this is part of a photo series i’ve been working on since 2011. it is a collection of photographs of badass women involved in metal, hardcore and the borderline metal/punk/avant-garde worlds. these are the people who make up the music scene. these are my friends.
What was your first metal experience? (the band, show or album that made your knees buckle, because you knew you were in love)
Kristen Sollee: I first remember seeing the video for Motley Crue’s “Dr. Feelgood” on Headbanger’s Ball when I was 8 or something. Love at first sight. That of course spiraled into an Aquanet whirlwind of GNR, Poison, L.A. Guns, Warrant, etc. (All of whom I still love today. I ain’t ashamed of my pop tart taste.)
Then in 1996 I saw Pantera open for KISS. The crowd boo’ed them so much, which got Phil Anselmo incredibly hot and bothered as you can imagine. That set me on a journey to the heavier stuff.
When did you start writing about sex? How did you get into it?
KS: My parents divorced when I was really young so I was privy to a lot of “grown up” talk about sex, relationships, dating, cheating, etc for as long as I can remember. Since that time I’ve always looked at sex like a sociological experiment. Writing about music and art came first, then in my late teens I added gender to the mix. I never explicitly wrote about sex until I started Slutist in 2013. There was always heavy innuendo in what I’d write up until that point, and sex was at the core of all my best writing, but nothing was “about” sex per se. Sex, like music, is more fun to enjoy than to write about. But I’d still rather write about sex than fly fishing, I guess.
Slutist is your beautiful sex-positive blog. What sort of features you have planned for Slutist in 2015?
KS: Ooh I don’t want to give away too much, but I’m planning on interviews with bigger artists, activists, and entertainers. I’ll also be adding some original videos to the mix. And of course there will be more writers (we’re at 20 already) who will contribute to the site. I couldn’t do it without them.
March 29th, 2015 marks the first Slutist Feminist Festival at St. Vitus. What can you share about Legacy of the Witch?
KS: Most of the lineup has been revealed and the tickets are currently on sale here. Karyn Crisis’ Gospel of the Witches is headlining – it will be their first NYC show as a band. The lineup features Mike Hill and Charlie Schmid from Tombs, Ross Dolan from Immolation and of course Karyn Crisis and Davide Tiso who most recently played together in Ephel Duath. There will also be two other excellent bands featured, Azar Swan and Delphic Oracle, who I love as performers and as people. Then there’s burlesque, performance art, installations, video art, tarot readings, and even a talk by Pam Grossman about the witch in art history — the list goes on!
I am very excited to bring a heavier, darker feminist gathering to NYC. No crunchy hippie shit, or flowery goddess stuff thanks. (Unless that goddess is Kali or Lillith and the flowers are dead.)
This is a big question. Answer it however you want to best answer it. What needs to change in metal for women, feminism and sex.
KS: Whoah. That’s major. The more women involved in all aspects the better, and not just on the creative side. More female club owners, bookers, magazine editors, label heads. The means of production and distribution in female hands is key. As far as sex goes, it’d be nice if there was more of a mixing of sex positive ideals into the scene. Like it doesn’t have to be the feminists in the mosh pit dressed like dudes and the slutty girls in leather mini skirts who don’t give a shit about women’s rights stripping on the tables. That’s some huge generalizing, but I find it true in many instances that you get more respect intellectually the more masculinized your look is and the more un-sexual you seem. That goes for the world at large, too.
What’s your current life soundtrack?
KS: My copy of Gospel of the Witches’ Salem’s Wounds, which officially comes out on Century Media in March. I haven’t felt such a powerful draw to a band’s music or lyrics in a while. These songs speak to me so deeply about power, lust, spirituality and inhabiting a female body. And the music is such a perfect confluence of heaviness and ethereality and all around badassery.
I’m also always listening to Celtic Frost’s Cold Lake. Why does everyone hate on that record so much? It’s pure gutter bliss to me