Samantha Westervelt and Olivia Saperstein left their previous band, the Pinks, because they were sick of being called “cute” and they wanted to scare people. So they formed Egg Drop Soup, vividly named after their own euphemism for menstruation, and set out to raise a bit of hell.
“We just knew that we wanted to do something a little harder than the sort of ‘60s, surf punk doo-wop thing,” Westervelt says. “It wasn’t really giving us an outlet for our rage the way that we wanted. I basically came up with the name one day when I was thinking about how I had eggs in my body and one drops out once a month. I texted [Saperstein], almost half joking. ‘You want to start a side project called Egg Drop Soup’ and she replied ‘Yeah, duh.’ It went from there. That was in 2017.”
The lineup originally included a dude – drummer Greg Settino. Now though, Bailey Chapman occupies the stool, and the chemistry is perfect. The issues that plagued their last band are in the past.
“I was butting heads with another member of the group if I’m being honest,” says Westervelt. “It was an ego issue. She just had some trouble relinquishing control over certain things, struggled with sharing ideas, and all of that. I was also really sick of people telling me how cute we were and how cute our music was. Fuck that. I don’t want to be cute. I want to scare people, or make people think. Be the opposite of what someone assumes I’m going to be just by looking at me.”
“There wasn’t a lot of room in that band to play around,” adds Saperstein. “We had a lot to say and a lot of energy to get out. Playing guitar, I wanted to play in a heavier band. So it was a no-brainer for me.”
It certainly is a heavier band. Egg Drop Soup isn’t pop-punk at all, but rather sludgy, swampy punk in the Clutch, Eyehategod sort of way. A few people, they say, are shocked when they see them play.
“I want everyone to be like, ‘What the hell was that?’,” says Saperstein. “I think we do that. People never expect us to sound like what we sound like and do what we do.”
The sound, Westervelt says, has evolved during their three years of existence. It’s inevitable – she only started playing bass in 2016 and has gradually been writing songs more and more using that instrument rather than keys.
“As I’ve grown as a bassist, I think that my songwriting personally has evolved a lot,” she says. “Olivia comes up with some of the most complex shit that I’ve ever heard. It just keeps growing. So I would say yes.”
“I think it’s hard to track our evolution,” adds Saperstein. “Obviously, the pandemic, but also we’re releasing all the newer songs as far as when they were written. But I think we’ve 100 percent evolved as far as all of the music has gotten more complex, and heavier.”
Christmas Day saw the band drop their Eat Snacks and Bleed EP, and they’re super-happy with the way it turned out.
“I think even though some of the songs on there were recorded like two years ago when we were still very fresh, there’s definitely a storyline with the attitude and everything, and I just think those five songs go really well together,” says Westervelt. “It’s like a little journey through our minds.”
The themes, they say, include standing up for yourself, not telling a person how to behave, living on your own terms, and calling out injustice. And naturally, the outgoing Trump administration was impossible to ignore.
“It’s interesting, because ‘Hard to Hold On’ specifically became more relevant even though it was written last year,” says Westervelt. “The pandemic hadn’t happened, but Trump had been in office and that was something that weighed the state of affairs that we experienced in our country for a while, not just because of him. I think that definitely informed our work a lot, because it’s just what we live every day. How can you not write from what you know and experience?”
Meanwhile, the recently released video for the song “Swamp Ass” has an ‘80s prom theme, inspired by a house they stayed in for Saperstein’s birthday.
“It hasn’t been updated since the ‘80s,” says Westervelt. “It just lends itself to that storyline. We were there with the director Augie Duke – she’s a close friend of ours – and she was just like, ‘Ohhhhh.’ She just saw it. That happens with us sometimes and it’s inexplicable, where we just know, whether it’s in the songwriting or the creation of our videos – we’re always reading each other’s minds. It’s really cool.”
The band members have been staying sane in lockdown by staying busy. Chapman actually joined the ranks during the pandemic.
“Not only have these ladies been working on recordings and music videos, but also getting me up to speed on all the songs,” the drummer says. “That was a huge undertaking that we did the first month of working together. We’ve literally been working towards the livestream, recordings, a music video, planning our next video, other issues – just staying really busy.”
“I would say that our twice week practice is something that I look forward to the most, partially because it’s the only thing to look forward to,” adds Westervelt. “But also just because it’s an outlet for everything that’s going on. I feel fortunate that we’re so close, not just as band members but as friends and people. Whatever we’re going through individually, we can commiserate in our practice space. It’s been a lifeline for the last nine or ten months. Time doesn’t really exist anymore.”
True enough. But they at least have a few plans penciled in for 2021.
“We’re recording our next music video and we’re hoping to shoot that in January some time,” says Westervelt. “February is fine too, no rush. We’re also planning a livestream, or a pre-recorded livestream performance. Like an EP release party. A lot more goes into planning things now. If we want it to be anything other than the three of us participating, we have to be extra cautious and safe about it. We get COVID tested as frequently as we can. That’s a factor – making sure everyone is safe and doing things as cautiously as possible but not suck all the fun out of it at the same time.”
She says in conclusion, “I can’t even comprehend playing a show. It almost hurts too much, thinking about it.”
Egg Drop Soup’s Eat Snacks and Bleed EP is out now.