To celebrate LISTEN’s new website we’re interviewing a bunch of local Australian artists to profile them on the site. Introducing Slag Queens:
How would you best describe your music?
Pop, post-punk, punk, indie rerk
How did your band / musical project start?
Slag Queens formed in mid 2015 in a house in West Launceston.
Do you make music with a political focus? If so, what is your focus? If not, why not?
Slags has always been a consciously feminist and queer project. Our name is both a tip to ‘drag queens’ and the important feminist history of reclaiming derogatory slurs. And well, being three queers from regional Tasmania, just having this band exist is inherently political and important to the way we enact our individual politics.
For Lucy and Clairey, who came to their instruments pretty late (Clairey started drumming to play in Slags and Lucy learnt bass a couple of years earlier) it was really important to us to think critically about the way oppression works to make some people feel inadequate about their art, and conversely, entitles others to feel comfortable and have this kind of invisible ownership over spaces/stages/genres etc. For example, as women we felt there was this pressure to be ‘perfect’ before publicly performing despite having seen lots of ‘male’ punks get up on stage and make a sloppy mess (and we loved it by the way, it was just that we wanted in on the fun). The first year we played shows they were so rough and messy (they still are) and it felt exhilarating and liberatory. Obviously the 90s Riot Grrls had this all figured out way before us and we’re totes inspired by that, but also, we didn’t necessarily want to ‘do’ that punk rock genre. We just wanted to play whatever came out and try not to care what anyone else thought. Not giving a shit = feminist praxis.
Some of our songs have content that is Political (with a capital P). Definitely our newer songs, which deal with homophobia/transphobia, and being full time wage slaves. Recently, someone pointed out that most of our songs are actually about failed friendships and resenting other women and queers. We think there’s lots of important politics (with a little p) implicit in these themes too – ask us about it sometime.
What has been the biggest highlight as a band?
Oh boi, so many good times. Some include: having Sam Wallman make us a Slag Queens cartoon, playing 7 shows on a moving bus around Launceston and having Lucy yell through a megaphone at the passengers, anytime we share the stage with All the Weathers, being called “the shittest band in Launceston” and “they can’t even solo” by a misogynistic local ‘punk’.
Who are your biggest influences musically right now?
Music we’re excited about right now include All The Weathers, Spike Fuck, Re-Tros, Screaming Females, Nots.. we love Peaches 4eva kissy kissy
Where can people find your music?