Fall in love with Army Girls! From their classic rock sound, personalities to shooting style… they may just be your next favorite band. Check out their latest music video and Barkin’ you’ll see what Carmen means when she says about their songs, “they tend to be quite precious and soft when they’re new but we take them and kind of beat them up and toughen them out.”
Band Name: ARMY GIRLS
Member’s Names: ANDY SMITH AND CARMEN ELLE
From: TORONTO (ISH)
First it has to be asked, how did you guys come up with the name Army Girls for your band (seeing as you’re not both girls)?
C- After being stuck performing without a band name for nearly a year, I spotted this beautiful girl with a cool army jacket and a flat top. I suggested the name “Army Girls” kind of in her honor and received minimal objections so we went with it.
A- And because Andy always wanted to be a hot girl.
How did Army Girls get together in the first place and how would you descried your sound?
C- Andy and I met a few years ago, through our mutual friend and Andy’s band mate in Heartbeat Hotel Chris Lyons. We were just kids and had gotten together in a basement to learn a Feist cover. I first noticed Andy and the way he drums then and never forgot about his playing. Years later I booked a big show and decided to see if he was available to play with me. It went really well and we kept going from there.
C- I think these songs we play are kind of like the way people live their entire lives; we are aware that every little thing is precious but we still put ourselves through the ringer. We’re still hard on ourselves and push ourselves. These songs are like that… they tend to be quite precious and soft when they’re new but we take them and kind of beat them up and toughen them out. I think it’s the way we get to know our music.
Starting out as a band can’t be an easy, how do you make yourselves stand out from other groups?
A- Really, the only way to stand out is to hope you sound and look good. But sometimes, a lot of times, that still doesn’t work. You have to live and breathe the music you make. Be real, otherwise no one will care.
C- Andy has a point- having the drive to keep at it is hard to maintain and that’s why so few continue to pursue a career in the arts. I think that aside from being motivated, Andy and I are doing something a little different right now. Traditionally, drums and guitar are two of the most popular instruments in rock music. However, in the last few years many bands have made a move towards electronic drums and samples, and the format we use has become less popular. Ideally, in the next couple of years things will swing back in our direction again but until then, we are one of a handful of two pieces starting out right now.
Do you think Toronto is a good place for you to make your mark in? If so, why?
C- Toronto is a great city to come from musically. The city has so much to offer from other people and bands, venues to play at and great media that supports the independent community. After learning the ropes for years and years in other great bands, we’re really enjoying sharing this new project with our friendly city that helped raised us musically.
A- I moved here 6 years ago specifically for the music scene. That’s how good I think Toronto is. I couldn’t imagine being based anywhere else at this point in my life.
Being new to Lomography, what drew you guys to analogue and what is it like getting back into film?
A- In June, we played an in-store show for the release of this camera at Lomography in Toronto on Queen West. We loved the photos from the show and the people we met. We used a photo from that show as our cover for the Power single. It was incredible fun getting back into it. These days we’re so used to documenting our lives with phone-cameras. Making sure to bring this camera everywhere we went has made the whole experience so memorable.
What was the funniest moment you had while shooting with the La Sardian Camera?
C- We had some funny trial and error moments- “I don’t think it worked the lens cap is still on!” “I think you’re winding it backwards!” “What does this picture that looks like a bug do?” “How do I change the film” “Oh… I may have ruined the film” and so on. We were analogue virgins before this camera and had a blast learning on it. There’s something so satisfying and tactical about shooting analogue. And the surprises that you’re met with when you get your shots back is always totally rewarding.
What would you say is the best part of your job?
C- The 30 seconds before you write a new song, when your body feels heavy with possibilities and the 30 seconds after getting offstage when your body feels light with elation.
A- Playing for the people I know.
And the worst part would be?
C- The 30 minutes before going onstage when you’re shaking in your boots.
A- I secretly like that 30 minutes before going on stage. Right now, I can’t think of something I truly don’t like.
What’s next for Army Girls? Any new projects coming up we should keep an eye out for?
A- Next is the release of our EP, Close to the Bone, on September 13th. It will be online and free for a limited time. Then we may focus on getting the record out on Vinyl by the end of the year. As for new projects, we are currently writing new material with plans to record again in the new year in New York city.
What are the best words of advice you have ever been given you would like to pass on to people reading this?
A- …work smart, not hard.
C- As of right now having just read the above comment, “work smart, not hard.” Good one.
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