Things that go bump in the night: Our interview with Half Girl

Tomb it may concern, Half Girl are  Europe’s leading all-girl feminist-monster super-group and that , dear reader, is not an easy thing to achieve. The band are Julie Miess (Britta), Vera Kropf (Luise Pop), Anna-Leena Lutz (Die Heiterkeit) and Gwendoline Tägert (Mondo Fumatore). They’ve produced this wonderful schlock-horror concept album called “All Tomorrow’s Monsters” – we featured it as our Long Player of the week not so long ago.  It’s raw, it rocks, it surfs and it turns the garage upside down. It howls at the moon, it’s got melodies, maladies, jagged hooks, gravestones, ghosts and ghastly ghouls – it says cats, bats and Fender platoons.

As part of our AMAZING Halloween special we talked to Julie and Gwendoline to find out if they really are married to the night.

I love the new album, it sounds like it was a lot of fun to make – are you happy with the results?

J: Yes, very happy! We’ve been recording since 2009 in different studios with different producers and mixers (Andre Abshagen, Schneider TM, Martin Lehr, Christian Mevs), and in the end everything fit so well together, like a text. It was all mastered by Chris von Rautenkranz in Hamburg.

Why the title “All Tomorrow’s Monsters”?

J: We love Monsters, and we love Nico & The Velvet Underground. And the future belongs to freaks!

Is the love of horror/ horror movies shared by you all?

J: We are all also afraid of horror movies. But I think I love them most, I even wrote my doctoral thesis about them.

G: I’m a scaredy cat with Horror Movies. I prefer the monsters in Sesame Street and Monsters Inc.

You all have considerable track records in your other bands and strong musical ideas – was it easy to work together and agree on the sound of the band?

J: The strong musical ideas in fact made it rather easier than difficult, yes!

What’s your favourite song on the album?

J: It might be like with children (I just have songs and cats): You love them all, even the complicated ones.

Does the cat in the Girl In A Band video belong to one of you?

J: Lilli lives with me. But it was Anna who first knew her, she lived with her former roommate. When the roommate moved to Singapore, Lilli moved to Julie in Berlin.

What artists/bands have been the biggest influence on your sound?

J: Children’s songs, Motörhead, Velvet Underground …

Do you think Non-UK/US groups get enough exposure in the major British and American magazines? Does it matter to you?

J: We would love to get more exposure! Thank you for your help!

G: I’d love to have more exposure in the British magazines. I dream of touring the UK. I still want to become a part of the Glasgow Music Scene of the 90s. So that would include time-traveling…. but I’m ready!

What was the first piece of music you loved, and why?

J: I sang in a church choir, and loved that. When I was seven, I loved the song “Auf’m Friedhof” (At the cemetery) by Nina Hagen, because there was a vampire in it.

G: “I am the Walrus” by the Beatles. Because of the walrus and the goo goo g’joob.

What song (if any) by another artist do you wish you had written and why?

J: Ooh, good question. “She’s Lost Control” by Joy Division. Because they are the best band in the world? All songs by Joy Division. All songs by the Lassie Singers, the most melancholic and at the same time funniest All Girl Band of German language ever.

G: “The Killing Moon” by Echo and the Bunnymen, because it’s so beautiful and it sounds just perfect!

Name a song that makes you happy and why does it have that effect?

J: Motörhead by Motörhead? It stimulates my neurotransmitter (Dopamine? Serotonine? Adrenaline?) household.

G: Pretty much everything by the B-52’s makes me happy.

What’s the best new artist you’ve heard recently?

J: All not that new (some of them I heard the first time 10 years ago, besides Teresa). But I am old. Peaches, Stromae, M.I.A., Jamie T, Deaf Heaven, Teresa Caballo from Berlin …

What, outside of the music world, influences your art?

J: Politics (differences such as race, gender, monstrosity …), animals, especially cats and bats, Horror movies, capitalism …

G: Friends, Love, Comedy, Cats.

Werewolves of London or Monster Mash?

J: Both! And Psycho!

If you could bring one dead rock star back to life who would it be? (SWIT is currently trying to locate David Bowie).

J: I cannot decide between Lemmy and David. And Prince. Can’t they form a band and come back together?

G: That would be the lovely Gram Parsons.

The Half Girl playlist

Do you think SWIT’s poem “Ode on the release of All Tomorrow’s Monsters” would make a good song?

J: Of course! When can we hear it? Or should we do it together?

G: it would be a hit!!!

What music would you like to have played at your funeral?

J:“Die Erde wird der schönste Platz im All” by the Berliner Band Mutter, where I play keyboard. Well, not at my funeral probably – or, then, maybe as Zombie keyboarder.

G: “Just Like Heaven” by the Cure.

What are you doing for Halloween?

J: What we always do. Monstering around.

G: Last year I tried to cook fake blood after an internet instruction. Didn’t look like blood at all!

What question would you like to be asked that you never are? And what would be your answer?

J: Would you like to marry me? Yes!

G:Should we move to Scotland? Why not?

Here’s a sneak preview of The SWIT cover, which will be rising from the dead on the 30/11/2016.

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