On the heels of a nonstop year of performances that landed them on Oh My Rockness’s list of New York City’s Hardest Working Bands of 2018, Desert Sharks are releasing their first full-length album. Baby’s Gold Death Stadium juxtaposes elements from iconic ‘90s bands Sleater-Kinney, L7, Veruca Salt, and Toadies with Desert Sharks’ own musical history. Named for DIY venues and small stages they’ve regularly played over the years, the album is an edgier, more organic effort from the Brooklyn-based foursome.
Baby’s Gold Death Stadium showcases their guitar-driven brand of grunge-garage punk as a perfect synthesis of their individual talents. Charged by guitarists Stefania Rovera and Sunny Veniero’s fiercely relentless compositions, the LP is grounded by formidable rhythms from drummer Rebecca Fruchter as well as the introspective songwriting style of bassist and lead singer Stephanie Gunther.
The album was recorded at Spice World by Jordan Lovelace. Mixed and Mastered by Jonathan Schenke. In support of Baby’s Gold Death Stadium, Desert Sharks will return to the road in the fall of 2019.
Hear First is Talkhouse’s series of album premieres. Along with streams of upcoming albums — today’s is Desert Sharks’ Baby’s Gold Death Stadium — we publish statements from artists and their peers about the mindsets and impressions that go into, or come out of reflection on, a record. Here, the members of Desert Sharks wrote a special edition of our Three (or in this case, four) Great Things to celebrate the release of their debut album, which you can also listen to right here.
—Annie Fell, Talkhouse Associate Editor
They’re seriously one of the best bands out there; every single thing they release makes our hearts go pitter-patter. A few years back, we recorded with Converse Rubber Tracks (our Sister Cousins EP) and Converse later reached out to us and asked if we would be interested in opening for METZ in Boston at The Sinclair. We of course said YES. At the show we were in this small green room and Converse sent in some reps to film and interview us. Their first question was, “So how do you feel about METZ choosing you to be the opener?” I think all of our jaws dropped. We figured we had just stumbled upon some random stroke of luck getting the offer, but they explained that METZ had chosen us from a group of Rubber Tracks contenders. Talk about feeling honored. The guys were so talented and so kind to us — they even gave us a parting gift of a mostly-full bottle of Jameson that they couldn’t fly back to Canada with. We treasured that “METZ whiskey” for quite a while until we drank it all one night at a band meeting.
If you don’t love Halloween, there’s something wrong with you. Fall colors, apple cider and donuts, ghosts and candy, creepy movies — it’s the perfect recipe for happiness. We take it pretty seriously and are definitely pro-costume, pro-Halloween excursions, pro-Halloween movies, basically Halloween everything. One year we dressed up as skeletons and covered The Misfits. Rebecca makes a yearly pilgrimage to Sleepy Hollow and her favorite movie is Beetlejuice. Stephanie spent a Halloween dressed up as a witch in Salem, MA. Stefania epitomized Billie Eilish before anyone knew who she was. Sunny will seriously debate with you over who makes the best pumpkin ale (Elysian) and pumpkin-spiced coffee (The Rook), and which music makes the best score for the original Nosferatu movie (Type O Negative). It’s the best time of year, hands down.
3. ’90s Freestyle Music
Stephanie and Sunny consistently blast this genre, so everyone is subjected to it. We’re talking windows down, La Bouche wanna-be-my-lover type tunes blasted, dance moves galore. We played it before recording Baby’s Gold Death Stadium to pump us up and it is a definite go-to listen when we’re on tour. We grew up in the ’90s, and yes we love grunge and alternative and all those things, but we also love to dance! It definitely stirs up some nostalgia from our childhoods bringing to mind awkward first crushes and those early experiences grinding with someone on a dance floor. Steph and Sunny love it so much they’re actually going to start DJing a ’90s freestyle night. (If you live in Brooklyn, come out to Old Timers on 10/25 to hear!)
4. Scouting vegetarian-friendly eateries on tour that also appease the meat-eaters
Stefania is the queen of a veg-friendly food search. Really she’s the queen of any kind of search, period. (Yes she’s found your old LiveJournal and now she’s reading your high school poems to us, don’t worry about it.) Neither Sunny nor Stephanie eat meat, and we have some picky eating habits in general (looking at you, Rebecca, with your anti-black pepper stance). Needless to say, finding the right food that will make everyone happy is kind of an ordeal. We spend countless hours on tour searching for that perfect spot, and if all else fails we are completely happy to drive on over to Taco Bell instead. Dear Taco Bell, we love you! Feel free to give us all the free food! We will forever sing your praises!
You can catch Desert Sharks on tour this month:
9/25: Washington, DC — Dwell
9/26: Richmond, VA — Garden Grove Brewing & Winery
9/27: Philadelphia, PA — Kobol
9/28: Brooklyn, NY — The Broadway (LP Release Show)
10/4: Clifton, NJ — Clash Bar
10/5: Philadelphia, PA — Kung Fu Necktie