Just when you thought it was okay to the go back in the water and a enjoy a chill day on the shores; Brooklyn's Sharkmuffin summons the sea sirens of the sci-fi and surreal in their Coney Island beach creature confrontations in the Double Headed Monster directed video debut of, "Mermaid Sex Slave". Fresh from their She-Gods of Champagne Valley EP, Tara Thiessen and gals bust up the boardwalks for out of this world adventures off the Eastern coast with lifeforms of the alien and familiar.
The signs of sirens and debutantes of danger are written in the sand, as Sharkmuffin shreds through a song about the tentacled creatures of the deep. The sun shines overhead as the ocean waves crash in rounds as the multi-armed monster rises from the blue bowels of the Atlantic. Not even H.P. Lovecraft and a million other Cthulhu calls could imagine the pop-rock horror and transformations to come. Beach goers beware, lock up your wayward daughters as the terror from 10,000 leagues deep returns to ravage the bodies and minds of beauties enslaved with a zombie like modus operandi.
Frontwoman Tara Thiessen talked with us about the video's NSFW evolutions, the decoded meanings from their recent She-Gods of the Champagne Valley EP, the viticulturist virtues of French bubbly, riot grrrl power, grindhouse flicks and more.
What is the attraction with sea form motifs, like today's debut of the "Mermaid Sex Slave" video?
We just really like going to the beach. In July we all went to the Rockaways and were taught how to surf by the dude who recorded She-Gods. Also, Natalie's family had a beautiful beach house down at the Jersey shore that they had owned since the 70s, which was sadly lost at sea during Hurricane Sandy. We spent a lot of time jamming there last summer shortly after we started the band.
I have always personally been attracted to sea motifs. I grew up in a small town at the Jersey shore, was an only child, and my parents would just leave me to wander the beach by myself for hours as they sat around reading magazines. I didn't really have the best home life either, so I felt really at peace in the water. It sounds wacky but I sincerely thought I was a mermaid until an embarrassingly old/early adolescent age because of all the day dreaming I had done. I was positive I could control the Atlantic ocean with my mind.
We typically think of benign sirens out of a Hans Christian-Andersen book, what brought out the more Bram Stoker-Marquis de Sade characteristics of the mermaid in your song/video?
We were more inspired by the original Greek mythological version of a siren from Homer's Odyssey. I was always obsessed with the idea of mermaids singing sailors to ship wreck (even though the sirens in the Odyssey were actually half bird/half woman). I also always fantasized that they would have sex with them and eat them, like tarantulas. I don't really know where that came from, but it just makes sense to me.
If you listen to the lyrics, it's actually a story about sea monster stockholm syndrome. A girl who gets turned into a mermaid by a sea monster is pulled into his "watery grave" to become his sex slave. Then she ends up falling in love with him ("Tentacles replaced the normal after taste/Though it was just as salty/As the sea floor/Suddenly I was begging for more/Loved every gill on his face"). It's also poking fun at tentacle porn, which I think is hilarious. The first video I made for this track everyone thought was "too rapey," because I sync'd the intro scene of some tentacle porno to the song. You can watch that here, if you don't mind tits and asses.
The new version of the video can sort of be seen as a continuation of the story explained by the lyrics- after she got sick of her evil sea monster lover, she escaped and was then able to make other women and men her sex slaves. But once she got sick of them, she would murder them and eat them for fun. Maybe she has some post-traumatic-kidnapped-victim issues. Maybe she was just bored.
How would you describe your recent EP, She-Gods of Champagne Valley, and are you in fact creating your own rebel, rogue, riot grrrrl faction to take on the West Coast bourgeoisie of the Napa Valley?
I would describe the EP as a collection of simple garage tracks that lyrically are similar to B-move story lines. 'Sleeping Alone' is like that time you prematurely ejaculated all over the baby-sitter while your wife was out of town, 'Femebot' illustrates how heroin turns nice girls into homicidal robots, 'Mermaid Sex Slave,' as I said before, is a soft-core sexploitation scene of twisted sea monster Stockholm syndrome, 'Sister' describes that awkward moment when the artist formerly known as Prince fucked his sister and 'Shit Talk' is a weekend of skinny-dipping with your girlfriends after you dumped some loser.
The title She-Gods of Champagne Valley comes from the god awful movie 'She-Gods of Shark Reef,' and when we recorded all these songs last summer I went broke from a costly post-college Champagne binge. We have no interest on taking on the Napa Valley of the West Coast, because they only make sparkling wine there and we only drink the finest sparkling wine produced from grapes grown in the Champagne region of France. Regardless, there are much more important things in this world to create rebel, rogue, riot grrrrl factions to take on. But you should go ask Pussy Riot about that, because here in Brooklyn, we're watching grind house flicks while splurging the rest of our cash on fine wines.
Sharkmuffin's She-Gods of Champagagne Valley is available now via Bandcamp.