Emerging Artists #2 – Girls Names
March 31, 2010 by Chris Cummins
The second band we would like to bring to your attention is Belfast’s Girls Names. They sound like a Gothic ’60s garage rock band, blending surf noir rhythms with beat-pop then covering it all with a thick layer of reverb. Currently they’re on tour with La La Vasquez.
Standard first question, how did you all get together, where you all from and why did you decide to make music together?
Cathal: It all happened by accident. After a drunken conversation with our friend Mark who was putting on a show last year and i volunteered my services even though I didn’t have a band. He held me to my word and so I had to ask Neil who i new from being a dude about town to kindly drum. Now we’ve just got our friend Claire on board to play bass.
Neil: I was a dude about town, yeah. Still am!
How long did it take you to decide on your sound/direction, and how did you come to the
We never really thought about it. We used to play surf Jams just because we needed songs quick but I couldn’t be bothered writing words. We don’t do that anymore though.
What equipment are using for recording, and is there any particular reason behind the choice?
Cathal: For our EP on Captured Tracks we used a proper studio called Start Together in Belfast. Barrett, who recorded it is originally from the states, caught us playing one night and said we reminded him of old K bands and asked us to come in and record with him. We knocked out 11 songs in two days, the old fashioned way. Luckily he just had their vintage plate reverb fixed. Other than that because we’re poor, we demo songs on my old tascam 4track I bought off ebay a few years back. I suppose you could say at the minute we’re lo-fi by circumstance, not by choice.
What’s your average day at the moment?
Cathal: Pretty average, a lot of band practices and coffee and answering emails like this and organising band/tour nonsense. Although I had a Twin Peaks marathon a few weeks back to break the routine. That was great.
Neil: Yeah I need to borrow that Twin Peaks DVD, got a real hankering to see it again.
What’s the best bit about being in a band and what’s the worst?
Cathal: Getting the chance to meet new and interesting people. The worst is the amount of money you have to put into it.
Neil: And the absolute fuck all money you get back. The people are mostly nice tho yeah.
What’s the most high profile show you’ve done and what was it like?
Cathal: Ha! we supported Julian Casablancas to sold out crowd in Dublin, apparently at his request. It was real weird. we usually just play little dive bars in Belfast. It was so professional. He even had some dude to do his vocals in the sound check so he didn’t have to.
Neil: It was surreal. Some wee girl asked me for my setlist at the end, I thought she wanted my drum sticks and nearly told her no way – I need my sticks!
If you could change one thing about the music industry what would it be?
Neil: If there was a way for bands to make a decent living out of it without ripping people off that would be sweet.
What bands/artists are you into at the moment new or old?
Cathal: La La Vasquez, Not Squares, Happy Refugees. Always Black Tambourine.
Neil: Silk Flowers, buddy holly, wild nothing
What’s the last gig you went to and what was it like?
Cathal: US Girls and JL Seagull at the Menagerie, Belfast. It was loud…
Neil: US GIrls and Younger Colours in dublin, also loud but nice.
What would you like to happen for the band in 2010?
Cathal: Get an album recorded and released. If we got the chance to play America, that’d be sweet.
What can people expect when they come to your live shows?
Cathal: A lot of reverb.
Neil: Bad drumming
Favourite music era/scene?
Cathal: EarlyThe Fall Dragnet era.
Neil: Sun era Rock N Roll right now
If you could get one band to reform who would it be?
Cathal: Usually when bands reform they are old and shit but i guess Happy Refugees would be great.
Neil: Felt. Maybe not actually…
Cathal: Oh yeah Felt. wow. that’d be interesting…
What’s coming up next for the band?
We’ve got records out on Captured Tracks and Tough Love and split tape on Cass/Flick coming out over the next couple of months but right now, i’m just about to make some breakfast for La La Vasquez before we start our tour tonight.
You can find Girls Names on Myspace