Meet The Goth Queen of Panic & Mayhem Sloppy Jane (possibly NSFW)

Haley Dahl creates music that’s not only beautifully orchestrated, but also shoves you into a world of dazzlingly bizarre chaos.

Inspired by Marilyn Manson and Jack Off Jill, Dahl created Sloppy Jane at age 15. The project started as a small punk rock trio screaming, smashing and convulsing through their angst. Over a decade later, Sloppy Jane has evolved into a 10-piece choir of dark angels singing stories of characters lost in a bleak world of sludge and sin while a naked Dahl vomits blue paint and directs a band of misfits.

Each live performance is as much a spectacle as it is a punk rock show. “I’m always just trying to wear myself out [on stage] and make myself feel something and try to get other people to relate to some very indescribable feeling that I’m having,” Dahl tells BTRtoday. “Even though the set has changed, the intention has stayed the same … I feel like it was always supposed to be what it is now or what it’s becoming.”

Dahl’s main goal on stage is to present her music as a cohesive tale. Each song is deliberately placed in the set to create a specific narrative. However, the performance is still very much a punk rock show. The audience is not only able to feel like they’re part of an epic adventure, they are also able to rage and mosh in a grungy DIY space.

Like Sloppy Jane’s live shows, the album Willow was carefully constructed to create a narrative and share an emotional journey. Dahl says it needs to be listened to all the way through in order to be fully understood. “I was trying to do the math on trying to make people feel a certain thing or see something that they hadn’t already seen,” Dahl says. “It’s a story and should be listened to that way.”

The album begins with a maniacal laugh at the start of “King Hazy Lady,” an uplifting tune that wriggles under your skin. This sets the stage for the album’s saga—the story of a woman possibly losing her mind. Each track is a new phase in this woman’s spiraling life. “Peroxide Beach” is probably the most stressful song on the album, with its spoken word vocals about waking up on a brown leather couch, suddenly aged to 95 years old, set to a piercing beep.

Sloppy Jane “King Hazy Lady” – Jam In The Van

Though Dahl doesn’t like to discuss her personal ties to her music, she admits that her latest album, Willow, has influences from real life events. She says that the album is loosely based around a strip club worker named “Willow.” The climax track “Bark Like A God” Dahl says is the song that the character chooses to strip to.

“It’s sort of like a hip swinging dark weird song that plays on a few certain feelings,” Dahl says. “It kind of changes perspectives a couple of times within it vocally, which I wanted so you can feel almost as if there’s a conversation being had between a seller and a patron [at a strip club].”

Dahl furthers on the track saying that even though it mentions God in the context of sex, it is not meant to perpetuate themes of religion or sexuality at all. In fact, Dahl is celibate and “very much a man of God.”

“I just don’t have sex, I don’t care about it,” she says. “And I really resonate with the concept of there being a higher power—it’s a universe that I like to exist in more, one where I decide that everything has some kind of extreme meaning.”

Currently working on scoring a film, Dahl also says that she already has two new Sloppy Jane albums in the works and plans on touring again very soon. You can catch the Sloppy Jane extravaganza in June with multiple shows coming up around NYC. In the meantime, listen to Willow and hear the entire interview with Dahl on this week’s The Music Meetup.

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