In Norway, things are done a little bit differently. Here in the UK the thought of a band playing in a school cafeteria is absurd but it’s something your new favourite band Slutface have just done. Repeatedly.
Arranged by the Norwegian government, singer Haley Shea explains that this run, “is not the most common way to tour in Norway, but lots of bands do it. The tour is arranged by the cultural section of our local government, Den Kulturelle Skolesekken. They called and asked if we would be interested in a school tour,” and of course they were.
Drummer Halvard Skeie Wiencke adds that, “the tour was a little bit unusual but a lot of fun. All the shows were hosted early in the morning, most of them in school cafeterias and people were neither drunk nor naked so that was weird.” There were some other firsts on the run. “We played in a prison, Johnny Cash style which was really great. At another show someone yelled that we sucked and tried to throw a milk carton at us, which has never happened before (that we know of), which also was kind of great. Most of the students seemed to like it though and we had some crazy moments with moshing and where people came up on stage and just went crazy. All before lunch!. It was also great talking to young aspiring musicians (shout out to Flaccid Cunts).” (We hope that’s a band – Ed.)
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Slutface have been turning heads for a while now and, if their latest single is anything to go on, this is set to continue. Taking aim at people who enjoying building something up only to tear it down, ‘Kill ‘Em With Kindness’ is a risky move but the band remain fearless. “So far people seem to be really excited that we have a clear message and want to affect change so so far it isn´t really causing us to feel pressured,” explains bassist Lasse Lokøy. “We´re just excited people are listening and hopefully thinking about what we´re trying to say. We mostly write for people our age and feel like our generation is concerned with important issues and appreciate music that expresses that.“
With all the extra attention the band have been getting, being normal students isn’t what it used to be. “It´s getting tougher,” ventures guitarist Tor-Arne Vikingstand. “This semester only two of us are still trying to take classes at university. Mostly this semester is all about writing and recording a really good album- We figure we will go back to being more focused students when we have the time for it. It seems important to try to take this chance while we have it.“
You also get the sense that Slutface are just a group of friends, playing the music they love and everything else is just the icing on the cake. Songwriting, “is a very collaborative effort. We write all of our songs together in the rehearsal space, so it takes a lot of time. Most of the time either Lasse or Tor-Arne brings in a riff or makes a short demo in logic, that we then jam on and arrange together as a foursome, meanwhile Haley writes the lyrics and vocal melody. After that comes a lot of tweaking and disagreement and trying lots of different versions before we´re happy with a song.”
Even the name ‘Slutface’ comes with its perks, “The best reaction to our name happens pretty often and is ‘That´s the best band name I’ve ever heard’ which always makes us happy. Sometimes people hear it, think they’ve misheard the name and then look a bit shocked and try to play it cool. It’s a bit fun to make people slightly uncomfortable. We haven´t really had any very bad reactions to it per say, no one has vomited or spontaneously combusted upon hearing it, But having it be censored on the radio, or missing opportunities because other people are worried we will offend people is always a bummer. We feel like it´s part of being in a rock band to not always be pleasing though.”
For such a young band, Slutface have a clear sense of who they are and what they want to do. They’re here to complete their own “little career bucket list” of music experiences they’ve always dreamed of like, “selling out the big concert venue called Folken in our home town, touring Asia and small stuff like meeting Obama. But mostly we want to write music we like that has an important message and try to influence the our society with that message. We believe music and culture are really important tools for social change, so we want our music to be apart of that, with lots of fun along the way.” There’s no arguing with that motive or ambition.
Opportunities are knocking more and more. Slutface recently played the Norway premier of the new HBO series Vinyl and they’re currently on tour around the UK. “We feel like the (pop-punk) scene is growing in Norway but it´s not exactly dominating main stream radio.” Tor-Arne explains. Their home country may have a small music scene but “there is a lot of really good music coming out of Norway. Everyone is really supportive of each other regardless of genre. We feel a bit more at home musically in the U.K. but have a really good set of friends in music in Norway that we really depend on.“
The band are going to spend some of 2016 working on their debut album (penciled in for a 2017 release) but to keep us satisfied until then they “will be releasing a steady stream of singles throughout this year, a really cool music video we´re filming now and playing lots of shows.” Just in case you miss them this time around (try not to though, yeah?) they band will “be back in the UK this summer for some very fun festivals, so keep an eye out for those announcements. We will also be playing a few European dates. We think this year is going to be great!”
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01 Seabright Arms, London
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