Hardcore provocateurs Sharptooth have made a splash in the genre recently. Led by incendiary vocalist Lauren Kashan, Sharptooth have earned a reputation up and down the east coast for their fierce political message and chaotic live shows. Recently signed to Pure Noise Records, the quintet are taking aim at President Donald Trump with their latest song, “Fuck You Donald Trump,” streaming exclusively below. Decibel spoke to Kashan about their recent signing, new album Clever Girl and why Sharptooth wrote a song calling the president out.
For a lot of people, hardcore or metal shows are the only place where they feel like they can be and express themselves. I want to work to help cultivate a culture where EVERYONE feels that their stories are being told and their voices are being heard. As a writer and a vocalist, I can only speak on what I know and have personally experienced. Some of that experience includes sexism, antisemitism, homophobia, sexual violence, mental illness and privilege. And there’s many other people out there who can relate to those experiences as well. So I think it’s important to be talking about all of these things in the shows and community that means so much to so many of us. At the end of the day, I’m one person and I can never speak for all women, or all Jewish people, or all bi people; we’re all diverse and unique individuals. So our goal is for Sharptooth to be a megaphone to help to amplify some of those experiences and feelings that happen to be shared by many marginalized people.
Sharptooth have also earned a reputation for your live performance. What is a live Sharptooth show like?
Explosive, highly physical, and chaotic, and balanced with a lot of honest, straight from the heart talk. I talk a lot at our shows, as I almost consider a Sharptooth show to be a sort of rally. I use our sets as an opportunity to connect the audience with our messages, regardless of whether you like heavy music or understand the lyrics or whatnot. I truly feel like there’s something for everyone at our shows. And what I get into depends on what’s going on in my life personally and what’s happening in the world at large. But it’s super interactive, the audience is definitely part of the show, and we consider the room our playground. Some shows it’s me crawling on the floor and climbing balconies; at our last show it was the crowd flipping merch tables. Expect the unexpected.
Your new album, Clever Girl, will be released via Pure Noise at the end of October. Are you nervous about putting a record out on the same label that houses current hardcore/metalcore leaders like Knocked Loose, Counterparts, Stick to Your Guns and Terror?
I’m not so much nervous per se, but I know I speak for all of Sharptooth in saying that we are incredibly humbled and honored. These bands are some of my biggest influences as an artist, and I’ve been going to their shows and listening to their music for almost a decade. So it’s incredibly rewarding and humbling to be sharing a label with them. It just further impresses my feeling of really wanting to do right by Pure Noise and these artists and continue to uphold their great reputation.
The song we’re premiering today is called “Fuck You Donald Trump.” Was there one specific incident that caused you to write this, or is it more of a general anthem to people feeling attacked by the Trump administration?
It’s definitely more of a general anthem against the administration, but I know that many of us as individuals have observed specific things that Trump has done that affected us each differently. For me personally, the thing that impacted me the most was all of the sexual assault allegations against him and the flippancy with which his comments against women have been treated by his administration and the people who voted for him. This man was accused of raping his wife and literally joked about grabbing women “by the pussy.” As a survivor of multiple incidents of sexual violence, THAT personally hurt me the most. That the “leader of the free world” thinks that sexual violence is a joke. Every time I see his face, it’s a reminder of rape. There’s thousands of other heinous transgressions that this administration has committed, against pretty much every single demographic imaginable. Against Jews, people of color, Mexicans, transgender people, poor people, people with disabilities; this is someone who has either attacked, slandered or ignored the needs of pretty much EVERY single marginalized group in this country. And we’re not okay with that. At all.