What is it with chick bands? They’re always singing about stupid girly stuff or how they got screwed over by some guy (which they probably deserved). And once scorned, they become ultra-angsty, man-hatin’ lesbian rockers carping about how they’ll someday become a goddess and make men pay. In all cases, no way are they as good as mighty, male-staffed rock bands. Broads just can’t rock. It’s genetically impossible, not to mention a moral malfeasance.
Easy, now. Just havin’ a little bit of fun with Chubby Bunny (singer-guitarist-bassist-drummer Angie Eralie and singer-drummer-bassist Tracy Brewer). They probably laid a few pellets, reading that bit of chauvinism. See, Chubby Bunny are feminists, but far from the generalization above. They’re just smart, funny ladies asserting their place in society while purely and simply rocking out. They do, however, sing about cute, fluffy stuff. In fact, when Brewer and Eralie originally paired up in 1997, they wrote what they called “unicorn songs” on acoustic guitars they really didn’t know how to play. They were, says Brewer, “Cheesy, cheesy, cheesy songs that sounded like the lyrics should all be unicorns and rainbows and whatnot. Mostly they were just about boys.” “They were magical and heartfelt,” chimes Eralie.
And they still are, although the thematic content of Chubby Bunny’s distinctly indie, impossibly poppy tunes has evolved a few rungs beyond unicorn songs. They still focus on boys (“Donut = Boy—both are sweet and sometimes someone has the one you want” from “On Four”), bunnies and kitties (“Bloody Bunny Pritty Pritty,” “Punk Rock Kitty”) and, of course, feminist concerns (“Fashion Nazi”), but without all the bile of a Team Dresch or Le Tigre ditty. That’s not to say Chubby Bunny isn’t serious about girls taking their rightful place alongside testosterockers, even if it means appearing as bitchy as the aforementioned bands.
“A lot of people think we’re whiny, stuck-up bitches,” laughs Brewer. “But if wanting equal opportunity and representation in the local music scene is bitchy … I guess they’re sort of right.”
To that equal end, the ladies formed U.G.G.L.I.E.S. (Underground Girls Getting Loud, Independent and Electric in SLC; online at UtahUnderground.net/ugglies), designed to get girls active in local music.
“When we wanted to form a band,” says Brewer, “We didn’t know what to do. We just sort of did it. We made phone calls, we bought equipment, we taught ourselves. It was a scary and intimidating process. I wanted to make it easier for girls to learn how to do it. I set up an e-mail account and made flyers saying basically, ‘Girls need to rock out! If you wanna know how, e-mail me and I’ll tell you what I have learned.’”
Since its inception, U.G.G.L.I.E.S. has expanded to include all forms of artistic expression and has kept the band busy—probably too busy. Yet, Chubby Bunny somehow found time to write songs, play shows and score a deal with Colorado indie label This Heart Plays Records, which will release Chubby Bunny’s debut CD this winter. There’s talk of a little tour, but Chubby Bunny’s focus remains local, as indicated by the song “The Kids Don’t Care,” which finds the ladies condemning elitism in the Salt Lake music scene:
“You think yr so cool/I think yr so-so, so!/Yr just a model/In the Kilby Court fashion show/All the good bands just move away/All the good bands don’t wanna play/All the good bands break up and say/That the kids don’t care.”
And that’s really what Chubby Bunny is about, caring. They love music. They love being girls. They love boys and kitties and bunnies. Just because they’re feminists doesn’t mean they’re bitches. But, just because they like kitties and bunnies doesn’t mean they’ll take your crap.
“Kitties and bunnies are cute, while maintaining fierce integrity and independence. Plus, they can both scratch and bite the fuck out of you if you’re not careful.”