Interview // SLUTFACE
Start of Hello 2016 with the band SLUTFACE.
“I really love words. And I think about them all the time. The way they fit together, the way they change things. The right words can transform whatever, whoever they touch. Words are powerful. They show you things in a completely different light.”
I think this quotation is very accurate right now because you’re gonna remember this next word for a very long time.
Naming bands like FILDAR and Green Day amongst their influences, adding a little bit of Wolf Alice, some chilled folk and electronic music this band is quite a something. A big something.
I caught up with the group Slutface before the first out of many shows of Hello 2016 which are presented by DIY Magazine. And yes, believe me you want to hear about them.
Lasse Lokøy (Bass), Tor-Arne Vikingstad (Guitar), Haley Shea (Vocal) and Halvard Skeie Wiencke (Drums)
Playing the same venue The Old Blue Last for the second time within just a couple of months the four-piece from Norway does not hide their excitement for tonight’s show. Of course, it is very important to set your expectations high. The room has already been getting crowded in a very fast pace so I’m sure it’ll be great.
Worth to mention though, they’re probably the first band who’s said anything nice about British weather. Yeah, I know I was as surprised as you are.
We went to TATE Modern this morning to see some art – Haley says. It was really good. We were here in October last year and we didn’t really have much time to do any sightseeing. So we did a little bit today because the Sun is out here and it’s not out in Norway right now. We’re pretty happy about that.
Slutface caught my attention when I heard their single Shave My Head a while back. Sharp and strong riffs, piercing attitude and all that anger. The kind of anger that makes you angry even more.
We’re angry with everyone pretty much – the lead singer clarifies. The song was written last spring and recorded in the summer. It is about the way women are portrayed in popular culture which is always an irritating subject. So maybe we sound a little pissed off.
All the music we’d made before was kinda more indie and this is very pop-punk – the bassist adds.
It’s a pop-rock with a punky attitude
Well, everyone has different taste in music so it’s very hard to just generalise – Lasse starts. I think we just listen to the music we like and get inspired by various kinds.
We had periods of writing dark songs but now it’s more of pop – Halvard continues.
I think it’s all pop-rock music and there are some more indie or punk songs – Haley says. But we just really want to make energetic music with good pop hooks and choruses. That’s our goal.
It’s a pop-rock with a punky attitude – Lasse sums up.
I like that.
The band officially formed in 2012 and you would’ve thought they’ve known each other for a long time. It’s just that kind of vibe and comfort you get from them. But where did it all begin? And what has changed?
Well, we were not that good when we started out – Tor-Arne jokes about the beginnings of the band.
We were really shitty actually – Haley says. But also we spend so much time together now and we end up listening to a lot of the same music. I think we write and get inspired by the same sorts of things. When we started everybody brought their own influences to the table and it was more difficult to find out what we want to sound like but I think we’re getting better. The songs feel like all four of us now. To be fair, the four of us met in 2012 but some of us have been friends for years.
Three lads and one gal in a band. So obviously I need to ask – any fights, arguments?
We used to fight more before – the singer shares. But mostly it’s because everyone wanted us to be as good as possible and that makes you passionate about stuff.
And after three hours in rehearsals you kinda get a bit moody – Lasse adds.
But we spend a lot of time together so we’ve become more like brothers and sisters – the drummer explains.
It’s exactly the kind of fight that you have with your siblings where it’s like you know you can get mad because it’s not like they can leave you forever – Haley says at the end. After they have to come back.
Was writing in English the obvious choice for you guys?
We tried that in Norwegian with our old band – the guitarist remembers.
My parents are American but I was raised in Norway – Haley continues. English is my first language so when I write it’s more personal. And it’s easier to get your music outside Norway.
But I bet you wonder what’s the deal with that name. Slutface. There must be a good story behind it.
At first, the name was all people wanted to talk about and they were like “We don’t understand this” and “Why are you called this?” – Haley begins. But then after a while it kinda started to make sense what we were saying with our music and lyrics. We’re playing a tour next week that’s booked by the state and we’re playing for high school students every day. The government has picked us to come and play so it’s just a little bit less conservative. I don’t think that would’ve happened in the UK. We picked Slutface mostly because we just thought it’d be funny to see how people react to it, I think. And be more provocative. But then the more we started writing about women issues, the more we started learning about feminism. It fits better now so we’re stuck with it.
The next single Kill ‘Em With Kidness was released last week and it is another solid tune from these guys.
It’s actually an old song we recorded with Dan Austin and it’s a part of several singles that will be released this year – Tor-Arne comments.
And in February we’ll be back in the UK to play with Icelandic band Fufanu – Haley states. They’re really good. And after that we we’ll be back in the country again so yeah people should keep an eye on us.
We definitely will.
At the end how’d you introduce your sound to the people who have never seen you live and have never heard your music? Any encouragements?
It’s live energetic.
We try to keep in touch with the audience and that goes down to them.
If you mix The Wombats with FIDLAR and a little bit of Blondie. Plus the stage diving.
And a tiny touch of Paramore.
See some pics of Slutface smashing The Old Blue Last at the beginning of this month and enjoy some great music.