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When I was a teenager THICK would have been my favorite band just as much as they’re one of my favorite band’s today. This makes double sense after finding that their debut record 5 Years Behind, released on Epitaph Records in early March, is an ode to accepting yourself and whatever phase of life you’re in no matter what your age is. The songs are relatable power pop anthems ranging from politically charged topics to all your mother’s concerns about your current lifestyle.
THICK (comprised of Nikki Sisti, Shari Page and Kate Black) has been a staple in Brooklyn’s music scene since their inception in 2014, landing on Oh My Rockness’ Hardest Working Bands list multiple years in a row. Their live show is energetic and has an inviting vibe that makes you happy just to be there. After releasing three music videos leading up to the release, the pandemic unfortunately curtailed their spring touring plans in support of their highly anticipated debut. Those dates will be rescheduled, but until you can see them again in person, you can catch them this Sunday on May 10th at 8pm via The Noise’s Instagram. We chatted with the ladies of THICK about internet trolls, their quarantine playlists and what venues and other organizations to support during this time.
AF: Your debut record came out on Epitaph Records on March 6th right before the NYC lockdown began. How did the emergency timeline affect the record’s promotion and are you excited for your tour with The Chats and Mean Jeans to be rescheduled?
It was pretty crushing. We planned the release to come out in early March so we could hit the road immediately with dates at SXSW, and we were SO excited to tour with The Chats and Mean Jeans and are really hoping it will be rescheduled.
We dropped the album, then it felt like within the span of a week, everything changed. Everyone is navigating trying to stay healthy and make a living. Before we knew it, SXSW was cancelled, The Chats tour was cancelled… tours for the summer and fall were getting put on hold before they could even be confirmed.
We’re a live band and not being able to tour has definitely had an impact on our ability to promote the album. We’ve had to find creative ways to promote the album, which has been really hard for us, because our process is truly collaborative and we’ve been social distancing from each other. We’ve all had to quickly get better at home recording, figure out the best way to stream live songs, become video editors… everything we’d normally do together has become a lot more complicated and requires a lot more steps.
AF: You filmed three music videos for the 5 Years Behind – do you have any fun behind-the-scenes stories?
We had a blast filming all our videos! Each experience was different. “Bumming Me Out” was a lot of fun – we did the set design ourselves and gathered a bunch of fun props to give it a ’90s bedroom theme. We hung up a bunch of Destiny’s Child and Blink-182 posters. It was so fun going through all our old belongings. Our ’90s/2000s CD and DVD collections are hidden in the video somewhere – it’s weird to think that the stuff we owned growing up is now considered vintage! We didn’t start filming ’til the sun set, so we were up till 4AM getting all the scenes in. Our shirts still smell like whipped cream and it took a few days for the shaving cream smell to wash out of Shari’s hair. It was also amazing to have Kate’s sister, Helen, in the music video – she gave an epic performance.
AF: There are some comments on your “Mansplain” music video that seem to illustrate the point of the video. Did you expect that to happen and how do you feel about the trolls?
We definitely expected some level of backlash. What we didn’t anticipate was that it would be re-posted on an Alt-Right channel. It definitely illustrates the point of the video. There are a lot of people who want to say that mansplaining never happens or that we’re crybabies or whatever, but the criticism isn’t coming from people whose opinions we will ever be able to change. For all the ridiculous comments we got, we had an outpouring of support in our inbox from people who could relate to the experiences and were happy we made that video.
AF: Have you been channeling your energy into any non-musical activities during quarantine?
KB: I’ve been cooking A TON and started a bunch of sewing and arts and crafts projects.
NS: I have been going for long bike rides (staying safe and distancing) as a way to keep sane. I hate being stuck in the house!
SP: I’ve developed a serious Mario Kart addiction!! I’ve been trying to work out every day and watch dance videos on YouTube -which is a new venture for me haha. I also hang out with my cat Billie all day.
AF: What’s been on your quarantine playlists?
KB: My listening habits have been reflecting my mood swings from day to day. In general, I’ve been listening to things that are a little less aggro than my norm: The Beths’ Future Me Hates Me, Fontaines D.C. and anything by Marked Men are all regulars in my apartment.
NS: I have been listening to a lot of my playlists on Spotify. This quarantine has increased my anxiety and I become a very indecisive person when I am anxious, so it’s easy to have my playlist going on in the background without having to specifically choose. I should probably work on that…
SP: I’ve been ordering a lot of records and tapes with my partner. We have been listening to Bowie, Pink Floyd, Sly And The Family Stone, Bill Withers records, etc. I also got Fiona Apple and Radiohead tapes. Right now on Spotfiy, I’m listening to Os Mutantes and Harry Styles’ “Adore You” on repeat.
AF: What venues/artists/organizations would you recommend supporting during the lockdown?
NS: Our Wicked Lady has been working with artists a lot during the lockdown, they are running deliveries and you can buy gift cards or donate on their site! Our de facto clubhouse, The Anchored Inn, has a Gofundme going right now. When it comes to musicians you like, go find their bandcamp page! Everyone could use the help right now. There are also a lot of organizations that are helping unemployed artists and others focused on getting health workers get protective gear and loan forgiveness. Everyone should pick whatever is closest to their heart because every little bit helps while we all struggle through this time.
AF: What’s your livestream set-up like and what can we expect from your performance on Sunday?
NS: Since we’re still in lockdown, we’re streaming from our individual apartments and that creates some challenges. Everything we’ve been doing has been pretty stripped down, since we don’t have the gear to properly mic drums, etc. Since Instagram Live also only lets two people on at a time, we have to rotate to answer questions!
RSVP HERE for THICK 5/10 via The Noise’s Instagram 6pm EST w/ Q&A @ 8.
More great live sets this week…
5/9 Erykah Badu, Jill Scott via Instagram. 7pm est, RSVP HERE
5/11 Billy Joel, Mariah Carey, Bon Jovi + more via Robin Hood Benefit on CNBC. 7pm est, RSVP HERE
5/13 St. Vincent, Brooklyn Youth Chorus, Cate Blanchett + more via BAM Virtual Gala. 8pm est, RSVP HERE
5/13 Krill, Horse Jumper of Love, Anna Altman & more via Twitch. Great Scoot staff benefit, RSVP HERE