Fan Girl is a quickly emerging collective of talented young musicians that have been taking the music scene by storm with their kamikaze blend of sensual and erratic sounds. We had the time to chat with them about the inner workings of the band and the industry as a whole, here is what they had to say.
What does Fan Girl bring to the table that other artists don’t? In terms of a musical sense?
We have a pretty unique setup in that the songs are written, produced and recorded by 3 of us, and then played live by 5 of us. So while it is one big project, the recorded side and the live side are really different musically. We like to think that this is something that really sets us aside, having a crazy, tight and immersive live show, and a really colourful, woozy, mid-fi recorded aesthetic.
It’s been a pretty huge year for you guys. As an up and coming band, what is it like touring with two of Australia’s most well-known artists In the music scene. Being British India and Ecca Vandal?
It has been a total honour to be supporting some of the country’s best acts. Every support show is a massive learning experience and we have definitely had a very informative year.
Ecca Vandal and her crew are the best live act going around and hold a really high standard for themselves and everyone around them. They have been fantastic role models in terms of how to conduct yourself within the industry, and as artists and people in general.
British India were fantastic to share the stage with, and have such warm and friendly fans. We got to play in Geelong and Ballarat with them (as well as Melbourne) and we really feel like we made some new fans and friends from both of those shows.
Your music has an abrasive yet sensual appeal, where are you as a group drawing influences from and how have those influences shaped the songwriting process for the band?
“Abrasive yet sensual”, can we steal that for a press release please?!
Our influences are super broad and that’s hopefully what you are picking up on. We have a real obsession with great pop music, but we also love energy, chaos, dissonance, horror and emotion. We take influence not just from great music, but great art, great food, great movies, and our own experiences of the world, good or bad. Basically, we are all into really different stuff, and luckily our influences have been complimentary and exciting and have turned into something totally different.
What have you learnt from touring with some of the biggest industry mainstays?
We have learnt a lot of touring dos and donts. We have learnt that The Gravy Spot in Ballarat is the best and worst idea ever after a show. We have learnt how the best in the business conduct themselves and respect those around them. Vince has learnt that the solution to breaking a string isn’t to throw the guitar (actually I’m not sure if he has grasped this one yet). We have also learnt a lot about our own show and what we can do to make it even bigger and better.
Many great Australian artists have been discovered through Unearthed, how has that helped out with getting exposure for Fan Girl? If you could change your approach, what would you do differently as a band? What advice would you pass to other smaller bands trying to get their foot in the door?
Triple J and Unearthed have been incredibly supportive of us. We have a great team around us, and it has been really exciting to see Unearthed getting behind the band. There isn’t much we would change about how we are doing it now – hopefully, it pays off and we can build on what we are learning at the moment.
Although we don’t feel like we are in a position to give advice, the things that have worked best for us are:
- Rehearsing A LOT. Being critical and constructive about yourself and the others in the band – and in doing this, building a good working environment for everyone in the team to do their thing to the best of their ability.
- Be respectful and kind towards everyone. The music industry has some horrible people with bad attitudes and archaic views on all manner of things, so spread some love, happiness, civility and respect. You will make more friends and industry connections and fewer people will hate you. It’s a winning formula.
- Eat well. We have a Coeliac in the band, as well as a bunch of fussy eaters. Sushi is good before a show. Huxtaburger is not.
Artists usually have a certain aspect of the live show that is their favourite, what does it for you as a group? And what show have you played that where massive for you’re the band?
Most of the recent shows we have played have been supporting slots, so we often have to really fight to win over a crowd, which we love doing. There’s nothing better than playing a support slot and literally witnessing the crowd switch from apathetic and disinterested, to engaged and enjoying themselves. So that is probably our favourite aspect of playing live at the moment.
The recent shows with Ecca Vandal were absolutely insane in that regard. Her live show is dauntingly unbeatable, and her fans were really fantastic and supportive of us. Playing with Catfish and The Bottlemen in Sydney, and The Vines here in Melbourne, were two other stand out instances of us feeling as if we had connected with an audience through a support slot.
How does Fan Girl’s image and aesthetic influence the music and branding? How do you want the public to perceive the Fan Girl brand?
The Fan Girl image is simply not taking ourselves too seriously, no cliche Rock tropes and no Spinal Tap drama. We make music and we like making it. The image and aesthetic doesn’t at all influence the music. The music comes first, and then we build the image and branding around our interpretation of the music and message, always with a pinch of humour.
The music scene from state to state has a very different ecosystem, how does Melbourne compare to the rest of the country?
Melbourne is amazing in terms of music. We all count ourselves as being really lucky to have grown up in inner city Melbourne, to be exposed to all the music that is available to us. Musically, there is amazing music coming out of every corner of the country, but as a city for live music, Melbourne is unbeatable in our very biased opinions.
Are things ramping up for Fan Girl? What should we expect from Fan Girl in 2018?
Our debut album and lots of shows. Everything else is a secret. We will be releasing a limited run of serrated steak knives just in time for Christmas also, so keep an eye out for that.
Your new single ‘Disappear’ is very high energy and easy to vibe with, how have you found the fans feedback and reception to the song? Does it differ much from the feedback you get from friends?
People have been responding to it really well, streaming it a lot and singing it at shows, which is very surreal and a positive sign. Our friends have probably been listening to forms of Disappear since it was a demo, so they’re probably sick of it, to be honest. It is the oldest tune on the record, so it’s great that it is holding up so well!
How are you taking fan feedback and reception into consideration and implementing it into your songwriting, does fan feedback play a major part in crafting your music and sound?
The feedback and reception from fans has been insane. We have been really lucky to grow a really strong fan base, as well as play some great support slots to a lot of lovely, open-minded folks. It really means a lot to hear that people are enjoying the music. That being said, in Fan Girl, we like to think that we make the music that we would want to listen to. We subscribe to the notion that once you start changing or moulding your craft for other people, it all goes downhill. We just like creating and the only critique we really listen to is from each other.