The last time I saw Brooklyn trio Slothrust was two-and-a-half years ago, noteworthy for being my very first show as a “thirtysomething.” The band played the cramped upstairs stage of Kung Fu Necktie, touring behind their sophomore LP, Of Course You Do, an album taking a lot of cues from ‘90s alt rock, whose songs I stated, “run the gamut from chaotic power pop to lo-fi, introspective art rock.” Last fall saw the release of their follow-up LP, Everyone Else, an album that sees the band mellowing and maturing a bit, with the band trading in just a bit of their angst for an extra dose of quirkiness. And although they might currently embody a more popular brand of charm, their lyrics still reflect the musings of the alternative intellectuals they’ve come to be known as… Last night Slothrust kicked off close to a month of dates and will having them headlining Johnny Brenda’s next Monday, March 6th (with support coming from our buddies And the Kids). This past weekend I got a chance to catch up with guitarist/vocalist Leah Wellbaum, who told me what they’ve been up to since we last spoke on the record and I hit the big 3-0.
Izzy Cihak: The last time I talked to you was in October of 2014, when you were touring Of Course You Do and about to play a show upstairs at Kung Fu Necktie. What have been some of the highlights of Slothrust in those past two-and-a-half years?
Leah Wellbaum: Releasing Everyone Else was really satisfying. It was a long and complicated process and we are so excited to finally have it out there in the world. We also went on some really amazing tours and made friends with lots of great musicians and artists.
Izzy: Everyone Else has been out for a few months now. Have you had any favorite reactions to it thus far?
Leah: It makes me happy when people say that our records make them feel less alone.
Izzy: How do you think that the album compares to your first two? Do you feel like it was a natural evolution? For that matter, what were the album’s most significant influences?
Leah: It was definitely a natural evolution. I think this record is a bit more whimsical and less angry than the two previous ones. Lyrically, I was open to experimenting more and thinking visually.
Izzy: You’re currently signed to Dangerbird, which is one of my favorite labels. How have they been treating you?
Leah: We have had an incredibly positive experience working with Dangerbird. They are some of the most fun and passionate people we have met working in music. The music industry is strange and tough and we are stoked to be releasing records with a label who has a good attitude and gives a shit about artistry 🙂
Izzy: You’ve played Philly, or Philthy, a handful of times now. Have you had any favorite memories or experiences of the city, whether shows you’ve played or just times hanging around the 215 before or after a show?
Leah: The first handful of times we played Philly it was entirely basement shows. It’s been an interesting transition going from that to playing venues like Union Transfer. Both types of shows offer vastly different and valuable experiences. Also, the food in Philly is dope.
Izzy: What can be expected of the live show when you play Johnny Brenda’s in the very near future?
Leah: Who’s to say? We’ll be there.
Izzy: You’re playing a handful of your upcoming dates with And the Kids, who we’re also pretty massive fans of. What are your thoughts on them and getting to share the stage with them for a handful of nights? I’m assuming the two bands are friends…
Leah: We have not played with them before but were introduced to their music by our friends Highly Suspect, who also toured with them. ATK has a really honest and distinct energy about them. We are so excited to take them on the road with us!
Izzy: Finally, what are you most excited about in 2017? Do you have any hopes or plans at the forefront of your mind at the moment?
Leah: We are excited to try touring outside of the U.S. and exploring other parts of the world. We are interest in the different types of energies we will encounter in different countries. However you will also catch us plenty around America, and we hope to start gearing up for the next record before too long.