went home and did my homework for a little bit, and I’m trying to be the best that I can be.
Did you have any idea about what you wanted to do after modeling, or did you just plan to roll with it?
No, I quit it. I mean, I still do model a little bit here and there, but what I quit mostly was the shows, because they were taking all my time and I couldn’t do all the things that I wanted to do: singing, drawing, and now DJing obviously. At the time I had no idea. For a couple of years there I just sat on my ass and tried to figure it out.
I went to school for finance for a little bit to learn how to take care of my finances, and then ended up helping fellow models with their finances. It was fun, it was great, because I was helping and I adore helping, but I found it a little less inspiring than other artistic stuff that I do.
Are you pursuing any other artistic projects?
I sing and I compose music, and my ultimate goal is to merge the two—DJing and my music. So, remixing my songs with the turntables.
Do you have any big plans for the New Year?
To start recording…that’s pretty much my plan. I have a few other little things I want to do. I want to publish; I’ve been drawing since I was 7 years old, and if I had to say what I’m best at, it would probably be drawing.
Is there a point in the evening when you can really feel the crowd vibing off your music?
Oh yeah, from the beginning to the end of the night. I like to make people dance, so the music I play—I really make sure it’s all the songs that people want to hear, and not any slow songs unless it’s a mash-up.
Do you do your own mash-ups? What are your favorites?
Yeah, I do. Good question…I think “Come Undone,” and I mash it up with like 3 or 4 different songs, with “Clockwork,” et cetera. You want to know what my favorite song right now is?
It’s that song from Beyoncé, “Irreplaceable.”
Do you have a regular DJ gig anywhere?
I don’t do any regular gigs because I love to travel; I love seeing new places all the time. A little bit all over the place. I really enjoy DJing in Vegas, and I think I would actually move to Vegas any day. I like it, because I don’t gamble, I don’t do drugs, I don’t really drink alcohol, so it’s the perfect place for me. In the suburbs of Vegas people are so chill…something about it really appeals to me.
Las Vegas over Greenwich Village…interesting. What are your three all-time favorite bands?
Number one is Alanis Morisette. That’s not a band, but I absolutely adore her. I love Michael Jackson and Jackson Five. Love it, old school Michael Jackson. And I love a band called Arid.
Who inspires you? Who influences you?
My dad. My mom also.
So you have a good relationship with them?
Yes, extremely, they participate in everything I do.
Have they been supportive of you coming out?
Yes, completely. I was 21 years old, and they had known my girlfriend for quite a while, but I guess I never came out and said this is my girlfriend. When I did, they were very blah about it, and I was bawling my ass off. They were like, yeah, whatever, we knew. As long as you’re happy.
Give me a New Year’s resolution, even if you think you’ll break it in a week.
I never break my New Year’s resolutions, and I always have a long list of them. But I don’t choose that I’m gonna quit smoking because I know I’m not gonna fucking quit. I wish I would.
Um…okay, the deeper one: opening up a little more. I guess I too firmly believe in “you’re born alone you die alone” and it leads me to keep my distance with people I care about. The simpler one: live a healthier life; drink more water and exercise more regularly. The silliest one: take messages and voicemail more often; I only check voicemail when my answering machine is full.
Catch her if you can…on The Tyra Banks Show, channel 9 at 5pm on January 9th…also at myspace.com/djevesalvail.