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January 21, 2016

Adelaide first stop on Sleater Kinney’s tour itinerary

After a 10-year hiatus, Sleater-Kinney are back and as brash as ever. CityMag spoke with drummer Janet Weiss ahead of their upcoming Australian tour, which kicks off in Adelaide.

  • Words: Johnny von Einem

Despite being a band born in the ’90s during the later stages of the Riot Grrrl movement, there is something singular about Sleater-Kinney.


Sleater-Kinney will be playing HQ on March as part of the Adelaide Fringe, and you can find tickets here.

“The music really just starts with us in a room. It has never really felt like much of a reflection of the music scene we were around, besides the very early days,” drummer Janet Weiss says.

“I feel like what we do is just sort of awkward and unique and no matter how much we would try to steer it in a certain direction, it just sort of sounds like Sleater-Kinney.”

With the band reuniting last year after a 10-year hiatus, it was important for the trio to avoid falling into the trap of nostalgia.

“We wanted to create something for the three of us that felt very current and very vital and push ourselves to make something that sounded urgent and angular and sort of uncomfortable,” Janet explains.

“We were trying to make something that really challenged us as people.”

The result was No Cities to Love, an album as youthful and energetic as any of their earlier work, but with the maturity of sound that comes from a band coming back with purpose.

“We had no reason to record until we felt like we had a very strong record to go in there with,” Janet says.

“We just kept working and editing and being real hard on ourselves to make sure that we were making the songs as good as they possibly could be.”

One year on from the release of No Cities to Love and the band have toured through the States and Europe, and what’s been a pleasant surprise, Janet says, is the number of new young fans turning up at Sleater-Kinney shows, hopefully hinting at the longevity the recently rekindled group might have.

Whether there’s another album to come in the future, Janet can’t say; the band are “in the moment currently,” but there’s still plenty to look forward to as they head to our shores this March during Fringe season.

“Expect a lot of new material, and we’ll pepper that with old material as well, [but] better not to expect. Better to just come in and be open,” Janet says.

“I’ve been to Australia with many different band and people are always so great and so appreciative and love music, and, you know, it seems like a much more well adjusted place than America,” she laughs.

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