When multi instrumentalist Megan Magiera met bassist Barbara Barrera, the two musicians had no idea it would lead to romance, let alone countless shows, tours, and their own DIY label Moonkid Records.
Magiera started playing music alone in her Anaheim bedroom, even working on Slice material before finding a drummer. “I kind of forced Barb to play music with me,” she jokes, noting how much Barrera, a punk bassist from Westminster, has grown musically in the short year they’ve performed and written music together.
Although both are OC natives now living in Long Beach, Barrera and Magiera don’t seem to have much in common at first glance. Magiera in her almost signature denim look is more influenced by indie and ambient rock, simultaneously channeling riot grrrl and heavy blues riffs through spacey reverb. Barrera is deeply rooted in ‘70s punk and American hardcore. “Meg's playing is really intricate and she has a lot of dynamics,” Barrera says, “I just try and make something that sounds really minimal and honest that will fit like a puzzle piece and complement her playing.” Rather than clashing, they meet in the middle creating textural music best described in art metaphors: angular, perceptive, surrealist, and queer.
The bands queer identity is important to them. “We don’t really advertise that were an all female type band,” Magiera says. “But I love that were a queer band because we can represent a community that doesn’t get exposure that often, [especially since] some people are closeted and don’t talk about their sexuality in connection to their music."
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Slice went on their first tour after adding new drummer Kelsey Landazuri to the lineup in early April, rounding out a stacked traveling bill of three Long Beach bands on a tour that went all the way to Seattle and back. “It was Barbara’s idea to go on tour,” laughs Magiera. The idea of joining Meow Twins, Freeman’s Dead, and Seek the Freak came to Barrera one night while she was between employment and knew it may have been her only shot at fulfilling her teenage dream of playing music on the road. “It was hard,” Magiera says. “We made it difficult for ourselves by joining last minute. So, we just were scrambling for shows.” Barrera admits that even gearing up for tour was hectic. “We hand made 75 tapes and t-shirts for three bands, and we were practicing with our new drummer every day for four hours,” all before even getting in their makeshift tour vehicle: a cramped Yaris Hatchback filled to the brim with gear, luggage, and passengers. In a horrible blunder, all of those Moonkid tapes they worked so hard on were destroyed on the road: Magiera and Barrera watched in horror as the tapes slide off their friend’s van’s cargo rack and under a semi-truck. “We pulled over to see if there were any that were ok, Magiera says. “Out of 75, there are 4 smashed copies left.”
After a series of short run releases and scrapped recordings, Slice is thrilled to have a song on an upcoming compilation put together by the Long Beach Music Collective, featuring music made by Long Beach artists, all somehow related to the occult. In addition to their song on the LBMC compilation, Slice are working on an EP they plan to release this winter on their distro Moonkid Records, a DIY endeavor run completely from the Slice apartment which has already released material from Long Beach staples like Meow Twins.
While Magiera plans to incorporate the sounds of the Long Beach into their new tracks, Barrera can’t wait to get back on the road, something she is planning for this August. “I always wanted to go on tour,” Barrera proudly reminisced, “and I would do it all again.”
Slice will perform Sunday May 15th at the Long Beach Music Collective’s compilation release show, featuring Sanguine Knight, Hellgal, Miniature Houses, and more. Located at 4th St. Vine, 2142 E 4th st. Long Beach, CA, 90814. 3-8PM, 21+