Our Interview with Grim Streaker

Our Interview with Grim Streaker

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Grim Streaker are an up-and-coming, Brooklyn-based quintet whose music occupies the chaotic realm between punk rock, noise and skate anthems. Consisting of lead singer Amelia Bushell, guitarists Daniel Peskin and Micah Weisberg, bassist Bill Dvorak and drummer Piyal Basu, they’ve been gaining notoriety as of late after the release of their turbulent, rollicking debut single, “Guts” (you can follow this link to purchase the song on the group’s Bandcamp, and this link to find our previous review of the track).

Last week, we reached out to the group to ask them about their history together, the basis of their sound and their plans for the year to come.


All responses, unless indicated, are from guitarist Dan Peskin on behalf of the group.
Some responses have been lightly edited for length and clarity.


How did you guys all meet and how long have you been making music together?

We’ve been playing together for almost 5 months now. Some of us were friends prior or interconnected and met through friends of friends in the music community here in Brooklyn – we all play in other bands and projects and ultimately created this out of a need to express ourselves differently and let out a lot more energy.


Your debut track “Guts” dropped a few weeks back now. How long has it been between the initial conception of that song and its current form, and what sort of progression has it undergone in that time?

“Guts” is a product of immediate connection between all of us. It’s the first thing we created and really became fully formed almost at the start. So in terms of time, it’s been a few months, but it hasn’t evolved. It was our jumping off point.


Lyrically, “Guts” is pretty aggressive but also kinda funny in its bluntness. Are there real-life inspirations behind the lyrics or are they kinda just a vocalised state of mind?

Amelia Bushell: They are definitely a vocalised state of mind. It’s more of a stream of consciousness thing, but it’s related to a lot of the aggressive language we hear day to day.


These days in Australia, there’s not as much of a visible punk crowd as there has been in previous years. That said, what’s the punk scene in New York like these days and how much involvement do you guys have within that community?

There’s a small but thriving community here in Brooklyn. From our experience, it’s relatively non-existent in Manhattan, but you have a fair amount of DIY or small venues spread through Brooklyn and even a handful of all ages spaces.

If you’re at the right kind of shows around here, people still move and break a sweat, so we’re lucky to be here. You’ll also see shows in strange places as the police are actively trying to shutdown our DIY spaces. Just the other day we caught some friends’ noise bands in the upstairs dining room of a Mexican restaurant due to a police raid on the original venue. It makes for some strange, but very unique environments to see music in.


In punk rock, there’s often this ideology of DIY aesthetics and grittiness over songwriting. That sound is definitely present on “Guts” but, as it’s also a really well-rounded and written track, I’m wondering is it difficult to find that balance in your music, or is it something you’re not really concerned with?

For us, that sound is an effect of our playing styles, influences and our environment. We’re more concerned with writing compelling songs, but our approach naturally produces the aesthetic and overall sound I think you’re describing.


How much did you guys contribute to the overall mixing and production of “Guts” and what has it taught you going forward?

We contributed a little, but our producer, Mike Kutchman is someone some of us have worked with before and really trust. He understands what we were looking to do. We also tracked, mixed and mastered this song in one day, so we didn’t spend much time on bells and whistles. You’re just hearing exactly what we sound like.


Who are some artists that inspire you that people wouldn’t think of based on the sort of music you make?

It’s hard to say [without] knowing the full breadth of our songs, but anything from Black Flag to Jesus & The Mary Chain to Gang of Four or even Nirvana. 


Is there any specific plan in place for 2017, or are you guys gonna be winging it from this point on?

Yes, but at the same time there’s still loose ends. It’s like Lost the TV show. 


The political climate being what it is in the U.S. right now, do you guys ever feel the pressure to polemicise your music or would you rather keep politics out of your art?

Sure, we feel it everyday. We’re not opposed to it, but we’re not going to do it for the sake of it. We’ll put some thought into it rather than shouting “not my president” or something to that extent.

The timing of our music is coincidental, but feels very timely and whether or not it’s overtly political – it’s going to be exactly what people need now.


Finally, I’m not sure if you guys have seen Green Room but, out of respect for our love of that movie, I’d like to ask each of you: what is your desert island band?

A favorite film for sure.

Dan – Van Halen

Amelia – Tears For Fears

Micah – Third Eye Blind

Bill – Hatebeak

Piyal – Ramones


Header image of Grim Streaker courtesy of the group’s Bandcamp page.

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