Interview: Girlfriends

Recently I was able to hop on a call with Girlfriends (Travis Mills & Nick Gross) to discuss their upcoming EP, Over My Dead Body. In this interview, I asked the band about their current tour overseas, plus the opportunity to play the states with artists like The Used, Pierce the Veil and Avril Lavigne. Over My Dead Body hits streaming services on May 12th via Big Noise.

Thank you guys so much for connecting with me today! You recently announced a new EP called, Over My Dead Body. So what’s your range of emotions now that this will be out in the world in May?

Travis: We can’t wait for people to hear everything that we’ve been working on. It’s definitely, it’s been something that we’ve been kind of keeping close to the chest for for quite some time. And we’ve dropped little hints here and there, but now that the music is starting to come out, and we’re actually on tour getting to play some of the songs live. It’s really cool seeing it come to fruition.

Nice. And I think I saw that you’re overseas right now. So how would you describe the difference in audiences, with playing to these audiences versus the United States?

Travis: We’ve only played one show so far, but in Paris, they’re super respectful.

Nick: Yeah, it’s like this more respectful energy. As weird as that sounds. They give more of a golf clap, and they might sip some wine instead of pounding a beer.

That’s pretty interesting. So your new single is called, “Life’s A Brittany.“ What’s the meaning behind that track?

Travis: Well, we couldn’t couldn’t just jump off the bat and say “life’s a bitch”. Couldn’t say “Brittany is a bitch”. We already have a song called “Jessica,” so we feel like we had to kind of blend the two. 

Nick: Travis had a falling out with Britney Spears and the rest of it has all been downhill from here.  (Laughter) 

Travis: I think this song is one of those songs when we were writing it, it almost felt like too easy just because it was something that literally just popped out of my mouth. And as soon as I said it, Andrew and Nick’s ears kind of perked up. And I was like, “Yeah, but we can’t say that in the song”, it’s just too low hanging fruit. But it’s catchy. It’s really easy to remember, so it really kind of challenged my overthinking and kind of self-sabotage to the side of my brain to be like, “Why do I always have to make things so difficult for myself?” If it’s catchy, it’s catchy, and people are gonna remember it. And I think that’s what we’re really excited about. We really kind of just put this one out there.

Nice! How do you guys typically do most of your writing? And then are there any trusted voices that you test material by?

Travis: I mean, I read a lot of the lyrics on my iPhone, and my notes app gets abused. For this one, Nick and Andrew wrote all the music.

Nick: Yeah, I normally kind of step in to help create the foundation of the music. Whether it’s guitar stuff, a drum beat, or a synth thing, or just anything to kind of get the seed of an idea started. And then Travis normally matches the vibe of that music to the melodies and the lyrics around the content of the song and how it kind of plays out from there. But yeah, Travis and I have a great studio working relationship where we definitely balanced each other’s ideas.

Cool, and how has that evolved since the early days of the band?

Travis: I think it’s kind of always been like that. I feel like that’s why we’ve been able to kind of create so much music in so little time. Nick and I both kind of let each other do what we’re both good at. And instead of when there’s too many cooks in the kitchen. And we learned that like we’ve had sessions before where we bring in <outside> writers and other guitarists, and it just doesn’t work. And I think the best kind of music that we’ve made has been Nick and I in a studio.

So what went into the recording process working with Andrew Goldstein on this one?

Travis: We made it all at his house, which is pretty normal for us. Because with our first record and a lot of our second record, we were at Feldy’s <John Feldman> studio at his house. So we’re just some couch rats. Right at home.

That’s interesting. Yeah, I actually had an interview with John Feldmann not too long ago. He’s a cool guy! Also, I really enjoyed your self-titled record. What memories do you have looking back on on that particular album?

Nick: I just remember it being this like what’s going on in the world? What’s happening? Because we’re able to just focus on creating music because we can’t do anything else. We were hyper-focused. We kind of didn’t overthink the first album, because there wasn’t anything that had been created for girlfriends before. So whatever came out of it was I think the beauty of that first album. It came out naturally, first, all of us, when we got in a room together for the first time, as girlfriends, that’s kind of what was on the record. It was a lot quicker, it was a lot more just kind of like not over-thought and a lot of fun. Seeing what the lifeform and the shape of what the band was going to kind of turn into…because I don’t think Travis and I set out with an idea that we wanted to kind of create this kind of music or whatever, initially. And that’s kind of what just happened when we got in the studio together with John and the two of us.

Travis: Yeah, we got to take something awful happening in the world and walk out of it with something positive, and something that’s kind of changed both of our lives.

Yeah, that’s a good way of looking at it. Did you guys do anything specifically different for the new record, as far as the recording process or lessons that you’ve learned along the way?

Travis: Um, no, I mean really, we just went into Andrew’s <studio> with I think what we’ve got back to this EP, there were no expectations when we went to the studio every day. And I’m like, “Well, let’s try to make something good.” And we didn’t write a ton of songs for this. I think for our second record, we just wrote so many more songs that obviously didn’t come out. This one we just kind of wrote and we’re like, “Alright, cool. We got it!” It was pretty easy, and not really overthought. And I think that’s what we love about it.

Yeah, the EP sounds great. I just got an early listen that I put on this morning. So congrats to you guys!

Travis: I think the songs lend themselves to being played live, which is like something we’re really excited about, especially with what the next three months look like for us. 

Yeah, so you’ll also be supporting bands like The Used, Pierce the Veil, and Avril Lavigne. So can you talk about what you’re most looking forward to with playing to these huge audiences?

Travis: With Avril, I mean, we’ve only played one show tonight. I look back through my text messages, and we were literally talking about this in 2020, which is crazy. Now, it’s coming true. I mean, it’s awesome. And there’s really no feeling like walking out on stage every night in front of 10,000 people getting to do what you love. So we’re kind of just having a pinch ourselves every day on this tour.

Yeah, I can imagine it must be surreal to be playing into that many people. Any future plans for collaborating with other artists?

Travis: We just did a song with Lolo, she’s incredible. The song is doing really well. It’s called “5678,” and she’s actually playing Slam Dunk Fest in the UK with us. And so we’ve been talking about how we’ve got to make some shit happen and play that song live for the first time for people over there.

Any last words for your fans, or things to look forward to?

Travis: girlfriends is the best band in the world. I’m gonna leave it at that.

All right, thanks so much for your time guys. And good luck on tour!

Travis and Nick: We really appreciate you brother.

Take care, guys!