Girlpool Interview 12-13 June 2019.
Here is the new Girlpool. This special duo made its name five years ago thanks to their minimalist indie folk ditties. At that time, Cleo Tucker and Harmony Tividad only used one bass and one guitar. Nowadays, their songs have evolved quite thanks to a more complex production and the addition of drums. Cleo has undergone hormone therapy and has a totally new appearance as well as a more masculine voice which intensifies this sense of evolution between Girlpool’s first recordings and the fourteen solid new songs which appear on ‘What Chaos Is Imaginary’ (Anti-records). It’s interesting to see how different the band is today. What remains is remarkable friendship and a passion for music that will be broached in the following interview.
The topic of the next magazine feat. Girlpool is ‘summer heat’ but it’s still not hot at all in Belgium right now. It seems like summer hasn’t started. The heatwave will most likely be there when you arrive. When you have to pack for the tour, do you think about the kind of clothes you have to bring? Is it important for you?
Cleo: to be honest I haven’t really begun thinking about the apparel I’m going to choose to take for this tour! I typically haven’t been very interested in shorts, but I think I’m going to have to get over that seeing as the heat wave will be there when I arrive.
Exactly and do you intend to swim at some point during the tour? To relax…
Absolutely – We absolutely do.
Which country are you most excited to visit?
Have you seen much of it so far?
Yes, quite a bit. We love travelling through the mountains from France to Italy or Switzerland. It is a great experience.
Every new Girlpool album is completely different from the last. Was it something you had planned in the beginning (not repeating yourselves)?
Definitely not. We try to honour what we feel. The creative process depends on where we are but it’s not calculated.
Are you worried about climate change? Wildfires in L.A. are really threatening, right?
We are definitely deeply worried about climate change.
Can you choose three words to describe your new album?
Exploration, self-reflective, growth oriented.
Was the creative process different for this one?
Yes, a lot of the songs, Cleo and I wrote, almost came completely independently and then we got together to record them and explore where we could take them.
Do you live close to each other? How often do you see each other?
Well, at the time we weren’t living close to each other. We were living in different cities (Philly for example) when most of this work was made but now we live in the same city and see each other almost every day. Haha or every other day. We hang out a lot.
Can you summarize the lyrical content of your last record for us?
Oh, it encapsulates a lot. It’s really hard to get all the lyrics in there. It’s not really one message you know. It’s a bunch of different personal ideas. It deals with friendship and evolution for sure.
Do you start with the text or with the music?
It can go either direction, it really shifts. It’s nothing too consistent.
Do you feel close to some bands in the States / L.A.?
Yes, definitely. There are a lot of amazing creative people here doing amazing things – It’s very inspiring. Many bands come to mind: Lala lala, Vagabon, Porches, Sasami, King Princess, Alex G, Hand Habits, Tomberlin, etc.
Is there a question you hate answering during an interview?
Hmmm, not sure. I actually like talking about music a lot.
Which famous singers / band(s) would you like to go on tour with?
Stevie Nicks haha. I love Stevie. Cleo loves Neil Young and Madonna.
Do you have unexpected tastes? Things that you love and no one would guess you’re into?
Hahaha. I love philosophy books and new age spirituality books and I love bad tv: Vampire Diaries, Riverdale, etc. I guess it’s not bad tv – like reality tv shows? But it’s not great tv – teen tv – nooo – not reality tv
Do you have a favourite venue in Europe?
Botanique in Brussels is one of my favorites, it’s so beautiful but there are a lot of gorgeous venues there. We played on a boat once in Bristol and that was amazing too.
Do you feel like a professional musician building a career? Is Girlpool allowing you to make a decent living? Do you have another activity?
I have a lot of passions and creative outlets, I love performing of all types but yes it is both of our careers as of now and is supporting us – it’s very amazing getting to play and write for a living. I love to write.
Could you advise our readers to read one book that really speaks to you?
Letters to a young poet by Rainer Maria Rilke.