1) Tell us something about yourselves that your fans may not know.
A: Out of all the aspects of “music industry life,” right now we love the video element the most. We enjoy the whole process - starting with the first brainstorm of ideas, writing the story, designing the set & costumes, interacting with the camera, and going through the footage to find the most magical moments. All. Of. It. Makers Mark was our first music video, and it was an absolutely transcendent experience. Turns out, we are sluts for production ;)
2) How did you guys come up with the stage name Copyslut?
A: In true Copyslut fashion, we saw two strippers on Instagram with matching purple butterfly shoes with the #copysluts. As we had been bouncing different names around this one seemed to stick in more ways than one. It captured our energy, origin story, and philosophies. We have always loved twinning and coordinated costumes. Our band started playing covers at shows before writing original music. Part of our ethos is honoring our influences, where we’ve come from, and paying homage to the music that has made our music possible. Since nothing is written in a vacuum, what does it really mean to be original? The question is not “if you are copying” it is “who are you copying?” And then there’s the slut part. We are sex positive queers who believe in the radical healing of pleasure. We want to create worlds that shake shame and encourage people to feel into and find their yummy.
3) How did you guys come together and form Copyslut?
A: We came together over our shared love of karaoke, which then turned into jamming together as friends, and that morphed into playing shows. Starting as a pleasure project, it quickly turned into a healing project and grew into a collective of artists. When we noticed the reception we were getting, and the kinds of messages we were receiving from the universe at the time, we started to feel in our bodies that what we had to say what was important. Others in our communities wanted to hear it. Now Copyslut has become one of the stars that make up a beautiful constellation of bad ass artists, writers, musicians, activists, and dreamers who are coming out of the Oakland/ SF/ Bay Area.
4) Who are your biggest inspirations in music? How have they influenced your music in any way if so?
A: Our musical influences are incredibly wide ranging. Eli (bassist) is a highly skilled jazz saxophonist, Chatz is a musical theater buff, and Ray likes crunchy metal riffs. All of these influences combine in unexpected ways, and truly contribute to our genre fluidity. Though if we had to name our biggest Copyslut influence, we would have to name Queen, as we played a Queen cover set for our first show.
5) You guys recently released "The Offering". How did this song come about?
A: Fun Fact: The Offering is the first original song that we wrote in Copyslut. Its sonic beginnings started as the simple polka like riff you hear in the verses, which is a blended homage to the music of Devotchka and “Mama” by My Chemical Romance. The theme of the song was born from Chatz’s earnest desire to explore and heal after violence she’s experienced with another sex worker. Outside oppression and internalized stigma can sometimes break us - even for a moment. How do we come back? How do heal with each other when we have hurt each other? This song explores restorative justice and transformative healing. We intend to show the deep healing that is possible when we are able to reject the carceral state logics of victim/abuser binaries.
6) You are releasing a very special video / cover of "Santa Baby" on 12/17 to honor the 16th annual International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers. Can you tell us about the making of the video and why you've chosen to pay tribute?
A: Chatz: I always honor D17, International Day To End Violence Against Sex Workers, whether it’s reading the names with my work wife at home, in a small gathering at someone’s place, at a public vigil in a park, or at life affirming dance parties and art shows at community centers. It is a very complicated time for me. I am sad, I am angry, I am also happy to see my friends and chosen family. I love how we all pile up together, feed each other and hold each other. The holidays are often a hard time of year for me and those I am close to. Sex workers use the internet not only to work more safely, but to connect with other sex workers and feel less lonely. We were inspired to make the video with our fellow sex workers and allies because we wanted to nurture our online community. We wanted people to have the option of connecting with others even if they didn’t live in a place with a gathering. We wanted people to be able to stay in for their own self care but still have a small ritual they could participate in communally if they wanted to.The increase in censorship and loss of access to many online tools after the passing of the online internet laws SESTA/FOSTA (Stop Enabling Sex Trafficking Act / Fight Online Trafficking Act) takes a toll on our community’s safety, ability to sustain ourselves, mental health, and connection.
7) How has leading the LGBTQ events in the Bay Area given you guys more of a drive to help the community?
A: I wouldn’t say we are leading the LGBTQ events in the Bay Area - we are simply part of a larger movement. We have spearheaded some amazing benefit shows, and we’ve participated in some powerful political events and benefits. Collaborating with different people and seeing first hand the magic that is possible with our powers combined is so rewarding. The relationships and friendships that we’ve formed is such a gift. It also fuels us to keep going. It helps us pick each other up when we get knocked down or discouraged. Yes, we make music for ourselves, our own healing and a need to express. Yes, it adds depth to our art when we feel connected to other people who feel called to do the same, who overlap in beautiful ways, and give us opportunities to learn from and celebrate each other’s unique experiences.
8) What does Copyslut have planned heading into 2020?
A: We are kicking off the year by releasing our first full length album called “Sex, Death, and Other People’s Money”. We spent most of last year working on it, and we couldn’t be more excited. Our 2020 will revolve around this project: creating music videos, touring the country, and above all, making connections with folks who are doing similar work around healing through pleasure, doing sex worker celebratory art, and making queer love happen.
Instagram - @copyslutband
Twitter - @copyslutband
Spotify - @copyslut