Jay Della Valle, pop-powered national mustache advocate, rolls into Alley Katz on April 17 with his Stache Bash, a rock-infused mustache party. He'll perform with his band, Della Valle, and preach the gospel of the lip sweater, much as he did in his 2004 documentary, “The Glorius Mustache Challenge,” and yes, he knows there's a misspelling. The movie chronicles the mustache-growing torment undergone by a pack of men younger than 30. The DVD is distributed at Hot Topic and Urban Outfitters. Style spoke with Della Valle by phone during his tour stop in Boston.
Style: How did the mustache advocacy start?
Della Valle: At one point in 2004, I just got bored and a grew a 'stache and everybody gave me shit for it without fail. … I started to get really defiant, so instead of shaving it off and being defeated I tried to encourage other people to do it.
Is it exhausting to take something so silly so seriously all the time?
People think it's a gimmick or whatever, but I've been cultivating this persona and sense of humor about it. Are we kidding? Yeah, we're being funny, but in a very serious, dry way. We just share an experience. It's kind of like people with Jeeps, you know, how they drive around and beep at each other? It's like that.
You're from New Jersey. Do you feel like mustache promotion is part of your regional identity?
No, a lot of the guys in my film were from California and Australia. I've met people from all over the world that have caught the wave of consciousness. [In Australia], the whole month of November is Movember, [and a charity group raises] money for men's health issues, prostate cancer in their case. [In 2007, the Australian arm earned $16 million and it anticipates] 250,000 people participating this year.
Do you think you're responsible for the hipster mustache trend?
We didn't start it. It was a wave of consciousness, but my timing was right on. There's no doubt in my mind that we took it to another level.
Do you stick to one particular style?
No, I change it up a lot. I've had a really long handlebar and that'll get done, and then I'll go to a thin man. … I've messed around with a Hitler. I didn't really take that out into society. I think I terrorized my grandma a little bit. …When I shave it sometimes, I itch for it. I yearn to get it back. I'll just look at myself in the mirror and I'll think, “I'm back.” And the '70s porno music starts playing in my mind. I know it sounds ridiculous, but my life is just much more interesting with a mustache.