Band of the Day: Venus Grrrls

A band who go by two names get the chance to stamp their identity on today’s BotD article…

Simple things first – where are you guys from?

We are based in Leeds!

How did you meet?

We all went to Leeds College of Music for University. GK put a post on facebook looking for female/identifying instrumentalists and we all came together from the call.

How long have you been playing as a band?

Our first gig was February 2018 so we have been gigging for just over a year now.

Before you get sick of being asked… where does the band name come from?

Grace’s old instagram name was Venus Girl around the time we came together as a band. It sort of made sense to be called Venus due to the philosophy and background of it. We go under VenusGrrrls a lot now to make it easier to find us online. This is heavily influenced by the Riot Grrrl movement.

What are your influences?

Music wise Bikini Kill, Wolf Alice, Dream Wife, L7 and Rosetta Tharpe. Riot grrrl is a massive influence on the band and is what brought us together. Riot grrrl was a movement in musical history that is once again not spoken about often enough. Particularly because it gave lgbt+ creatives a safe space to explore art. This had a knock on effect throughout the entire industry, and hopefully means some lgbt+ creatives now feel safer in the industry despite there being loads more work to be done. This movement has definitely allowed us to feel safer as musicians in the industry and has allowed us to write music with more ease than we could have before the movement. It was actually a riot grrrl band, Bikini Kill who brought us together and set us on the path that we are on today.

Describe your music. What makes you unique?

Rock with an astrological, spacey twist. We all have totally different influences coming into the band as we all listen to different genres. I think this is a massive part which creates our own unique sound. The synthesisers definitely have an effect on the music too due to them being as versatile. It takes us away from being just a rock band.

Do you have any particular lyrical themes?

Lyrical themes are rich with a lot of anger, feminist ideology and societal injustices both from a personal and general point of view. We like to think our lyrics say something real and make a political statement.

What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?

A lot of energy! We have played around 27 shows so far.

What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?

Probably when we played Sonic Sisters in Hartlepool. GK has Alopecia and one of our songs explores how she has dealt with it, two guys in the front row who also had alopecia shouted “It’s ok to be bald!”, so GK threw her wig off and sang without it. It was a very empowering gig for us!

What kit do you use / guitars do you play / etc.?

Jess’ guitar was made by her and her dad so it’s completely one of a kind. Grace plays a Fender Telecaster, Hannah plays a Shortscale Squier Jaguar, Gracie plays a Roland Gaia SH-01 and Gabby has a Mapex Armoury kit!

What, if anything, are you plugging/promoting at the moment?

We are currently promoting our second single “Sour” which will be released on all major platforms on the 7th of June. “Sour” describes the aggravation derived from shallow characters pre-conceptually generalising or judging you, and mistakenly thinking they’ve ‘figured you out’. We are also plugging some battle of the band shows that we are currently competing in. We are playing FutureSounds Emerging on the 18th of July and Centre Stage on the 25th of July which could ultimately get us a spot at Reading and Leeds Festival 2019.

What are your plans for 2019?

Release more songs and tour!

Header photo by Sophie Jouvenaar

Venus Grrrls: facebook | twitter | instagram | bandcamp

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June 27, 2019 8:38 AM

Great interview, great band !