Glitoris are four fearless female musicians who’ve gained a national reputation for their unforgettable punk rock shows release their long-awaited debut album: THE POLICY.
Tomatrax asked the band a series of questions which they provided the following answers in unison!
You’ve just put out your debut album, how does it feel to have it out?
It feels great! It was a long time coming. We spent all of 2017 writing songs and getting them into shape for recording. Then we spent ages with Jay at the Pet Food Factory studio in Sydney recording, then it took more than a month to mix, so it was a huge effort. We’re really proud of it and it represents everything we stand for: our musicianship, politics, attitude – it’s all there!
The album follows a string of singles and EPs, does the album compare with your releases thus far?
It’s a natural progression from the very spontaneous sound of The Disgrace EP and ‘Trump Card’. At that stage, we were a trashy punk band and not really thinking much about our writing – we were just enjoying writing short, sharp numbers with classic punk structures and riffs. In saying that, we realised that none of that stuff showed the depth of our musicianship. We knew we were far better musicians – individually and as a band – than The Disgrace EP and ‘Trump Card’ reflects. So we upped our game and focused hard on arrangements, lyrics and making sure each instrument had its day in the sun at some point on the album. The result is a far more diverse record and a more representative sound of Glitoris.
What made you pick ‘The Policy’ as your latest single and title track of your forthcoming album?
‘The Policy’ sums Glitoris up. It’s got the lot – it’s an anthem and it’s focused on encouraging self-empowerment. Yes, we are a minority – in the music industry, in business and in politics and just about everywhere – but fuck it, we’re not just going to lay down and accept that. We’re going to confront it head-on and demand our place and encourage The Gliterati to do the same. It’s a big statement and it made sense to use the title for the album as well as the single.
You’ll be touring round Australia next month, what can fans expect from your show?
It’s going to be wild! We’ve been in rehearsals this last few weeks and our set is shaping up to be killer. Expect it to be fun, exciting, confrontational, empowering and chaotic. Oh, and we’ve got new outfits…
You formed as a political protest, do you think getting your music out has made your political voice heard?
Yes. That was definitely the case with ‘Spit Hood’. It didn’t get a million views on YouTube or much airplay on radio. But it did resonate in a positive way with a number of Aboriginal people – fans and people in Indigenous leadership – and that means everything to us. Glitoris is a fun way in to a politics that might otherwise feel inaccessible. What’s interesting is that we have a huge fanbase among women and the LGBTQI+ communities yet we sell the most music and merch to heterosexual white guys. So we feel our music is resonating with both marginalised people and those in the majority who want to consider their actions and the ways their presence and behavior might – even subconsciously or unknowingly – perpetuate such marginalisation. Again, that’s really important to us. We don’t necessarily want people to reconsider who they’ll vote for or change their politics – and the government aren’t going to listen to us mouthy musicians anyway – but if it makes people stop and think about their actions, then we’re having the right kind of political impact.
What’s the music scene in Canberra like?
It’s great! It’s diverse and active and community-oriented. Canberra has produced some fantastic artists and there’s some brilliant venues. Smiths Alternative and the Canberra Musicians Club are great places to see up and coming acts. The Phoenix and Transit Bar are also great and we love playing at The Basement. It’s a thriving musical scene and full of very talented musicians.
You’ve entered a few songs on Triple J’s Unearthed page, has this had any impact on your music’s exposure?
To be honest, no. We are not a ‘Triple J band’ and, even though they liked ‘Trump Card’ and played it a lot, that was more to do with the political climate than us as a band. We’re just not writing, recording or performing the kind of music that Triple J are interested in, but to be honest, neither are the best bands in this country. When you think about the best Australian hard rock and punk bands today – Clowns, Pagan, WAAX, Cable Ties – none of those artists are played on Triple J aside from the odd spin on ‘Short, Fast, Loud.’ Neither are the legendary punk bands – when was the last time you heard Cosmic Psychos or Frenzal Rhomb on Triple J? It’s not the platform we’re aiming for so it’s not really on our radar. We’re more interested in community and independent radio – 3RRR and Triple M Melbourne and 4ZZZ Brisbane, as well as other stations, have played our stuff most days and they’re far more relevant and important to us and our exposure.
You’ve said in a previous interview that you’re not answerable to a major label, a management company, or anybody who’s going try and censor you. Is it important for you to remain an independent band to avoid any censorship?
Yes definitely. We are an extremely fortunate band in that we have the best team a band could ever wish for. Our independent label and distributor and everyone we recorded with, everyone we’re working with to promote the record, people who sort out our equipment – they’re all 100% behind us and they’re all 100% independent. We cannot – and will not – be censored. If radio can’t play something because it’s too sweary or political (which was the case with ‘Spit Hood’ – we had so many letters from people saying how much they loved it but couldn’t play it) then that’s fine. Is that going to stop us from writing more unplayable political songs? No way!
When writing what comes first, the words or the music?
It could be either. Sometimes it’s an overarching concept or sound. Usually one of us has a phrase of music – a riff or a vocal melody – and brings it to the table and we all work on it. Other times, one of us might have something that’s quite complete in its form and the band just tweaks it. Sometimes, we get an idea and will write something spontaneously. That was the case with ‘Trump Card’ and ‘Sex Video’, which is on the new album.
What do you have planned after your upcoming tour?
We’ve got big plans for 2019. Firstly, we’re going to all the places we didn’t go on the 2018 Policy tour – Adelaide, Perth, Hobart, Launceston. We’re also doing some festivals in Australia and overseas. We can’t wait! Bring it on!
GLITORIS – THE POLICY TOUR 2018
Friday 16th November 2018 – Vinnies Dive Bar, Gold Coast QLD
Sunday 18th November 2018 – The Bearded Lady, Brisbane QLD
Friday 23rd November 2018 – Oxford Arts Factory, Sydney NSW
Saturday 24th November 2018 – Lass O’Gowrie, Newcastle NSW (FREE)
Thursday 29th November 2018 – Servo, Wollongong NSW
Friday 30th November 2018 – The Bendigo Hotel, Melbourne VIC
Friday 7th December 2018 – The Basement, Canberra ACT
Check out Glitoris’s Facebook page to find out more!