November 2012 “Band of the Month” – CHEAP GIRLS
We’ve been honored to have such a talented lineup of bands of our Band of the Month series. The series is definitely something we should have started last year but nonetheless, we’ve been able to speak with bands that we’ve been able to watch grow over the past months and it’s a pleasure being able to work with them. Just in case you missed:
January 2012 – CUSSES
February 2012 – OF MONSTERS AND MEN
March 2012 – EXITMUSIC
April 2012 – YOUNG BENJAMIN
May 2012 – ALL TINY CREATURES
June 2012 – XAVII
July 2012 – WOWSER BOWSER
August 2012 – PONDEROSA
September 2012 – JUINOR ASTRONOMERS
October 2012 – FAYE WEBSTER
A little more than a week ago, we made the trip up to Atlanta to see our old friends from New Jersey, The Front Bottoms. Since we had them in Macon just over a year ago, the band has made huge strides on both the national and international touring circuits. After returning home from a European tour, they set out on the road for a run of US dates, bringing with them the group that we’re proud to present as our “Band of the Month” for November 2012, CHEAP GIRLS, from Lansing, Michigan. The three-piece tore through their support set at the Drunken Unicorn, playing songs from their recent RISE Records release, ‘Giant Orange’, as well as their previous two releases. The band has already built up a decent following in the Atlanta area, where members of the audience jostled their way to the front to sing along with favorites, both old and new. Though they’re winding down touring for the year, keep your eyes and ears posted for these three.
Up until a few weeks ago, I had only listened to you guys a few times and since then, you’ve been at the top of my playlist. For those lazy types who don’t want to look up about band, what can you briefly tell us about Cheap Girls?
We’re a pair of brothers and our close friend Adam who just wanted to get a band together and play loud. We’ve been lucky enough to do that quite frequently for about 5 years now.
I saw you guys for the first time at your most recent show in Atlanta with The Front Bottoms. TheBlueIndian.com was introduced to them a little over a year ago and have paid close attention to them since. What has being on the road with them been like and was this tour your first introduction to the band?
We played with the Front Bottoms in Asbury Park last summer, 2011. That was the first I’d heard of them. We’ve been out with them for about 3 weeks as of now and it’s been going pretty well. I think kids are enjoying themselves.
Since 2007, you all have released three full-length records, two of them saw re-releases, and the most recent, Giant Orange, was the result of finally tracking tour-tested songs with the aid of Against Me!’s Tom Gabel and releasing them through Rise Records. What elements make Giant Orange stand out from the previous albums?
Giant Orange was our first opportunity to really communicate a lot of the more sonic ideas we’d been working towards. We were able to dial in certain things with a more compare/contrast perspective. A lot of that was a result of time. The first couple times around all of the recording decisions were much more out of necessity and environment whereas this one was more about “what suits this moment/song” and so on. I think there are immeasurable benefits to all methods of recording and we’re typically just happy to have our work and time documented for us in any way, but with this one, we were able to be a bit more specific. I’m really happy with the new one; I think it turned out well.
Songs from Giant Orange seem to be directed at an individual, whether the writer or a single subject, rather then to a larger audience. Would it be safe to attribute a certain theme or message to the album, or would that be taking it out of context?
I’m not really sure. I think whenever a record’s lyrics have one writer, there are guaranteed consistencies. I’m certainly of where things were at for me during the writing, but they aren’t necessarily themed within one steady idea.
Rise Records, a label that it seems like people either love or hate, has done a great job over the past few years of expanding to reach new audiences through supporting genres previously not a part of their roster. What has working with Rise been like in comparison to Paper + Plastick?
Simply put, Rise has their shit together. They’re fantastic with getting things done in a timely manner, making sure a lot of the process stays on-point and it’s a real pleasure to have a situation like that. Paper and Plastick was kind of the opposite, which is why we no longer do records in any capacity with them. Our back catalog is now on Asian Man Records.
You’re nearly done wrapping up a US tour with The Front Bottoms that has had you all across the map. What city were you most surprised with the reception you received and what’s been one of the more memorable moments of being on the road this time around?
San Antonio was shockingly fun. We’d only played there once before and we were blown away by how cool the audience was.
Your tour ends in Chicago on the 10th and it looks like you’ll head home for a couple of weeks before heading to Detroit to open for Titus Andronicus & Ceremony. What are your plans to wrap up the remainder of 2012?
We’re trying to put together a few shows here and there but our main focus is to liven up our practice space and dig into some songs we’ve got going.
Both bands on the tour spent the weekend in Gainesville, Florida at the annual FEST. Did 2012 mark your first year at FEST and what was the experience like?
This was our 5th year. It’s always a remarkable merge of all of our closest friends.
Lastly, what has been the hardest lesson to learn, whether personal or relating to the band, over the years you’ve been together?
I guess the biggest lesson is to just stick it out whenever you’re feeling like it could be going better. There’s always been a really great surprise or upswing every time things seem a little too calm for comfort. With that being said, I’ve also learned it’s always important to remember that this is OUR thing and we’re always in complete control and there’s no reason to ever do anything that makes you question what you’re doing. Bands should be kept as personal as possible when it comes to the unit. Do what’s important to stay comfortable.
When you’re at home in Lansing, you’re usually:
Writing, working, watching Netflix, playing Yahtzee.
Favorite place to eat out in Lansing:
Nip n Sip.
One food you love to cook:
Various pasta dishes where I can incorporate all of the shit in my house that’s about to expire.
Best new band from Michigan:
Fisherking / The Fencemen / the Empty Orchestra
Biggest difference between people from the Upper & Lower peninsula:
Exposure to good internet and cable. Brand of cigarettes and beer.
We’ve got $100.00 and 24 hours in Lansing. We should:
Go to Flat, Black and Circular and find some cool vinyl and then eat and drink yourself crazy at Soup Spoon.
Cheap Girls is:
A good time.
Cheap Girls is not:
Favorite albums since Y2K:
A lot of the Wilco output, the Bronx, etc.
American Badass Beer or High Life: