Sløtface

Barboza Presents

Sløtface

Monday 1/15

8:00 pm

$10.00 - $12.00

This event is 21 and over

ADA SEATING: (not wheelchair accessible)
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Sløtface
Nothing will ever feel as free as the first time you leave home to make it on your own, a rush that Norwegian pop-punk foursome Sløtface channel perfectly on their debut album. The joyful thrash of “Sunbleached” is all ripped jeans and clear skies, as bandleader Haley Shea chronicles carefree roadtrips and the relief of pitch-black Norwegian winters finally giving way to summer. But as the album’s title hints, with freedom comes newfound anxieties. On the exhilarating Try Not To Freak Out, Sløtface tear through the fears - from our own racing minds, and manipulated media messages - that hold us back from reaching our full potential. They don’t have solutions (if only it were that easy) but they know the liberating power of an ecstatic scream just as well as their spiritual forebears Bully, Be Your Own Pet and Paramore. “The main thread of the album is never feeling that you’re in the right place, or that you’re not doing the right thing, which I think is a common thing in your twenties when you’re trying to figure out what you wanna do with your life,” says Haley.

For the members of Sløtface, at least one thing was clear: they were always going to make music. Now aged 20 to 22, they grew up in Stavanger, a city on Norway’s south-west coast. They weren’t all at the same high school, but met through the local music scene. The big pop shows that came through town required adult accompaniment for entry, but the punk gigs were straight-edge, so they became a second home to the town’s teen musos. The scene was full of bands trying to follow in the footsteps of hometown metal heroes Kvelertak, including, for a while, the future members of Sløtface: bassist Lasse Lokøy and drummer Halvard Skeie Wiencke (Hal) were in a hardcore band, while guitarist Tor-Arne Vikingstad and Haley were in punk rock bands. But that never quite felt like the right fit. “I didn’t really enjoy it that much,” admits Hal. Rather than typically dark Nordic sounds, or the locals’ favourites Slipknot and Disturbed, they all secretly harboured a love for British indie bands from the mid-2000s — The xx, Arctic Monkeys and Los Campesinos! (Haley’s favourite band of all time) – and Scandi pop acts like Robyn and Veronica Maggio.

When Tor and Haley wrote some new material that didn’t fit their current line-up, they got in touch with Hal and Lasse to see if they wanted to start a band. They found more than just matching record collections. “We realised we all wanted to play shows, we wanted to be professional,” says Haley. “Whereas for me, every band I’d been in, it had been a pain to get people to show up and rehearse.” This was serious business: before they played a lick of music together, they spent three months of 2012 conceptualising exactly what kind of band they were going to be. “We would come up with all of these stupid similes and metaphors, like, ‘It’s the kinda band you wanna wear sunglasses to!’” Haley recalls with a wry laugh. “We also talked a lot about teenage apathy, and the way we’re raised through popular culture to expect certain things from being a teenager. We wanted to be engaged. We wanted to make music videos and put on shows and parties and have experiences with people that we wouldn’t necessarily meet in our hometown. I wanted to write indie rock stories from a female perspective, and be really specific about that experience - women have been able to relate to indie rock dudes forever, so guys would probably be able to relate to my stories, too.”

The name was a huge part of this. Initially, they were known as Slutface. “We wanted to be different from the other bands, and thought that by having a provocative name that was also silly, people would know that we weren’t taking ourselves too seriously, and that we were about having fun,” says Haley. “We wanted people to have a conversation about why the word slut has a bad connotation, why it’s a slur.” But their message didn’t reach the ears of the big social media sites, which kept censoring their shows, and causing them to lose gigs with promoters seeking a more cybersocial sell. Ultimately, they changed it to Sløtface, which has the same pronunciation as the old name. “It was a really long conversation about what we were giving up and what we were gaining,” says Haley. “We’re not a punk band but we do have a little bit of that punk ethos, and we wanna talk about things that are important, and tell the truth, so were we just changing our name to be more marketable? In the end, we thought we could reach more people with our lyrics, which contain those ideas in different ways. We would be working against ourselves if we were so preoccupied by selling out that we couldn’t reach people.”
Venue Information:
Barboza
925 E. Pike St.
Seattle, WA, 98122
http://thebarboza.com