Photo by Angel Ceballos
All signs—crop tops, fanny packs, JNCOS—point towards the 90s making a truly all-consuming, inescapable comeback. But good luck raiding your local thrift store for high-waisted acid-washed pencil skirts or color-blocked windbreakers, because the ladies of Chastity Belt already own ‘em all.
Fortunately, the only thing this post-punk outfit has in common with the 90s, aside from their, well, outfits, is perms. The Seattle foursome—who very clearly grew up listening to riot grrl records on repeat—play a nostalgia-drenched, lo-fi kind of rock that you could imagine coming straight from your next-door neighbor’s garage—if your next-door neighbors had a record deal and one of the most talked-about debut records of the year, and a summer tour that’s taking them all around America.
Before the band kicks things off in Seattle next week, we stole a second with frontwoman Julia Shapiro to find out what she’ll be packing for a few months on the road. Spoiller: It’s exactly what you’d expect from a band named after an archaic mode of birth control who sings a song called “Cool Slut.” (In other words, it’s awesome.) "I don't really see any overlap between our style and our sound,” Shapiro said. “I think our sound is pretty cool, but, as you can see, we unfortunately have a horrible taste in everything un-music-related." Clearly she’s not giving the band enough credit. Those sport-bro sunglasses are something else. See what we mean…?
“I forced everyone in my band to buy bucket hats when we were in Venice Beach last year, and since then the bucket hat has become a tour staple. They're great for any kind of weather, rain or shine. Plus they make you look extremely cool.”
“We all picked up matching sunglasses at this spring break-themed store in San Antonio, TX on our last tour. They're super practical for long sunny car drives. They hug your face so tightly your eyes sweat. I saw at least 20 middle-aged men sporting these same glasses at SXSW this year. If you want to be a style icon, purchase sunglasses like these.”
“Our friend Jenn Ghetto (from the band S) recently gave us a selfie stick, and it's the best present we've ever received. I tend to like the worst things, so the selfie stick totally fits into my collection of horrible items. It's really great for band pics when you don't want to get a stranger involved in taking your photo.”
“We filmed the video for "Cool Slut" on this cheap little handheld video camera. It's perfect for tour confessionals. Stay tuned for a tour diary... the camera doesn't lie.”
“This sort of goes along with our love for selfies. Duck face is the only appropriate face to make when taking a selfie. If you're taking a selfie and you make any other face, you're doing it wrong. There are a lot of different kinds of duck face, from subtle to fully protruding lip. I recommend looking in the mirror and finding the least flattering duck face you can make, then ruining every picture with that horrible face.”
Casey Lewis is on Twitter - @caseymlewis.