Charlotte Flannery interviewed indie-punk rock band Sløtface ahead of their gig in London last month.
It’s hard to introduce Sløtface (pronounced slutface) to a group of people who have never heard of them before, but as the band describes themselves, they’re sort of “Scandinavian-indie-punk-pop-rock with an American accent”, which I think works. Truth is however, the people that make up the Norwegian indie-rock-punk band are some of the most humble, lovely and carefree people I’ve ever had the chance of meeting. Sløtface consists of vocalist Haley, guitarist Tor, bassist Lasse and drummer Hal, who are all wonderful and even posed for some photos for me.
“They wanted to branch out and make music from many different influences and create something of their own.”
The band have just concluded a short UK tour playing in Manchester, Leeds, Glasgow, London and Brighton. I was lucky enough to catch them at their London gig at Kamio – a venue which is one of my favourites, if only for the low cost of their drinks!
Sløtface have an album coming out at some point this year – which will sure warrant a European tour. I met up with the band before their London gig and asked them a few questions, nervously clutching my notepad and stuttering over my words. Haley, their frontwoman, explained that they “like to stick to the term ‘rock’” when defining their genre as it leaves them open to interpretations. Expanding on this, Haley explained that “specific classifications” didn’t feel necessary to them as they as they wanted to branch out, and make music from many different influences and create something of their own – rather than sticking to an individual genre.
Leading on from this, they explained to me some of their biggest influences, who Haley explained to be “from people like the Arctic Monkeys to LCD Soundsystem”. They explained that they all grew up “listening to a lot of British music” which would explain how their songs seem infused by British influencers.
Speaking about influences and people they love, Lasse explained that “Haley would love to tour with Los Campesinos!” – which is pretty lucky, as they’re supporting LC in Sheffield later this year. Haley would also apparently love to tour with American rock band Sleater-Kinney “because they’re like, my heroes of the world”. The drummer, Hal, said he thinks that “FIDLAR would be cool” and Lasse wants to go on tour with the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, ‘just so he can say he’s done it’.
The band went on to explain that they are feeling nervous about playing a few of the UK festivals they have lined up this summer, as they’ve only been to a few before. They are set to play at Truck Festival and The Great Escape, with other unannounced festivals in the pipeline. They’re playing at Best Kept Secret in the Netherlands too, which they all agreed they are “super excited about”.
“Patti Smith would never put up with this s**t”
The band have a number of songs they like to play live. Haley explained her current favourite was a new unreleased song called ‘Night Guilt’ which she explained has “a really groovy drop”- I can confirm this.
Hal also chimed in to say that his favourite was ‘Sponge State’, “because it’s close to the end and people are warmed up and ready to party”. The band played their most well-known songs, ‘Shave My Head’, ‘Sponge State’ and ‘Take Me Dancing’ among new tracks which will be out in a couple of months. Their sound is exactly how they described themselves; “Scandi/Pop/Indie/Punk” with a dash of feminist language seeping through. They had one lyric which resonated with me in the crowd – “Patti Smith would never put up with this s**t”.
This held stead with me throughout the gig, especially as during my interview I chatted extensively with Haley about feminism and how the boys in the band are active feminists too. Obviously with a name like Sløtface – the orthography does nothing to mask the fact that you are supposed to pronounce it “Slutface” – you might expect something along the lines of pussy riot and crazy activism. This isn’t exactly the case however, as the band is simply trying to “de-stigmatise” the word ‘slut’ and help women take back their sexuality as a positive message. Haley and Hal explained that they used to follow and be a part of ‘Slut Walks’, which inspired their band name. The band were criticized on social media and by record companies for having such a controversial name, which pushed them to the forefront and helped women be proud of their sexualities.
Lasse explained how their name was somewhat a joke at first, something to grab people’s attention. He told me, “Haley’s lyrics became more feminist” with the more attention they got and they soon realised they were on to something.
Keep an eye on these guys – they’re going to be big.