Slant 6 circa 1993 l-r Christina Billotte, Myra Power, Marge Marshall. Courtesy of Slant 6


Catching some wind from the Riot Grrrl Movement but sailing mostly on their own, the all-female trio Slant 6 created a sound—minimalist garage rock influenced by everyone from Blondie, Wire, the Breeders and the Gories to the Kinks and Ramones—that would influence older Dischord Records’ bands from the Washington D.C. area. Eric Davidson spoke with band members Christina Billotte and Myra Power about Slant 6’s whirlwind moment in the sun and the embracing community of the D.C. music scene of the 1990s.

In its early-90s heyday, Dischord Records was one of the most respected indie labels, one that refreshingly flew in the face of opportunistic “Alternative Rock Era” habits. They never sold to a major label once one of their bands sold more than 700 CDs; they stuck to keeping albums at $7 in an era where CDs were routinely $20; didn’t go crazy with merchandise (which in the indie world back then was unseemly, not desperate or mandatory like today); and in fact to this day, the highest-selling band on the label, Fugazi, have still never sold an official Fugazi T-shirt.

You can chicken-or-egg whether DC fans were just inherently super supportive or if Dischord set the template, but the DC scene – simmering since the late ‘70s with the big bang of the Bad Brains – was historically supportive and collaborative. By the early ‘90s, though, the scene’s understandably proud stance could seem judgmental from the outside, a “too cool for school” vibe that conflicted with the egalitarian philosophy of Dischord’s founders/leaders, Minor Threat/Fugazi. While those two highly influential bands were unassailable in dedication to their upfront progressive values, an increasing fanzine world importance was attached to their label. Every Dischord release was treated as another forward-march flare shot from the frontlines of Punk – while honestly, the label was as hit/miss as any other.

Ian Svenonius’ amazing acts, Nation of Ulysses and the Make-Up, brilliantly sent up that conundrum with their agitprop manifestos, Situationist references, and, oh yeah, great songs and explosive live performances. Their mod look, go-go dance backbone, and diverse lineups were welcome too, as the overall hardcore scene’s useful self-righteousness had, by the early ‘90s, become musically dogmatic and pretty macho. Enter Slant 6.

You can chicken-or-egg whether DC fans were just inherently super supportive or if Dischord set the template, but the DC scene – simmering since the late ‘70s with the big bang of the Bad Brains – was historically supportive and collaborative.

Well, also enter Riot Grrrl, a massively important movement that is well documented, and which Slant 6 was slated into. Yes, this DC trio were all female, and utilized the choppy rhythms and sullen-then-sudden-screech vocals of prime Grrrl influences like X-Ray Spex, the Slits, and early ‘80s NYC No Wave. But Slant 6 mostly side-stepped the ironic reclamation of ‘70s kid iconography and hectic dialectics of Riot Grrrl and seemed to be aiming towards some post-something.

In their moment, 1992-1995, Slant 6 were already ahead of most of the Dischord bands, juggling minimalist, herky-jerky beats and hinted-at hooks that were more intriguing than the majority of their label’s increasingly emo moves, while retaining a raw production and intermittently awkward and agitated live show that might also include some sudden stuttering jams.

On their 1994 debut, Soda Pop * Rip Off, they stabbed in quick bits of garage rock riffs, British post-punk marching moves, and lyrical themes and structures that dispensed with the traditional rhyming ways. Then, on 1995’s Inzombia, they burned in just a bit of goth mood, matched by sleeve art that unwittingly portended the band’s demise later that year.

Slant 6 – “Thirty-Thirty Vision”:

Today, it is hard to convey how excitingly original Slant 6 sounded, as Riot Grrrl’s catalog reverberates in just about any new guitar-based band. At the time, though, Slant 6 were mostly sidelined from the “slacker” media that chose to hype groaning guys in flannel. Though formed just after Bikini Kill and the same year as Sleater-Kinney, Slant 6 were not able to hang around as long, but their influence holds a similar sonic place.

We tracked down singer/guitarist Christina Billotte and bassist/singer Myra Power for a rare chat about one of the more underrated bands of the 1990s.

“Don’t You Ever” – Slant 6 from Soda Pop*Rip Off

PKM: Did all three members of Slant 6 grow up in the DC area?

Myra Power: Christina grew up in Bethesda, Maryland. Marge moved to DC from England, where she now resides. I was born in La Plata, Maryland, outside of DC. At age seven, after my parents divorced, I moved to the Southwestern part of Virginia on the border of Tennessee and North Carolina. Right after high school and summer school, I moved to Leesburg, Virginia with my best friend Artemis Greer, and then we moved to DC.

Christina Billotte: Between their two accents, I would have a hard time pronouncing words when we got back from tour.

PKM: Were you in any bands before Slant 6? And did you all know each other as scene-goers before Slant 6?

Christina Billotte: I was in a band called Hazmat [circa 1988-89] with Melissa Berkoff – who was later in Autoclave with me – Mary Timony, and Nikki Chapman. I pretty much met Myra and Marge right before each of them joined the band. Autoclave was together off and on for two years, but we only played 15 shows. It overlapped with Hazmat.

Myra Power: I had never experienced a music or art scene, I was a loner. Before starting to play music with DC people, I hung out at shows by myself. I would go to the 9:30 Club to see Jesus Lizard, the Cows, the Damned etc. by myself. I often would walk across DC late at night to hang out in Georgetown, on the riverfront with the older goth crowd. I got to go to a lot of goth and dance clubs even though I was underage – me in my flouncy white chiffon blouse, red leather jacket, and Chuck Taylors thinking I was dressed like Chrissie Hynde. Ha!

Slant 6 l-r Christina Billotte, Myra Power, Marge Marshall. Courtesy of Slant 6

Before Slant 6, I was learning to play with friends that I had met in DC, hanging out and working at Food For Thought Restaurant, which often had day shows; and from meeting people that hung out and worked at d.c. space. But I had already purchased my Fender P-Bass from a pawn shop. In my room, I taught myself “Mongoloid” by Devo and “Boris The Spider” by The Who. The first time I was ever invited to play with people, I played a fretless upright bass rehearsing with Chris Thompson and Seth Lorenzi from Circus Lupus, and Jerry Busher. We had a moment as the first start of their band Los Moridas.

Also at the time, I started a band, Lucky 13, with Chris Bald who played bass in Faith and Embrace. Chris was a great friend and huge musical influence to me. We played only a couple of shows. Our first was with Bikini Kill on the rooftop of our apartment. It was on U Street next door to the legendary Ben’s Chili Bowl.

PKM: How did Slant 6 come together then? There were a few drummers juggled early on, no?

Christina Billotte: I wanted to start a new band where I played guitar and that was more danceable, less “weird” than Autoclave. I had the name Slant 6 and a vague idea of the sound I wanted. People kept telling me I should play with this girl Myra who was into the Ramones. So I went down to Dante’s restaurant where she was working and asked if she wanted to play with me.

Myra and I started writing songs together and one night we were at Tastee Diner with Nation of Ulysses, who were playing a show the next day. Steve Gamboa dared us to play the show, but we didn’t have a drummer. He said he’d play drums for us if we opened. So we practiced with him all the next day before the show. Then we played our three songs, and it was a total mess.

Rachel Carns was staying at The Embassy and started playing with us. She was great, I really liked her drumming. We convinced her to do a tour with us across the top of the U.S. opening for Nation of Ulysses. Myra and I drove out to Olympia in my Datsun 210 with Mike Fellows along to help drive, picked Rachel up, and toured back to DC. We were hoping she would want to stay and be Slant 6’s permanent drummer, but she went back to Olympia, WA, once we got back from tour. Then James Canty played with us for a bit when Ulysses broke up and before Cupid Car Club started. Myra and I both worked at Food For Thought restaurant and that’s where we met Marge. We asked her to learn how to play drums and be in our band.

Myra Power: Slant 6 was formed from the connections of working at Dante’s. Dante Ferrando was Bobby Ferrando’s son. Bobby owned Food For Thought. Dante had played in Iron Cross, Ignition, and was at the time drummer in Gray Matter. That job was a great life changing experience! It was one of my first jobs working, and I got to meet and serve many legends working there. I made dinner and served the Cramps vegetarian lasagna. Poison Ivy told me she liked my knee high, silver spray painted horse-riding boots. My heart imploded. I remember Lux’s long clear fingernails tearing apart garlic bread. I had the biggest crush on Lux and he seemed like a gigantic dark alien insect. He kind of scared me! I remember waiting tables on Henry Rollins and HR from Bad Brains.

I was introduced to Christina through Ian Svenonius and James Canty from Nation of Ulysses. They often would come hang out there. Ian called me “Lil’ Ramona,” and eventually inquired if I was into rehearsing with Christina. We started trying to write songs in the basement at The A.P.E. Embassy where Nation Of Ulysses, Christina, and some of Bikini Kill and others lived. It was a huge group house.

Our first drummer was Jane Moon. We got to rehearse with Rachel Carns from Kicking Giant. Then right away, with Rachel, we were off on that first tour of the U.S. Then we met Marge, she was an amazing piano and trumpet player and an incredibly talented seamstress too, and made all of the outfits at the beginning for The Make-Up. She also made our Pajamas for the Slant 6 Inzombia record.

Myra, Christina, Marge. Courtesy of Slant 6

PKM: So I assume you had a following in the DC scene from the get-go?

Christina Billotte: At the time it was more like all the bands were friends and lived in the same house or neighborhood, so we would all play shows together. It seemed more like the scene had a following.

Myra Power: There was always such support at anyone’s show in DC. It seemed to me that all bands’ shows were always well attended. There were a lot of benefit shows happening. It always felt like a monumental moment. I’ve never felt that way again at shows since moving away from DC.

PKM: What’s your memory of the very first Slant 6 show with Marge Marshall? 

Myra Power: I do believe we played Food For Thought. We started to tour and played a lot of shows with Unrest, Fugazi, Shudder to Think, SleepyHead, Jonathan Fire*Eater, Scissor Girls, and so many other friends.

it was more like all the bands were friends and lived in the same house or neighborhood, so we would all play shows together. It seemed more like the scene had a following.

PKM: So while it is now a near superfluous question, I’ve got to ask about coming onto the DC hardcore scene in 1992 with an all-female lineup. The stereotype would be that the DC scene was a template of modern day “woke,” and that everything was cool. But was it?

Christina Billotte: It wasn’t really like we were coming onto the DC hardcore scene in 1992. I’d been there for years, I’d known everyone since I was 15 or 16. Autoclave was all girls. Everyone I knew was pretty supportive. Sure, there was sexism, but it wasn’t overt, more subtle stuff that I look back and recognize now, and not so much from our immediate circle. Bikini Kill came to DC in 1991, and Bratmoblie was there too.

Myra Power: I know that after playing to numerous mostly-male audiences that were not woke, I wanted to do something much more theatrical and dark. I personally have had a couple of “Me too” moments from my past in DC. I will leave it at that.

PKM: The hardcore scene in general could be, by the end of the ’80s, a pretty manly, violent mess. Got some show stories of having to elbow some fucker away?

Myra Power: Yeah, of course. The Skinhead movement in the music scene was often outside of our house. Trying to ruse all of us in the group house out into the ally for a ruckus, calling us Mods! So silly. Throwing shit at the house, and someone had spray painted an Anarchy sign on the hood of one of our cars. At Slant 6 shows the crowd was usually bewildered as to why were a three-piece band of girls opening for Fugazi. Sometimes we could get a little pit going. Of course there were always goofy-ass sexist comments. I have a few times had to kick off a meathead away from trying to touch my legs or something. The audience was at times to me disappointing. That’s why I often had my back to the crowd listening to my bass cabinet or was more into facing Marge and keeping rhythm with her.

Christina Billotte: Sometimes it was a drag, if you didn’t want to get hit or pushed around, you had to watch from the side. It depended on the show.

PKM: Slant 6 were a breath of fresh air for that DC scene, because you brought a different sound that might’ve harkened a bit to hardcore’s minimalism, but added an obvious change to that macho energy, with still choppy, angered songs.

Myra Power: Thanks Eric! I never have stage-dived. I’ve watched live footage of Slant 6, and we never were goofy crazy. I wish I had felt confident to do some kicks. Ha!

Christina Billotte: I had started playing music by learning bass, but then switched to guitar before Slant 6. While I was learning guitar, I was incessantly listening to The Wipers. But I think a lot of influences led up to Slant 6’s sound. Myra was really into the Ramones. I liked Wire, Blondie, Devo, the Kinks, Iggy Pop and the Stooges, the Gories, Dead Moon, the Breeders, and lots more stuff. I also think the music from the Vibrators record Pure Mania had an influence on my songwriting in Slant 6, but I didn’t really listen to the lyrics. I listened to that record in high school a lot, along with a lot of other English punk and pop, and also Motown. The Faith/Void record was a big influence and Rites of Spring too, their demo tape got passed around my high school. I would go to Second Story Books and pick up loads of albums for a dollar each. People were getting rid of their records and buying CDs.

 Myra Power: I definitely did not know how to play. I played by ear, or heart, or something. I had a typewriter and would write songs first from there, then write the actual music. Christina of course had played in Autoclave and with lots of other DC musicians, so she was really at ease with just picking up the guitar and chopping something out. We would go back and forth and write parts together; or we would come to practice with our own song. We together listened to a lot of the Gories and Wipers, Dead Moon, Blondie, Wire, the Delmonas. Richard Hell. That was kind of our “Learn To” map.

I think a lot of influences led up to Slant 6’s sound. Myra was really into the Ramones. I liked Wire, Blondie, Devo, the Kinks, Iggy Pop and the Stooges, the Gories, Dead Moon, the Breeders

Christina Billotte: I knew I wanted to play music that was not in weird time signatures like Autoclave had been, even though I think I was the one that added that to the band. Myra and I just started writing songs. And I do think Rachel had a part in developing our sound as well.

PKM: As far as contemporary inspirations, there were similarly jagged, female garage bands like Red Aunts, Babes in Toyland, STP, 7 Year Bitch, Tribe 8, and others right before Riot Grrrl really blew up. I remember there was a USA Today arts section story around then about Scrawl being the “Godmothers of Riot Grrrl.” And I heard Slant 6, Bikini Kill, Bratmobile, and other now-recognized Riot Grrrl bands before that term really settled into the wider cultural discourse.

 Christina Billotte: I saw Babes in Toyland and was really impressed. I had an STP single. Then Bikini Kill moved to DC and lived in my house. Their early shows I saw were great. They’d start playing and it was like they sucked up all the energy in the room and spat it back out at the audience. So yeah, those bands had an influence.

Riot Grrrl was forming in DC in 1991. There had been riots in DC in our neighborhood that spring when a police officer shot and wounded a Salvadoran man in Mount Pleasant. As I remember, I was sitting at the base of the steps in The Embassy. I heard Jen Smith exclaim from the second-floor hall, “Girl riot!” and then someone from one of the bedrooms said, “Riot Girl!” and the name was coined.

I also remember having a couple of long talks about Riot Grrrl in the dining room of The Embassy with Kathleen Hanna that summer. She would talk about what she wanted it to be, and I would talk about what the media would do with it. She had a vision that Riot Grrrl would be something girls in every scene could make their own. Strangely, everything we talked about pretty much came true.

I went to the making of the first Riot Grrrl Zine at Molly Neuman’s dad’s office. I think it was Molly Neuman, Allison Wolfe, Kathleen Hanna, Erin Smith, and Jen Smith that night. Kathy Wilcox was abroad, I can’t remember if Tobi Vail came down to the office, but she contributed. I made the back cover and contributed a Top 10 list, but I think when the fanzine was reprinted, that may have been replaced. I’m not sure, I only have the original copy from that night.

I went to the first Riot Grrrl meeting, and I was really excited to talk about doing Riot Grrrl Records. We had talked about it at The Embassy, and I had just put out the Autoclave 10”, split label with Dischord. In the meeting there was discussion about sexual harassment and assault. Then at the end of the meeting I tried to bring up Riot Grrrl Records. Someone, I won’t name names, called me an “assimilationist” and said I wanted to do things the “guy” way. I was offended and didn’t participate after that, except Slant 6 played a few Riot Grrrl shows. But Riot Grrrl definitely had a positive impact on women in music.

Riot Grrrl was forming in DC in 1991. There had been riots in DC in our neighborhood that spring when a police officer shot and wounded a Salvadoran man in Mount Pleasant. As I remember, I was sitting at the base of the steps in The Embassy. I heard Jen Smith exclaim from the second-floor hall, “Girl riot!” and then someone from one of the bedrooms said, “Riot Girl!” and the name was coined.


 PKM: There was a sort of sonic similarity within that particular scene – minimalist riffs, raw production, chop/shout style of vocals. Do you think that sort of minimalist structure was a reaction to the overly amped, almost metal production that hardcore and some alt-rock rising stars had been moving into?

Christina Billotte: I don’t know if it was a reaction, we were doing things ourselves and doing them our own way, playing off our influences.

Myra Power: I know personally I’ve never wanted to play singer-songwriter wispy whiny songs, which seems to be expected from a girl and a guitar. As well, the big turnoff of the whole man grunge god drug scene was happening. Bands like us at the time really liked the minimalist, straight out of the garage tones, like The Gories.

PKM: I assume the values of the DC scene were obviously an influence on Slant 6, but sonically, was the predominantly “Dischord sound,” if you felt there was one, an influence on the band at all? Your lyrics weren’t as pointedly political as Dischord or Riot Grrrl generalities.

Christina Billotte: It seemed like everyone had similar values at the time in DC, everyone pretty much grew up together. But I always thought Dischord bands encompassed a variety of sounds. We were definitely all influenced by each other, but no one was into copying any other band. I think Slant 6’s lyrics were personal/political. The way I write lyrics, I find it hard to be directly political, but the songs are about gender politics.

Myra Power: Christina and I wrote the lyrics for the songs that we individually sang on. Like “Nights x 9” and “30 30 Vision” were my songs. We shared lyrics in writing some songs. I think we were quite inspired by Rites of Spring vocally at times. I of course think that the girl bands in DC at the time rubbed off on each other. I don’t think we tried to sound that way. I hadn’t really experienced many hardcore shows. I lived in DC for a while before even attending a Fugazi show. I certainly was not straight-edge. We tended to write as a way like a girl gang group rather than really pointing fingers. I would think that some of our lyrics were mocking at times. We had some silly fun songs too. I mostly wanted to write some sort of echoing escape stories. Astral projection into future romance.

PKM: Tell me about recording your 1994 debut album, Soda Pop * Rip Off.

Christina Billotte: First we recorded a single at Inner Ear (in Arlington, Virginia) with Don Zientara. Ian Mackaye was out of town but was back for the mixing. Don had me do two guitar tracks exactly the same over the basic track so it has three layers of guitar. I like how that recording came out. Those three songs were added to the CD version of Soda Pop * Rip Off. [That album] was recorded at Inner Ear too with Don Zientara and Ian Mackaye. I think we did all the basic tracks, overdubs, vocals, and mixed it in six days.

Myra Power: Ian helped me with some structure in singing my vocals, as I had too many words to try and fit in a verse. He showed me where to stand at the microphone. It seems eons ago to me now. I was still such a youngin’ then.

PKM: The Make-Up were the other band on Dischord at the time who I thought really rose above the din. You guys played with them a lot, right?

Myra Power: Nation of Ulysses and the Make-Up were family to us. We lived and played together. Shared jackets! Ha!

Christina Billotte: We played more shows with Nation of Ulysses and Cupid Car Club. Slant 6 had broken up by the time The Make-Up really took off. We played with them when they first started, in New York at the old Knitting Factory when they were called Transistor Queens, before Michelle Mae was in the band. They opened for us and had kind of a terrible show. Slant 6 did a short tour with the Make-Up in the Midwest when it was just Ian, Steve, and James in the band. Both bands toured together in a cargo van that James “borrowed” from his work at CBS, and it was a really fun tour.

PKM: How much were you able to tour in general?

Christina Billotte: Slant 6 toured a lot. In the two and a half years we were playing out, I think we did close to 300 shows. We toured the U.S. several times and did lots of shorter tours around the East Coast and down to Florida. We toured with Fugazi in England and Scotland, but never made it to Europe or Japan.

Slant 6 – “Retro Duck” live performance:

Myra Power: We did tour around the country, out west and back a few times… and south in the fall or early spring. We often would tour to New York, Boston, and then play shows back home to DC. I can tell you about one of my most memorable shows which doesn’t have any documentation of us. We got to open for the Tibetian Monks and the Beastie Boys at WUST music hall before it became 9:30 Club DC. It was funny that Marge had the same exact green sparkle drum kit as the Beastie Boys. So the stage manager duder was kind of freaking out, and taping everything off, and yelling that we were not to touch anything. We really did not care! We were excited to play, not to steal their exact same equipment. Ha! This was a time when the audience really did not get us. I was thinking while playing, “You dork jocks, just wait until the Tibetian throat singers come on stage!” It was mind blowing to see them.

PKM: So again, it’s not like there were never any all-women bands by 1992; and I remember even thinking it kind of blew me away how much Riot Grrrl made an international splash based on that concept. It kind of opened my eyes to how ridiculous those “Girls play rock?” questions were back then.

Christina Billotte: I’d say Riot Grrrl was about a lot more than just girls playing rock. Yeah, there had been all-women bands, but relative to how many all-guy bands there were and had been, there were very few all-women bands. And especially in individual underground music scenes, which seemed like they were mostly guy dominated. When I was in high school, I had a hard time finding people to play music with, a lot of guys didn’t want to play music with girls, so I would ask girls to learn instruments to start a band. When Bikini Kill moved to DC, they changed the dynamic, and it felt like the scene was women dominated for the year or so they were there.

The “Girls to the front!” thing really was important because it was bringing awareness to the fact that the scene belonged to women too, and they didn’t have to watch shows from the side or the back or get pushed around.

PKM: It seems to happen with every new musical movement or genre at its start – there are some bands that have a natural aversion to being “lumped in” with any prescribed thing. Did you ever feel that about Riot Grrrl?

Christina Billotte: The Riot Grrrl aesthetic was a little different than what Slant 6 was doing, but mostly I didn’t identify with it personally because I felt pushed out of it. But we shared a lot of ideals.

Myra Power: I’ve got to say, I never really felt that way then. I think it happens now for it was a moment in time that is now lumped as “women who played music together in the ‘90’s are Riot Grrrls.” I reckon we get the lumps at times, as in the recent Rolling Stone playlist of Riot Grrrl bands. I truly believe it was important to have Bikini Kill, but I never felt like I was missing out. We just wanted to play. We won’t be doing a reunion.

When I was in high school, I had a hard time finding people to play music with, a lot of guys didn’t want to play music with girls, so I would ask girls to learn instruments to start a band. When Bikini Kill moved to DC, they changed the dynamic

PKM: Can you think of a show or event in DC during the Slant 6 times that showed some connection to the growing Riot Grrrl scene?

Myra Power: Everything happened so fast. People playing with other members from other bands made it not so intimidating to play shows in DC. We were playing for our friends. It was like playing in someone’s living room, which happened a lot! I feel we were eventually grouped in due to our mostly single-gender lineup. We toured as females alone in a van mostly always with female roadies. We played a show with Team Dresch and Bikini Kill at The Black Cat, in DC. Before the bands was a self-defense demonstration for women, in which there were actual women portraying/acting out physical defense scenes of would-be victims and aggressors. It felt important as I remember that show having a mostly pro women/girl audience. We played Positive Force Women’s Festival shows a couple of years with Norman Mayer Group, Tiger Trap, and Lois. We often played shows with Bratmobile, Unrest, Scissor Girls.

Slant 6 – “What Kind of Monster Are you?” live performance:

PKM: So your second album, Inzombia – with the zombie album art imagery and the slightly darker sound of that album – can we read any metaphors in there, as regards to the indie scene at that time? Or was it maybe even an internal comment that the band was nearing an end, what with the gravestones and all?

Slant 6 – “Ladybug Superfly” from Inzombia album:

Myra Power: No, not at all. We made a mini-movie which was shot and directed by Christina and Ian Spiv (Svenonius) called Inzombia. It was a short of us as zombies in our satin pajamas hanging out at donut coffee shops. I wore roller skates; Marge acted as she got herself sewn up with her sewing machine. It has been years and I’d love to see it. I believe Christina has the only copy.

PKM: Ian Svenonius is listed in the liner notes as the album’s “director.” How involved was he in the record? I read he co-wrote some songs…

 Christina Billotte: No, Ian Svenonius didn’t have much to do with the record and didn’t write any of the songs on Inzombia…. He helped us make that Super 8 movie. I think for me the aesthetic of the album was a fascination with old black and white movies and photography…. He and I stayed up one night and wrote a silent script, and then we filmed it. We showed the movie in DC a couple times with people playing live to it. Ian Mackaye had the movie digitized fairly recently, it’s goofier than I remembered. The soundtrack from the record still needs to be fit onto it, maybe it’ll get done by Halloween.

Slant 6 – “Victim of Your Own Desires” from the Inzombia album:

Myra Power: Ian was “Ian Spiv” [when he introduced] us at a few shows. We wrote all of our own songs. Maybe at times our band and the Make-Up or whoever was in the house during each other’s band practices got a bit of influence.

PKM: What led to Slant 6’s end? Where was the last show? 

Myra Power: We were on tour and had decided to take a break in Memphis. We had already made plans to go to England and tour with Fugazi. I had never travelled out of the United States before, so it was absolutely amazing to me to go with Fugazi on this mini-tour. It was amazing to see that Fugazi drew such a beloved audience outside the States. Our last show was in Leeds. We had an amazing time and didn’t really focus on the future of Slant 6. I remember staying overnight in this incredibly old hotel. We got the A-framed ceiling room on an upper floor. It was so spooky and hard to sleep that night, giggling for the feels of it being haunted

Christina Billotte: Slant 6 played its last show in Leeds. Marge didn’t want to be in a band anymore, and Myra had decided to move to Hollywood.

PKM: Dischord keeps the records in print, right?

Christina Billotte: Yeah, they repressed Soda Pop*Rip Off on vinyl a few years ago. They may repress a few Inzombias because Ian found 300 unused record covers, but I’m not sure when that will happen.

PKM: What was your initial reaction right after the band ended? Did you still hang around the DC scene?

 Christina Billotte: I wasn’t happy about it, I thought we really had potential, but I felt like I couldn’t seem to get the others to see what was possible. I was still living at the Embassy afterwards, and I played music with various people. I did a project with Amy Dumas on bass – who later became Lita of WWE fame – and Guy Picciotto on drums, called Insider Spider. I remember we played one of Ian Svenonius’s “Famous Monster” shows at the Cooler in NYC.

Myra Power: After our tour of England, I flew to my new adventure of Los Angeles. I bought a Chet Atkins Tennessean Gretsch and tried to teach myself guitar and slide guitar. I began playing with Aaron Montaigne and some of our friends from San Diego. We shared a practice space in downtown L.A. with the Melvins. We learned quickly to not touch their equipment. Ha! I lived in California for about two years and ended up moving back to DC with my new band members. We eventually created Tarot Bolero, which had a few different lineups. After a while, a few of us moved to New York, and I stayed living there for about ten years, with an occasional drift back to California.

PKM: Christina, when did Quix*o*tic start up? And what have you been up to in general these days?

Christina Billotte: Quix*o*tic started playing in 1997. Kathi Wilcox, Steve Dore, and I just finished mixing a Casual Dots album recorded with Guy Picciotto, Don Zientara, and Eli Crews that we’ve been working on for a while. Now we’re trying to figure out how to get it released.

PKM: And Myra, how did you end up in Columbus, Ohio, where you live now? And tell us about your new band, Thee Thees.  

Myra Power: It’s all Yalan Papillon’s doing! I met Yalan in Washington, DC, she was a booking agent at The Black Cat. She lived upstairs next door. So we would hang out often, then both of us relocated to Brooklyn. Yalan was one of the main booking agents at The Knitting Factory for years. She has been my friend for over twenty years. I had left New York and had been living for years in England in the West Midlands. I spent my last couple of years in London, near Wimbledon.

PKM: What did you do for a living while in England?

Myra Power: I had married someone from England, and that’s how I ended up moving there. I worked three jobs during my first couple of years. I worked at a 1950’s sort of Elvis diner next door to the venue The Assembly, which is host to Tammy Wynette’s tour trailer. I had no idea until I was on my way through the venue to get to our back stockroom and saw it sitting in the dark. Probably one of the weirdest moments I had living in England was me getting to sit on the bed inside her trailer. I worked as a bartender and also was a cleaner. When I moved to London, I worked retail in Wimbledon at a fashion chain of stores called Matches. I worked for Max Mara in sales, which I was horrible at, so I was fired. Ha!

I then found my dream job at a small garden shop by my house in Raynes Park, London by Wimbledon. I was in the front attending flower sales one day and a neighbor came in – Niki Eliot from the band Huggy Bear! We became friends, and she would visit often. I left England a few months later and was most sad to leave, and the idea that I could’ve gotten to play music perhaps. I could’ve stayed there, I had my visa to remain. I needed to make the choice to get back to the States and look after my mom when needed. That was most important.

So anyway, Yalan had her own venue in Columbus called Double Happiness. I needed to be with her, my best friend. I had wanted to start to play music again after many years. Our friend John Schmersal from Brainiac was touring with Crooks On Tape, and they played there. After the show he made me play a bass. I wanted to start a band again. I met Ian Graham, who has about five bands himself, and I was fortunate that he has the patience to give me that push I needed.

With Thee Thees, we are both into having a monster alien spooky space garage kind of sound thing. He helped me start to write songs as a two piece. I’m on guitar, slide, and vocals, and Ian is on a stand-up drum kit, sings, and plays a chaos pad too. We were introduced to kid Jason Dennis to play bass. Thee Thees played our first show on a Halloween night at Double Happiness opening up for the amazing Kid Congo and the Pink Monkey Birds. We recorded a demo in our living room, and now have a split 7-inch with Kyle Siegrist… and are on a few different compilations too. We’ve been fortunate to play with a lot of old and new friends. Alice Bag, Death Valley Girls, Black Lips, the Messthetics, Des Demonas, Davilla 666, M.O.T.O., Scrawl, and, oh yeah, the legend Mitch Ryder!

Ian and I also have another doomy three-piece called PHLOX. I play bass, Ian plays guitar and sings, and Michael Doskocil from Drunks with Guns plays drums. I guess everyone in the Columbus scene is looking forward to the music to happen again. But when?!

PKM: On a macro level, when Trump got elected, we all thought, “Fuck, really, there are still this many sexist, racist assholes in this country?!” On a micro level, do you feel things have changed a lot as far as “Girls play rock?!”

Christina Billotte: I think a lot more women play music now than when I was starting out. But racism and sexism are always there, covertly and overtly.

Myra Power: Fuck him and fuck that. Vote, resist, and donate!

Courtesy of Slant 6