The San Fran all-girl three-piece speak to us about post-punk influences and sour gummy worms
Consisting of bassist/vocalist Hannah Lew, drummer/vocalist Lillian Maring and guitarist/vocalist Raven Mahon, the San Francisco-based band Grass Widow have been audibly influenced by similarly all-female punk and post-punk acts like The Neo Boys and Kleenex. With three-part harmonies, complex arrangements and a collaborative songwriting process, the three-piece released their first LP on indie imprint Make-A-Mess Records as well as a 12" EP on Brooklyn label Captured Tracks back in 2009. Now they're off on another tour alongside the launch of their new single 'Past Time' out this October.
...so special about you, then?
Raven: I don't consider us special or better than anyone else, our goal as a band is to make music we care about and take opportunities to share it with people in an intentional way. The music itself and the collaborative process of creating it is kind of cathartic for us. We make an effort to play all-ages and inexpensive shows in environments that are comfortable for everyone. Whenever we can, we book shows with bands that have female musicians in them.
Hannah: Also I can stand on my head for very long periods of time.
...your worst vice?
Raven: Sour gummy worms.
…the story behind your name?
Raven: a friend came up with it, it's an actual term that was used in 18th century literature, but we were initially attracted to the juxtaposition of the two seemingly unrelated words.
Lillian: It's meaning is up for interpration, and it creates a nice platform for the imagination. We like to write our lyrics that way , too... Offering phrases that can be deeply personal without being overtly narrative. You can extract your own message.
... your favourite sound?
Raven: Casio trumpet
Lillian: Foghorn at dawn
...your worst fashion secret?
Raven: I don't have any fashion. My socks rarely match. Hannah and lily both have really good style.
Lillian: it may not be intentional but Raven definitely has a style... functional, relaxed. It's no secret, we all wear clothing.
Hannah: I wear pyjamas 90 per cent of the time on tour. Sometimes it's hard to change out of them.
... good for breakfast?
Raven: Kim chi and eggs
Hannah: I'll have what they're having, banana on the side.
...at the top of your shit list?
...are you listening to now?
Raven: Broken Water, John Fahey
Lillian: Lily Tomlin's stand up.
Hannah: The Mantles, but right now Aerosmith 'cause we're listening to sattelite radio in our rental van.
How would you describe your work?
Lillian: Our songwriting is collaborative and therapeutic. The music itself is meant to be cathartic and celebratory.
Hannah: We work off our impulses a lot in the songwriting process. Our music is a place that we find refuge in and I would hope others could too.
Grass Widow will be touring with Trash Kit hitting Sheffield at The Harley today October 6th before Glasgow, Bristol and London on October 10th and Amsterdam on the 13th. Their new single Past Time is out now.