Contributor’s Note: Grim Streaker has become synonymous with New York garage rock. They are full of energy and seem to absolutely blow the socks off of everyone who sees them. Amelia Bushell is their courageous front woman and was nice enough to sit down with me for a bit and help me understand what makes them so amazing. Fans can find Grim Streaker at the following locations:
Grim Streaker seems to have an undercurrent of wild, crazy energy that reminds me of Iggy Pop, specifically what he did with The Stooges. How do balance pure wild energy with your incredibly catchy songwriting?
First and foremost the wild energy fuels the songwriting. I only ever write something down when I feel something intensely. It’s the majority of those moments that are distilled down to lyrics. Our instrumentals have strong purpose and intent and coupling these intense emotions I think allows us to convey that wild energy through recordings. The catchy elements probably come from my early years listening purely to pop music.
Your most recent release, “A.D.D.” was produced by Mike Kutchman who worked with Parquet Courts and Sharron Van Etton. How do you feel recording at his studio and working with him added to the song?
I love recording at Kutch’s studio because it’s a raw and cosy environment and true to the music we’re influenced by (we track everything to tape). Kutch is the kind of producer that doesn’t necessarily coach you through the recording. He very much hands the experience over to you and then uses his magic to make everything sound excellent.
What’s the worst show you ever played? What’s the weirdest show you ever played?
The worst show we have ever played was probably the worst show I’ve felt about playing. Last year at SXSW we opened a doc martens show and I had a panic attack before hand. We were set to go on in 30 minutes and I bolted out of the venue and sat in the middle of the closest food truck court on a deck chair thinking I was about to die. Micah came out to find me and bought me noodles and I shoved them into my face and then went back to the stage, chugged a beer, and played the show. I didn’t feel good about it at all.
It’s coming up…we’re playing with Crazy Town!
You recently said that you’ve been “swooning after Debbie Harry’s style.” Are you still going for that Blondie look? Who are some of your influences?
I still love Debbie Harry’s style. My other other style icons are honestly the people I hang around and see out at bars and shows in Brooklyn. We live in a place that is thriving with unique style that pulls from every era over the past 70 years and it’s all fucking awesome and you can put it together in whatever way you want.
How is your upcoming album going to be different from your previous offerings?
There’s a lot more to the messages we’re conveying. I dug a lot deeper with the emotions and stories that I tell through my lyrics. And compositionally, the album has a cohesive and meticulously written tone. There’s strong intent to every note and flare instrumentally. What you might think is a mistake is more purposeful than ever.
And there you have it! Grim Streaker has a couple of gigs in New York and will be appearing at unofficial showcases at SXSW. Check out the gig dates below:
Mon. 2/25- The Rodent Hour in Brooklyn, New York
Fri. 3/8- New Colossus Festival Day 2 at Coney Island Baby in New York, New York
Wed. 3/13- Cindy’s Wicked Waltz at Spider House Cafe and Ballroom in Austin, Texas
Sat. 3/16- Queen of the Scene SXSW House Show at Highland House in Austin, Texas
For tickets and further information on any of the gigs listed above, click here.
Check out their music video to “Guts” below:
* Photo Credit: Viviane Black