Mutt is a scrappy animal. Look closely and you can see traces of punk, riot grrrl, grunge and more, but no other dog can bark like this. Formed in 2015, Mutt is an Oakland-based trio, currently featuring singer and guitarist May Black, drummer Chris Maneri, and bassist Juli Sherry. Mutt’s first album, Creature, just came out in March. May and Juli recently answered a few of my questions from the road during a northwest record release tour.
Elka Weber: What are your influences?
May Black: We are constantly introducing each other to new music. I grew up listening to a lot of country music, soft rock, and Broadway musical soundtracks gleefully provided to me by my folks but I also had a brother and sister a decade older… I did not start realizing I wanted to actually be a musician until I heard Cat Power’s album Myra Lee. After that the doors were blown open. I think whenever I approach a song I am still trying to capture that sort of edgy vulnerability.
Queen Crescent is a heavy rock band with psychedelic leanings from Oakland, California. They’re women of color, some of them are queer, and all of them shred. Queen Crescent has a sense of humor, an unapologetic prismatic identity, chops, knowledge, confidence and direction. The guitars are tuned low, and the flute floats over in what feels like a playful counterpunch or call-and-response. Vocals seem to traverse the land between. The ambiguity of the crescent moon itself might reflect conceptually in sonic, layered anthems, which are physically hypnotic to witness live—such music pulses through your body, even if you’re wearing earplugs. I can especially hear this in the band’s vocals, which keep to a low register, even when belting truth before some guitar hooks hit, crashing like waves.
I got the chance to corner Queen Crescent and ask them some questions about their sound, their future, and their recently released video for their new song, “Zodiacal Woman,” which is directed by Doug Avery, with director of photography Ethan Indorf.