By Walter Price
The music you make before you earn any substantial money from it is probably the most interesting. Trying to transfer that sound rattling around your cranial cavity to the instruments at your mercy is thrilling, daunting and if you’re lucky, rewarding. Not just for the creators but to the eager eared witnesses.
San Francisco’s Rich Girls (Luisa Black, Chris Sipe, August Churchill) have a new EP Fiver (Breakup Records) that finds this Rock N’ Roll band shadowing the post-punk garage textures of late 70’s Iggy Pop , Cure and respectful echoes of Mazzy Star and Jesus & The Mary Chain.
Captivating, at times dark, familiar and elegantly raw drive of vocalists/guitarist Black wrapped in the sinuous sounds of Sipe and Churchill, Rich Girls simply rock the joint. In this case Fiver.
Music from the soul is art and making the palette multidirectional and spatially open for interpretation gives a band leg room. Room to breathe and ability to expand on that sound rattling around in their cranial cavity. I expect Rich Girls will continue to explode with surprise in sounds as the greats of various shades of garage rock have done before them.
I caught up with Rich Girls’ Luisa Black for a chat about this and that.
Is Rich Girls still a ‘solo project’ or is this your band now you’re home?
Rich Girls is a full band now. I’m still the songwriter but now I have a ripping guitar player and drummer. Much better than sitting around alone with GarageBand all day. Even for a solo flyer.
Worse: This was written in 20 minutes on my living room couch in London. It was bitterly cold and I hadn’t left the house for days. Usually lyrics are the slowest parts of my writing process but this came all at once. It’s about old compulsions. I tracked the demo in GarageBand and sang directly into the crappy computer mic. The studio recording really transformed the feel of the song but there’s a demo version out there that’s low-fi and spooky.
You seem to enjoy the things being written about the new EP Fiver, anything strike you as odd? Do you think people are getting what you’re doing?
I love music journalism. Seriously. I think it’s a highly underrated skill and unfairly maligned. For something like Rich Girls which is as much an art project as it is a band, it’s great when writers get it right. Global Texan got it right by the way.
It seems from my vantage point San Fran is exploding into the music scene to be in, again.
Doubt it. Everyone’s too busy worrying about rent.
How much of a community is the scene there…is it all for one or don’t get in my way?
There’s a small but committed indie rock community and everyone’s kind. Personally I’d like to see more troublemaking in rock and roll. A little band rivalry keeps everyone sharp.
Touring is expensive and a gamble, what are the plans for Rich Girls?
We’re doing regional touring and we need to sell a million t-shirts or die. I usually write MERCH in giant letters on my arm before a show to remind myself.
Why switch labels for this release?
The money. Just kidding. We have great coverage in San Francisco with Tricycle so we’re extending our reach with Breakup Records out of Portland.
Soft Disease: This one’s a bit hard to talk about. I wrote it the day after Phillip Seymour Hoffman died. He was my one of my all-time favorite actors and it felt like a real blow to lose such a cultural force to addiction. So the lyric “I’m overdue lately / already news / already news” is about him and about imagining your own death.
What are five things the world should know about Rich Girls.
- We’re not rich.
- Almost none of us are girls.
- Guitar, drums, no bass.
- I write all the scripts for our videos and I need someone to put me in touch with Richard Hell who I want to cast in the sequel to Worse.
- Talk to us: email@example.com
California Girl: Straight up Jesus and Mary Chain rip-off! Actually I was experimenting with singing at the bottom of my register. It’s a love song to California and to walking the line of self-destruction. We worked hard on the reverb. I love the guitars and the big snare.
Thank you and congratulations on a killer EP!
Thanks, Global Texan Chronicles. Why are you called that? We’re the last of the internet power users and Google still won’t disclose the mysteries of your name.
Well, about that…