Petrol Girls

We interviewed post-hardcore band Petrol Girls to discuss their UK tour, their debut album Talk of Violence, and festivals.

Interview by Jane Howkins.

Photography by Isha Shah Photography

You’re just started out on a U.K. tour, how excited/nervous about that are you?

Just mega excited! Most of us live outside the U.K. now, so it’s lovely to
travel round and see all our friends.

 You just played a show at Dusk in York, on March 22nd. Had you ever
played there before, and is this an area you look forward to coming to?

It’s quite an intimate venue, and the 2 4 1 cocktails are pretty good!

Yeah I’m quite well acquainted with the 2 4 1 cocktails…
We had a brilliant time last time we played at Dusk when we were on tour
with our friends Typesetter from the US. Dirty Girl played as well, and
we’ve ended up being really good friends with them, as they moved down to London
not long after. Some of us even wound up living together! Henry always
sorts us out with a really lovely show in York.

 We recently heard your debut album Talk of Violence, released in
November of last year. How would you describe it to someone who hasn¹t
heard it yet?

Manic! From my perspective as the vocalist/ lyricist, it’s basically
everything I was feeling emotionally and politically this time last year,
thrown into a big riffy whirlpool. We’re really proud of it.

Have you written any new material since then, or are you waiting for a
while before doing so? If you have written anything new, how does it fare
compared to what is on Talk of Violence?

Yeah, we’ve got 3 or 4 new songs brewing. I think the newer stuff will
probably end up having more dynamics. So as well as the brutal rage end,
there are some more melodic moments.

 Your music is quite political ­ what are your thoughts on recent
events, and the state of the world at the moment?

Yeah just a bit… um this is a difficult question to answer. I have a
billion thoughts racing through my mind as events change so quickly that I
can’t even read fast enough to keep up. I think the state of the world
right now is terrifying. But I also see so much resistance. I’m reading
Hope In The Dark by Rebecca Solnit at the moment, and really recommend
this to anyone feeling overwhelmed. The changes that we make as activists
are often difficult to pin point and quantify, but we have achieved so
much and we have the potential to change everything.

 We hear you’re playing at the Manchester Punk Festival. We were there
last year for part of the festival have you been before, and if so, did
you enjoy the festival?

No we’ve not been before – looking forward to it though!

 Are there any bands that you’re particularly looking to catch at the
Manchester Punk Festival? What have you been listening to recently, and
who/what most influences you?

I think we’re playing the wrong day to Paint It Black!! But I’m hoping I can
mission to their London show at DIY space after our set at the Underworld
that night… It’s the start of our tour with Strike Anywhere, which is
going to be incredible! Shit, there are literally too many good bands on the
MPF line up: Doe, Onsind, Myelin, Braindead, Honey Joy, Efa Supertramp,
Despite Everything, Braindead, Maid of Ace, Queen Zee and the Sasstones,
Bolshy, Crywank, Denim and Leather.

 You also have a couple of other festivals on the go, including 2000
Trees, and Boomtown Fair. How does playing at a festival compare to a
normal gig? Do you have any other festival dates lined up that haven¹t
been announced yet?

We’ve got a few things in the pipeline :) Punk Rock Holiday has also been
announced, which I am beyond excited for as we played there 2 years ago
and it was pure magic. It’s next to a river in the mountains in Slovenia!

 What can people expect from a Petrol Girls show, and why do you think
people should come and see you perform live?

I hope that we always give an honest, authentic and energetic set. I feel
like, as with most punk bands, we’re best experienced live!