It’s all about Trondheim Calling this week and one of the highlights for many festival goers, including myself, will be seeing today’s featured artist live! Raucous, riotous, punchy, spunky and awash with talent, not to mention brains to burns, Slutface are on the sofa, to give us some opinions, insights, facts, hopes and humour!
PERSONNEL: HALEY SHEA ( VOCAL), LASSE LOKOY (BASS), HALVARD SKEIE WIENCKE (DRUMS), TOR – ARNE VIKINGSTAD (GUITAR)
LABEL: PROPELLER RECORDINGS
2013 (EP) SLUTFACE EP INC ODE TO JOHN & CALL TO ARMS
2015 (SINGLE) SHAVE MY HEAD / GET MY OWN (OCT)
2016 (SINGLE) KILL ‘EM WITH KINDNESS (JAN)
TC SET: SATURDAY – ORA STUDIO– 21.30
Slutface currently divide their time between their university studies and creating music. Fast becoming known for their outspoken but totally valid and correct views and opinions on subjects such as equality, misogyny and misrepresentation of emerging artists by scuzzy media types, Slutface articulate their views not just through the spoken word, but also via both the musical and lyrical content of their songs.
Current single – ‘Kill ’em with Kindness‘ is an invective against blinkered press peeps who try to kick down upcoming artists … Lyrically it gives “two fingers to the inane, dull-witted misogyny normally directed by flaccid media dullards at “she-merging” music artists as they try to kick the shit out of the musical glass ceiling, held so firmly in place by the “brothers”! You can hear the track below …
So, without further ado, let’s hand the mic to Slutface.
“We think growing up in Norway has made us acutely aware of fairness”
It’s interesting that you guys are still in full time studies at University. What are you studying and how does it impact on your being in the band?
“We’re all trying to slow down the study process a little bit (it’s been a bit too hectic the last few months) and just focus on band for at least the next six months. Tor-Arne and Lasse (guitar and bass) are studying business, Haley (vocal and lyrics), molecular biology and Halvard (drums), construction engineering.”
Molecular biology ! #faints Have they set up a ‘Slutface Society’ at your Uni yet?
“Haha. We go to two different colleges so that’s not really an option. Also people we study with don´t really care we’re in a band.”
Nothing like keepin’ it real! How do you think being from Norway both positively and negatively impacts on your attitudes (humanity, society, sexuality, the environment, culture, music) and view of the world?
“We think growing up in Norway has made us acutely aware of fairness, as it is drilled into us from childhood that Norway is one of the most balanced places in the world to grow up. That is probably why it has been so important for us as musicians to write about inequality, especially when it comes to women, because women are still treated unequally in a country obsessed with fairness and democracy we are still a long way from equality. When it comes to the music business, it has probably been a great place to start, because the industry is so small everyone makes friends with everyone. Regardless of genre. Meeting other musicians is one of our favorite parts of being in a band, so that suits us really well.”
“Women are still treated unequally in a country obsessed with fairness & democracy”
You currently reside in the realm of “noise/neo-punk/riot grrl” – do you want your music to be classified – are you happy to stay within the confines of that classification or do you see your musical style as something that will evolve with yourselves – life/musical experiences, broader range of influences, musical maturity?
“We, as most bands, will evolve as we continue to write music. We like for people to classify our music however they hear it and usually stick to very simple genre descriptions ourselves, like pop-rock. At it’s roots all of indie/punk/pop/whatever is really a mix of rock and other things, so we’re not really too bothered with how people classify our music.”
What brings you to the themes of the songs you sing about? Do you decide – this is something we need to sing about or do your inspirations come from a mix of predetermined and random sources?
Haley: “Usually I just write about things that suddenly show up on paper as I start writing. I don’t decide to write a song about a specific topic usually, but as I think about women’s issues and pop/youth-culture a lot, a lot of our lyrics end up in that vein. As I am working with the lyrics as the song develops I usually decide I want to angle the lyrics to convey a certain message, or be about something more specific. Like how I decided during the writing process that “Shave My Head” should criticize the way women are viewed in popular culture.”
Who are your musical influences? Norwegian and Global.
“Our Norwegian influences have often been our local metal and punk bands live-wise. Kvelertak and Honningbarna are really really great. Music-Wise we are really inspired by the british sound (Arctic Monkeys, The Wombats). But everyone in the band listens to different music and get inspired of different genres and artists. Lasse loves electronic music, Halvard listens to John Mayer and Tor-Arne is really into Tweens right now and Haley loves The Smiths. The meld of all of our preferences is what makes it so fun to write music as a group.”
“There is a whole new wave of young, socially conscious people fighting for equality”
You are quoted as saying about the song “Get Your Own” that it shares the same theme as ‘Shave My Head’ but is a more “direct way of saying women deserve more space than we are given, and we are going to step up and take it” >> Why is it do you think that there is still a need to repeat a decades old mantra? In your opinion what or who is it exactly that is getting in the way of there being male-female equality.
“We feel the need to repeat such an old line because it is obvious that we still haven’t reached the kind of equality that men and women deserve. Mostly old habits and out-dated traditions are keeping us from the equality we should have, but luckily there is a whole new wave of young, socially conscious people fighting for equality. We are really happy to be a part of that energy.”
How do you view the history of women in punk/noise/garage and do you think that bands of your generation are now turning that view/fact on its head and leveling the playing field, or at least trying to?
“One of our favorite things about punk is actually the fact that it didn’t matter what your gender was, even though that fact has been downplayed a lot by historians. We feel like more and more women are starting really cool bands every day, but we still have a long way to go for women and men to be equal in the music industry. Bands of our generation are breaking out of all of the old stereotypes, in terms of gender, but also in terms of genre. That is one of the really great parts of being a musician in an age where millions and millions of artists and songs are just a mouse-click away, it makes you more open to experimenting and makes you less concerned with what you should be doing, because amazingly talented people are being inspiring all over the world.”
“Crazy, loud, energetic shows are one of the most fun things ever”
How participative would you like your audience to be, or how inclusive would you like to make your shows?
“We would like to try to break down the barrier between the crowd and the stage as much as possible. We want everyone that comes to our shows to feel like they are part of an experience with us, and want to be sure to make our shows a really safe place for everyone. We love to encourage people who have never stage dived or been in a mosh pit before to try something new and realize that crazy, loud, energetic shows are one of the most fun things ever.”
Ok. If you could collaborate with another artist or band who would it be?
“Our ideal collaborator would probably be Weezer or Green Day. Imagine how cool a Slutface x Weezer song would be!”
And if you could have someone do a dance remix of Shave my Head what do you think it would sound like and who would that someone be?
“We absolutely love the Disclosure x Lorde song “Magnets” and like to think it could sound a bit like that by Disclosure.”
What’s on the agenda for 2016?
“This year is going to be really busy for us. Mostly we’re focusing on writing a kick ass debut album and touring as much as humanly possible. We just really want to become a lot better this year!”
And there you have it folks … the world according to Slutface 2016. Focused, intelligent, informed, talented, fun loving, high octane energy, youth. These guys have it all going for them … Their releases so far have set a pretty high bar, and have most certainly got “media – those in the know” tongues wagging around the London music scene. It can only be a matter of time, most likely after the release of their debut album, before the name Slutface is as recognisable as the Weezers and Green Days of this world.
Author’s note – I don’t know about moshing – I’d probably dislocate something, but I’ll certainly be up there with the best of the rest next Saturday night!
Music by Slutface is available to stream via Spotify and for purchase via iTunes. Their debut album will be released via Propeller Recordings, later this year! Follow them on Facebook and Twitter to keep up to date with all their fun stuff! They play Trondheim Calling Sat 6th Feb – limited tickets still available here – http://www.billettportalen.no/nb/arrangement/trondheim-calling-2016/billetter
I’ll leave with you an acoustic version of their latest single, Kill ’em with Kindness, recorded live by NRKP3.
My sincere thanks to Haley, Tor-Arne, Lasse and Halvard for taking the time out of the extremely hectic schedule to do this interview – cheers! Also big thanks to JG for all your help. X