Sløtface: ‘F**k you to any 50-year-old musicians who say that rock is dead’

The band also speak about their next album - and meeting Guns N' Roses Duff McKagan

Sløtface have spoken out against ‘ageing ’90s rockstars’ claiming that ‘rock is dead’ among today’s generation.

The band released their acclaimed debut album ‘Try Not To Freak Out’ last year, and say that they have grown tired of the likes of Kasabian and the Gallaghers and other rock veterans being disparaging about the state of modern rock.

“I just want to say a huge ‘fuck you’ to all the rock musicians aged 50+ who say ‘young rock is dead’,” guitarist Tor-Arne Vikinstad told NME backstage before Sløtface played Bergenfest 2018. “Oh my God, I’m so tired of it. Them saying that there’s are no cool new bands. Fuck you. Sometimes you don’t have the same emotional connection to new music when you hit a certain age.”


“I really envy hip-hop and rap communities. I see big names push young, unestablished artists, making music together and doing tours together. You don’t see that as often in rock music. I facepalm every time I see big 90’s and 00’s rock-acts saying “rock isn’t was it used to be”, “there’s no big new bands nowadays”. It’s not the ‘90s any more. It’s just people shitting on the younger generation. They have a lot of space in the media to say how things used to be better in the ‘90s. They weren’t.”

Bassist Lasse Lokøy added: “It’s not their job to define the next generation.”

Sløtface - SXSW 2017
Sløtface at SXSW – Credit: Jenn Five/NME

What are Sløtface up to now?

Tor-Arne: “We’re gearing up for the next phase. Playing old songs, writing new songs. This is the last leg  of the ‘Try Not To Freak Out’ tour so we’ve shaken up a little with some different songs.”

How did your US tour with Hinds go?

Tor-Arne: “It was really fun, they were so cool. We did a karaoke night at someone’s house in Madison.”

Haley Shea [singer]: “We got to play with Snail Mail as well. That was a really sick night.”

How’s progress going on the new album?


Haley: “We’re getting there. We’ve been working on it since November, slowly but surely. We’ve written even more songs for the next record than we did for this one, which I didn’t think was possible. We’re going to start cutting things down over the course of the summer and record it this Fall. We’re trying to be adult and mature about it. It would be nice if people would maybe say that about us!”

Grow beards.

Haley: “Yeah, we need an Alex Turner style transformation over here. “

Tor-Arne: “I can only get it on my chin. I could grow a really bad goatee.”

So what’s the new stuff sounding like?

Lasse: “It’s a bit more extreme in all directions. Some songs are a lot slower, some are way more cheesey and some are a lot more exponential. We have agreed on doing some things that might not have felt like Sløtface a few years ago, but this time we’ve been more open-minded to a different kind of expression.”

Tor-Arne: “The first record felt like we wanted to do something to prove ourselves. Now I don’t feel that need any more. “

Haley: “We’re either going to end up in one of two second album clichés: either everyone will think it sucks and wait for the third one, or everybody is going to say that we’ve stopped trying to please people as much and focus on ourselves. It’s not ambient techno. It’s still rock.”

Halvard Wiencke [drummer, apart to leave the band]: “It’s turning out to be very good. I feel that I can say that from the outside, now that I’m leaving. It feels like there are less limits and they’re just doing what feels right.”

Rising Norwegian punks Sløtface killed it on The Pit stage
Rising Norwegian punks Sløtface killed it on The Pit stage at Reading/Leeds. Credit: Andy Ford/NME

Haley: “We’ve also started writing about all the themes that we used to say no to. We used to say no to writing about love and heartbreak and all that stuff, but this time we were just like ‘fuck it’.”

Tor-Arne: “We also met [Guns N’ Roses bassist] Duff McKagan on tour, so that’s effected the new album. Expect a lot more leather and a lot more solos. The reason I started playing guitar was because of Slash. The first book I ever read was his autobiography.”

Haley: “We played with his daughter’s band in Los Angeles and we were like ‘what the fuck is Duff McKagan doing here?’ He wasn’t there to see us, but he was very happy with Lasse’s bass skills.”

Lasse: “We had some very intense eye contact. We were eyeballing each other. You could almost call it ‘eyefucking’.”

Haley: “There you go. We just give you the headlines. Anyway, we started out with this incredibly ambitious political project , and then it’s become the same thing we’ve always done: a mix of the serious and the banal. It was a lot of work to try and be so serious for the whole writing process. I didn’t have it in me to write 30 serious songs.”

Do you feel the weight coming off the last record of people looking at you like you need to make a political statement of some kind?

Haley: “No, I don’t think so. Of course it’s important to write about something rather than just a straight up pop song, but that’s what we expect of ourselves. 50% of the time I’m worried about people thinking I’m a moron for sharing my opinions, but people are wrong sometimes….”

Tor-Arne: “1,500 people commented on a CNN article where we criticised Trump. Everyone was just like ‘why the fuck should I care about what this band think?’ It was great to see Wolf Alice and Shame speaking out for Palestine. It was good that they stood for something.”


Sløtface play Øya Festival at Toyenpark in Oslo on Saturday August 11.