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The best kept secret in music


"Interview with Abby Gennet of Slunt"

Chances are you've seen or heard of Abby Gennet somewhere before...Abby first made a name for herself as the staff photographer of the late, great Pop Smear magazine. Her "Prom Mom" photos, a series of images inspired by the 1997 incident in which a high school student gave birth in a bathroom stall at her prom only to throw the baby in the garbage and return to the dance, made her a hot name within the photography community. Her work has been featured in numerous publications and exhibits worldwide.

Not familiar with her photos? Then you may have seen her introducing videos, hosting shows and conducting interviews during her stints as a VJ on MTV2 and VH1 over the last couple of years. Or maybe you've seen her posing in the pages of Stuff magazine. Or maybe you saw her as the rock chick in the record store flirting with that little blue alien in one of those Sony commercials. Like we said, you've probably seen or heard of her somewhere...

And if you hadn't heard of her before, we urge you to start paying attention now. She and her band Slunt are gaining quite a following and for good reason. Slunt is a hard rock band's hard rock band. Plain and simple. Jagged around the edges and bursting with huge riffs from abrasive guitars that are held in place by a drum and bass one-two punch of a rhythm section that recalls AC/DC in their 'Back In Black' prime. Add to that a layer of girlie vocals full of rock star attitude, come-ons, put-downs and plain ol' dirty talk that comes off sweet, tough and sexy all at the same time. Did we mention that it's all for the sake of a rock 'n' roll good time? Well, it is.

Interview w/ Abby Genne of Slunt:

GBG: For those that don't know the band, what's the story?

AG: We started out as a trio about three or four years ago kinda just for fun. I was writing all these kinda quirky songs like "Three Pump Chump" and "My Cat's Gay" and just jamming out with these guys that I used to hang out with down at my friend's studio. Then one day I was like, "Hey do you guys want to be in my band?" I asked Charles (Ruggiero), who is our drummer, and this guy Adam Small, who was our original bass player just because those were the guys that were always down there jamming with me. They were like, "Sure!" and Slunt formed. For me it was just a hobby gone wild. But now it's taking off and people are really digging it. A couple of incarnations later and we've got a real kick ass thing going on.

GBG: So when you started off it was you and two guys and then your bass player was replaced with a girl…

AG: Yeah. Karen Curious came in and took over on bass. She's a great singer-songwriter too and she's got her own thing going on, but she was kinda juggling the two projects and she just really needed to focus on her stuff. We love her but we said, "go do that," because we needed someone that was into it 100% y'know…and along came Jenny Gunns.

GBG: Did Jenny name herself after Tracii Guns?

AG: No, not at all. (laughs) I said that to her and she was like, "Who?" She wasn't an L.A. Guns fan I guess. But her Gunns has two n's.

GBG: Well, any girl named Jenny Gunns in a rock band is cool with us. So how did the dynamic of the band change going from the front woman of a band with two other guys to having it become a four piece with an equal girl/guy split?

AG: Well we added Pat before Jenny came in. Pat has a band called Gaggle Of Cocks and I just saw them play out randomly one night in New York. I'd been thinking about getting a lead guitar player for the band because I'm more of a rhythm player and I really wanted the songs to start rockin' a lot harder. Plus I wanted to focus more on the vocals. So I kinda just started keeping my eyes peeled for a cool lead guitar player. So I saw Pat at a Gaggle Of Cocks show and I was like, "That's what I need in my band!" So I approached him and he was into it and we just started playing. Then Jenny came along…she was the missing piece of the puzzle. She's just awesome. She's a great player, she's got the look and she's a great songwriter. We've been writing a lot together and doing some harmonies and it's just nice having another cool chick up there to rock with (laughs). She pushes me a lot on stage. I mean, she's out there really playing with the crowd and then I'm like, "Hey! Wait a minute! Everyone's looking at her!" (laughs) So it makes me try a little bit harder. It's not a competition, she just brings more out of me on stage just from watching her. She's very inspiring.

GBG: You mentioned Jenny having the chops and also having "the look." With your background in photography, how important is the visual aspect of the band to you.

AG: In some respects it is. In a live setting people want to come and see a show. They want to be entertained and you know…people like looking at hot rockin' chicks. (laughs).

GBG: That's true.

AG: I mean we didn't say, "We're bringing her into the band because she's hot." But that was an added plus. She's a great bass player, she's got a lot of energy and she's got a great business sense too. Which is kind of nice because before I was doing a lot of the workload myself. And since she's come along she's really involved. The boys are involved too but it's kinda funny…it's actually really a nice dynamic. It's like we're the brains and they're the brawn. We'll book all the stuff, we'll do the website, do all the planning and talk to all the people we need to talk to and they'll carry our amps. (laughs)

GBG: Sounds like a marriage. Women run the show.

AG: Yeah. It works out pretty well. Plus when we go on the road it's nice because Jenny and I can share a room and the boys can do all their smoking and farting and whatever else boys do.

GBG: Have you guys been out on the road very much? It seems most of the dates I've seen have been pretty much New York or L.A.

AG: Sporadically. Here and there. This past January we went out to L.A. and then up to Utah. We rocked out at the Slamdance Film Festival party, which was such a blast. The crowd was just going nuts. I don't know if it had something to do with the high altitude but everyone was just crazy. But we've made it out here and there to Ohio, Boston…but hopefully we're going to be getting out on the road a lot more. We've hooked up with a booking agent so he's going to start getting us out of the city.

GBG: Your crowd seems to have a lot of fun. They seem to get pretty into the show in the footage I've seen.

AG: Yeah, they get into it. The whole band gets really into it too…especially Jenny. I'm pretty locked to the mic but Jenny is all over the place. She jumps out into the crowd, kicks people, steps on people…but they love it. They come back for more. It's just a bunch of people out to have a good time.

GBG: Slunt seems to be made up of a few major influences on the surface. There's that whole sleazy L.A. Sunset Strip gutter-glam-rock vibe which is kinda crossed with that real straight-forward traditional New York street punk sound. I was going to ask if you felt that that was accurate but you said Jenny had never even heard of Tracii Guns…

AG: But I have. I was a huge metalhead in the '80s. Ratt, Poison, Cinderella, all that kind of stuff. But I really wouldn't say we're glam. We might walk out there with fishnets on and big hair (laughs) but I'd say it's more of a New York trash rock vibe that we feel. I don't really know how to describe it.

GBG: The new EP sounds so much bigger overall than the tracks I heard from the era before Pat and Jenny were in the band. Just the overall noise the band makes, the guitar tones you guys have. How did that develop?

AG: Well he's amazing, Mr. Pat Harrington. He's an amazing player and it's great playing with him too because he's always pushing me musically with my playing. We're doing a lot more riff-oriented songs and as a rhythm player I'm learning things from him that I probably never would've picked up on my own. I used to get really frustrated playing guitar. I've been playing since I was twelve… but, y'know I was listening to Ratt when I was little and wanting to shred like Warren DiMartini and not being able to so I got frustrated and stopped for many years. (laughs) But I picked it up again…and now here I am.

GBG: How was writing and recording this EP now that it's a two guitar band and having the most solid lineup the band has had?

AG: Well we write more as a team now. At the very beginning it used to be I would just bring the song in and go, "This is how it goes, let's play it," where now it's more collaborative. Jenny or I or the two of us collectively will bring in some lyrics and have an idea for a melody and say, "Pat, give us a kickin' riff for this!" Then Charles will throw down some phat beats. It's really nice this way because all the different influences and everyone's different styles and vibes just make it so much more interesting. We did our EP like that. And hopefully we'll be going back into the studio in May to make a full-length record.

GBG: How much material is in the Slunt arsenal these days?

AG: When we go back in we'll probably lay down about fifteen songs. And then we'll see how many will make the album. Maybe ten or twelve. But we've been writing like crazy. I just got back from the rehearsal space tonight. We've got about three or four new ones that we're working on right now. We've also got these really great producers that we're working with, Eddie Wohl and Rob Caggiano. They have a production company called Scrap 60…

GBG: Rob from Anthrax?

AG: Yeah. So they produced the EP and hopefully when we go back in they're going to produce the rest of it. They're just awesome. We got some good video footage with those guys. We're working on making a little live video right now as well.

GBG: Something for

AG: Yeah we'll probably put it up there, but we'll probably include it on the CD when we get a full length CD out. We've got a lot of live footage and a lot of wacky stuff from backstage and recording and little road trips…everyone in this band is such a ham so we just shoot a lot of stupid crazy stuff.

GBG: How has the response been to the EP so far? Has there been any record label interest?

AG: It's actually been pretty great. We might actually be signing with a label very soon. Nothing is set in stone but there are a few offers on the table and we might be close to advancing a little further with one of those. But I don't want to jinx it! We just want to finish our record and then get out on the road and start playing. We're getting a little burnt out on the city. We want to get out of here. We just want to play for some different crowds. New York City is the capitol of the universe and it's great playing here but on the same note, you want to go to a fresh town and have a fresh crowd that has never heard your music before. You find these people that just want to rock out and have a fun time and just haven't seen a loud rock band in a long time…where in New York you have all these people that can go see a loud rock band every night, y'know? So hopefully we'll be able to close this deal, finish our album next month and get the hell out on the road.

GBG: You're going to knock it out that quick?

AG: Yeah. Eddie and Rob are really fast. We only did five songs last time but we did the main stuff over a long weekend and took another week or so for the rest and the vocals. They're just really good at what they do. Good vibes, good energy.

GBG: One of the things I like about your band, and especially about the EP, is that the over the top dirty rock 'n' roll vibe of the band just jumps out of the music right away…

AG: Yeah, man! That's the way you gotta do it!

GBG: But it's even in the little things…like in that song "The Best Thing" how you yell "Guitar!" right before the guitar solo. That's blatantly rock 'n' roll.

AG: (laughs) Yeah, I don't know….I just said it and everyone was like, "Let's keep it!" It's kinda like, "C.C. pick up that guitar and talk to me!" (laughs)

GBG: That's rock. I love that kind of stuff. More bands should be doing that.

AG: Yeah. You gotta have fun with it. I think a lot of bands these days take the music so seriously and like, people want to be entertained. They want to have fun. They want to laugh. They want to rock 'n' roll and bang their heads and dance. When I'm out hearing music I don't want to be too burdened with all these heavy songs with heavy lyrics. I just like to have fun.

GBG: Some of the politically correct attitude that has gotten into mainstream rock 'n' roll has kind of erased that bit of danger from hard rock. You guys seem to be all about bringing it back a little bit.

AG: Oh yeah. Everything is totally safe. At least on the radio. And something else…I was just talking about this with someone the other day...they will never put a song that really jams on the radio now because everyone has such short attention spans. Everyone needs to have their quick fix in this MTV generation. You can't have anything that goes off on a tangent on the radio because that'll never be a single for a rock band. Which is silly. If you listen to the classic rock station you'll hear a Pink Floyd song jam on for like six minutes. But they don't do that anymore because your song has to be three and a half minutes or else you're going to lose people. It's annoying.

GBG: What other rock chicks out in New York should we be listening to?

AG: There's a lot of smokin' females in New York City that really rock hard. Check out Queen V. The singer, V, is awesome. She's got this kickass rock voice and she's a great guitar player. Also Bantam is great. That's Gina from the Lunachicks' band.

GBG: New York City has a legacy of turning out some great rock 'n' roll women…

AG: Yeah, and it's weird because you don't hear them on the radio. I think record companies are still a little scared of girls that rock too hard. They think girls are meant for the pop world. There is still something missing in the rock world. There are still not enough females out there doing it.

GBG: That and there's that whole attitude that came out of "alternative rock" blowing up and now it's kind of applied itself to rock in general where it's almost frowned upon for a girl in a rock band, a real musician, to have a bit of an overtly sexual presence. Yet it's accepted in pop from teenagers…

AG: Yeah. Well look at the rap world. Look at Lil' Kim. She can be out there talking about her pussy all she wants and she's got this million dollar shit going on. God forbid a girl in the rock world does that though. When I first started writing, all my lyrics were really raunchy and weird and perverted. Now I'm writing a little less blatantly because…what would have a chance to make it to the radio? Don't worry though…the content is still there, I'm just not being as obvious. Sometimes it's fun to say things a little more tongue-in-cheek rather than blurting out the obvious. Either way, most of our songs are going to have a bleep or two in them.

GBG: Do you think you just like to shock a little bit? The way you just described some of your lyrics could be applied to a lot of your photos.

AG: Yeah, a little. My songs are kind of like my photos in music form. (laughs) But we've moved away from some of the quirkiness and we've gotten more serious about melodies and songs. I used to sing in more of a girlie rap style, just having fun with it and now I'm definitely singing and screaming a lot more and doing more melodic stuff. But…my lyrics are still kinda perverted. I'm just not singing all about "Three Pump Chumps" anymore. If you listen there's always going to be a twist somewhere. You're never going to get a straight up love song from us.

GBG: Some of those older songs like "Three Pump Chump" and "Fast City Girls" are very flirtatious and fun and everything but are pretty emasculating lyrically if you want to take it that way. Was that the intent?

AG: (laughs) Yeah…well…I love guys. It's not like I was writing that to dis them. I just kinda write about things that happen in real life. Just like I did with my photography. When I was doing my photography I did this whole series called "Breakfast With Dick" where I used this big dildo in place of a man in all of the pictures. All these different scenarios like sitting at the breakfast table having coffee or sitting at the computer downloading porn. I got all kinds of reactions from that. People thought I was some man hater. I'm not at all. It was just a fun, wacky, tongue-in-cheek way of showing different relationship scenarios and things that go on in the world. It wasn't about chopping off men's penises. (laughs) I don't mean to emasculate. I'm just having fun.

GBG: Well even if it is taken that way, whether in your photos or in your songs, it's not anything that some rappers aren't doing to women much more blatantly in their lyrics and in their videos anyway.

AG: Right?! All the big booty hos. "Bitches ain't shit but hos and tricks!"

GBG: With Slunt picking up some steam are you putting the photography off to the side for a while.

AG: Well I haven't really shot anything in a long time but there's this company in Switzerland that's been buying my images and selling them on posters all over Europe. Every once in a while I get this nice check in the mail. It's like free money. And since right now I'm in between television gigs and just focusing on the band I don't have very much income coming in, so it's nice that I have this photography stuff coming in. So I might shoot some more images for this poster company. They've asked me to do a couple projects for them so I might get back into it.

GBG: In the Sony Walkman commercial that you did, did you get to pick out the records that you picked out in the commercial? Because I totally remember you holding Iron Maiden's "Number Of The Beast."

AG: Well they had to get approval for any record that we pulled out so they had this whole list of albums that were on the approved list. When they first sent me the treatment it had the little storyboard drawings of me and the little alien and the first album they had me pull out was Led Zeppelin BBC Sessions, which is one of my all-time favorite albums. I was like, "Holy shit! This is so cool!" I was all excited, this was perfect. Led Zeppelin is my favorite band in the world. But when I got there the album ended up not being on the approved list. But I made very sure that the covers I pulled were cool. Like with the Loverboy album, that cover is just classic. I pulled up Iron Maiden and Ted Nugent and Earth, Wind and Fire…there were some wacky ones in there.

GBG: Let's talk about beer and guitars. Every picture I've seen of you on stage you're always rockin' the Gibson SG.

AG: Yep.

GBG: Why do you think so many female players choose the SG?

AG: Do they? I don't know. Maybe because the neck is a little thin? I just love the sound. And it's a good weight. I mean, I could never play a Les Paul. That would kill my back. I don't know. I've played a bunch of different guitars. I have a Danelectro also but I don't really play it on stage. The SG just feels right. I'm a big Jimmy Page fan and he played the SG quite a bit so maybe that's it. It's just badass.

GBG: What are the beers of choice in Sluntland?

AG: Well Pat is PBR all the way. (laughs)

GBG: Slumming it!

AG: He wouldn't say that. If he had the choice between the finest brew in the world and a can of PBR he would always choose the PBR. Jenny drinks Corona. Charles is LaBatt's Blue. Me personally, I'm a Red Stripe kind of girl. But y'know…I'll drink whatever comes my way.

GBG: In a rock band it doesn't matter.

AG: Yeah. I just don't drink light beer. I don't like light beer.

GBG: How did you survive in Utah? The beer is so weak there.

AG: It's not as strong but you have the altitude so you get drunk a lot faster. Just ask Jenny! -

"Summer Of Slunt"

This will prove to be a very busy summer for local raunch-rockers Slunt. Aside from having just finished post-production work on their video for “The Best Thing,” the quartet are spending most of the summer in the studio recording their highly anticipated debut full-length disc.
As if that wasn’t enough, the band, Abby Gennet (vocals, guitar), Jenny Gunns (bass), Pat Harrington (guitar), Charles Ruggiero (drums), find themselves among the twenty semi-finalists in the “Shot At Cabo Wabo Band To Band Stand Standoff” contest. The winner gets to fly off to Cabo San Lucas for Sammy Hagar and the Waboritas at the Cabo Wabo Meltdown Concert in October.

- Good Time Magazine


The Slunt EP - 2004 Repossession Records


Feeling a bit camera shy


Clad in fishnets and usually something pleather, front woman / rhythm guitarist (and VJ extraordinaire) ABBY GENNET’s sweet girly-rap style combined with sexy screams and heavy-ass guitar playing will get your metal signs pumpin’ in no time. She’s been known to pull hot chicks up on stage to go-go dance for t-shirts, and if you’re a brave enough chump to stand in the front row, she might even spit her gum on you! (Lucky bastard.)

With songs about gay cats, siamese twins and three pump chumps, SLUNT certainly won’t be playing your junior high school prom any time soon… unless it’s to pick up 16-year-olds cuz they sure do like `em young!

Just ask hot-rockin’ bassist JENNY GUNNS (also the fearless leader of NYC punkers Dirty Mary) and she’ll tell it to you straight: “If you’re old enough to get your driver’s license, you’re certainly old enough to lick tequila off of MY neck!”

Lead guitarist PAT HARRINGTON (who also fronts NYC band Gaggle of Cocks) couldn’t agree more. “Once the braces come off, it’s time to put out or get out,” says this lefty shredder and self-proclaimed king of cock rock. Pat plays better when drunk and aims to one day be spokesperson for Pabst Blue Ribbon beer. But he’s not the only drinker in the band…

SLUNT drummer CHARLES RUGGERIO (who also hits the skins for NYC jazz band The Macktet) can pound `em like the next. (The beers, the ladies AND the drums!) That’s right folks, don’t let his jazzbo roots and girlish good looks fool you. Big Chaaahls is one of the hardest hitting rock drummers in town! See for yourself at a downtown dive bar near you. And yes, they do bite. Hard.