SLUT 'EM GO!: BEAT ON THIS.
By Alex S. Johnson
"What is the answer?"
(Upon receiving no reply)"In that case, what is the question?"
--Gertrude Stein's last words
NYC boy/girl - boy/girl quartet Slut 'Em Go! merrily defy description. The best way to drop any kind of anchor on their stuff comes with the genre-jacking madness they wreak on their first, self-produced album, The Disrespectful Beat , recorded at Jolly Rodger Studio in Hoboken , NJ and described by the band as "a sonic bitch slap." Like wandering through the frequently morphing landscapes of the movie Waking Life, S'EMG! shift shades, moods and colorations with deft rapidity -- or should I say, rabidity (rabbitity?), looking for the next vibrant, harrowing, soft, reflective, dissonant, baroque answer to never-resolved questions. Think X meets King Crimson.
Out of the kindness of their collectively twisted hearts, S'EMG! respond to this correspondent's simple-minded questions with appropriate irony.
Who does what in S'EMG?
Michael: The boys play bass and drums and the girls play guitar and sing.
Stasha: Well.......ah.......my name is Stasha, and according to me, I play
zip-idi-doo-daa guitar, try to sing, and write lots of slut hits; Sarah,
my collegue, also does the guitar playing, singing and smash hit
slut writing; then you've got the boys, who do rhythmic things :
Matty K on bass, Mikey Slut on the beaters, and they sing too, wild
How does the male-female dynamic work?
Michael: Whenever the girls start PMS-ing or something like that, I just take
away their curling irons and say "Hey woman, get in the basement
and write me a song!!!"
Sarah: Bros before Hoes.
Stasha: Honestly none of that matters.....it's actually a more sensible thing
to do, that way all bases are covered but mostly girls dominate, boys often just do what they are told or are beaten into submission. Mikey can be a fussy one......he will
Matt: Slut 'Em Go! takes the inherent female energy in our subconscious anima or animus and transmits that into a music that you cannot rationally think about with your mind. It's a gut reaction, where the sound is evoking you to feel something.
You guys sound very much at times like you're coming from an 80s LA hardcore-punk-folk ethic like early X (complete with the Ray Manzarek organ parts!); then on the other hand, certain passages could come from the Yes or King Crimson catalog. How would you boil down your sound to a byte for the money folks?
Michael: Believe it or not I’ve never listened to X. I’ve certainly heard about
them and maybe I should go buy some since I keep hearing about them. I think Sarah has one of their records. I spent a lot of my pubescent years listening to Prog rock like Yes and Rush. I’d come home from school and play along with the records till my parents asked me to stop (usually around 8pm). I also practiced to Living Color all the time back then. I think Will Calhoun is the shiznitz. His agility and power make me week in the knees. Of course I played to all the Zeppelin albums also.
When people want to know who we are, I just say "We’re a freaky female fronted math punk band that sounds like Blonde Redhead covering Black Sabbath." That usually get a positive response. There’s no question that S’EG! is little hard to "get" by most people. Thus we release our own music and whoever wants to check it out can buy it from us on our website (www.slutemgo.com) and whoever doesn’t can go listen to their Papa Roach cd’s. I don’t think we could ever be a hugely popular band. Our name alone will make sure that never happens. We’re just looking for a couple trips around the globe
and a handful of good studio albums.
Sarah: We just like to rock, f***k the marketers.
Stasha: Is a byte 8 bits? if i had to descirbe it in 8 bits it would be: we have
the capabilities to do anything, but we do what we do, and people will pay because they love it! word! or... hey it's really f**king
How did S'EMG get started?
Michael: We are from Morde. Humans must die! At least that’s how it used to be. It’s a really long embarrassing story that would get us into loads of trouble if it ever became public knowledge. If you listen to the lyrics of "3047" you can get a glimpse into our history. We almost did something very bad but then we met somebody
special. Now we realize that smoking weed and having sex with the humans is sooooo much more fun than killing them.
Sarah: We are from Morde.
Stasha: I'm down with who we are, and where we came from. which is the planet Morde (except Matt, he is definitely from somewhere else). We were basically programmed do to a job (which I'm not saying was harvesting human eyes); anyway this whole human emotion thing was pretty cool,so the band lives on...
Matt: Sarah and Stasha saw me at the first Siren Festival down at Coney Island and asked me to save their band. Their other bassist left to become a doctor. He was really good. That was almost a year ago.
Do you have any plans for videos or other multimedia type stuff?
Michael: We’re putting together a live video from our last show at Arlene’s
Grocery. It’s just a three camera shoot so it’s gonna be kinda crude but that’s how we like it – crude (not that we have a choice). It will be made available as a dvd in the next few weeks. You can get it through our website www.slutemgo.com. You can also buy our bitchin album there as well. And our hand-made three color t-shirts.
Sarah: We have an idea for a video for "Things" where I poison someone by making them eat an armadillo and then they get leprosy and die. It should be kind of cool.
What's the band look like live?
Michael: Live we’re a cluster f**k. We try to leave the audience bewildered. We do tons of segues and blending of songs. We have an extreme lack of respect for our own writing and often change how songs are played and sang. People who are familiar with our music often don’t even know what’s coming next. It’s not unusual
for us to f**k up and miss a change or slip on the beat and that’s when things get REAL fun. I think people come our shows just to see if we’re gonna f**k up our own songs.
Sarah: Hot and sweaty.
Stasha: At a show.......we look like steamrollers crushing lava maggots,
while lesbians wrassle on a bed of slut solos.... did I mention Sarah and I have breasts?
Matt: We look like people who have hard physical-labor type jobs and the strain is unbelievable and we have that killing-your-boss fantasy, and something possesses us to carry it out and we kill him and then we run for the instruments.
Do you listen to a lot of Frank Zappa?
Michael: Frank is a touchy subject in the band. Personally, there are many
great Zappa albums that I enjoy. I must admit there many albums I simply can’t listen to cuz you can only hear about "Titties and Beer" so much. I also feel that sometimes he let complexity substitute for emotion. The Zappa albums that stand out for me
are "Live at Roxy and Elsewhere" cuz it just sooooo rockin’, "Hot Rots", "One Size Fits All", and "Bongo Fury". I also think that the film Baby Snakes has some of the most impressive concert footage ever. Terry Bozio goes ape sh*t. Frank was obviously a
genius but sometimes I’m in the mood for something a little dumber. I’ve been listening to a lot of the Cherry Valence on Estrus records. They have loads of weird elements in their music but they keep it real sloppy so it bubbles with energy. Fireballs of
Freedom are another amazing band that has an impressive depth to their music. Their attack is very "off the rails" and could fall apart at any second so you’d never think of them as nerds (but they are). It’s important to keep the shtank in your music. Things are better when they smell a little bit. Know what I mean?
Sarah: There are seriously few things in life that I can't stomach - Frank Zappa is one of those things. Listening to him makes me want to get up on a bell tower and start taking people out. I hate Frank Zappa.
Stasha: Sarah does, she's obsessed.......I'm currently having loving
feelings for both Team Dresch albums (which I've owned since the mid 90's)…I'm obsessed...of course gotta give the love to Blonde Redhead, Come, B.I.G, big arena rock, Bungle (and maybe Zappa), Outkast, Snoop Dogg, your moms big fat ass, and Fireballs of Freedom...just to name a very small (but important) few.
Matt: Yeah, I like that old crank. I probably like more of his material than anyone else in the band. I respect him most for being able to make me laugh out loud by just playing notes, not to mention all the weird sh*t he says.
Are the lyrics that freeform for effect, or would I be able to dig something out beneath the surrealism if I were looking for it?
Michael:All the lyrics have meaning. Some of it is inside jokes that aren’t
really meant for outsiders to understand but most of it is straightforward. If you have specific questions about the lyrics we’d be happy to elaborate
If you can get anything from the lyrics, more power to you. It's all up
to the listener i suppose.
Sarah: If you can get anything from the lyrics, more power to you. It's all up
to the listener i suppose.
Stasha: as far as the lyrics.......of course there is meaning, i'd like to hear
what you think......
How about drugs?
Michael: I listen to lots of dub, you do the math. And if anybody out there doesn’t know what dub is go find some Agustus Pablo, Barrington Levy, Yabby You, and Burning Spear’s "Garvey’s Ghost". If you don’t like what you hear stop masturbating to your Daredevil comics for a week and try it again.
Sarah: I try to stay off the sh*t.
Stasha: When ya do 'em people think that your cool.
Matt: I am currently trying to milk the glands of a bat and mix them with
LSD. I hope it gets me weed.