On stage at Coachella GG Magree purrs “I’ll let you drag me to hell if you hold my hand” wearing a metal studded LBD spelling out sex. She’s dressed in gothic outfitter Havoc and is every bit the pop punk star. She’s heading to Tomorrowland in July and has proven herself as a confident conductor of huge crowds. Her angelic voice meeting the crunching bass and driving guitars on this EP expresses its title Dichotomy perfectly. GG Magree’s EP drops 19th May, stream here.
We pick up where we left of on our previous interview with GG Magree to find out why romance is her biggest muse and the most punk thing she’s ever done. Illustrating GG’s words is her exclusive editorial for METAL self-styled as a reference to the iconic Girl, Interrupted. The film like this album riffs off the lived experience of women’s mental health difficulties. Reclaiming those labels GG wears a tattoo of the word psycho on her hand.
You started out DJing hip hop in Australia and now you’re an electronic mogul in America. It’s been a lot of hard work and you’ve had your eyes on the prize from early on. After playing Decadence Arizona in 2019, you specifically mentioned “steering off into being a pop star” was your plan. How does it feel to be where you are now?
I made a lot of changes in 2020. I never really felt like I knew who I wanted to be as an artist, I just did what I felt in the moment and trusted the journey. After taking some time and really exploring my voice and overall direction and how I actually see myself as an artist, my vision has never been more clear and I’m so lucky to have a team that supports me 100% and is down to help execute all my weird ideas. My manager Joey really is one of the best things that has ever happened to me. He’s my right hand and I feel super lucky to have found him in the middle of Covid. I keep saying to all my friends I’ve never felt so powerful in my career and a huge thanks is to him.
As a kid, despite growing up in a small coastal town in Australia, it seems like you gained a strong footing in the dance music industry from your club-owning Dad, who helped you start out. What artists did you grow up listening to? How important is music in your family – both your biological and chosen families?
Growing up I listened to pop punk, rock and screamo - I'm a huge Parkway Drive fan. One of my first CDs I ever bought with my pocket money was Blink 182. I’ll never forget the first time I heard I Miss You. I still listen to that song once a week. My mum and dad are both really into disco so there was a lot of family living room dance parties. Me and my dad actually still do kitchen dance-offs when I'm back home in Australia. My chosen family here in the states are mainly all musicians and entertainers of some sort so music plays a huge part in our group. Me and my wifie are always sending each other new music which can range from twerk to techno.
Frontlines with NGTHMRE was the first-ever vocals you recorded on a song. It’s a very club-orientated dance track that remains your most-streamed song on Spotify – at 35 million streams. Does this kind of sunny production still reflect who you are as an artist, especially given this darker, punk-driven EP? Or do you feel like “a stranger looking back” as your lyrics state?
With anything lyrically it's always about whatever's going on in my life at present. I write from experiences and emotions. Frontlines will always be my baby, however I wasn't involved in the production. I sent ZD & NGHTMRE the acoustic version and let them have their way with it. I’m a punk baby mixed with EDM so this new EP is all me!
Most of your releases really obsess over love, so it follows that your friends threw you a gothic wedding recently, rather than a birthday party for your celebrations. What is it that makes romance your biggest muse?
I’m generally a really happy upbeat person and when it comes to romance, it’s usually when I feel the most vulnerable. It’s also when I learn a lot about myself. I’m huge on choosing who you let into your life and who you choose to share time with so generally when relationships come to an end is when I’m in my feelings the most.
Unified by your “shared values of Sex, Drugs, and Rock and Roll” in the imagined wedding, you look like a young Courtney Love. Does she influence your songwriting as well as fashion choices?
My agent, manager, family and friends are always telling me I was born a rock star. I don't really think it influences my song writing, I think it's just who I am as a person. I'm wild and I love that about myself.
In the gorgeous visual you’ve put together for Coachella, you dress in white and black angel wings singing the titular track Dichotomy. The sense of horror makes me think of Black Swan and the dark underbelly of pursuing artistic perfection. How do you feel about the imperfect?
I wanted to visually show the dichotomy of myself between the good and the darker, more evil version. I love horror movies and one of my favourite quotes ever is by my favourite writer and director, Eli Roth: “I've always been fascinated by the idea that there's no such thing as evil; it's all in your point of view.” I almost pride myself on being imperfect, I love my kinks and fully embrace the fact that I'm weird and psycho - I actually have psycho tattooed on my hand.
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Rings KNOCKOUT, GG's own white tank & accessories.
If you were a horror story character, who would you be and why? A killer two-headed bunny bear?
I’d be BB (Bunny/ Bear) because there’s that bunny part of him that's so enduring and you want to cuddle him and love him but then there's a bear that wants to set everything on fire and watch it burn to ashes. I think the best thing for any horror character is to manipulate love and hate and BB does that perfectly.
Your youthful love for pop-punk metalcore shines through on your 2021 single with Aaron Gillespie Tear You Apart that seems to pre-empt some of the sounds on your up-and-coming EP DichotomyDeja Reve particularly cranks up the punk. Is steampunk something you love or hate? What type of punk are you?
I'm actually a huge fan of people like Yung Blood and Machine Gun Kelly. Their hooks are super catchy and it's fun to listen to. I’m my own punk baby, there's only one GG Magree in this world.
What is the most punk thing you have ever done?
I went to federal prison.
Bitch is an intense break-up song that also seems to talk about being in a relationship. You don’t shy away from making your exs negative character trait quite clear. Does music feel cathartic?
Music is my therapy. Eveything I feel, I write. I write every morning when I wake up. Whether it be the dream I had that night or if I’m feeling happy and why or sad and why. If you looked at the notes section in my phone it's just endless poems and scribbles. I'm not afraid to be an open book or tell my story.
I love your manipulation of tempo in Blood Rush – it creates that perfect feeling of disorientation and head-spin that is so exhilarating. How did you come up with the idea to warp time in this track?
The song is about an outer-body experience so the instrumental naturally rode with it. Hazzah!
Finally, what can we expect from your live performances this year?
I’m bringing a band baby! GG and the Luficers are about to set your soul on fire.
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Rings KNOCKOUT, GG's own white button-down & accessories.
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White tank FM669, trousers GEORGIA IC25.
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Rings KNOCKOUT, GG's own white tank, underwear, & accessories.
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GG's own coat & accessories.