THERE are few more depressing things one can read in an email…
than a P.R. company/label saying a band’s interview answers are delayed because they are sitting exams! Being in my thirties; I have not had to stress about an exam – not an academic one, anyway – for a fair few years. Babe Punch found time to talk about their new single, Control, and what the music scene is like around Nottingham/Derby – where they are based. Four of the quintet are women, so I ask whether all-girl/girl-heavy bands are becoming more common and the reason behind this. Previous singles like Snake Tongue have been highlighted by NME: it seems the band is on an upward trajectory at the moment.
They talk about how the band got together and balancing music and regular life – and whether it is tough doing that whilst in their teens. I wonder whether heavy competition is daunting to them and how they feel about the upcoming months. The guys select the album they love the most and recommend some cool artists for us to check out.
Hi, guys. How are you? How has your week been?
Hey! Great, thanks.
We’re very excited because we’ve got loads of exciting releases and gigs coming soon.
For those new to your work, can you introduce yourself, please?
We’re a Grunge-Punk alternative five-piece from Nottingham/Derby with Vocals by Molly Godber, Carys Jones and Katherine Pennington on Guitar; Abbie Roberts on Bass and Adam Fletcher on Drums.
Control is your new single (out on 7th July). What can you tell us about the song and its origins?
We wrote Control about a year ago in a very sweaty practice room in about ten minutes.
Carys brought the chord sequence and we all just kind of went from there – and when we’d finished it, knew we had to record it.
It might be looking far ahead but is there an E.P. arriving later this year?
We’re not looking at doing an E.P. this year but we brought one out last October and we want to keep releasing stuff.
We do have another single coming out VERY soon.
Do you think your sound has changed since releasing the Control E.P. (last year) and songs like Snake Tongue?
We’ve had a few member changes – which developed our sound – and we were a lot younger when we wrote Snake Tongue – so we feel like it’s matured since then and even since the E.P.
We feel like we’ve got a lot more experience now and Molly feels a lot prouder about the lyrics she’s written recently.
You are all still in your late-teens. When was the moment Babe Punch came together?
Molly, Carys and Abbie knew each other in school.
When Abbie got a gig opportunity, she asked Molly if she wanted to form a band – so Molly asked Carys to play guitar.
Molly had become friends with Adam so he joined after our old drummer left a bit later on. We knew Miles – who plays guitar in the Control single recording – as one of our friends. Molly met Katherine at college – who was happy to join for the summer.
There is a definite confidence in your music but is there any trepidation and nerves considering the competition out there?
We’re not nervous at all: it’s great that there are a lot of good bands out there at the minute and we don’t view it as a competition. It’s just really exciting.
We’re just writing music that we love to play rather than comparing ourselves to other bands. We’ve got belief in the band so it’s never really been a consideration. We’re just happy to be coming up alongside great bands!
Most of your band (aside from Adam) is female. It seems female-heavy Punk/Rock bands are becoming more popular/visible than ever before. What, would you say, is the reason behind this movement?
We guess it’s because everyone’s so supportive of each other and more and more women (and girls) are being inspired by other female musicians to form a band – so it’s like a spiral.
We think they’re becoming a lot more visible in emerging bands – like bands that we’ve played with – but still not hugely in mainstream music at the moment, though.
So, hopefully, this scene can help to change that.
They seem to be replacing the traditional girl band. Do you think, owing to sexism in the industry, girl bands have had to get more aggressive and direct with their music?
We think that’s true for a part of it, yeah. Some of the reason for the aggressive style is just being within that genre. But we do feel that a lot of people don’t take us seriously until we start playing – and maybe, sometimes, it’s needed in order to get past that problem and get noticed.
The band is based around Nottingham/Birmingham. What is the music scene like where you are?
We’re based around Nottingham and Derby but we can be from anywhere you want us to be!
We love the Nottingham music scene so much. There are so many amazing artists such as Cameron Sinclair Harris and The Shrives and venues like JT Soar – and everyone’s so supportive.
Can we expect to see you play live anytime soon? Where about might you be heading?
Our next gigs are in Nottingham supporting Ezra Furman at Rescue Rooms on 6th July; then, on 7th July, we’re playing a launch party for Control at JT Soar with The Shrives, The Varletts and Cameron Sinclair Harris. Then, on 8th July, we’re playing The Waterfront Festival.
For gigs after that, and in other cities, watch our social media!
Are there certain bands/artists that have inspired the BABE PUNCH sound would you say?
We have a lot of different individual influences but some of the main ones for all of us are Hole, Courtney Love; Savages and The Breeders.
Can you give us the names of any new artists you recommend we check out?
If you each had to select the album that has meant the most to you; which would they be and why?
Molly: Very hard to say but I think Tango in the Night by Fleetwood Mac.
They were one of the first bands I found by myself and Stevie’s (Nick) lyrics and the album’s dreamy feel was unlike anything I’d heard before. The combination inspired my songwriting a lot.
Abbie: Live Through This by Hole.
Because it made me want to form a band.
Carys: Probably Revolver by The Beatles.
They’re the band that has inspired me the most and, for me, Revolver has some of their most influential songs. George Harrison’s passion and spirituality sets him apart from other guitarists.
Katherine: I’d say Blackbird by Alter Bridge.
The way they play their instruments is really expressive and the lyrics are meaningful – and based on their own life experiences – so, I guess, that inspired me to in that way make music that makes people feel something.
Adam: Led Zeppelin III
Because, the first time I listened to it, I was struck with the drumming and the unfiltered power that John Bonham created on it – combined with the classic Led Zeppelin riffs.
What advice would you give to any new artists starting out right now?
Gig a lot and focus on your live sound before jumping into the studio too quickly.
Don’t be discouraged by people who look down at you or don’t take you seriously and don’t listen to anyone who says you’re sh*t!
Finally, and for being good sports, you can each name a song and I’ll play it here (not one of yours as I’ll do that).
Molly: Iggy Pop – Candy
Carys: The Velvet Underground – Sweet Jane
Katherine: Nirvana – Heart Shaped Box
Abbie: New Order – Bizarre Love Triangle
Adam: Will Smith – Gettin’ Jiggy wit It
Follow Babe Punch