Breaking Through | 7 Questions with Girl Friday
FFO: Hole, Bully, Sonic Youth
Simultaneously bogged down and propelled by LA living, Girl Friday's off-kilter, punchy brand of grunge at times feels indebted to an avant-garde guitar band from America's other foremost coastal city, Sonic Youth, given their necessity to redefine how they're defined and play the provocateurs.
Feeling ostracised from a heteronormative society helped engender a dogged spirit amongst the band (Vera, Libby, Sierra, Virginia), but they never shy away from looming issues that we're all prone to succumbing to - disenfranchisement, existentialism, ennui, you name it. And they like to make a real noise about it.
Sharing a label with the likes of Chastity Belt and La Luz, the four-piece have found a creative home in Hardly Art, a label that has cultivated a safe, fertile space for womxn and female artists to operate. Still, nothing particularly phases them, (even the construct of a standard Q&A format interview, given their witty, glib retorts) as long as they've got each other.
Before their debut album Androgynous Mary is unveiled this coming Friday, we snatched a few words of enlightenment from them:
How long have you been writing music together as Girl Friday?
Vera: Well, really forever. Because writing music is just stepping out of the way of the ultimate composer, so in a sense everything we have written has been together and in a sense nothing has.
Libby: Since Alan Cumming birthed us out of his celestial womb.
Did you initially come together with a similar agenda/vision?
Vera: I think secretly so, it just took a while to figure that out.
Libby: Yes: make money, get bitches.
Sierra: “Agenda”? *sweats nervously* I have no idea what you’re talking about…
Can you describe your creative process throughout writing/producing Androgynous Mary?
Libby: Pray to our ancestors, eat a blessed meal, pick up the guitar and it practically writes itself.
Sierra: And we must always remember to leave half of the songs unwritten until the week we’re supposed to record them all.
Have you been in bands before? And how does the album differ to any of your previous material?
Sierra: I’m in another band called The Altogether with my brother and our friend Brian. We’ve been living in different states for the past few years, so we’ve been more focused on recording than on live shows. But when I do perform with them, it involves many more farmer’s markets than performing with GF (regrettably) does.
Do you think LA has had an impact on your writing?
Vera: That's like asking, does having your kitchen made out of cheese influence your choice of pizza topping?
Libby: It has given me most, if not all of my existential dread.
Sierra: The tragic differences between what I imagine LA to be versus the reality make for a frightening influence, indeed.
Are there any tracks on the album that have any significant meaning?
Vera: Geez, I hope not.
Libby: (See question 2)
Sierra: We have intricately woven the secrets of the universe into the threads of 'Dear Mary'. ‘Tis not for the faint of heart, but we can entrust with you the knowledge that every track glimmers with these truths.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Vera: You can’t polish a poo, but you can roll it in glitter.
Libby: My dad told me on the way to my differential equations exam in college that I would never become a doctor because I wasn’t cut out for it. So, I stormed out, passed the test with flying colours, and then immediately switched to liberal arts.
Virginia: Don’t smoke cigarettes.
Sierra: Take a look at the ocean, some time.
Androgynous Mary is out on Friday (21st August) via Hardly Art.