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Girlpool Chat With the Amoeblog Before Their L.A. Performance June 2

Posted by Billy Gil, June 1, 2015 10:00am | Post a Comment

L.A. duo Girlpool find something new and intriguing among familiar elements on their debut LP, Before the World Was Big. Twin vocals wrap around lonely bass and guitar lines that wander the empty space left by a lack of accompanying instruments, placing the focus on the Cleo Tucker and Harmony Tividad's vocals, wide-eyed and untamed like two feral children searching for clarity in a supposedly civilized world. Their debut calls to mind indie-rock heroes of yore from The Breeders to Modest Mouse without really sounding like any band before them—a feat in and of itself—singing of the trappings of a typical life ("Ideal World"), endless tour boredom ("Dear Nora") and the sudden nostalgia that hits at the end of your teenage years, where Tucker and Tividad currently find themselves, evoking the image walking to and from school in matching dresses and feeling like you grew up too fast on the title track. Unlike that of most bands, the hype surrounding Girlpool is entirely understandable—it's rare to find music this special.

Girlpool play Amoeba Hollywood June 2 at 6 p.m. I briefly caught up with Tucker and Tividad before the day of their show, which is also the release date for Before the World Was Big.

A question I imagine you get asked a lot is why you don’t play with a drummer. Is expanding the lineup and sound something you have considered?

Cleo: Girlpool is Harmony and Cleo right now hehe.

On the title track, you seem to be reflecting back on childhood. What spurred that reflection?

Harmony: Cleo and I constantly discuss and reflect on experiences we've had as individuals or shared—in that moment (when writing Before the World Was Big), we had just returned from our first East Coast and Europe/U.K. tour, and we both were reflecting on the idea of "growth" and having a lot of discussions about it (as we still do.) The song revealed itself to us through these conversations, and unraveled naturally.

“Cherry Picking” is one of your longest songs also seems to be one of the more serious ones, with lyrics like “I have a hard time staying clean,” can you talk a bit about what that song means?

Harmony: "Cherry Picking" is a song that holds a lot of different meanings to both of us, it's really a song that encapsulates many different experiences and can really only be interpreted by the individual based on their experiences. The song's meaning is a little different for me every time we play it, a single meaning would be difficult to articulate.

Part of me also doesn’t really want to ask you about what certain songs mean exactly. People have compared you to The Breeders in sound, but I also think of them in the way their songs were both playful and mysterious, an expression of an emotion rather than an exact meaning. Is that a goal, to express something without saying precisely what you mean?

Cleo: As far as setting a goal for a song, we solely hold one intention close to our hearts, and that is to feel fulfilled with the sincerity in our words.

Immediately following that song is “Magnifying Glass,” which is the album’s shortest song and sounds almost spontaneously made. Do songs like that come out of jams or do you write them ahead of time and edit them?

Cleo: All of our songs come from an organic process that sometimes takes a really long time and sometimes not so much. Sometimes we go back into songs that we've written together and bend/twist them in different directions. Feelings shift, and we put effort in being aware of that and to honor them, whether that's changing lines in a live show or reworking a "finished" song.

Random question, but I love the band Dear Nora, is that who you’re referencing with the song “Dear Nora”?

Yes, we love Dear Nora!

Watch a "Tony and Gabe" live video of the song "Jane" from the Girlpool EP below:

GIRLPOOL - Jane from Tony and Gabe on Vimeo.

Relevant Tags

Live At Amoeba (38), Before The World Was Big (1), Girlpool (8), Amoeba Hollywood (881), Interview (341)