With the band on tour after supporting their second album ‘So When You Gonna…’, which earned both #18 UK Album Chart debut and a #1 placing in the Official Record Store Chart of Independent Retailers. The record, which was the only album in the top 20 to be produced by an all womxn / non-male engineering team, as well as the only non-major label release, was subsequently named one of Rough Trade’s Top 10 Albums of 2020. Backseat Mafia got chance to put some questions to the band to find out the who, what and where with vocalist Rakel Mjöll, guitarist Alice Go and bassist Bella Podpadec.
Can you give us a potted history of the band
We started in art school in Brighton. It’s been a pretty organic journey. We did it in a very DIY at the start; touring on the flixbus, sleeping on friends sofas, mixing our own sound… the band was really shaped on the road, we played a lot of live shows before ever releasing anything. And as soon as we put out our first ep our now label Lucky Number offered to step in. We’ve released two albums and toured all over the world!!! Playing live shows is such an honour and a joy and we are so excited to get back into it!
Who inspired you to start making music
Honestly for me (Bella) it was Alice!!! We’ve known each other since we.were teenagers and it’s always been super inspiring to see Al rip it up on stage and her support really made it feel possible for me !
And the one or two records that inspired you artistically
Among the band there has always been a great love for artists with an art school and DIY approach to music, for instance, Peaches, Le Tigre and Robots in Disguise were big influences when we were starting out. The feeling with these acts is a really creative approach to the sonic and visual manifestation of the work, creating an entire band world, and also that sometimes having fun fuels the biggest fires!
If you’re trying to explain who you sound like to someone that’s never heard you, what do you say
Like if Kathleen hannah, Debbie Harry , Joan jett and pj Harvey had a music baby together.
Tell us about your new album
For our second record we wanted to practice what we preach and decided to enlist an all star team of amazing women to create So When You Gonna…. Producing the record was Marta Salogni, engineering was Grace Banks, and mastering the record was Hebba Kedry. We recorded it all at Pony Studios in London and ate a lot of cookies from the local cafe during the process! It was a really supportive and understanding environment to work in and create an album touching on sensitive issues but also ripping it up in places.
Where can we get hold of it
Come to the rock show and buy it on vinyl! Old school.
Tell us how you write
One of us will have an idea they want to bring to the table, be that lyrics or a riff, and we will feel it out as a unit in the live room, with our drummer Alex. The idea takes on a different form when it is thrown into our shared sonic space and that is what is so exciting about being part of a rock band!
Tell us about your live show. And how much have you been missing it recently
We have missed the live show so much, it has felt like the soul of this band had been put to rest during lockdowns and the ban on live music. Honestly we can’t wait to play songs from So When You Gonna… that have not yet had their time live, due to releasing the record just before the pandemic hit. It is going to be so joyous to be able to finally share in this new music together at the rock show.
What can we expect from you in the near future
Currently we are working on new material that we are very excited about, so far it really feels like these new songs are drawing on a total love for the live power of music, experienced together, watch this space!
Tell us your favourite record that’s rocking your headphones / tour bus / stereo
We all recently had a total moment with PJ Harvey, particularly her earlier more guitar driven records. Rid of Me embraces such raw emotion and dramatic dynamic range, we are very inspired by her power.
The band are currently on tour
Tour dates are as follows:
- 17/03 – Oxford, The Bullingdon
- 18/03 – Norwich, Waterfront
- 19/03 – Nottingham, Rescue Rooms
- 21/03 – Leeds, The Wardrobe
- 22/03 – Glasgow, St Luke’s
- 24/03 – Birmingham, O2 Institute 2
- 25/03 – Manchester, Gorilla
- 26/03 – Bristol, Ritual Union
- 29/03 – Portsmouth, The Wedgewood Rooms
- 30/03 – London, Electric Ballroom
- 01/04 – Brighton, Chalk
- 02/04 – Cambridge, The Portland Arms
Tickets are available HERE
So When You Gonna… is out now via Lucky Number – buy / stream HERE.