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Q&A: We Fan Girl For Fan Girl

Photography: Ian Laidlaw

Loveable Melbourne indie-rock trio Fan Girl have graced us with their latest single and so naturally, we just HAD to know everything that went into delivering such a unique track during such a trying time.

The group’s third release since their hiatus, 'backwards (everything is) sees Vince, Noah and Luke continue to carry the torch for the band, delivering the Fan Girl's signature punch and charm, but with a twist. It was a pleasure to get the inside scoop from the guys.

Photography: Sophie Hill

What inspired your latest single ‘backwards (everything is)’?

"We wrote 'backwards (everything is) dreaming of a summer, playing heaps of shows. We wanted to try and write something that maybe presented a little more upbeat and jangly, but also very much maintained our trademark obnoxious, and slightly dark sensibilities. The song may seem a little nostalgic and doomed, but if you play the song (‘backwards’) backwards, it details Noah’s family’s century old gravy recipe. Now that’s amore."

The new single was released alongside a delightfully eccentric music video created by Rick Clifford, which perfectly aligns with the chaotic juxtaposition of the lyricism and a feeling of urgency in the melody - following a tragic love story between 'Nick' and 'Cake'.

What was the inspiration behind the music video (I really did feel for 'Nick' and 'Cake's' tragic love story)?

"We had wanted to work on a video with Rick Clifford (and James & Nick!) for quite a while, but we were stuck in the middle of Stage 4 Lockdowns at the time. Rick came up with the brilliant premise, we heard the word “cake”, and said yes immediately. The intricacies of Nick & Cake’s relationship truly keeps us up at night. Goddamn salad, always ruining shit."

At which time the boys pointed us toward this classic simpsons clip

The track includes the very welcome addition of brilliant vocals from Sydney darling Annie Hamilton, the faultless collab taking the song to the next level. How did your collaboration with Annie Hamilton come about?

"We were in the middle of tracking the tune and came to the realisation that the song definitely needed another voice. Annie was one of the first people that came to mind, and HALLELUJAH she said yes! She was in NSW, and we were obviously stuck in Melbourne, so we did the whole thing over email/zoom calls/telepathy, and it worked out wonderfully. With a lot of the new music we are working on, we have been trying to work with & collaborate with artists that we love, so (hopefully) expect more of this. If you haven’t already, check out Annie’s latest EP. All killer, no filler:"

And we definitely agree, Annie Hamilton released a cracker of an EP.

Self-proclaimed cookie-monsters for music consumption, it's no surprise that Fan Girl have a vast range influences that help inspire their sound, and we're so grateful for it! Which artists inspire your music?

"Between us, we listen to a tonne of different music, and it all inspires us in different ways, but as of recently, we have been listening to: Tkay Maidza, Phoebe Bridgers, Declan McKenna, Kate Bush, Obscura Hail, the new Gorillaz stuff, Amen Dunes, The Japanese House, Nina Simone, Bjork, Carla Geneve, murmurmur and a lot of Lily Allen."

As a Melbourne trio, Fan Girl have been experiencing the COVID-19 lockdowns first hand, but they haven't let that stop them from exploring new sounds, becoming Zoom wizards and making sure to stay busy however they can. What have you been doing to stay busy during lockdown?

"During lockdown we have been running, writing, becoming world-class-amatuer chefs, drinking too much coffee, being a bit sad, getting rained on, having moments of manic optimism, having weeks of manic pessimism, not drinking enough coffee, and thinking about learning to draw. It’s a cycle.

Has it helped or hindered your creative process?

In terms of the creative process, it is a little bit of column A & column B. We all seem to work & create better when life is busy, and when we should be doing something else, so sometimes it is hard to focus and/or finish things. That being said, it’s been great to have time to tinker and try new things. We are also getting pretty good at mixing stuff over Zoom. Really looking forward to writing & playing loud music in the same room together, and then getting late-night curry (and later night ice cream) and feeling truly sorry for ourselves."

The trio are no stranger to loss and hardship, following the tragic death of band member and best mate Jack Wood in 2018 and have shared some words of wisdom for getting through dark days. What advice would you offer fans who are struggling with loss and other rough times?

"Friends are super important, tell them that you love them, as much as possible. If you can, try and do creative things - there is no bigger high. Reach out to those around you, or to the wonderful services available, whenever you need to. Eat good food, treat yourself, get a bit of exercise and do the things you love, with the people you love. Start a record collection, eat some banh mi, take up yoga or buy a bike."

'backwards (everything is)' is just the start of more to come for Fan Girl, with electrifying shows and new music on the horizon and we're so eager to delight in their continued success.

"We are going to keep working on writing & recording new music, and will hopefully be able to play some shows in the somewhat near future. Really excited for what is to come, once the world regains a little normality. Can’t wait to sink our sleep deprived teeth into some hash browns at Sydney Airport McDonalds, and play some very loud music in public spaces again."

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