After signing to a label, the Brooklyn-based feminist punk trio is getting ready to release a new EP.
THICK members Nikki Sisti and Shari Page met on Craigslist. It was 2013 or 2014, and Nikki had posted an ad looking for a drummer who shared her and another friend’s love of Blink 182 and FIDLAR. “I randomly saw that ad and thought, ‘This is it,’” Shari said. Kate Black joined the band a few years later, after she heard that Nikki and Shari had lied about opening for Kate’s previous group, Whiskey Bitches (more on this later). By September 2016, the three were playing shows together—with Nikki on guitar, Shari on drums, Black on bass, and all three of them sharing vocal duties. They’ve been spreading their feminist garage punk around Brooklyn and beyond ever since.
The band’s latest EP, Would You Rather, is anchored by lead single “Bleeding,” a playful and perturbed pop-punk ode to menstruation with an unforgettable first verse: “I fuckin’ hate this city / And I wanna quit my job / My body doesn’t fit me / And your tone’s pissing me off.” Now THICK is getting ready to release three new singles as an EP later this month. The band has also signed to a label, though they haven’t shared any details yet.
We recently stopped by THICK’s practice studio in East Williamsburg to discuss their upcoming EP, Nikki’s recent efforts to play in a Blink 182 cover band, and Shari’s abiding love of memes. Read the interview below, and catch THICK at their EP release show at The Glove on March 26.
AdHoc: Where are you all from originally?
Kate Black: We’re all from the New York area.
When did you first meet?
Nikki Sisti: 2013 or 2014.
Shari Page: Like the end of 2014.
Nikki: We met on Craigslist—me and Shari!
I love a good Craigslist meet-up story.
Nikki: It was “Two girls, one drummer.” I was trying to find a [drummer].
Shari: I went on Craigslist that day, and I randomly saw that ad and thought, “This is it.” You just know. I had such a good feeling.
Do you remember what the ad said?
Shari: It was like, “23 and 24, looking to play Blink 182.”
Blink 182 was definitely name-dropped?
Nikki: For sure, and FIDLAR. Like, “You must want to have fun!” I think I said the word “fun” like three times.
So you mostly wanted to play shows?
Nikki: Recording music was the last thing on my mind. It was just playing shows.
Kate: I met them later, when they lied about having a show with my old band. We caught wind of it, and we actually put them on our next bill.
Shari: I had nothing to do with that!
Nikki: We had another bassist before. That fell through, and we wanted Kate to join. Shari planned the whole thing. We planted the seed, because we were afraid of Kate.
Kate: That’s ridiculous!
Shari: I kept running into Kate. I was on a date at Shea Stadium, and Kate was randomly filling in for our friend’s band. And I was like, “Oh, I didn’t know Kate plays in this band!”
Kate: I didn’t!
How long have each of you been in Brooklyn?
Nikki: Seven years.
Kate: Almost nine years.
Shari: Three years, right?
Nikki: She was an Upper East Sider!
But you’ve converted her?
Nikki: You answer one Craigslist ad, and then you move your whole life to Brooklyn!
Shari: I was like, “I need to stop commuting to have fun.”
Were you always called THICK?
Nikki: I was dating somebody—who I also met on Craigslist—and he was like, “You’re so pretty. You’re so thic.” I had never heard that word before. This was before [the term] “thic” was [popular].
Shari: We’re still not popular!
Nikki: The word “thic,” T-H-I-C.
Am I right that you signed to a label?
Kate: Yes, but we can’t officially announce that yet.
How did you guys get connected?
Nikki: It’s crazy! We played a show at Rough Trade with Diarrhea Planet two years ago, and someone at the show wrote about it in Stereogum. Right after that article was posted, [the label] hit us up! I think the article was posted in February, then we played SXSW in March.
Kate: They came to our show at SXSW.
Nikki: We played a terrible show.
Kate: But they loved us anyway!
Are you going to SXSW year?
Kate: No, since we aren’t releasing anything. Well, we’re releasing something right after SXSW this year. We’ve been in a writing hole.
Is one of you a primary writer?
Nikki: I started a lot of the older songs, but now one of us will come in with one idea, and we all collaborate. [With] our newest song, I came in with one lyric and a riff, and then they changed everything.
Kate: We ripped it up.
Nikki: Shari comes up with the “oohs,” and Kate comes up with the choruses and the progression changes.
Kate: It’s fun. [The songs] morph, and then by the end, we’re like, “Wow, this is everyone.”
Nikki: We all have our own style. I have really cutesy songs that are Nikki songs, and Kate has really dark, sad songs.
Kate: Nikki sent me an old Julie Ruin song today that I loved. I was like, “This sounds like a Nikki song.”
Have you ever done covers?
Nikki: Blink 182!
Shari: We would cover “Man Overboard.”
Nikki: And “Dammit.”
Kate: I’m the weak link, cause I don’t know how to play any of those songs.
Nikki: She hates Blink 182.
Kate: I don’t hate Blink 182! I just don’t love Blink 182.
Nikki: We don’t really do covers, cause I like playing our songs.
Kate: I don’t want to play someone’s song that’s better than our songs!
Nikki: I saw this Craigslist ad recently…
That seems like a theme.
Nikki: There was [an ad] looking for a Blink 182 cover band for a 30th birthday party, and I replied! I sent all these videos, and was like, “I did Blink 182 covers at [a] Halloween [party], I’m in this band, I love Blink 182.”
Shari: I should have done that for my birthday!
Nikki: But no one responded! I didn’t get a “Can you lower your rate?” Cause I may have done that for free.
Shari: Like, I’ll pay you.
Nikki: Yes, I’ll pay you if I can play the 30th birthday party! But no response. They just cold-turkeyed me.
What are you listening to these days? And does winter influence that?
Nikki: Today I was listening to Arcade Fire.
Shari: Neon Bible?
Nikki: No, Funeral.
Shari: I was obsessed with them in high school and college.
Kate: PAWS just put out a new single, which is cool because I remember hearing them play that live and liking that song a lot.
Nikki: My winter artist is Told Slant. I love them so much. They’re heartbreaking. I’ve actually listened to them from Summer into Winter. One day it was rainy and cold, and I was like, “You understand me.”
Shari: My music taste is all over the place right now. It’s not seasonal at all—it’s just completely random. Right now, I’m really into this R&B artist Jorja Smith.
Are you ever surprised by something one of you is listening to?
Shari: I surprise myself sometimes.
Kate: Shari… only because it’s so random. It’s like dad rock and then Japanese pop.
Shari: This Japanese band CHAI.
We just interviewed them!
Shari: Are you serious? They’re so good!
Are you guys in touch when you’re not together?
Kate: CONSTANTLY! I’ll walk away from my phone for like an hour, and I’ll come back and have like 105 text messages.
Nikki: Shari sends us memes all day!
Kate: That usually comes in Instagram.
Nikki: And we email! Texting is more urgent. Instagram is all Shari. Out of 10 [memes from Shari], I would say three are funny.
Shari: I think the ones I make are [better] than the ones I find on Instagram.
Nikki: That’s a new thing. She just started.
Shari: It’s 24 hours a day for me. I wake up at 5:45AM for work, go on Instagram, and send memes out.
What’s a classic Shari meme?
Nikki: What’s your style, Shari?
Shari: I like all types.
Nikki: Sometimes they’re dogs.
Kate: I like the dogs.
Shari: A lot of times it’s a dog or cat doing something random.
Nikki: Shari’s gotten really into sharing that one page of bad bands performing. What are they called? The Catatonic something?
Shari: There’s this amazing Instagram page of really weird, old band performances of, like, Stain at a bar.
Nikki: All this weird stuff like Catatonic Youth [and] Simple Creatures. This is all Shari. “gaybestfriend.” A lot of Mark Hoppus.
Kate: So much Mark Hoppus.
Shari: The other day I started crying, because someone was about to dive off a diving board and someone walked by and blocked the shot.
That made you cry?
Shari: Yeah—I thought that was so funny! Someone was filming their friend about to dive off a diving board, and then someone walked by, and you just missed the person diving. And I thought that was the funniest thing ever.
You have a few singles coming out soon.
Nikki: There’s a brand new one, [“Green Eyes.”]
Kate: It’s probably the most epic THICK song.
Shari: It’s very pop-punk, but not.
Nikki: It’s chill. I can listen to it and not be annoyed.
Kate: This one’s cool. It’s a little bit of a departure, especially production-wise, because we do a lot of vocal layers.
Shari: On these new recordings, it’s all about the tones and layering.
Kate: “Shari and the Snare Tones!” That should be the name of something.
Shari: I’ve never been happy with my snare tones.
Nikki: We’re [also releasing] “Your Mom.”
Kate: We basically just shout a lot, and it feels really good. It’s about the all things that your mom, AKA society, decides that you should do.
Nikki: I love that one. It’s so much fun to play.
Shari: All the songs sound completely different.
Nikki: One’s dance-y, one’s really punk, one’s more… indie? Chill? Dream pop? Whatever you want to call it.
Kate: Add 15 adjectives.
Any plans for an album?
Kate: Yes, we’re doing one!
Nikki: We’re doing it this year! We don’t know when.
Have you met with the label in person?
Nikki: Yes. They’re so nice. I feel like they’re the perfect label for us.
Shari: It feels like a movie! You get a tour of the office and there are dogs running around.
Kate: Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that the guitarist of the band that got me into punk music [would be] sitting in [a] room [with me], being like, “So, we really want to make sure that this label is artist-centric, because it’s started by an artist.” Are you seriously pitching me your label? What dream world am I living in?
Nikki: We’re ideally going to release [the album] before the end of the year.
Would you guys ever consider moving somewhere else?
Nikki, Kate, and Shari: Yes!
Kate: West Coast!
Shari: I want nicer weather.
Nikki: I’m not against it.
Kate: If we’re going to tour more, there’s no reason to pay rent here.
Nikki: We’ll figure that out when the time comes. At first, even six months ago, I [was] like, “I’m not leaving New York.”
Kate: [We’ve all spent] pretty much our whole lives here.
Shari: I’m sick of the winter.
Kate: That’s cause you’re from Utiqa.
So maybe the West Coast?
Kate: Maybe. Somewhere where I can have a nice little space and a nice little life.
Nikki: I couldn’t imagine slowing down. I feel like I’d get so bored.
Kate: For me it would be a tradeoff. I [want to] spend more of my time doing this, versus sitting at a desk and wishing I had more time to tour.
3/26 – The Glove (Brooklyn) – THICK EP release! With a special guest and Grim Streaker
4/12 – Century Bar (Philadelphia) – THICK, LUNCH
4/19 – Bovine Sex Club (Toronto) – Gymshorts, THICK, Bad Waitress, The Mightabind
4/20 – Sugar City (Buffalo) – THICK, Bad Waitress