There are few things like a Sharkmuffin show. The badass Brooklyn-based duo takes the stage with as much strength as style, captivating audiences with their energetic dance moves and glam-grunge sound.
Started by Jersey shore natives Tarra Thiessen (guitar/vox) and Natalie Kirch (bass/vox), they’re joined by Drew Adler (drums) and Chris Nunez (guitar), giving the ever-rotating cast a fuller sound than ever before. And with their sophomore LP, Tsuki, released earlier this month, Sharkmuffin is, ahem, hungry.
Currently touring their way through the UK in bathing suits, jean shorts and motorcycle boots, we caught up with Thiessen and Kirch to talk about their grunge-inspired style, on and off the stage.
Paste: Tell us a little bit about your style and how it influences you and your performance on stage.
Tarra Thiessen: On tour, I’ve been wearing these motorcycle boots my dad got me one Thanksgiving in WI every day and I’ve been painting them different colors. In March, I used my leftover silver house paint on portions of them, which chipped off over the course of the tour. For this May U.K. tour, I spray painted the front of them gold, partially because my dad was really excited about my birthday at the end of March being my ‘golden birthday’ since I turned 27 on the 27th.
Now that we have an extra guitar player, I spend about half the set dancing and interacting with the crowd, so wearing boots helps me from slipping when I jump around or my feet from getting trampled when everyone starts moving/moshing.
Natalie Kirch: I don’t really think my style influences my stage performance much. However, when Tarra and I first started playing together I sometimes wore platforms as a joke to lessen the height division! Now I embrace just go for comfort, so that allows more mobility on stage. I also generally have my hair loose, so I guess that gives off a certain “aesthetic” during performances.
Paste: What do you think makes up an ideal stage outfit?
Thiessen: All black, like Johnny Cash.
Kirch: Something you can run and jump around in.
Paste: How would you say your on-stage style differs from your off-stage style?
Thiessen: I don’t wear much make-up on a daily basis, but on stage, I occasionally dab discount store glitter on top of my lipstick or wear metallic temporary tattoos on my face for fun.
Kirch: My stage outfits are pretty much what I wear on a normal basis except that I wear a lot of crazy lipstick colors when I otherwise usually go for classic red or no make up at all.
Paste: What’s your go to summer outfit?
Thiessen: A one piece bathing suit with my high waisted pentacle jean shorts I got when we played at Warped Tour. Pentacle Pants every day!
Kirch: I generally like to have bathing suit underneath my clothing or handy most of the time, too. I like to wear 1940s-style one pieces.
Paste: Are there any specific artists who have influenced your style?
Thiessen: The dada artist and poet Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven would make her own outfits out of bird cages and cans and paint different articles of clothing, I read one story that she may have been the first person to paint her nails in the early 1900s. Also old photos of my favorite writer Anais Nin, I really like her collared long sleeve shirts from the 1940s. Whoever did the costumes for Barbarella Queen of the Galaxy, I’ve always wanted to have more casual versions of those outfits.
Kirch: I suppose the grunge era has influenced me by default as I like comfortable, big sweaters and often let my roots grow out.
Paste: Any favorite places to shop or find one of a kind wardrobe pieces?
Thiessen: When we went to Cyber Dog at Camden Market in London, Nat and I found these crazy space age dresses we really want to buy at the end of tour if we can afford them!
Kirch: Beacon’s closet. Pinky Otto.
Paste: Do you have any beauty essentials?
Thiessen: Discount store glitter and metallic temporary tattoos.
Kirch: Floss. I like to keep a clean smile.
Paste: If you had to sum up your personal style in three words, what would they be?
Thiessen: Glitter, lace and leather.
Kirch: Neon-on-black (is that an ok answer?!)