My Life As A Woman: COUCH SLUT Speaks

Couch Slut

I’ve been a fan of Brooklyn’s Couch Slut for a few years but it was only recently have I had the pleasure to see them play live. It was angry, noisy, and confrontational. Exactly what I had anticipated. To call them a “noise rock” band is just lazy. The truth is that they really can’t be categorized. Their Influences range from jazz to black metal and they incorporate instruments like tambourines and saxophones. They do all this with dark lyrics that are belted out with aggression and angst. With two albums already released as well as a split with Microwaves (which features a bad-ass Steely Dan cover), Couch Slut is exactly the type of ugliness we need back in music. We talked with vocalist Megan, Drummer Theo, Guitarist Kevin W. and bassist Kevin Hall to learn more about them.

images by Joseph Bone

CN: How exactly did the band come together? How do you feel about the music scene right now in Brooklyn and the surrounding areas?

Theo: The first person I started playing with was my very talented friend Amy Mills, who no longer plays with us but remains a collaborator. The idea really hit me when I saw Megan do a solo noise/keyboard set on the floor of Big Snow Buffalo Lounge sometime in 2012. I had my usual thought when I see solo noise sets, which is, “This would be cool if it was a band instead”, but raised to the nth degree due to her gut-wrenching vocals and frankly terrifying presence. I remember saying something to her about making a dangerous and awful racket and I played her a demo I’d made of what would become “Split Urethra Castle”. Kevin Wunderlich, who I knew from his great work with Amy in their band Epistasis, came next. Completing the picture was Kevin Hall, who appeared on the floor of my apartment one night. We became friends and I had seen a bass guitar in his basement once. Later on I asked him, “You play bass, right?”

There’s lots of great music happening all over, but I don’t get out to many shows lately. We’re finishing up the writing for our next album and in the meantime we decided to help our friends in Feast of the Epiphany release their incredible work, Practicing Loss, which will come out on the band’s record label, Kincsem Records, in 2019.

image by Joseph Bone

CN: People often have a hard time describing your sound. How would you, yourselves, describe the sound? How would you describe the live experience to someone who hasn’t seen you perform yet?.

Theo: We’ve always thought of ourselves as a rock ‘n’ roll band. There’s a lot in there and different people can hear different things, so whatever anyone wants to call it is fine. You mentioned ‘noise rock’ in your intro and I think that’s a fair description.

Chealsea “Thee Chuq” Wierbonski of the great Brooklyn band Netherlands recently wrote that our set is “like getting punched in the face by music over and over again, but in a good way.” That sounds good to me!

CN: Lyrically it’s dark and abrasive, executed powerfully by your vocalist Megan. Is she writing most of the lyrics? Do you think that her being a female, it brings a different dynamic than a male vocalist would?

Megan: I’m too pissed off to even form a complete sentence most of the time, so while the lyrical ideas behind  our songs come from my own personal experience, the actual process of writing the lyrics is often collaborative. I think living for 33 years in a biologically female body has resulted in a kind of suffering that most (straight, white) men don’t endure to a comparable degree.  Of course, those ordeals are largely responsible for my presence in the band, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to expel and share my story in a way that’s gratifying and speaks some truth about the world we live in.

Kevin: What Megan does captures my feelings and does perfect justice to the rest of the music and I don’t think any other vocalist would be better for Couch Slut regardless of sex/gender/any other consideration.

Megan: Love u Kvn.

CN: Is there any feminist influence in the bands work? Some people hate that word and what it means and some artists embrace it. Discuss how you approach the subject.

Megan: Obviously I’m a feminist. I’m not particularly fond of the term, as TERFs are included under that umbrella, and they can fuck off for all eternity. I’m not sure what you mean by “approaching the subject” but I’ve personally hugged and cried with many female/femme audience members after shows, and it’s always a humbling experience to have total strangers share some of their darkest, saddest secrets with me. That wasn’t something I ever expected when we started, and it can be very emotionally exhausting when already dealing with PTSD, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

CN: What was the growth process for the band between the first and second album? When can we expect another full length?

Kevin: We lost a member when Amy left the band, and we aged. I think going from five to four members has made our sound more aggressive. I also think gaining experience playing shows and working together creatively between the release of the first record and the release of the second gave us a better sense of what we could do and what we wanted to do as a band. Not sure exactly when a new LP can be expected, but we’ve never not been working on new material.

CN: Describe the best and worst shows you’ve played.

Megan: The best shows for me are usually the out-of-town ones, especially when we play my hometown of Allentown, PA. The people there are really awesome, very welcoming, and pretty fucked up. My favorite show there resulted in my jaw becoming dislocated during our last song thanks to a flying elbow, and some kid being tossed down a flight of stairs while a 150+ person mosh pit was happening. Another show we played there was with Planning for Burial, at one of my old practice spots/venues, and there were maybe a dozen people there, including other bands. Even with such a small audience, I still wound up with blood dripping down my legs from the broken glass on the concrete floor.

Kevin: I think the worst shows have been those when the only people there were the other bands, which we’ve been fortunate enough to avoid, with a couple of shitty exceptions.

Theo: We once agreed to a show with some bands that we didn’t like or relate to at all, but we thought it would be funny to play. Turns out the joke was on us.

CN: Is there more you want to achieve with the band? Do you look out that far, or do you take things day by day?

Theo: The only goal that we’ve ever had as a band is to make our songs as good as we can make them, and then perform them well.

Megan: I’d personally love to cover the rest of Steely Dan’s Gaucho, but so far the response to this request has been a flat “no”

CN: Did you purposely name the band Couch Slut so that when people search the name, porn sites come up? Haha.

Kevin: No.

Theo: We took the name from Eugene Robinson’s Oxbow lyrics, specifically from their phenomenal record, An Evil Heat. Hearing An Evil Heat when I was younger opened my mind to some possibilities in a heavy music world that I was drawn to but often found harmonically limited, rhythmically uninteresting, and thematically underdeveloped.

Couch Slut recently reissued their first album, My Life as a Woman  via Kincsem Records, which is a label they started over the summer. It can be purchased ONLY by contacting kincsemrecs@gmail.com

Find out additional information about the band below

kincsemrecs@gmail.com to order our reissue of My Life as a Woman and inquire about Feast of the Epiphany

 

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Elizabeth

Elizabeth

All little bit of humor, horror, heavy metal and heavy makeup.

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