Pop-punk is on the rise and, the Norwegian band, Sløtface, is spearheading it. I was lucky enough to catch up with all 4 members– Haley (vocals), Lasse (bass), Halvard (drums) and Tor (Guitar).
“Let me introduce everyone”, says Haley, her voice crackling down the phone. I suddenly hear a chorus of ‘hellos’ from each member of Sløtface, who, only recently, had to change their name from the ironic, Slutface, due to pesky Internet censorship.
Evidently, the band has a subversive nature. They want to break boundaries and be different. They don’t want to be placed in a box or molded into a well-know triangle. This is refreshing from a group of young musicians that grew up in a “small town on the west coast of Norway,” Haley explains to me. “There’s a big music scene there, with lots of bands playing and stuff. We all met there and started playing together.”
What followed were a string of demos and then a collection of single and EP releases that included the teen parade of ‘Angst’ and the Letters To Cleo sounding ‘Get My Own’. Their new EP, Empire Records, features songs about escaping mundane life, ‘Bright Lights’ and calling past lovers on a Saturday night, ‘Take me Dancing’. It’s a record that is full of a thwarted energy (as Haley exclaims that she’s ‘crushed’) and nudging guitar lines – just listen to the single ‘Empire Records’. This is not punk or pop, as you know it. Instead, this EP is a collection of songs that want to make you dance and shout all at the same time.
Lasse, the band’s bassist, tells me about how the songs are put together. “In the studio, we all work out the instrumental side of the song and Haley writes the lyrics herself.” Feminism is a significant subject explored in their songs, whereby Haley reiterates the fact that people shouldn’t be judged by their gender. Interestingly, this serious subject is put to a backdrop of vibrancy, conveying the belief that to have fun, to dance and to sing is a politically charged act in itself.
Recently, over a busy schedule of recording, the band has been touring around the U.K, including four nights in London. “London crowds are very respectful. It’s a different energy I suppose,” Haley ponders for a moment. Halvard, the drummer, cuts in: “We’re playing every night so we’re doing what we love all the time, which is so much fun.”
I like the fact that when I tell people about Sløtface, they give me a look of confusion. “Say that again – Sløtface?” This band are something special. They make you look twice at things but, above all, they make you want to have a bloody good time.
Sløtface will bring their Nordic punk-pop to the UK in February 2017 and will be also be playing at the Great Escape Festival in May 2017. Check them out!