'We want to do it all': The Screaming Females are ready for Alaska in first-ever tour visit

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Mar. 2—The Screaming Females have toured through 49 states since they formed in 2005.

This month, they're finally checking Alaska off the list. The New Jersey-based indie punk group launches a weeklong tour Saturday in Homer that also includes shows in Anchorage, Fairbanks and Talkeetna.

And according to Screaming Females frontwoman and guitarist Marissa Paternoster, the band is ready for the full Alaska experience.

"Anyone who reads this and has access to a dog sled and will let us ride on it, please tweet at us, email us, whatever you need to do," she said. "We want to do all the activities. We want to ride on a dog sled, we want to ride on a boat, we want to look at a moose, we want to see the northern lights. We want to do it all."

The band has had Alaska on its list to tour for quite a while, according to drummer Jarrett Dougherty. Last month, the band released a new record, "Desire Pathway," and used the opportunity to hit Alaska before embarking on a full U.S. and European tour that stretches into midsummer.

"We've had 49 states done for quite a number of years now," he said. "So we've always kind of tried to keep a line open to figure out how to get up to Alaska. And since we knew we're gonna have this new record coming out, we figured that this was the best opportunity to get that done."

Local musician Jaybird Parkhurst helped set up the string of shows, which appealed to the band for including some venues in smaller towns as well as all-ages shows.

The band is also including local openers in all of its shows, including Murmur, SunDog, Wash Your Hands, The High Femmes and others.

Paternoster, selected as one of the greatest guitarists ever by Spin magazine, said with the new album, the band tried to be exploratory without totally discarding their unique raw sound.

"We never go into making any record with, like, a meeting on what kind of songs we're gonna write, what kind of genres we're gonna emulate," she said. "We usually just jam together and then see what songs come out. We've been together for such a long time now that it's kind of impossible to not try new things or at least have the desire to try new things."

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The band recorded at Pachyderm Studios, the legendary space south of Minneapolis. It has hosted sessions for classic early '90s rock albums like Nirvana's "In Utero" and PJ Harvey's "Rid of Me" as well as recent albums by more contemporary groups like Beach House.

"Whenever we make records, I feel like I just get stuck in a room until I'm told to leave," Paternoster said. "My experience was like, really similar to all the other ones in the room with an engineer for like 12 hours, but it looks really pretty from the window."

The Screaming Females gained notoriety as champions on the DIY scenes popular in punk and underground music. As times have changed, so have DIY tactics.

"I'm really grateful that we started our band when we started our band," Paternoster said. "I don't know how we would deal with participating or wanting to participate in DIY with content creation and social media being such an integral part of what it means to be in a band now.

"It's definitely not what we signed up for. But like, you know, looking at our phones as much as we do, we just want to get people to the shows."

The Screaming Females Alaska Tour

Saturday, March 4

Alice's Champagne Palace in Homer, 9 p.m.

with Wash Your Hands, Jaybird

Monday, March 6

Sheldon Community Arts Hangar in Talkeetna, 7 p.m.

with Murmur, New Last Name

Wednesday, March 8

Bad Mother Vintage in Fairbanks, 5 p.m.

with Murmur

Goldies in Fairbanks, 9 p.m.

with Jake Chavez, Murmur

Thursday, March 9

Cafecito Bonito in Anchorage, 7 p.m.

with The High Femmes, Brainhole

Friday, March 10

Koot's in Anchorage, 9 p.m.

with SunDog, Same Moon

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