Grim Streaker‘s sound is a mix of the snotty, mid-tempo punk of late ’70s New York and London and the fast, abrasive hardcore that emerged in LA and DC in the early ’80s, topped off with a hint of angular, moody post-punk. Singer Amelia Bushell, guitarists Dan Peskin and Micah Weisberg, bassist Bill Dvorak, and drummer Piyal Basu formed the band in late 2016. Since then, the group has been making a name for itself in the venues and DIY spaces of Brooklyn, with live shows quickly becoming known for Bushell’s wild stage antics.
January 2017 saw the release of Grim Streaker’s first single, “Guts,” produced by Mike Kutchman (Parquet Courts, Sharon Van Etten). They followed it with the release of their debut EP, Girl Minority, in July 2017. An upcoming debut LP, also produced by Kutchman, is nearing completion.
Last year, while on a trip to Cuba with friends, I had an unforgettable and bizarre experience that would later influence the surreal lyrics to “Mojito.”
Not long after arriving in Cuba, my friends and I met a couple, Chelsea and Taylor, who were heading to Trinidad the same day as us. Chelsea had been before, and told us we absolutely could not miss the secret club hidden in a cave at the top of a hill: “Meet us at the cave bar! 10 PM. Just keep following the road up the hill. You’ll think you’ve gone too far but keep going. We’ll be there.” It sounded unreal.
We arrived in Trinidad the next day, had a late dinner and began the long trek to the cave as the sun began to set. It was exactly as Chelsea had described it. For what seemed like an eternity, we wandered up a dark, twisting road, with nobody in sight.
Just as we began to worry we had taken a wrong turn, the distant sound of a cocktail shaker cut through the night, and a tiny light came into our vision. We stumbled closer over the rough cobblestones. There – in the middle of a pitch-black mountainside road – was a man with a tiny cart, making mojitos.
We each bought a mojito and continued up the steep hill, thinking we must be on the right track now. Just a few steps later, another mojito cart appeared, seemingly out of nowhere. We chugged the first round, ordered a second, and joked about how we should stop at every single cart we saw (we did).
When we finally made it to the top of the hill, we were surprised to see a small crowd standing outside the entrance to the cave. It was real! We couldn’t believe it. Chelsea and Taylor appeared moments later. After a suspenseful wait, the doors creaked open and we made our way down a long staircase into multiple chambers of cavernous glory. It was like nothing I had ever seen before. People were smoking, drinking and dancing in the dimly-lit subterranean club. There were disco lights, a full bar, music and even restrooms.
After we stumbled out of the cave at the end of the night, we decided to go on a mojito “pilgrimage” down the mountain, once again stopping at every single mojito cart. After three or four more mojitos, we got take-away pizza at the bottom of the hill and headed back to our hostel.
I vaguely remember waking up the next day completely naked and feeling as hungover as ever. I figured some fresh air and a walk would do me good, and started up the street toward the town center. On the way I passed the remnants of the pizza I was eating the night before, now spewed all over the road, and laughed out loud.
—Amelia Bushell, Grim Streaker
(Photo Credit: Rick Perez)