About To Break
Norwegian pop-rock outfit Slutface are already making waves on our shores.
Words: Sammy Maine.
On Slutface’s latest single, vocalist Haley Shea declares “I’d never shave my head for you!” whilst smashing up a cheap-as-heck Craigslist guitar and amp. Turning the world’s perception of ‘crazy bitches’ on its head, ‘Shave My Head’ is an unapologetic f-you to those that still perceive passionate and emotional women as hysterical messes.
It’s a perfect introduction to the Stavanger-bred bunch, who class themselves as “fortuitously feminist” – with their name aiming to get the masses thinking. “It’s meant to be provocative,” begins Shea. “It’s meant to get people thinking about how we view women’s sexuality and the overly sexual way that women are often portrayed in the music industry. We are against ‘slut shaming’ and the general judgement that is passed on women’s bodies.”
Inspired by the Riot Grrrl movement and punk from around the world, the four-piece also wanted their name to reflect those influences and so, Slutface was born. Growing up in the west coast of Norway, it was mostly hardcore and hard-rock bands that coloured the music scene, with heavy metal six-piece Kvelertak hailing from the very same place. “They were one of the biggest and most successful bands we have had to look up to,” continues Shea. “We wanted to make music with more of a pop sensibility; that people can both mosh and sing along to.”
Although Slutface produce the kind of tunes that call for a raucous, the band’s recent support of the UK’s ‘Girls Against’ campaign showcases their passion for safe spaces at all of their shows. “Creating a safe space for women at punk shows was one of the things that Riot Grrrls actively fought for and it’s heart-breaking and not acceptable that things still haven’t changed for our generation,” argues Shea. “I have been groped at so many shows, especially punk and hardcore shows, and it’s really important to us that no one feels unsafe in that same way at our shows. We want our shows to be a safe and fun place for everyone and encourage young women especially to stage dive and join the mosh pit because we have their back.”
Juggling their university work with the ever-increasing responsibilities of the band has been more difficult than they had originally anticipated. “We’re all at university studying full time between touring and studio sessions… sometimes it gets a bit tough,” begins drummer Halvard Skeie Wiencke. “Not all of us are equally dedicated to our studies either and are more excited about listening to new albums than doing math assignments! We’re all going to be taking some time off school soon, so it will be less hectic.”
They’ll certainly need that extra free time after working on fresh new recordings with Pixies and You Me At Six producer Dan Austen. With his studio located just outside of Aalesund in Norway, the breath-taking scenery didn’t deter the bout of sickness that struck the band half-way through the process. “Half of the band got nauseous out of nowhere and started vomiting halfway through the session,” remembers Shea. “One of the songs was actually recorded with a bucket in the recording studio. It was crazy!”
Recording a mix of old and new songs, bassist Lasse Lokøy says to expect some of the usual pop-punk as well as a darker, “more mature” effort. “It is a wide range of songs, from rapid pop-punk, to more Weezer-inspired tunes. We tried to make it sound bigger than the previous stuff, and we think we did. All credit to Dan for that. We are really looking forward to releasing these songs and seeing what people make of them.”