24 Dec 2015

CHASTITY BELT: JUST A COUPLE OF SLUTS

Chastity Belt are a Seattle based indie rock band that have grown in popularity over the past year, and have quickly become one of my favourite bands in the whole wide world. Rumbling basslines, shimmering guitar parts and deadpan, often wryly witty vocals, they're the perfect indie rock band, and with their sophomore record Time To Go Home they put out one of our top three records of 2015. To round off the year, I thought I'd try and interview a few of my favourite bands to round off a really great year for the blog, so I put Julia Shapiro, the band's frontwoman, through a few questions...

How did you guys meet & how did the band form? 
We met in college. The band started as a joke, but then we realized we could actually write good songs, so we kept it up.

From the outside looking in it looks like there's a cool scene in seattle - do you feel like this is true? does anything in the city facilitate a great music scene? and who are your favourite artists from the scene? 
Seattle's a great place for music. There are a lot of great bands here right now. Some of my favourites are S, Tacocat, So Pitted, Grave Babies, Vats, Dude York, Pony Time, Stickers, and Childbirth (my other band). It's a really supportive community, it's not competitive the way some other cities are. The only downside is rent prices are rising and it's getting harder and harder to afford to live here.

Do you find it important to tackle social and feminist issues in your lyrics? like 'cool sluts' alludes to the issue of reclaiming the word 'slut' et cetera
Yeah, I think it's important. It's definitely not the only thing I write lyrics about, but it's an issue that I feel needs addressing.


By extension did the band's name come from along the same lines? 

Pretty much, yeah.


You've put out a really great album and toured lots of places - is 2015 the best year the band has ever had? what are your grand plans for 2016?

It's been a really exciting year for us. We put out an album, toured with Courtney Barnett and Death Cab for Cutie, and went on our first European tour. I think our plan for 2016 is to lay low for the most part in order to continue writing songs for our next album. We have a short West Coast tour with Protomartyr planned in February, and we hope to go back to the UK and Europe at some point.

What is your favourite other music to come out in 2015? 
Alex G, Girlpool, Slutever, Viet Cong, Courtney Barnett, Stephen Steinbrink

What do you think the best christmas song is? 
Carol of the Bells

Finally, any advice you'd give young people starting off in music? 
Don't be afraid to fail

You can get Chastity Belt's wonderful new album here or in lots of cool record shops... Check out their KEXP session below and fall in love with them.



Words: Calum Cashin