Girlfriend

Feminism meets punk meets direct action in northside Dublin. Fierceness follows.

 

Photographed for State's Faces by Zoë Holman

How did the band come together?

We'd all kind of always known each other, Hana and Lahela being friends since we were just five years old. Hana and Lahela desperately wanted to be in a band since we were 13, jamming out really badly together back in the day. Hana and Sophie met when we were about 15 and have been playing music together since then. Lisa actually lives right next to Lahela, and when she came into the picture things just fell into place perfectly. Lisa asked Hana at a gaf party if she wanted to start a feminist punk band, and bam, girlfriend was born.

 

Was it easy to find gigs to play?

It was a wonderful/awful process. Our first gig was a youth club gig in Balbriggan in the local hotel, which was gas. I thought it was grand finding shows even at first to be honest, you just have to ask. It's finding good shows that's always difficult.

 

The Irish punk scene seems a very welcoming place?

We're very grateful to particular bands and people in the scene who were so supportive, friendly, and helpful towards us especially when we were just starting out. We were so young and ambitious, and bands like Alien She look out for us so much and Pillow Queens are so good to us. Seeing punk bands with cool ladies and people in them definitely makes us feel more welcome.  We remember being asked by Craig Hewett from Over Being Under to play Shankfest, which was so awesome and we met so many awesome people/bands through that.

The scene is full of great people, you just have to find them, and avoid the shit people. Making new wonderful friends is so far one of the best things about being in a band.

 

What prompted you to organise the Goodstock gig?

We organised Goodstock in the space of just a few days, after Brand New frontman Jesse Lacey's public statement regarding the sexual assault accusations against him. Musicians who are supposed to be creating a positive creative outlet for young people were actually abusing those people behind closed doors, and we can see it creating a disillusionment between fans and the bands they love, especially in the heavy/emo music genre.

We thought about how disappointing it was for all the people who weren't going to the Brand New show at the Olympia anymore and had no plans for the night, and how we could potentially create something positive from all of this. Hana suggested we just put on our own show, so people can still go to a gig that night and enjoy music in a safe space, while raising money for a really important organisation in our own city, Dublin Rape Crisis Centre. The support and response we received was overwhelmingly positive. It just shows how much people are ready to move forward and stop glorifying terrible people.  

 

What do you have planned for 2018?

Lots of new music! Exciting gigs! Video content! Terrible jokes! Legal Battles!

 

“Best band going!! We’re their biggest fans…” (Pillow Queens)
“Warrior spirit….” (Sarah O’Gorman)
“They're just a brilliant band, raw and powerful but with incredible harmonies too....” (Brand New Friend)

“Honest, angry and conscious....” (For Foresters)