Chatting with Chastity Belt

Mallory Martin

“Fuck Chastity Belt!”

You’d think this would be an insult hurled by a displeased crowd member, but for Whitman’s all-girl rock group Chastity Belt, it’s exactly the opposite. The band has seized this rough, in-your-face catchphrase as its motto.

Credit: Allie Felt

Composed of seniors Julia Shapiro on vocals and guitar, Gretchen Grimm on drums, Annie Truscott on bass and Lydia Lund on guitar, Chastity Belt was originally inspired by the “angsty teens of Walla Walla,” as well as their own personal frustration.

“We needed to get out our angst, and we found our form of expression. We were all stressed out working really hard at school,” said Shapiro. “I think we can all agree that we feel much better after practice or a show: or breaking bottles too, that helps.”

“I think we just had a bunch of pent-up angst. We started breaking bottles, realized that didn’t cut it and then actually started playing music,” Lund added.

“And now we have music,” Shapiro continued. “So thats like . . . ”

“Our medium of expression,” said Lund.

The self-described “post-post-punk-merging-into-neo-punk” band was officially born in the spring of 2009, when the group won BetaFest. However, the girls were playing together for some time before that.

“Originally we would just pretend that we were in a band called Chastity Belt. We’d be at a show and we’d start chanting ‘Chastity Belt’ to get the crowd going,” Shapiro said. “Then once [the other band] was done we’d use their instruments, but we didn’t know how to play them. So we’d kind of pretend that we had a song, even though we didn’t.”

“Mostly after everyone had left!” said Lund.

Chastity Belt no longer has to pretend, and you can check out some of their original music, like “Pussys, Weed and Beer,” and “Teenage Hooligan” at www.soundcloud.com/chastity-belt.

Although the seniors are pursuing different interests: Shapiro is a psychology major with an art minor, Grimm is studying mathematics, Truscott is a politics major and Lund studies biology, they all agree that music is their true, communal passion.

“I think music will be with all of us forever,” said Shapiro. “We are all very passionate about music.”

Fans should keep a close watch on the band next semester. After a stress-filled fall semester, the girls plan to devote their spring to music and have some new songs out soon. Check out their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/chastitybeltmusic for information about upcoming concerts and releases.

Pussy, Weed, Beer by Chastity Belt