Flesh Produce

Exploring the chaotic soundscapes of FLESH PRODUCE’s “Couch Slime IV”

9 mins read

In the midst of the anticipation surrounding Flesh Produce’s forthcoming album, “Couch Slime IV,” we’re thrilled to offer an exclusive premiere of a track that promises to be a sonic rollercoaster. Titled “Dig Your Pit and Get In It,” this enigmatic piece of art encapsulates the band’s signature chaos, offering a glimpse into the uncharted territories they traverse.

With glitchy digital bleeps colliding head-on with sludge-y punk, it’s a track that challenges the conventions of music, inviting listeners to venture into the unknown. Join us as we unravel the sonic intricacies of this captivating composition, a tantalizing taste of what “Couch Slime IV” has in store.

With their upcoming album, “Couch Slime IV,” set to release on September 22nd, the duo of Karl Fagerstrom and Myla Profitt is gearing up to shake the musical landscape once more.

Seattle’s alternative music scene has long been a fertile breeding ground for hidden gems, and Flesh Produce is no exception. To those in the know, this band is a well-kept secret, a phenomenon that defies easy classification. The words of Jasmine Albertson, a respected voice from KEXP, capture the essence of Flesh Produce’s magnetic pull: “This is another Seattle band that’s very much ‘if-you-know-you-know.’ I’ve been catching their sets for years now, and no matter how many bands are on the bill, after every set, without fail, all anyone can talk about is how incredible the Flesh Produce set was.”

When the band takes the stage, the sonic alchemy they conjure is nothing short of extraordinary. Karl Fagerstrom, with his brutal drumming, simultaneously triggers old-school Nintendo-sounding samples and trip-hoppy beats. The result is an electrifying energy that courses through the crowd, igniting mosh pits and jumping enthusiasts.

With elements of Mindless Self Indulgence and Bikini Kill coursing through Myla Profitt’s energetic flows, their live shows is truly something else.

Flesh Produce

What truly sets Flesh Produce apart is their ability to seamlessly blend an eclectic array of influences. As aptly noted by The Stranger, “Flesh Produce’s music mixes so many of the sounds from across the day—punk rock, hip hop, EDM, metal, and pop.” It’s a testament to their genre-defying approach, a daring fusion of disparate elements that coalesce into a singular, mind-bending experience.

The journey of Flesh Produce began with Karl Fagerstrom’s “bloopy bedroom beats.” However, with the addition of Myla Profitt, the band underwent a metamorphosis, evolving into an amalgamation of “breakneck glitch pop gone hardcore.” Their rapid rise within Seattle’s scuzzy DIY circles is a testament to their unique sound, one that refuses to be confined by traditional boundaries.

Musically influenced by a wide array of artists, spanning from Death Grips, Machine Girl, Sophie, Lightning Bolt, Botch, and Dillinger Escape Plan to METZ, Tobacco, and Converge, Flesh Produce’s sludgy/digi/noise punk is infectious and overwhelming when experienced live.

As we delve deeper into the enigma that is Flesh Produce, check out our exclusive interview that unveils the minds behind this captivating sonic entity.

Flesh Produce by @tjwperfpics
Flesh Produce by @tjwperfpics

“Couch Slime IV” is an intriguing name. Can you unpack the title for us and how it encapsulates the spirit of the album?

Myla: To be perfectly honest , my girlfriend came up with that name. But we had working album titles including couch because for both me and Karl felt like it encapsulated the depression vibe from covid.

And Couch Slime IV implies the existence of Couch Slime I, II and III, which you can access through the QR codes we have scattered throughout Seattle.

Karl: Couch Slime is what we turned into during the making of this album. I (Karl) have mostly turned into Bed Slime since then, while Myla is a more thriving individual. But I still will peel myself off various sleeping and lounging surfaces to have convulsions behind a drum kit when we play shows. Or do the same in the crowd at sick local shows of other bands (just without sticks in my hands).

The track, “Scream Flips 2 (Tom DeLonge Was Right All Along),” certainly grabs attention. Are there extraterrestrial themes woven into this record?

Myla: Nah, not really. Karl and I just collaborated on that track and I made a lot of alien-like synth patches and sound design, and we thought it was funny.

Karl: Tagging onto what Myla said, we just like silly puns, rhymes, and nonsensical titles. Perhaps the title is relevant since this album is largely about the end of the world, so of course we’d find out that Tom Delonge was, in fact, right all along during a surprisingly boring apocalypse.

Can you break down the sonic journey from “Big Sus” to “Scream Flips 2” on the new album? What’s the narrative arc, if any?

Myla: The arc for me is just being hopeless in the end of the world. But having to be tough as fuck and assert yourself against it. Find some people that make it tolerable, take care of them, and ride this shit out. Hopefully having some fun with it.

Karl: I second what Myla said here. And from a production standpoint, I’d just second what I say in the next prompt about “caustic fever dreams.”

Jasmine Albertson from KEXP described your sets as a ‘caustic fever dream.’ What’s the most vivid dream you’ve had that felt like it could be a Flesh Produce song?

Karl: I can’t think of a specific one. But there was a time I got really into lucid dreaming. If anything, this is the sonic equivalent of being a month into regular lucid dreams and thinking “how weird can I make this one? Can I completely go off the rails without waking up?”

How do you achieve the balance between the “glitchy digital bleeps” and “sludge-y punk” in your sound?

Karl: This echoes what Myla said about the question on how we mix punk, metal, hip hop, EDM, etc. And it echoes what I’m going to say on that same question.

How does the writing process differ between Karl’s initial ‘bloopy bedroom beats’ and the fully fleshed-out Flesh Produce tracks?

Karl: It starts from the ‘bloopy bedroom beats,’ which we generally create while getting into a sort of “bender” mentality, where you can’t put it down – like an incredibly difficult and addictive video game. Then songs will morph through live performance, improvisation, and obviously the addition of lyrics and vocals.

Myla, you’ve been described as carrying “the spirit of Kathleen Hanna.” How does her influence manifest in your work, especially on “Couch Slime IV”?

Myla: Her super feminist energy for one thing. And her strong stage presence and the power she carries in her performance.

But also at the same time the girly childlikeness to her.

Flesh produce by @harperaking
Flesh produce by @harperaking

You’ve mixed punk, hip hop, EDM, metal, and pop into a single project. How do you decide which elements to incorporate and when? Is there a method to this madness?

Myla: We just put down whatever feels good in the moment that we like honestly.

Karl: In short, no. There is no method to this madness. We’ve both played in various bands that were just an “emo band” or a “hardcore band” or a “singer-songwriter project” up to this point, which can feel limiting – like you’re painting by numbers. We make what we like with no filter besides each others’ tastes, and anything we both enjoy, goes. When to use what style, and how, is simply a byproduct of keeping ourselves excited.

The band’s sound is cited as being influenced by artists from Death Grips to Converge. Can each of you name an album by a different artist that you think could be a surprising influence on Flesh Produce’s music?

Myla: A night at the opera by Queen. Just Freddie Mercury in general.

Karl: I’d say everything by Boards of Canada. Less surprising would be every band on Three One G, Metz, Lightning Bolt, and I could go on – but the main point is: everything we’ve ever liked has its place in Flesh Produce. Although my/our latest obsession has been DJ Rozwell / KFC Murder Chicks. We’re playing a show with him soon and I could not be more excited.

Flesh Produce

How does the vibrant and diverse music scene in Seattle shape Flesh Produce’s sound and ethos?

Karl: I feel our sound is more shaped by internet influences and relationships, at least on the production end. And I don’t want to toot our own horn too much, but I feel like we’ve actually helped influence Seattle to be more “anything goes” in musical approach (or, more realistically, maybe we’ve just been going hard enough to attract like-minded weirdos as ourselves).

Regardless of style of music, Seattle is an interesting place. The government and local mainstream media both love to publicly tout Seattle as a “music city;” they’ll regularly name-drop bands from 30 years ago from Aberdeen to attract transplants. But they also bend over backwards to gentrify the hell out of our hometown, in order to appease tech bros and corporate giants (while closing every beloved live music venue and giving scummy developers unlimited land in the process).

Anyone here who dares to make a dent in experimental music is like their own version of the cliche “rose growing out of concrete.” Only the concrete is plastic high rises, tech campuses, and Jeff Bezos’ Amazon balls (excuse me, I mean “spheres”). And instead of a rose, we’re a stinky pile of Nickelodeon Gak mixed with Tang powder and a hint of fake (or often real) blood. But there are plenty of roses here, too.

Flesh Produce by @kady.pic
Flesh Produce by @kady.pic

Is there a piece of literature, film, or visual art that has deeply impacted the making of “Couch Slime IV”?

Karl: We are big fans of terrible B-horror movies. Especially from the 90s and earlier. When we are at our Couchiest and Slimiest, that’s what we are consuming. And it plays a definite role on this album.

Your live sets are described as ‘infectious and overwhelming.’ How do you manage to translate the complex layers of your recorded tracks into a live performance?

Myla: We just put it all out there in people’s faces live and I feel like eventually the vibe gets across.

Karl: By letting our punk influences fly. It’s true there’s some precision in live performance, for both of us. On my end, there’s both intricate sample pad triggering and some technical drumming. Myla has to viscerally scream, atonally yell, and sing pretty, falsetto melodies. So we both have pretty labor-intensive jobs.

But our live approach is largely focused on energy: electronics have limitations, but we try to stretch these limitations with extreme passion in our performances. I recently broke a yearlong streak of not puking after sets, thanks to Capitol Hill Block Party. But that (puking post-set) was a regular occurrence for a long time. We play it by ear, but beating the shit out of your equipment until it breaks has always worked well for us (and felt good in the process).

Flesh Produce by @kady.pic
Flesh Produce by @kady.pic

Is there a song off the new album you’re most looking forward to performing live? What makes it special?

Myla: For me, it gets better just because I think it’s catchy, I want people to sing along, and I think it will be a breath of light in the middle of our set.

Karl: In the realm of “we do what we want,” we haven’t followed the standard blueprint of “release an album, then play those songs live to promote the album.” We regularly play unreleased or unfinished songs at live shows, especially in Seattle.

But I agree with Myla – while we’ve played “It Gets Better” live already, I know it’s going to morph more over time as a live song (as these all do). It’s the newest one to our setlist, and it’s just a baby toddler learning to walk, so far.

Can you share a memorable story from your past tours, perhaps something that encapsulates the Flesh Produce live experience?

Karl: So far, our tours have involved less partying hard and trashing AirBnBs because “we’re rockstars, mannnnnnn.” They’ve been more “we leave it all on stage” – then we check out a few bands, if there are more after us (especially at festivals), and then get stoned and play Mario Kart (which is also a musical influence).

Although there’s also been a bit of ‘checking out of AirBnBs on 3-hours’ hungover sleep’ after festivals, too. We’re not averse to creating new experiences and stories for ourselves, but I know we’re more interested in creating art, consuming *amazing* art, and nerding out about it, than creating goofy stories. But real-life meatspace will also always be an inspiration, to be fair.

You’ve risen quickly in Seattle’s scuzzy DIY circles. How do you interact with this community both online and offline?

Karl: We’re probably better at interacting with our Seattle circles offline at shows and in person, but we also interact regularly with far away musicians and producers that inspire us online as well. Both communities are very important to us.

Are there any other up-and-coming Seattle bands that you feel are flying under the radar but deserve more attention?

ZookraughtBeautiful Freakslonelygirl15, and Give Me the Money.

How do you hope to challenge or push your audience with this new release?

Couch Slime IV is about standing up for what you believe in and being present despite the increasing chaos and shiftiness in the world. We hope listeners will be inspired to do the same!

Myla: Couch Slime IV is about standing up for what you believe in and being present despite the increasing chaos and shiftiness in the world. We hope listeners will be inspired to do the same!

Karl: Just like any of our releases, we just try to make something we both enjoy, but that we haven’t quite heard before. All the music I love is very hard to define, and we just aim to make something enjoyable that also fits that bill.

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