With their new release, the LA-based four-piece surprise even themselves at the extent to which they’ve been able to express many aspects of their creativity and the world around them. In Androgynous Mary, their debut album, we’re treated to an LP of cohesive sounds already sophisticated beyond their years, proving there’s a bright future in Girl Friday’s post-punk apocalypse.
Congratulations on your debut album release. Listening to Androgynous Mary, it’s clear that song structure wasn’t a priority for you guys when recording the album tracks. How much of this was deliberate when you started producing the record? Was there a need to rebel against a more commercial sound coming out of LA right now, or was the process more uninhibited?
Sierra: I think that’s something that happens pretty naturally for us with four songwriters who all have slightly different styles and backgrounds.
Libby: Songwriting has to be deliberate! We’re trying to paint a sonic picture and every stroke matters.
Vera: We also consider our own boredom when performing. I mean, who wants to repeat a chorus, amirite?
Virginia: Wow, I cannot agree with the boredom sentiment enough.
The songwriting itself seems more calculated. There’s certainly a feeling of hopelessness within the album, but that it’s shared by all of you as songwriters and your audience is hopeful in itself. How much of your individual and collective creativity do you think has been helped or hindered by current events?
Libby: The thing I’ve recently learned about myself is that I am just a sponge with legs and I subconsciously absorb everything around me. It’s been wonderful to see all of that come out in the art I’m making now, but it is frightening to see it all come out at once.
Vera: As a living breathing human person, it’s impossible not to be.
You naturally all share a love for music and creating together. Do you feel encouraged that what you’re putting out there might inspire or comfort someone else?
Libby: Absolutely!
Vera: What’s your name? You are a very kind person indeed.
It goes without saying that it’s a strange time to be releasing your debut album, and any artists promoting right now are experimenting with lots of new approaches. Do you have any more ‘Quarantine Cabin’ performances or listening parties lined up, or are your hearts firmly set on performing live for audiences once again?
Vera: We’re open to exploring! Although deep down, we are rock n’ rollers from 1972.
Speaking of live performances, Androgynous Mary sounds a lot like the kind of raw garage/dorm productions we’d expect from the likes of Courtney Love and Hole, who we know are among your influences. To what extent have bands like Hole inspired you to release a record that doesn’t sound too polished? Is this something you feel works best when performing live?
Libby: You can get in a real hole of trying to perfect everything. Sometimes it’s better to let it come out naturally and just let it be.
Virginia: I think leaving a little room for human error can bring a lot of life to records. As Bob Ross once said, there are no mistakes, just happy accidents.
Songs like Earthquake pack a real punch, lyrically and sonically, so much so that it almost feels like a call to arms. Can you tell us some more about what it was like recording a track like that? Was it cathartic to just let it all out?
Vera: It is. I think at the moment there’s a lot of angry energy, and sometimes you just feel like boiling over. We hope it can be a sense of catharsis for others. An organising model is anger, hope, action, and in a sense, the record repeats those sentiments.
The opening track, This Is Not the Indie Rock I Signed Up For, is something of a sombre contrast to Earthquake. How literally should we take that title? What hopes do you have for the future evolution of the genre?
Vera: It sort of has a triple meaning, which we can leave for everyone to decipher. But the way it initially came about was rather superficial; we were rather terrified delivering this record to the label. So it was a warning to them about what to expect, or not expect.
I’m interested to know how much of your influences are mutual and connect you as a band. Was the process of creating Androgynous Mary even strictly musical, or was it inevitable that you’d find inspiration elsewhere, whether this be LA culture, your own personal experiences growing up or even what you’ve each been dealing with more recently? 
Libby: Art imitates life, and as Oscar Wilde says, life imitates art.
The Public Bodies video stands out for me as being really ingenious. Can you tell us a little bit more about how you approach writing video treatments? How much of your ideas are spontaneous, and how much do you feel the need to acknowledge or tribute any music videos you loved growing up?
Vera: We have Gussie Larkin and Ezra Simons to thank for that. We engaged with them about the meaning of the song, and Gussie came up with the idea. We have approached each video differently so it’s hard to say, we have yet to discover.
Although we’ve touched on your influences, it’s clear you’re a band that can’t really be categorised too definitively. Still, you’ve got a sound and style that’s specific to you. What would fans of your music be surprised to learn about the songs that have shaped you? Are there any guilty pleasures?
Libby: Quite a lot of folk music. I’m a big Vashti Bunyan fan. No guilt necessary.
Vera: No guilt here. I grew up on a lot of New Zealand reggae and R&B, which is something I only identified as unique upon moving to LA.
Virginia: There was a big appreciation for ska growing up in San Diego. It was a good day when I got to see the Aquabats perform at Comic-Con.
LA has long been a hub for creativity, whether commercial or avant-garde. Are there any other more contemporary artists you’re inspired by right now, whether it’s on the LA scene or beyond? Are there others you’d like to tour with when we can all enjoy live music as it should be enjoyed again?
Libby: Kate NV.
Vera: Sloppy Jane.
Virginia: I would recommend giving a little listen to Cry Babe (Portland), Rosie Tucker (LA), Pussy Tuesday (LA), Fatty Cakes & the Puff Pastries (Fresno), and Suzie True (LA).
We noticed you’re donating Bandcamp sales of Androgynous Mary to The Bail Project. That’s a pretty generous thing to do for a band promoting their debut album. Do you think being apolitical as an artist is appropriate anymore, or has it ever been? What do you think the music industry at large should be doing to champion certain causes?
Vera: It was never really a question for us and I appreciate your kindness, but I don’t think it’s anything we should be applauded for. If anything, we need to figure out how we can do more on an ongoing basis. We need to create spaces in our communities that are inclusive and safe and considerate. As for the industry, I never really trust their motives.
Finally, we can imagine it must’ve been pretty nerve-wracking releasing your debut album, but we’re sure you’ve breathed a sigh of relief for completing it and putting it out into the world as well. The future’s uncertain for a lot of us right now, but what’s next for Girl Friday (other than world domination)?
Libby: I’m going to sleep!
Vera: Watch some cartoons and stay tuned.
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