Playing M.A.S.H with Grumpy Plum

By Devon Chodzin

Photography by Arbela Capas

Cleveland’s Grumpy Plum are known as “world’s cutest band,” and they’ve earned that nickname. Between bandleader Tallulah Swasey’s trademark purple hair and their infectious hooks that evoke a similarly bright color palette, Grumpy Plum has updated pop punk for the Tik Tok generation. It’s an energy that makes me feel young again, in all the best ways possible. 

On the cusp of their soon-to-drop second EP, Slumber Mag invited Tallulah and her new bandmates, drummer Mattie and bassist Laurel, to play a little Tour M.A.S.H. With tours on the horizon again, we figured it was prime time to predict exactly what Grumpy Plum’s next tour will look like: where they’ll stay between gigs, where their tour will start, what they’ll drive, eat, and listen to. Check out what happened next:

Slumber: Let’s think of four locations where a tour could start…

Tallulah: Boston.

Mattie: Is Cleveland, like, an acceptable answer?

Slumber: For sure! What’s one you could never imagine? Like Mars or something.

Tallulah: I don’t wanna shade any places…

Mattie: I was thinking like Alaska or Nova Scotia.

Tallulah: Nova Scotia! 

Mattie: Yeah, I could really see myself enjoying it, but it would be super inconvenient to start there. Like, we’d be starting 13 hours away from the second gig.

Laurel: I don’t think they’ll take it personally!

Slumber: Sick, another one?

Laurel: Chicago.

Slumber: Perfect. What are four genres that you might play the whole time?

Tallulah: Is indie too broad? We can do better.

Mattie: We could put slop pop on there.

Tallulah: Hell yeah, slop pop. 

Mattie: Could we get Norwegian death metal on there?

Slumber: Yeah! (all laughing)

Laurel: I was gonna say something along the lines of that, so perfect. 

Tallulah: Glam rock.

Slumber: Sweet, one more you wanna throw on there?

Mattie: ‘50s be-bop!

Slumber: Great, now let’s do a vehicle to get you around.

Laurel: Party bus!

Tallulah: Oh duh! Uh, go kart. 

Mattie: A motorcycle. Just one motorcycle for the three of us.

Laurel: Yeah, get one with the car on the side!

Tallulah: A zamboni. 

Mattie: Oooo, that’s a good answer.

Laurel: That’s good because if we’d start in Alaska, that’d work out!

Slumber: Sweet, then a tour food item you eat at every stop. 

Mattie: What is that, chickpea salad?

Tallulah: Chickpea salad! Yes!!!

Mattie: Should we throw mint Oreos on there?

Laurel: I’d probably just say tacos from the closest local taco place.

Tallulah: Yes, LOCAL tacos.

Slumber: Okay yes, what about something terrifying?

Tallulah: Ooo, chocolate hummus. Have you had chocolate hummus?

Slumber: Yeah, and honestly, I didn’t hate it!

Tallulah: It’s not so much a taste thing as a texture thing. It feels like you’re eating hummus but it does not taste like you’re eating hummus.

Laurel: Yeah, it looks like pudding so you’d expect it to be smooth. 

Tallulah: Yeah, I saw it at Walmart and thought, “yeah I like hummus, I like chocolate, this should work in theory!”

Slumber: Perfect, now it’s time for the science. I need Laurel to close your eyes and I will draw a swirl then you tell me when to stop, starting now.

Laurel: STOP!

Slumber: Perfect, now we count how many gaps there are: 1, 2, 3, 4, and we’ll go through all of this and it’ll tell us the fortune for your next tour.

Tallulah: I feel like I never played this in middle school. Like, was I a real middle schooler?

Laurel: Same.

Slumber: TBH, I had to watch YouTube videos to remind myself how to play. 

Laurel: Did you ever do the… (makes close hand gestures)

Tallulah: Oh yeah, the one with the fortune teller thing you fold up.

Mattie: Those were just called “fortune tellers”.

Laurel: Yeah, you pick a number and a color and you find out who you’re gonna marry and where you’re gonna live and how many kids you’ll have.

Mattie: And there were always like, three kids in class who knew how to fold them and they were the most popular kids.

Tallulah: I was that kid, I was not popular. There was one that you’d have a list of names and then you would fold the paper into fours and you’d like, push the button, “boy or girl” and you’d get your fortune too.

Slumber: Alright, we’re ready. In between tour stops, you’ll be sleeping in shacks. Tour’s starting in Chicago. On the way to different gigs, you’ll only be listening to glam rock. Of course, you’re doing that in your go-kart and you’re eating local tacos.

Tallulah: Honestly, this all tracks. Chicago’s our top listening city on Spotify. 

Slumber: And they have good tacos.

Mattie: Everyone talks about the pizza.

Slumber: It’s good but it’s a risk.

Tallulah: I haven’t had Chicago pizza!

Laurel: It’s simply too much.


Check out Grumpy Plum’s latest EP Would You Tell Me? below: