Portland darlings, Slutty Hearts, are back bigger than ever with a new solid sound, and a new cassette EP out Dec 5th on Cassingle And Loving It Records.
Since last release Slutty Hearts has added a drummer and Marisa has been focusing more on being a front woman. What was the reason for this change-up?
Marisa: I had wanted to focus just on singing for a few years, but we never really gave it a shot with a sit-in drummer until like Sept. 2012. The day we did, we were all sold on the new set-up. It really opened a lot of musical doors for us that we hadn’t been able to explore—we could rock harder with more complex drum parts, I could allow myself to get into the emotion of the song. Plus, dancing around really does help convey the true spirit of our music.
What influenced the new sound on this EP?
Marty: I feel like we were trying to get at that great, slightly melodramatic sound of early 1960s pop records, especially girl-group stuff like the Shangri-Las, the Chiffons, that kind of thing. Those songs didn’t take themselves too seriously—”Leader of the Pack” is not exactly Shakespeare—but they were still really powerfully constructed with a high level of songwriting craft. Then when we get hold of that style, it inevitably takes on a kind of modern, garage-y feel.
How has your songwriting process changed or stayed the same on this record? Describe the collaboration.
Marty: Well, Marisa and I have always gotten right up in each other’s business when it comes to songwriting. We’ll literally go through a song together line by line and say, like, “Here I’m looking for an image that evokes XYZ thing, whaddaya got?” It’s a little embarrassing, but we’re used to it. By the time we’re done, it’s really hard to tell who wrote what, and that hasn’t changed.
How has the Portland music scene been responding to Slutty Hearts’ live shows?
Marisa: The fans and friends that have been following us since the beginning have really embraced the new line-up. While they say they always enjoyed our stuff, they admit that the new version of us has made a very positive difference! The feedback we get at shows is super nice, and we always appreciate it.
What influenced the lyrics for this record? What’s up with the title “Bones In The Snow?”
Marty: Well, I’ve always thought that the best songs come from sort of raw, basic emotional drives: “I wanna get wasted,” “I wanna dance,” “I wanna fuck you,” “I wanna kill you.” We felt like “I wanna fuck you” as a theme has been pretty well picked over in rock, so maybe the kill-you thing would be a little more interesting.
Marisa: The title comes from a lyric in the first single, “Swallow Your Gold”. We felt that it captured the mood of these songs. The image is lonely and dark. Sad, but also strong.
Recap the past year in Slutty Hearts World!
Marisa: We were lucky enough to add Joey Bewley on the kit, last December. He is an amazing drummer and fits in perfectly with the rest of us weirdos. We recorded the EP, wrote a bunch of new songs for the NEXT one, and recently played our first out-of-town show in Corvallis.
Any plans for touring?
Marisa: In late December, right before Christmas, we are heading up to do our very first shows in Washington! We’ll be playing at Bob’s Java Jive in Tacoma, then the 2 Bit Saloon in Seattle! So that’s a little mini-tour. Then, if all goes as planned, we will do a two-week tour down the West Coast in late March, promoting the vinyl and cassettes.
What’s next for Slutty Hearts?
Marisa: A music video for “Bang Bang”, a single off the upcoming cassette and vinyl release of our “Bones in the Snow” EP! We just started shooting it with this rad guy named Tom Lupton, and are stoked to be making a video NOT by ourselves, but with a real-live-professional-person! Of course, we are very pumped to have the tape release on Dec. 5 at Foggy Notion, and are planning a Valentine’s Day release for the vinyl. After we return from the West Coast tour, we will head back into the studio to record the new songs. Somewhere in all this, we will take a nap.