Thelma and the Squeeze
Once in awhile a band comes along that you can’t help but notice. Maybe because it’s because the music is so piston-pounding, soul-screeching, in-your-face that looking away might incite a riot or a chemical implosion.
Thelma and the Sleaze is that kind of band. These chicks rock that hard.
The girls from Nashville, Tennessee, take no prisoners Thursday, February 12 at the Hangar 9. Also taking the stage that night will be locals Secondary Modern and Scifislands.
Thelma and the Sleaze features a self-described “three-piece and a biscuit,” a concoction that has L.G. on vocals and guitar, Chase on drums, Baby Angel on the boom stick, and Gigi “Thunder Stick” Gallagher on bass. The band recently released Heart Like a Fist, which a She Shreds magazine review called “dark and scary and graceful.”
For more information, check out the band’s Bandcamp profile, which features tracks from a live best-of album.
Nightlife recently heard stories from Chase about gearing up for the band’s first album, getting in trouble with the law, gender equity in rock ‘n’ roll, and striving for the forever tour.
Nightlife: How did you all meet and start?
Chase: Backyard wrestling and tequila.
NL: What have you been working on lately?
Chase: We’re working on a ton of new material and getting ready to record our first full-length at our friend Dave’s studio in Joshua Tree this May. We’re stoked because Dave is a pro with lots of pro gear. L.G. has also been real busy booking another forever tour. We went out for five months last year. Ready again!
All our influences at the same time: Leon Russell, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Blackfoot, Sabbath, Jucifer, and our favorite food, biscuits and gravy.
NL: I have to say I have had a lot of fun looking up articles about your band and some of the back stories you have— the pastor selling you a van before leaving town, the section on your live album about Wynonna Judd’s margarita, and so many others. What are some other crazy or weird things that have happened to you either on tour or on stage?
Chase: GiGi and I were detained at a Rite Aid in Salt Lake City, Utah, because the cops thought [we] were trafficking humans. True story. Literal police words.
NL: What can a person expect at a Thelma and the Sleaze show?
Chase: To feel sexy and scared at the same time. Witty banter and anecdotes about butt play. A thorough sonic and visual lashing.
NL: You’ve mentioned rock influences like Thin Lizzy and Sabbath but have also said you’ve been drawn to blues tunes as well. How do those different genres help mold your sound?
Chase: Now that we’ve added a second guitar and an extra stack of amps, our sound has all the double-guitar Thin Lizzy shimmer magic and bottom-heavy Sabbath thickness you could cream about— but if it was all stripped down its core, it’s magma would be fueled by the eternally burning spirits of our divine blues mothers: Memphis Minnie, Bessie Smith, Elizabeth Cotten, and Sister Rosetta Tharpe. Amen.
NL: What is your take on women in rock music today?
Chase: Thanks to the internet and our favorite magazines Tom Tom and She Shreds, there’s a lot of highly visible platforms for girls to get recognized beyond the wayyyy outdated novelty of playing rock ‘n’ roll music while simultaneously having a vagina. You can thank Sister Rosetta Tharpe sixty years ago for that— Elvis did.
There’s a lot of great female rock ‘n’ roll bands today. A lot of great male ones, too. We’re all rock ‘n’ roll bands.
NL: What is something that you would like to accomplish with this band?
Chase: Go to Europe. Tour forever. Open for ZZ Top. Make fifty records. Meet our hero, the [professional] wrestler Chyna.