September Girls are a five-piece girl group based over in the fair city of Dublin. And yes, you may well have guessed they do indeed play the sort of reverb-soaked garage pop that we at VP Towers are very much in the thrall of. Their demos hinted at great things and their limited ‘Wanting More’ cassette sold out in a matter of days, so quickly in fact that we were unable to secure a copy, leaving us erm, well, ‘wanting more’ really. But fear not, the Girls return with a new 7″ release; the quite sublime ‘Green Eyes,’ which is apparently centred on “justified jealousy” via Soft Power Records.
It’s a tune is awash with reverb, chiming guitars, pounding drums, thundering bass and you can’t help but think this is how great The Bangles, minus the sunshine could have sounded had they been produced by the Mary Chain’s Reid brothers. Chuck in a swirling 60’s korg sound, gorgeous layered harmonies, reminiscent of the wonderful Lush and you have a potent seductive musical mix.
So potent and intoxicating in fact that we scampered off to talk to Jessie from the band ahead of their gig supporting PINS at Manchester’s Soup Kitchen.
VP: You all seem to have been in different bands at some point, how did September Girls get together?
JESSIE: Ireland is a small place and we were friends anyways while in different bands. When those bands fizzled out, we started playing music together but found we were a bit lost in finding our sound. Paula had met Sarah while in another band, we basically poached her for ourselves, and she turned out the missing puzzle piece.
VP: As you may be new to our readers do you fancy introducing the band, who does what and maybe reveal any secret superhero ninja skills you all may have
JESSIE: Sarah is on drums, Paula is on bass, Lauren plays keys, while Caoimhe & I play guitar. We don’t have any one lead singer and share singing duties for most all songs. No real superhero skills except perhaps a tendency for all of us to do embarrassing dances at inappropriate times.
VP: You’re about to release a 7″ “Green Eyed” which I hear is the first of three? What’s the overall plan?
JESSIE: A few different independent labels approached us about releasing some vinyl so we figured rather than release one EP we’d do a series of 7inches. Green Eyed is the first to come out alongside Danny Wood on Soft Power Records, which is due in early October. Straight after that, we’ll be releasing a three-track 7inch on California’s Matinee Records followed by another 7inch on an Irish-based label, Art For Blind, which will hopefully be released before the end of the year. From there we’re planning on working on a full-length album for 2013.
VP: Although you’ve only been together about a year, what have been your weirdest gig and most memorable gig experiences so far?
JESSIE: We haven’t really had any weird gigs so far, but we had some great gigs, especially over in the UK. We prefer small venues and we loved playing London’s Power Lunches and Sheffield’s Audacious Space which both double as rehearsal spaces. Something about those types of venues are more relaxed and just sound better.
VP: Who are your musical heroes, the people who have inspired you to get involved in making music? And while we’re at it who are your musical villains, the ones who make you reach for the off button and cause you to wonder how on earth these people where allowed near a microphone never mind get a recording contract.
JESSIE: That’s a tough question as with five personalities we each have different musical heroes. There’s no doubt that a few of us would be hugely inspired by girl groups of the 60s and the whole wall-of-sound, but we’d also be fans of post punk as well as a lot of 90s groups as that’s what we grew up devouring. It’s sort of a running joke that we all just LOVE MUSIC so we couldn’t imagine not making it ourselves. As far as musical villains… Personally I’d be pretty cynical about a lot of current mainstream pop, don’t get me wrong, there are some pop acts out there who are absolutely great, but a lot of it is pure marketing and just appealing to the masses. The fact that the Black Eyed Peas simply read a calendar and people go ape-shit gets me pretty annoyed at the state of the general public’s musical taste.
VP: Most upcoming musicians are struggling due in no small part to the gargantuan nobheads who are running the economy and also the seismic changes in the way music is listened to. What’s the scene like in Dublin is it supportive of new bands?
JESSIE : Dublin is tiny, so most people in the scene know each other and are generally supportive of each other. It’s a bit incestuous to be honest! Money is always tough as people have less to spend on going out and in turn, promoters have less to give live acts. We’ve all got day jobs and don’t see that ever changing, but we make things work with the band by doing everything as DIY as possible. Recording with other musician friends, or sharing travel expenses with other bands. But in a large part, we do have the Internet to thank for getting our music out there. As I said, Dublin is tiny, and our audience here is tiny, so technology has made it so much easier for us to find a like-minded audience, book gigs, talk to labels, and get our tracks to radio.
VP: What do you think are the major obstacles facing a new band when they first start out?
JESSIE: I think finding your own sound is probably the hardest, but most important, obstacle for a band to get through. Trying to get that sound to come across live, especially if you’re working with an unfamiliar live engineer, is always hard but it is important to stick to your guns and learn the best way to achieve that sound, otherwise you risk losing your audience.
VP: Imagine you have a secret bunker inside a dormant volcano, then imagine you have a three-point plan for world domination, what would be phase 1, your immediate hopes for the band, and then moving on to phase two and then finally phase three
JESSIE : Haha! I don’t think we’d be that bothered about world domination. Our sound probably only appeals to a small handful of noise obsessed weirdoes and we don’t plan to change that any-time soon. As for immediate hopes for the band, we’d like to record an album and do some further touring in places we haven’t yet been.
VP: Name one album each you couldn’t live without
JESSIE: It’s quite a diverse mix as there’s 5 different personalities here.
Caoimhe: The Ronettes – Presenting the Fabulous Ronettes
Paula: Amy Winehouse – Back to Black,
Lauren: They Might Be Giants – Factory Showroom
Sarah: Interpol – Turn on the Bright Lights,
Jessie: The Beach Boys – Pet Sounds.
VP: Five words to describe September Girls…
JESSIE: Noisy, Reverb, Creepy, Harmonies, The Lads,