The following interview with Lee Taylor of The Screever zine was printed in their tenth anniversary issue, August 2019.
Heya, kindly introduce yourselves and tell us what you play in GEORGIE FEMME!
GEORGIE: I’m Georgie, I sing and I play guitar. Specifically, I play a 1991 Silver Series Squier Stratocaster
EVE: I’m Eve and I play a very small bass with big sound.
ALI: I’m Ali and I play lead guitar.
TOM: I play the squid.
Am I right in thinking that Georgie, you started this band as a solo thing and then recruited a full band afterwards? How long have you been making music for?
TOM: Yeah, G saw me playing the squid outside Topshop and asked me to play somewhere else.
ALI: Georgie first asked me to meet up to share some songs with me and then asked if I’d play guitar when she wanted to try the songs out in a band context.
GEORGIE: Yeah, I never really felt like anything I wrote really sounded complete when I played solo, and playing with these guys brought such a drastically different dimension to everything - I wouldn’t have it any other way now. Tom and I are housemates, I’d played with Ali before, and I played keys for Eve’s solo project already so it all kind of fell into place really! We’ve been together as a band since last November, I think was when we started rehearsing together?
EVE: Georgie came to me and asked if I’d like to play bass in her band, I said yes mostly because I love the style and also because I’d never really played bass before and wanted to challenge myself.
How would you describe your sound to someone that hasn't heard you yet? Who or what are the biggest influences on your sound?
TOM: Kind of like slapping a squid, but, really hard.
ALI: It’s a mix of different vibes centred around Georgie’s unique vocals.
EVE: I’d say, ‘fun and funky’.
GEORGIE: Yeah, there’s a lot of variation across our set, but I think ‘funky guitar-driven pop-rock’ generally sums up our sound. I got a bit obsessed with pop art and the ideas behind sample culture a while back, and I think that comes through in our sound. We have one song where we quote a three-note motif from Chic that’s deliberately obvious, and a love song which lifts the intro directly from Mendelssohn’s Wedding March… those are probably the most visible examples of that, but more generally I think we’re pretty shameless in taking arrangement ideas from a lot of different sources to suit each individual song. We get compared to Talking Heads a lot too, make of that what you will. I’m very much okay with that!
You've released two singles so far, ‘(Yo Yo Yo You’re So So) Sweet To Me’ and 'Soft Funk'; how has the reception been to those? Are they going down well live?
GEORGIE: Really good so far! We’ve had people writing some nice words about them in reviews online, and a lot of the fabulous people who turn up to our gigs seem to know the words, which is pretty reassuring.
EVE: Both go down so well live, we normally end up playing them twice because the reaction is so good!
TOM: Yeah mun.
So you just released a video for 'Soft Funk' (complete with some brill subtitles) that captures the brightness of your sound, but with an almost unsettling atmosphere; was that an intentional contrast? Do you feel the video reflects the song well?
EVE: We worked with Brighton Film School on the video after having to choose one concept out of about 10 - hard choice. It was a fun day shooting!
TOM: The video’s mad, wore that paint for like 7 hours.
GEORGIE: Yeah it got itchy! The contrast was intentional yes, the video was the brainchild of the director, Madinka McGough, she came to us with this idea for a ‘twisted Alice in Wonderland tea party’ vibe that we loved. I really like the how she used fruit to create this sexual, subtextual narrative between the two main actors in the video, I think that really brings something new out of the song. It’s a weird video for a weird song, so yeah, it fulfils its purpose in that respect.
ALI: It suits the vibe of the band very well.
You have lyrics that talk about mental health and the experience of being trans; how important is it to you to talk about issues like that in your music?
GEORGIE: We do in our live set yeah, but none of our releases have touched on either of those topics yet. As a listener, I feel like it has been a powerful thing to have heard other artists singing lyrics I can relate to, especially when I’ve felt like I was the only person in the world feeling a certain way. I think this is especially true with themes around gender identity, whether that was when I was a teenager dealing with repression, or dysphoria, or later on starting to transition and experience euphoria and the joy of self-realisation. Regardless of how anyone identifies, I think authenticity - or at the very least the appearance of it - is the most important thing in writing engaging songs. I remember hearing ‘Against Me!’ when I was much younger and relating to a lot of the sentiment behind what Laura [Jane Grace] sings, but finding it hard to relate to her circumstance of this gritty American punk scene when I was a kid in a seaside town in the Westcountry. It wasn’t until much later that I discovered all these great British bands like ‘The Spook School’, ‘Nervus’, ‘Jesus and his Judgemental Father’, as well as friends of mine who started singing about gender - shout out to ‘Wren, Like The Bird’, by the way - that I started to think, holy shit, I’m not the only trans person in the country who wants to make music. I try to stay optimistic, especially in my lyric-writing, and if that can help some other kid somewhere, then yeah I think that’s important.
EVE: For me personally, it’s so incredibly important. How can you try and write a song when you’re not familiar with the content?
The whole vibe of your band is very bright, sweet, and sugary, with a very considered sense of colour; is there anything that particularly influences you visually / stylistically?
EVE: Pink and green. That is all.
ALI: Pink and green everything.
GEORGIE: What they said.
TOM: And those wind turbine things are cool.
What do you have planned for the near future? Any plans for an EP or album soon?
EVE: Maybe... keep your eyes peeled on our socials!
GEORGIE: Yeah, we may or may not be in the process of recording something bigger than a single…
Thanks a lot for answering these! Any last words or links you'd like to leave?
GEORGIE: Just thanks really, to everyone who has listened to our music, come out to our shows, or even taken the time to read this interview.
Bonus question: fave album / film / book of the last ten years?
GEORGIE: It’s hard to choose one album, but I think I have to go with Courtney Barnett’s ‘Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit’. Her sense of humour is so wonderfully dry, and she talks about the mundane is such a captivating way and that really does a lot for me. My fave film of the last ten years is probably ‘The Imitation Game’ starring Bonderdonk Crumblerash, and my favourite book was easily Kate Tempest’s novel ‘The Bricks That Built The Houses’.
EVE: I find it so hard to narrow this one down, but Jordan Rakei’s ‘Wallflower’ is my favourite album. Not really a film person or book person - I always go for cook books.
ALI: Maybe something by Sade or some emo band. My favourite book is the Leon cookbook.
TOM: Puff The Magic Dragon.