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StarlettStarlett: All Girl Band

These girls are going hard-out. They want to get places … and they are. Four years ago they were semi-finalists in the National Finals in Rockquest and only a couple of months ago they were up in Auckland with Sony BMG recording two singles which should be airing on radio & TV soon. They’ve all got different talents that come together beautifully in this all-girl band and they know each other so well they can speak their minds without giving offence.

So how did it all happen? With a lot of sweat and determination, a whole heap of talent and dedication … and just a little bit of being in the right place at the right time …

This is what we really want to be doing
How long have you been together?
It must be about four - maybe five years. We were already friends at Villa Maria College but decided we’d get together as a band because we wanted something to do, something to focus our energy on. It’s what we really want. We got approached by Sony when we were just starting 7 th Form so we didn’t need to even think about what we were going to do when we finished school. We decided then and there that music was going to be the way for us to go.
Tell us more about the development deal with Sony
We are very VERY lucky! We went up to Auckland in mid-June and recorded two singles with Andrew Buckton at 203 which was awesome. Hopefully this’ll give us the option of doing an album and a video with them later but it all depends on how much airtime they’re given. He’d seen us on TV because of Rockquest and gave us a call and it all happened from there … from our five minutes of fame on telly … Which is kinda hard to believe because the shots of us talking were pretty retarded - I don’t think there was any individual footage of us talking at all. But we try not to think about it all too much because Sony have invested about $10,000 in us and when you stop to really think about it, it’s like Holy Crap - I hope we don’t let them down. It’d just make you feel so bad.
How would you define your music?
That’s so hard to answer, especially with us being an all girl band because we’ve got no-one else to compare to. I guess you could call us pop/rock. Catchy, cool songs.
Music is very much a male-dominated area. What’s it like being in the minority?
Well - it makes it more challenging for sure and more exciting. It’s harder … but then it’s easier in different aspects. We wouldn’t be where we are now if we weren’t an all-girl band because I don’t think we would have been approached by Sony. But being girls makes it harder because people don’t look at you the same way as they do with guy bands. Most people seem to reckon that girls aren’t as good at their instruments as guys and it feels like they’re constantly judging us. Plus, it’s much easier to be aware of the different genres with the guy bands. But girls are trying to catch up, you know, and we think it’ll happen … we’ve just got to overcome it! But the guys are great - they’re real good to us and so many of them are really, really cool.
Rosie at the drumsHow do you handle the drumming? Is it exhausting?
Nah, I enjoy the sweatiness … I like to swhhhhheat. Even when we’re practising I still have to play pretty much as I would when we’re performing whereas these guys can sit on their asses and like not have to … but I don’t resent them for that. Nah, I can live with it. Originally though I was the guitarist but I was jumping onto the drum kit and playing with these guys even before our drummer left. We worked better as a three-piece so we never replaced her which worked out real well as there’s not many girl musicians out there.
Someone mentioned something about the Glassons ad?
Yeah. The one with the girl drummer. That was going to be us. Originally, there were supposed to be 3 ads altogether - one with the drums, another with bass and the last one with guitar but we weren’t too keen to do it. So, we said no. And then they changed it and got a female drummer from a New York band
We would always have been Those Glassons Chix In A Band
Why did you turn it down?
Because we’d always have been known as the Glassons chix. Hah - we could have had our very own Glassons Band.
Who writes the songs? Or do you all help out?
Lisa. They’re mainly just about life experiences and feelings … whatever’s going on … about how cool I am or how much you luuuuurve me … No, we leave it mainly all up to Lisa. We try to help but basically … we suck! And when she plays us a new melody it’s like, whoaaaa, how do you DO that??
How’ve you managed to stay together as a band?
Well, we’re all absolutely dedicated which helps. It’s got better over the years because it’s really hard when you first start out and you don’t know if you can say stuff without anyone getting offended. It’s easier when you work on it … it’s like a relationship. It’s just that we rely on each other so much and we know each other’s personalities really well so we know what’ll be offensive and what won’t.
Have you had a lot of support?
Yeah, our parents have been supportive. They were awesome during high school and used to take us to gigs and drop us off and pick us up and stuff. School was a bit different. We don’t think they really understood us - it must be kinda hard though for a Catholic Girls School to deal with an all-girl rock band. We got some advice from Rockquest too - other groups talked to us (Elemno P, Steriogram, Goodnight Nurse) about the music industry but basically all they said was that we’d be okay in a couple of years and to cut our songs down by half. Like, if you’ve got something 8 bars long make it 4! But they hadn’t even heard us play …
How often do you rehearse?
Three times a week but we don’t wear ourselves out. We go through our set a few times or add on it.
It was just a moshpit and everyone was going crazy
Live Gigs?
We just did one at the Dux and it was sooooo good. There were so many people, it was right out the door. But we’ve mostly done under-age venues because we want to try and work at our set. We’ve been at Fuse at Sumner and Zebedees in Blenheim Road and we used to play at Creation but we think they’re mainly 18+ now. We never played at school … um … they kind of preferred more ethnic type bands there. Although we did play one time and St Bedes came along too but basically there was just a moshpit and everyone was going a bit too crazy. There’s a chance we might get on the Schools Tour this year. We met the organisers one night and they said we should apply. It’ll mean 6 months touring around all the schools in New Zealand which’d be really hard but what a great opportunity. We’d get more professional and more, like, tight.
PhotoAre you totally different up on stage?
No, not really. I’m just the same up there - I can’t help my personality!!! We were all a bit shy when we first started out when we were 14 but it’s really hot being up there because you’re sharing something that you’ve been busting your ass on for so long and you’re really into it. We just love it.
What do you think of New Zealand music at the moment?
Whoa, the bands in NZ are just getting better and better and the music industry’s improving heaps too. We’re actually really lucky because the A & R guy for Sony is Malcolm Black who’s Chairman of the Export Development Group which is giving money to certain bands to help get them overseas. But you’ve just got to take it one step at a time and see what happens.
Most memorable moment?
Probably when our name was called out at Rockquest. I think we were in shock and someone had to tap us on our the shoulder and say ‘Hey, guys, isn’t that you?’. We were just like ohmigod … it seems such a long time ago now. We gone out and bought ALL new clothes and we walked out in our brand new oufits and our guitars from school - it was seriously funny.
I got electrocuted every time I went up to the mike
Most embarrassing moment?
There’s heaps. Like last weekend we were at this gig and I got electrocuted every time I went up to the mike. I’d keep forgetting and put m’lips to it and it was like - ohmigod … aaaahhhhh. It was like one of those intelligence tests - how often can you keep coming back before you learn the lesson! At the end of the song we were like, hey, we’re getting electrocuted REALLY BADLY here and the sound guy was sitting there just saying ‘I don’t know what to do about it.’ Honest, it was so bad I came out wobbling and on top of everything we couldn’t actually HEAR anything. My lips were so sore after that. They stung for ages. Yeah, that was pretty embarrassing. Funny. Actually, most of the stuff that happens is more funny rather than embarrassing.
Your own favourite bands are?
Shihad. The Cure. Green Day. The Used. The Clash. Jimmy Eat World - they’re a big one for our music and our harmonies. Hey, that’s a good list. Quite proud of that. We didn’t even prepare it and it’s a great mix of old and new stuff.
Where do you hope to be in 12 month’s time?
Hopefully living in Auckland and working on an album - or just having our songs played and being appreciated would be good too! Auckland’s so different. When we were up there recording our singles we just met so many people that were into music … bands, sound guys and there was such a different kind of atmosphere. Much more open. It’s all good though because at the moment we’re doing exactly what we want to be doing. We’re having fun.
We’re kind of lucky to have found each other really …