Eat Around the Bad Parts by Girlfriends
Girlfriends are a band from Allston who play punkish rock n roll. They recently were on the cover of the Boston Pheonix. You need to know about them. Check out the interview below.
When and how did you all start? What do you think of the Boston scene? As someone who lives in Alston, I always wish there was a bigger more important scene than what seems to be around. That might just be me though. Congrats on the Boston Phoenix cover by the way, that is pretty cool.
Andy, Jenny, and I started playing together in late August of 2009. I'd just finished a tour with my band at the time which seemed destined to be our last. I had been talking to both Andy and Jen about possibly playing in that project for awhile, so when it dissolved, it seemed natural to try to play together. Supriya, a mutual friend of Andy and I, stepped in to replace Jen this month, who left to focus on teaching.
I think the Boston scene is great, but it's a tough city to form bands in. There's a huge turnover rate among the young and determined, because of the transient student population. I think Boston's older residents occasionally become jaded because of the rapid influx and exodus of college kids every year. Who wants to spend time on a scene if everyone's going to bail (or if you yourself are going to bail) next semester? At the same time, each semester means fresh blood, which can reinvigorate a stagnant arts community. It's unpredictable, but I like that about Boston.
How was SxSw? At least from the twitter feeds I have seen, Tx seemed to dig you guys? Do you have any more plans to tour this year? Is there a new record on the horizon?
SXSW was really fun, and sort of overwhelming at times. Andy was the only one of us who'd been to the fest before. It was kind of incredible to have the opportunity to see so many great bands from all over in one city over the course of a few days, but it's also a reminder of just how many musicians there are vying for the attention of music listeners (not to mention what absurd lengths those musicians will occasionally go to in order to secure that attention). As far as our shows go, we got some compliments and some of our friends down there got to see us and we were pretty excited about that. We hope to go back on tour this spring or summer, and to have our first LP out this fall. Fingers crossed!
Cave Kids by Girlfriends
What goes into recording a tune for you all? Your songs are pretty short and rocking, do they come out that way initially? What bands have inspired you all?
We've recorded a few different ways. On computer in a dog day care warehouse, in Andy's mom's basement on his cassette 4-track... The last two singles were recorded with our friend Jerry MacDonald in what used to be his grandparents' craft store in Weymouth, MA. He has a great 16 track 2" tape reel-to-reel setup, and all sorts of awesome noisemakers and effects lying around. It's pretty comfortable, too. There's a Dunkin Donuts and 7-11 next door, so sometimes we drink way too much coffee and eat way too much candy and want to speed up all our tempos.
In terms of writing, a song usually begins with just a few loose parts, but Andy or I have occasionally brought in songs that are nearly fully formed. In either case, new ways of playing the parts always develop with practice, and especially during tours. I think our songs stay on the shorter side because a lot of the music that we listen to revolves around the concept of the 2-3 minute pop song. I don't like to repeat lyrics much, either, so I tend to run out of words pretty quickly. Then I have to end the song.
In general, I think everyone who plays in Girlfriends likes 50s and 60s pop and surf music (Del Shannon, Dion & the Belmonts, The Ventures, The Kinks). We also like the B-52s, The Feelies, The Fall...a lot of late 70s/80s post-punk stuff. I'm not sure how much of all this shows up in our songs... What else? Rocksteady. 60s reggae. Andy has been really into contemporary R&B and hip hop lately, too--Drake, The-Dream, R. Kelly.