PHOTOS: BRAD ELTERMAN
Sloppy Jane is not the feminine version of the low calorie sandwich that you can buy in a small town in Pensylvania, but rather the name of the most prolific, teen, punk rock group on the scene of Los Angeles. Lead singer Haley Dahl talks about the beginnings of the group in high school.
Brad Elterman, photographer of the stars, took these spectacular photos 20 years later in the entry of the house of Cherry Currie (The Runaways)
“From a very early age I have had a really intense affinity and respect for female musicians. I worshipped Mama Cass Elliott at age 8, Avril Lavigne at age 10, Fiona Apple at age 12, Courtney Love at age 14, and Amanda Palmer at age 16. And whether or not any of these artists directly influence what I write is arguable, but I know each and every one of them played a very strong role in my desire to become a musician, and I have two main reasons for wanting the musical endeavors I participate in to be primarily women. One, is that every single woman mentioned above, regardless of the quality of the work the creat(ed), have been chastised for things that male musicians are never scrutinized for. The second frustration that arose later on once we had started playing, was being told that we had a “Hole/Runaways/Bikini Kill-type girl rock sound”….think about that for a second…the only thing that makes those bands alike is the fact that they have young women in them that don’t necessarily fall within the cookie-cutter stereotype of what society’s standards for women are.
I met Imogen, our drummer, in early 2011 while searching for people to play with and we clicked musically pretty immediately. (although, Imogen is really quiet so I initially thought that she didn’t like me very much as a person because I thought she was way too cool for me). We started the band together and have been working with each other ever since, even though we’ve gone through something like 7-10 bassists. Our longest standing bassist was my friend Bobby, and a lot of people incorrectly assume that we kicked him out because we didn’t want guys in the band or something, which is untrue, he just left because he had other priorities. Now my best friend Phoebe plays bass in the band, we’ve known each other since we were on a soccer team together in early highschool, and she has her own music project as well and is super talented so it’s been awesome to get to work with her. We started out mainly playing at venues like The Whisky on Sunset Strip and venues like that, but once we started making connections in the underground scenes we realized that it was more beneficial for us to play shows in downtown and the valley that would involve us in fun, artistic communities and didn’t require us to sell a certain number of tickets to play. There’s a space in Downtown Los Angeles called The LA Fort that I personally have been pretty involved in that we’ve played a number of times recently. We’re hoping to at some point soon take a little tour maybe up to the Bay area, but we’re still trying to figure that one out.
My favorite story to tell about this band was actually from one of our first shows at the Whisky back when we first started playing out. We all came in with our gear and there was some band of rock n roller dudes (their name escapes me) hanging out in the main room. We were setting up our drums behind the stage and stuff and when we finished and got upstairs some nobody middle-aged musician who was playing later in the night said “so you guys are all groupies for that band downstairs? you even set up their stuff, they should pay you!” And I just remember being SO livid that this guy would see girls setting up gear at the Whisky and would assume that they weren’t there to play. So towards the end of our set that night, before playing the last song (Angriest Girl, we close with it every show) I told the entire audience about our following act thinking we were groupies and dedicated the song to him, and that started the tradition of always dedicating ‘Angriest Girl’ to something that pissed me off that day or week. He also tried to hit on Imogen later that night and I ran up to him, and was all messed up-looking from being on stage and had bare feet (because my shoes were hurting me) and he was like a foot taller than me and I was just like, screaming at this dude telling him to fuck off. It was the first time I’d really forced a dude who was objectifying female musicians to confront the fact that we’re human beings, and I never really stopped”