Published Mar 03, 2015For a band nearly a decade into their career, who've recently enjoyed the highest profile gigs of their career and just released their most accomplished album yet, the Screaming Females are not that worried about the breakthrough on their horizon with their new Rose Mountain.
"We've been doing this for a long time, and we've been able to see so many different aspects of what you might call the music industry, or — more importantly to us — music scenes around the world in different cities," drummer Jarrett Dougherty tells Exclaim! "For us, we never had one moment that was a break. We've been touring for years and self-releasing albums before we even had a mention. Because we weren't made overnight by some blog or something, we also don't feel a lot of pressure if that same outlet decides they don't like our new album. It's not going to crush us as a band."
Though guitarist/vocalist Marissa Paternoster and bassist Mike "King Mike" Abbate met in high school in New Brunswick, NJ, a lot of people's first exposure to the "Screamales" might have been last spring, when they opened for Kathleen Hanna's band, the Julie Ruin. And after self-releasing five albums on the punk label Don Giovanni, Screaming Females have given us Rose Mountain, their first record with a big-name producer at the helm, Matt Bayles (Mastodon, Minus the Bear, KEN Mode).
"The recording process was so painless, it kinda baffled me a bit," says Abbate. "I kinda wondered when something would go wrong, when am I going to get upset in this process? Because usually I do."
The band came to Bayles after agreeing to challenge themselves and focus more on songwriting for Rose Mountain, bringing in big '70s rock riffs, singable choruses and, most noticeably, making space for Paternoster's vocals to be front and centre. All of this has helped produce their most accessible album yet, while keeping true to a darkly emotive punk sensibility.
For Paternoster, who wrote a number of the songs while sick with mono a couple years ago, Rose Mountain represents a new intimacy in her songwriting — "I used to mire my lyrics in abstraction," she says — and a new outlet to help the band hit the road and tear the songs apart live. The idea of "making it" on one album is not something she says she's ever entertained.
"I guess [overnight success] still happens to bands, but it's so few and far between," she says. "I hope we have a great influx of people coming to see us play. All of the other stuff is kinda inconsequential — getting written about, getting photos taken. I just wanna play for more people and have them hear our records. That's what's important."
You can catch Screaming Females on tour in Canada on April 8 in Montreal, April 9 in Ottawa and April 10 in Toronto. You can also see all their upcoming dates here.