Sunday, February 25, 2024

Not Ur Girlfrenz talk being on tour with Bowling For Soup and covers of MCR and SlipKnot

It feels like yesterday when we last sat down with Texan punk rockers, Not Ur Girlfrenz, on their last visit to the UK with Bowling For Soup. At this time we had been freshly introduced to them via two covers that were making waves across the alt scene. First was a cover of Joan Jett’s ‘Bad Reputation’ quickly followed by a cover of The Cure’s ‘Friday I’m In Love’ and at Christmas a brilliant punky cover of ‘Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree’. As if these didn’t blow us away enough, they then came out with a live cover of Led Zepplin’s ‘Rock N Roll’ and we were amazed at their skills.

We sat down with the trio made up of Liv Haynes (14) on guitar and lead vocals, Gigi Haynes (13) on bass, and Maren Alford (14) on drums; As they played Brixton Academy for the first time in support of their musical mentors Bowling For Soup.

RAMzine: How has it been touring with Bowling For Soup in the UK?

Liv: It’s great! We are so sad when it comes to an end as we’re finally adjusting to the jetlag, which is how it usually is. It was like that last time too. On the last days you get used to it then you go home and go ‘well, i’m screwed’ and end up staying up until 3 o’clock in the morning. We’re from Texas, so it’s a 6 hour time difference. We’re excited for the show today, it’s going to be great!

RAMzine: We heard that you didn’t have the best start?

Liv: We had great shows, but the baggage situation was not that great. Our checked bags got stuck in Boston, that was all of our guitars and stuff. So I ended up having to borrow Jaret’s Texas guitar, which was actually an honour, and borrowed guitar straps from Simple Plan.

Gigi: I got to use Rob’s bass, which was awesome as it’s actually really pretty. Maybe we lost the bags by accident…

RAMzine: You are on tour with Bowling For Soup in the UK for the second time, are the crowds the same and have they reacted differently?

Liv: There’s a few different faces, but it [seems to be] a different crowd. Which is great as we can make more fans. The crowds have been great, last night (in Manchester) was amazing! The whole tour has been great, we love Bowling For Soup and Simple Plan fans, they’re all super sweet.

RAMzine: Have you asked if Bowling For Soup can take you out in the summer next time? It still rains but it’s a lot warmer.  

Liv: Last time that we came here it wasn’t as cold as everyone was saying but now that we’re back here, it’s freezing! We were last here in November, it’s funny we always come around the holidays. Last time was Christmas and now it’s Valentine’s Day.

RAMzine: You have released a cover of My Chemical Romance’s ‘I’m Not Okay’, how did it go down?

Liv: It went pretty great! We love My Chemical Romance and they’re getting back together so we thought that it would be the perfect time to release a cover of their song. We actually got to meet Frank Iero as he was one of the guitarists on Warped Tour this past summer and we played that song! We got to meet him and shake hands with him and he literally gives the best handshakes ever. He’s so nice and he’s one of my biggest inspirations as a guitarist and so being able to meet him was one of my biggest starstruck moments.

RAMzine: We did spot a bit of negativity in the comment sections of Kerrang, I mean you can’t please everyone I suppose. But it was cool to see Jaret sticking up for you in those comment sections. 

Liv: Oh really! Jaret is the best! He’s like a second dad to us, people think that we’re related but we’re not, we’re just that close.

RAMzine: On the subject of social media, Maren recently went viral with the SlipKnot drumming video! How did you find that response?

Maren: That was crazy! I had made the video just for fun, to push myself as I had never learned any songs like that before. I had just started playing… I didn’t even know double bass until I learnt that song. I had already released it for a couple of weeks and nothing happened and then all of a sudden it started getting all of this press and it all started blowing up, a couple of days before my birthday. And of course there were some ‘not nice’ comments on there, which is always going to happen, but there were a lot of really amazing comments on there. And Jay really loved it which is really all that matters to me because he is a really big idol for me.

RAMzine: The EP has been out for a while, and you’ll be releasing new single ‘Game Over’, will there be any changes of style or will it be more along the same lines?

 Liv: It’s along the same lines. I mean we’re always evolving so there’s a bit of newness.

Gigi: I do feel like this new song is a bit of a different vibe than the EP, but they still all fit together well. We’re still Not Ur Girlfriends.

RAMzine: We’ve seen you over here playing big shows with Bowling For Soup, what’s it like playing back over in Texas?

Gigi: I mean definitely the shows are bigger here because we’re the support band and it’s Bowling For Soup, so thousands of people. But when we play at home in Lava Cantina, a lot of people show up. I honestly prefer the smaller gigs, as whenever there’s a bunch of people there it fills the crowd more. People are like squished in there if you know what I mean?

Liv: After this tour we’re going to be playing on tour with The Dollyrots, it’s going to be an 18 date tour, so it’s going to be our longest tour ever – that’s going to be super fun we’re going to be playing all around America at some places that we haven’t even visited yet. It’s super weird to think that there are places in the US that we haven’t visited yet, when we’re out in another country.

 [The dates with Dollyrots have since been rescheduled for July & August! due to the Covid-19 Pandemic]

Maren: We just recently played a show before we left for the UK with The Wrecks at Granada Theater, and that was a packed show that was super fun. Yeah everyone was literally pressed up against each other, it was awesome. We’re also going to play in Trees with The Nixons, between that next tour and now.

RAMzine: I was reading on the way here about something of you doing the Reliant Energy Campaign?

Liv: Yeah that was actually at the beginning of our band, as we all auditioned separately to be in this commercial. During the audition we were like ‘we’re actually in a band’ and they were like ‘wait, all 3 are in a band, let’s just book them!’ So we’re like ‘heck yes!’ And now our band is in a commercial. So we were on set and they just had us jam, which was one of our first jam sessions. It was a Super Bowl commercial and Matthew McConaughey was voicing over us whilst we were playing guitars, it was so great.

RAMzine: Playing in such a big band at such a young age how do you keep your feet on the ground? As you are all so down to earth. 

Liv: Thank you. Well are all actresses, we’ve been doing this for years. So we’re kind of used to rejection and harsh criticism and stuff like that. Our parents keep us in check, nah I’m kidding, but we do still have to do chores. I do the laundry and dishes. I mean we’re just kinda living in the moment, it hasn’t really sunk in that this is real. Because if you think about it too much it’s just not going to be as amazing.

Maren: I still go to public school so i’ll leave for a week and then i’ll go on tour, then I come back and im in class. The last time we came home from a UK tour, we came home from tour and we had to go to school the next day with jetlag.

Gigi: Yeah, this time as we get back on a Sunday, we get the Monday off. But me and Liv are home schooled so we fold laundry and do school at the same time. Multi tasking, how fun is that!

RAMzine: Who are your musical guilty pleasures?

Liv:  I’m not that guilty with my music choices if I’m honest.

Maren: I actually like listening to classical music in my free time… that was completely sarcastic. No offence to anyone who listens to classical music, sometimes I listen to it too.

Gigi: Oh what’s that one song that I couldn’t stop singing ‘I believe in a thing called love…’

RAMzine: The Darkness. 

Gigi: Yeah! It’s not guilty though.

Liv: One Direction! I was actually a One Direction girl, I used to have a Harry Styles poster on my ceiling so every night when I went to bed I could say goodnight to him.

Gigi: Yeah me and Liv used to share a bed and that was super creepy.

Liv: She was like ‘do you really have to have the poster?’

Maren: When I was in elementary school I was like ‘I am going to marry Justin Beiber’, and I had the posters and pajamas. I like to go back and listen to his old music, it makes me happy. I would watch the Believe documentary every single day, I was like ‘he’s going to play on stage and we’re just gonna have a moment’.

RAMzine: Lastly, since we bought you Marmite and Crumpets, what would you recommend people try in Texas?

Whataburger is the best place ever!

Good Texas BBQ!


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