Megan Osztrosits isn’t here to toe the line. And, with their vitriolic blend of punk and metal fury, neither are Couch Slut
EVEN AT ITS
most vitriolic, extreme music has often tended towards the theatrical when exploring humanity’s most despicable elements. Couch Slut bypass this, not so much shining a light on our inner darkness as brandishing a blazing torch of fury against it, covering topics including addiction, suffering and sexual violence.
“Pretty much everything [we sing about] comes from a real place and from real events,” says vocalist Megan Osztrosits. “It’s all rooted in honesty. There have been plenty of shows where, afterwards, young women will share horrifying stories of sexual assault or trauma, and that’s very humbling.”
“It’s a very special thing,” agrees guitarist Kevin Wunderlich. “People feel comfortable enough to share that with Megan, having heard her do her thing.”
Watch any live clip of the band on YouTube and you’ll likely see the same thing; the band pulling out a crushing mixture of hardcore, death metal and noise punk while Megan mingles with the crowd, contorting herself as she unleashes anguished howls as though being exorcised. In many ways, she is. “Catharsis is a fortunate by-product of [what we do],” says bassist Kevin Hall. “But, although it’s nice that catharsis comes with the live show aspect, I also think it’s about having fun.”
“Oh, I definitely go out and have a lot of fun!” Megan agrees. “But at the same time, I’m so naturally, inherently pissed off about so many things that when it comes time to play, I just end up screaming about those things. If I wasn’t in a band, I’d be screaming on the street.”
There’s no denying that there’s still plenty to scream about in the modern music scene, with racism, sexism and sexual misconduct all hot-button topics that have come to the fore in the last 18 months alone. Megan doesn’t beat around the bush as to whether more needs to be done to root out these problematic elements. “Very much so! It would start with being honest… but if it were up to me it would be public castration!”
While the rest of the band voice their dissent (and horror) at such a take, drummer Theo Walker offers a more moderate reply. “When you debate about separating art from the artist, it’s easier if you have an artist who can draw a line between themselves and what they create. There are some musicians who are desperate to be one with the music and its message, and I don’t know how you’re able to separate them.”
Honesty and lack of pretence are crucial to what Couch Slut are all about. And yet, chatting to them as they laugh and joke together, it becomes apparent that there’s much more to them than just being another underground provocateur act. Yes, their debut album My Life As A Woman featured an illustrated cumspattered phallus, and they definitely aren’t beating around the bush with songtitles like Rape Kit or Split Urethra Castle – or lyrics like ‘I will fuck you/Now you’re dirt’, for that matter – but at the heart of it all is a sense of positivity, of communal healing through absolute fury.
“I believe every person has an inherent worth and dignity,” says Theo. “Even if that’s not true, it wouldn’t hurt to behave as though it were.”
“Always be yourself and be nice to other people,” agrees Megan. “Unless they’re dicks. If they are, ruin their lives.”
Sounds like a fair trade-off to us.
“WE SHOULD HAVE PUBLIC CASTRATION”
CONTEMPT IS OUT NOW VIA GILEAD MEDIA LLC
Couch Slut: exorcise music