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Interviewed by
Michael McClelland
Wednesday 17th October, 2012 10:09AM

GRRLFRIENDZ have been showing up on quite a few gig posters recently in the Auckland All Ages arena. Before this, they were amusingly called SPICEGRRLZ and recorded a few loose demos about things like school and friends and other topics of teenage relevance. Having piqued our curiosity, we got in touch over email to find out more about their three-piece all-girl selves...

We noticed your name pop up on a few All Ages bills around Auckland – how old are you guys?

Yeah it’s been pretty sick playing gigs around. Annabel and Sophia are 18 and Toyah is 17.

How did this band come about?

We've (Yoyah and Sophia) known each other since intermediate and caught up at some house party where we decided to start a kickass all-girl band. Our friend then introduced us to a kickass guitarist (Annabel) and it just sprung from our first jam.

And why’d you change your name from SPICEGRRLZ?

We booked our first gig but didn’t have a name so our friend Joe Bowman (Gringo Starr) put us on the lineup under 'Spicegrrlz' and it kind of stuck. We changed to Grrlfriendz cause it was difficult to verbally explain without sounding like a Spice Girls cover band. Fuckthat.

Why don’t you guys have a bass player?

Toyahs too lazy to pick up a bass. But mostly cause we don’t know any good female bassists.

Would you ever want to do this kind of thing full-time?

Yeah man it would be a dream.

How do you identify with Riot Grrrl?

Bands like Bikini Kill, Babes in Toyland and The Red Aunts are our gods. The influence has kinda just shaped us into a riot grrrl style, but as it’s 2012 sadly we are probably more girl-punk.

To you, is Riot Grrrl specifically an ethics thing? Or would you say it’s more a description of a band’s sound?

We personally associate more with riot grrrl as a sound than the strong feminist values that are connected to the genre/movement. However, being an all-girl punk band kind of comes with the role of standing up as girls in a male-dominated music industry.

Some feminists might take issue with a track named ‘Boredom Leads To Whoredom’ – what’s your take on that?

Hahahaha. “Find a different hobby, maybe you'll feel better, lame that you can only feel happy when it’s wetter.” Girls nowadays are just so frivolous when it comes to their sexual promiscuity, for us we feel like a lot of girls need to respect themselves rather jumping into bed with someone as soon as they are bored. I hear gardening is pretty fun.

Where do you think Feminism is at in a place like New Zealand?

I mean we are not Saudi Arabia, women have all the basic human rights. But there’s still inequality, it has its place for what needs to be stood up for. Overall we are pretty lucky to live in a place like NZ.

How do you think women in bands are viewed in NZ?

There aren't enough of us (girl bands) to have a massive scene in New Zealand, but those that are out there like Las Tetas have a some sweet hype so we think the reception to girl bands is pretty good.

Do you know many girls that are in bands?

We know heaps of kids in bands but not many girls. The NZ music scene is still male-dominated but the girls we do know are talented as fuck.

And do any come to mind who you particularly respect?

The two girls from Street Chant rock - and Diana Rozz (a band from Wellington), Princess Chelsea and Las Tetas.

How do you feel about going to shows as a girl? Considering that that was what partly ignited the movement in the early 90s.

There’s always a few raised eyebrows when we get on stage, so I guess there is this pressure to show the audience that we're actually musicians and not just a bunch of girls playing with instruments. Could just be that we are the new kids on the block. That feeling is going more and more as we keep playing and people are starting to appreciate and recognise us. Gigs are such a mean buzz we love it.

There’s a pretty good scene around the world for this kind of stuff – have you explored this much online? Thought about getting anything out there?

Yeah! We listen to a lot of the music online, found this really dope band Spider and The Webs. We've been really busy this year so we haven’t checked out much online opportunities as a band. Definitely looking into promoting ourselves more.

Do you have any plans to release your music yet?

We're currently working on our album titled 'Girls On Boys On Girls On Crack’. Most of it’s down, we’re just saving for recording.

Tell us what the All Ages scene in Auckland is like at the moment...

Enraged and Underage.


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