Summer Cannibals is the newest band to pick up the Kill Rock Stars torch 

click to enlarge JOHN CLARK
  • John Clark

Life on the road can be draining for any musician. Few understand that toll like Jessica Bordeaux, who played two sets a night on a recent West Coast run.

Bordeaux, guitarist and lead vocalist for Summer Cannibals, a Portland, Oregon-based rock band, performed double duty in mid-May as a support guitarist while on the road with The Thermals.

During a recent Oklahoma Gazette phone interview, Bordeaux said that while intense, the experience of that tour’s run has only added to the fun for her. Summer Cannibals hits the road again later this month before its June 9 gig at Opolis, 113 N. Crawford Ave., in Norman with Poolboy.

“We will have been touring for a month before we leave [for the tour that includes Norman],” she said, “so we should be really tight, which is good.”

The band includes Bordeaux, drummer Devon Shirley and bassist Jenny Logan. Their fun, catchy, heavy new album, Full of It, drops Friday.

Still, Bordeaux said of all the things she and her bandmates have done, she is most happy with what their live show has become.

“It’s high energy, and we put a lot of time into it,” she said. “We’re really proud of it. I hope [fans] have fun and people like it.”

Summer Cannibals’ moniker was borrowed from a song co-written by Fred “Sonic” Smith and Patti Smith, one of Bordeaux’s idols.

Staying independent

In February, Kill Rock Stars, a diverse record label with a proud history of working with feminist riot grrrl punk and alt-rock acts and high-profile, female-backed bands like Sleater-Kinney and Bikini Kill, announced it was making Summer Cannibals its newest signee.

Bordeaux said she met with Kill Rock Stars president Portia Sabin around the time the rock band put out its second independent release, Show Us Your Mind, in 2015. Sabin invited her onto her radio show to talk about working as an independent act.

“I came in and I brought her a copy of the second record,” Bordeaux said. “She said she was a fan, and when she heard we were going into the studio to record the next album, they basically were like, ‘We want to put it out.’”

Though Summer Cannibals had talked to other labels about releasing its next album, Bordeaux said independent record label Kill Rock Stars made the most sense and felt right.

“It was more the opportunity presented itself,” she said, “the opportunity to have some of that work off my back so I could write more and tour without the pressures of running a label and releasing your own stuff.”

Bordeaux also said she does not feel any pressure to live up to any of the great, groundbreaking musicians that have passed through the Kill Rock Stars label in the past.

“You can’t expect to touch that [talent] ever, especially when they’ve covered a lot of ground,” she said. “There was a more politically charged motivation in that music. For me, I’m not really interested in that right now because I feel like they did it better than I could.”

Print headline: Feasting fandom, Summer Cannibals starts a new chapter under the Kill Rock Stars record label.

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