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Take A Dip In Slut River

By Mish Way

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When my bandmates and I arrived in Omaha, Nebraska, it was pouring rain. The town was completely dead except for a few straggly looking people and a bunch of teenage girls who were scrambling across the road in bare feet, holding their flip-flops over their heads in protection from the rain. I didn’t get it. We did not have high hopes for the show. We wanted to ditch. We wanted to ditch the whole town, bad. 

But when we finally got to the venue, we were greeted by a couple of cute, blonde-haired Mid-West boys who smelled like beer, hard work, and half-butts. They were so polite and so handsome. Things were turning around. By the time the doors opened, the room slowly filled up with excited drunk kids waving whiskey bottles around and screaming at each other. Omaha punks. I was suddenly in a fabulous mood.

Then, Slut River from Iowa City played. You know when a band kind of kicks you? Like, their set just says, “Hey! Look! This is happening and if you miss it, you are missing a piece of SOMETHING HISTORICAL!” It was like that.

Joe Ross (drummer), Matt Fenner (guitar), and Mickey Shaw (bass) pounded away on their instruments while Anna McDermott, the frontwoman, bent over herself, tapping her foot and shaking her hands like she was playing Hot Potato with herself. It worked. She screamed about stealing pills, drunken boys, stalkers and said “fuck” a lot, but it wasn’t tacky. She reminded me of Jennifer Herrema with the vocal timing of Alice Bag. I was hooked on Slut River.

5 QUESTIONS FOR ANNA OF SLUT RIVER

NOISEY: Most of your lyrics are about sex, pills, and boys (my favorite subjects). What are lyrics like for you? Is performing cathartic? Are you angry or what?
Anna McDermott: I realized that, when you front a band, you can literally talk shit to a person's face, and have that person not only not get that you're talking shit to their face, but rock out to it. It is humorous, but really purging. Cathartic is a perfect word for it—letting it all hang out, and just walking away after that. The goal is not trying to be original or impress anyone, but rather ripping loose, not giving a fuck, and probably looking as unattractive as possible.

What’s the song “Stalker Retarded” about?
The song is just about having to beat someone over the head with the fact that you not only don't like them, but that they suck at everything they do and you wish that they would just fuck the fuck off.

Why did you call the band Slut River?
Slut River is a name that refers to a place or scene where everyone has slept with pretty much everyone else. Slut refers to both men and women, and by no means in my mind is a sexist statement. Iowa City, like most punk scenes I am sure, is really incestuous, and causes a lot of dumb drama that is really not real or remotely important. One of the grossest observations about living in Iowa City is that men and women alike can use sex as a way to fuck with people that they call their friends. Hooking up in places like this becomes really just like swimming in a really slutty river or, as my close friend V would call it, a "giant cum puddle."

Is everyone in the band a slut?
No, three quarters of the band are just geeky dudes who have a really hard time talking to women. On tour, nights usually play out by them talking about how cute a girl is, being too scared to talk to the girl, and fast-forwarding to the next day in the van where they just talk about how much they should've talked to the girl.

What’s the sluttiest thing you have ever done?
I categorize myself as more of a drunk bitch rather than a slut. I moved to a small town in the middle of nowhere Iowa called Cedar Falls. I did not know anyone. My first night of college, I just walked around the town until I found a party raging on the lawn. I walked in, started stealing their beers out of their fridge, and drinking shots of tequila with sorority girls who thought I "looked really interesting." I got the kind of pissy drunk where you just make fun of people's tattoos sarcastically and knock shit over for like no reason.

This, like, "mosh kid" offered to walk me back to my dorm because I was clearly lost. He then tried to ask me to his room to show me his music collection. I was like, "No, sorry, not really interested," but he insisted until I agreed. I got to his room and sat on the edge his bed, which was the only place to sit in the room. He was like talking to me and I was not paying any attention until he was like, "What the fuck, are you peeing on my bed?” My reaction was to reach down and pat the bed laughing and saying, "What? You spilled something on your bed, why did you do that?" So, the guy was furious and yelling and shit, and I just dipped out laughing and stumbled my ass back to my room. So, not only had I pissed some kid’s bed, but I didn't even know it until the next day. I was just a drunk bitch. Whoops.

 

Slut River just released a new seven-inch, "Off White" (which they recorded with Luke Tweedy of Flat Back Studios, famed for recording Erase Errata and William Elliott Whitmore) on July 13th and went on tour. They might be in a city near you, so check here if you want to go see a great punk show.

 

@myszkaway

 

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