Girls On Film
"Dancetronic Glamwave or Lipstick Synth Pop? You decide!"

May 2010

Hailing from the capitol of Florida, Girls On Film are a female two-piece (Rio: Vocals+lyrics and Kazhmir: Bass, programming, backing vocals) whose music is one part lipstick synth-pop and one part icy-cold new wave (or so they tell us!).. Influences such as classic 80s electronic acts such as The Human League, Yazoo and Fad Gadget, are counterbalanced with a guilty fondness too for Berlin, Billy Idol, The Cars and Nina Hagen. They call their sound "Glam Wave". And having had an eventful journey so far based on building a reputation in their home country for their live performances, fueling their inclusion on bills with cult favourites My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult and Gene Loves Jezebel. The two remaining original members are now set to take on Europe with the first local release of their EP "Mental Image" on the Soulow Records label, and 2010 promises new material featuring the Girls' signature 'Glamwave' sound.

Girls On Film promo DSO: Hello ladies! Maybe we can start off with a short introduction of yourselves. So, Rio, what can you tell us about Kazhmir?

R: She's incredibly confident and friendly. Wicked multi-tasker. Stupid funny. Dead sexy. Ingenious. Diplomatic. Focused. Fun-loving. Ridiculously talented. Not a good liar.

DSO: And Kazhmir, what should we know about Rio?

K: She's one of the most exquisitely funky, creative, funny, talented, selfless, insightful, articulate people I know. She also has a kick-ass vinyl collection that is "to die for".

DSO: OK. As you are an all-female band, how does it feel, without a rooster in the yard?

R: Ha ha ha ha, "rooster in the yard"!! That's hilarious! I'm not sure how I could compare it to anything else since we've been an all-female band for so long…I'm sure there's a different dynamic at play, but I don't know if that's really got more to do with the fact that every group of musicians has its own chemistry. We didn't really do the all-female thing on purpose, but it just seemed to work out that way...we were friends that wanted to play music and we recruited other friends that happened to be women as well. I think we would play with anyone, male or female, as long as we got along and had some of the same interests.

DSO: You started as a band of four, now you are two. Seems quite a lot has happened to the band since then. How did it start and how has it been so far?

R: Kazhmir and I started writing together back in 2000 or so, and she taught herself how to play bass in the process. We knew we wanted to be a new wave band, so we bought some electronic drums and searched high and low for a keyboardist and a drummer. After a few early line up shifts, we wound up as a 4-piece and slowly developed our sound and stage show over time. There were a lot of shows, travelling all over the south eastern U.S.A, recording, and major drama in between! We were a 4-member band for about seven years, and last year we streamlined to a duo after the departure of our long-time drummer (Machine) and keyboardist (Metro).

DSO: Why has it taken five releases until you came across the seas to Europe?

K: Of course we didn't intend to wait so long, we were dying to make it over! We just had financial issues…which is a nice way of saying that we are starving artists.

DSO: Presumably the name does come from the Duran Duran song?

R: We love that song, obviously! Back several years ago when Kazhmir and I were first starting out, I remember flipping through a magazine while on the phone with her, seeing a picture of Duran Duran hotness, and thinking what an awesome band name "Girls on Film" sounded like. I think we both were like, "Oh God, yeah!"

DSO: Can you summarise your music in three words?

K: "Icy-cold glamwave." Or how about "Lipstick synth pop."

Girls On Film promoDSO: To what does the title "Mental Image" refer?

K: "Mental Image" is actually a lyric from a song that did not make it onto the album!

DSO: On the new EP there are five original songs and four remixes. Kazhmir, what comes into your mind about the remix of "Pitiless Friend" by Macutchi?

R: Love, love, love the treatment of the vocals! Sorry, I had to cut in. ;-)

K: This remix is so fresh! It makes the song incredibly danceable, which always gets me hot.

DSO: What was your reaction to the DJ F Remix of "Medicated Mind", Rio?

R: I think I was jumping up and down! DJ F's remix is really energetic…it changes tempo at one point in the song and turns into this totally sexy sort of slow jam, but then changes up again and makes you want to dance.

DSO: Why no remix of "Devil's Lies"?

R: We were fortunate to have some of the best remix artists out there work on our tracks and we originally thought that we would have a remix for each song on the maxi-EP, but in the end, I think we decided that "Devil's Lies" was so much more mellow than the other songs that it maybe didn't really lend itself to be remixed.

DSO: The production was supported by established producers like Geza X (Dead Kennedys and more) and Paul Roessler. How did they become interested in your band?

K: We were contacted by Satellite Park Studios (Geza and Paul's recording studio) to see if we were interested in recording some tracks with them. They are incredibly supportive of indie bands, and even though they typically work on major-label projects, they took us on as a "passion project". It was humbling to work in the presence of such greatness.

Girls On Film promoDSO: Are there any anecdotes you'd like to share that happened during the production?

R: Well, we went to Malibu as a 4-piece and recorded with Geza and Paul, and the two of them were so fun to work with. It was a little hard not to be in awe of them just because of their accomplishments. They made us feel very comfortable and by the end of the process, we'd had such a great time that we didn't want to come home! We're so happy with the record. I also remember being in the studio one day with the rest of the Girls and Frank Infante [former Blondie guitarist] walked in and we about died… he was super nice, too. Of course there was also some band drama going on….we were having some internal issues at the time.

DSO: Okay, let's take a look onto the details of the songs. What topics do your songs cover - fiction or reality?

R: You know, it's a little bit of both. One part real, one part made up, and a good dose of fantasy as well. Compromise, star-crossed love, alienation, lust, dissatisfaction, and sometimes general ridiculousness.

DSO: What is the song "Metrosexual" about? How do you define that term for you?

K: "Metrosexual" is a thinly-veiled homage to someone I'm too embarrassed to call out. And for me, a metrosexual is someone meticulous in grooming and personal style.

DSO: Who is your "Pitiless Friend"?

R: "Pitiless Friend" is a metaphor for the emptiness left by a long-lost lover.

DSO: Can you tell us about your plans after the EP? Will there be a new album this year?

R: We have been working on new songs which will eventually lead to another recording. With all the shuffling of the band line up this past year, there have been some big changes we've been navigating, but so far it's been a lot of fun playing with the concept of reinventing ourselves as a duo. Vocals and bass are still performed live, as always, and Kazhmir is now writing all keyboard and drum parts. We weren't sure how we would be perceived at first with this set up, but there has been a hugely positive response so far. I think Kazhmir and I are very closely aligned as far as our musical tastes and styles…the music has come a long way since we started out and I think the jury is still out on how the latest shake up will change/affect the new music we're writing.

DSO: What's the music scene like in the Sunshine State of Florida? Are there many clubs? Any regular haunts?

K: There's music everywhere in Florida, and we've been fortunate enough to play tons of really, really great venues. There are some cities, such as Gainesville, where electronic-based music is very much its own scene and artists are encouraged to be experimental and just have a blast. There are several clubs I've been to that I love, but my personal favourite is surprisingly not really a live music venue…it's a tiki lounge called Waterworks that's decorated with totem poles and puffer fish and serves drinks in skull glasses. Fun place to relax and hear good music on a Saturday night.

Girls On Film promoDSO: What kind of music do you listen to?

R: Personally, I'm into all sorts of new wave and old wave and 80s and electro and old-school punk, funk, and 90s underground club music. I'm a fan of the Human League and Duran Duran and The Damned.

K: In addition to all of the great stuff that Rio just rattled off, I also enjoy a lot of the newer underground dancy electro-indie stuff that has been surfacing (a la 2020 Soundsystem, Ladyhawke, Santigold, Amanda Blank…)

DSO: Can you tell us a bit about your live gigs - what they are like and what is special about them that they must not be missed?!

K: A live Girls on Film show usually involves lots of big aerodynamic hair, weird dancing & synthy dance beats, quirky vocals, heavy makeup, heavy bass guitar, and that thorn in the side of every electro band, the dreaded Technical Difficulties.

DSO: Compelling! Do you think you are more of a live than a studio band?

R: Hard to say…there's nothing as exciting as playing a live show, for all its unpredictability and energy and fun. But in the studio and with a recording, you have a much tighter control over how things end up sounding. We definitely put on a show, but enjoy the record-making process quite a bit as well.

DSO: Can you disclose some confirmed gigs in the near future?

K: We've got several scheduled in and around Florida and Georgia right now which will keep us busy and travelling through the summer.

DSO: Now that you have European distribution sorted, are you planning on playing in Europe?

R: Of course, we've always wanted to! As soon as we are able, we'll be right over. The logistics will be our only obstacle!

DSO: Many thanks for the interview ladies. Any closing words to our readers out there?

K: Many thanks to you in return. We are super excited about the European release of our EP and hope to be playing near you sometime soon!


See also:

Official Girls On Film website:
Official Girls On Film MySpace Page: