Shiny Wet Machine — Seventies Punk with a Modern Sneer
Given their past musical history, it’s safe to say that when Sizzy Rocket and Alex Fitts teamed up to form the punk outfit Shiny Wet Machine, it came out of nowhere. Now as they prepare to release their first EP on Tuesday, we can only hope that they decide to stick around.
They say they will.
“I want to do this forever,” said Sizzy, a sentiment shared by her band mate.
“This is a band that I would love to be doing ten years from now,” Fitts said. “Sizzy and I have definitely always been on the same page about that and we’ve always been open about the fact that we are consistently working on other things but that this project is something special to both of us in that it’s something we’re one hundred percent on top of it. This is always going to be something that we rally behind and then we’re free to do other projects.”
Those other projects have put Sizzy and Fitts on the musical map, but whether it’s pop, rock or hip-hop, none of it sounds quite like the raw, grungy, hook-laden assault of SWM. That’s a good thing, and it’s impossible to not be taken in by the first riff of “Stun Gun” or the attitude-rich vocals of Sizzy, who the pop world really doesn’t deserve. She’s a rocker and should be adopted as such. And that’s fine with her.
“I have a cult following of teenage girls and even though my solo project is super pop and we’re definitely gunning for that title, I feel like my persona, my attitude, and my branding and the visuals are very punk,” she said. “So for me to come out with a punk project was almost like, ‘Yeah, that makes a lot of sense.’ At least for my fanbase. And they love the music. They’ve been supporting it. My fans in the UK made their own street campaign. They made flyers and ran around pasting them up illegally, and I was like, ‘Hell yeah!’ So they’re super receptive to it.”
And to think, it almost happened by accident.
“We were going off the cuff,” Fitts said. “We weren’t necessarily trying to do anything. We got together in the studio one day, and over the course of getting to know each other, we talked about our influences. My influences growing up were always a lot of grunge rock and hip-hop, and I had done a lot of hip-hop in my career, but I never really had a chance to do more of a grunge rock thing. And she had all the same influences too, so we just worked on the songs and we thought it was cool so we worked on more, and before we knew it, we had nine, ten songs. We weren’t really trying to do anything, it was all just in the spur of the moment.”
It sounds like it too, with the production on the EP a direct kick to the face of overproduced, ultra-clean music.
“From a producer standpoint, the one thing I didn’t want to do was add a bunch of layers,” Fitts said. “I didn’t want to do anything that wasn’t the core instruments and Sizzy singing. And that’s how we left it. We contemplated going in and working on the songs in a bigger studio, but I just don’t think it makes sense. For the project, it’s supposed to be raw, something that’s very DIY, and I like leaving all the mistakes in there. We didn’t try to fix things, didn’t try to clean things up. We left it the way it was.”
The duo’s first five tracks hit the street Tuesday, and Sizzy promises more soon, as SWM is recording in NYC this week in advance of their EP release show at The Studio at Webster Hall in NYC on Sunday.
“In the spirit of punk, do it, then put it out,” she said, and in the spirit of punk, Sizzy now living in Los Angeles and Fitts originally hailing from Ohio doesn’t stop them from considering this a New York band.
“You can’t take the New York out of a girl, you just can’t,” Sizzy said. “I think our sound and the way that we perform is a throwback to the punk scene here in the 70s. It’s totally New York punk to me.”
“This is where it started,” Fitts adds. “Sizzy moved to LA almost a year ago and it’s kind of cool having her in LA, because it just opens up another city that we can call a home base, but New York is one hundred percent the band’s true home.”
And New York will love Shiny Wet Machine, something that won’t surprise Ms. Rocket.
“We’re true rock and roll fans and we know that those still exist, so once this project clicks with the right people, it’s gonna be absolute mayhem in the best way.”
Shiny Wet Machine plays The Studio at Webster Hall in NYC on Sunday, April 23. For tickets, click here