Interview: Girls In Synthesis on debut album ‘Now Here’s An Echo From Your Future’

London-based experimental punk trio Girls In Synthesis are set to release their debut album Now Here’s An Echo From Your Future on 28th August via Harbinger Sound, originally scheduled for release in May but put back due to the current pandemic. The band are caustic and confrontational and are (quite rightly!!) considered by many to be the most exciting underground band in the UK.

Ioan from Joyzine had the privilege of doing an email Q&A with them this week. This is what they had to say.

IH: Now Here’s An Echo From Your Future is finally here and it’s a belter. Are you pleased with the end result?

GIS: Very much so… we wanted to create a ‘classic debut album’ in the sense that we wanted it to be concise and direct, with a few surprises in there. Our previous compilation album was a precursor in some way, but this is a fully considered piece of work. I feel it stands up against anything I’ve heard recently. It’s been finished a long time, so we’ve been trying to avoid listening to it to keep it fresh, which I think has worked.

IH: For a band who released their debut single in 2016, it feels like this debut has been a while in the making. And I mean that in a good way, as it doesn’t feel rushed. Is this the case? Has it been a slow burning iterative process?

GIS: Not really, no. Although it may seem that way, we were completing 2 EP’s a year at 4 tracks an EP, plus a few extra bits and bobs. Usually two UK tours a year, which then led on to the release of Pre/Post which was a 14 track compilation, so it’s actually been a very busy few years. The material for the album was written over the course of about 3-4 months, then recorded over the space of around 4-5 days in total. Also, the album has been finished for about a year, unfortunately COVID well and truly kicked its arse from May to late August, so that’s extended the timeline a little. In general, we’re massively active all the time. We’re working on the follow up as we speak.

WARNING: This video may potentially trigger seizures for people with photosensitive epilepsy. View discretion is advised

IH: You are in some great company on Harbinger Sound with Consumer Electronics and the vastly underrated The Lowest Form. How is Steve Underwood as a label boss?

GIS: Steve is a diamond. We had a couple of labels interested in working with us on the debut album, and Steve just seemed like the man to go with. He has some very solid, creative ideas with regards to touring and spreading the word, but he very much leaves us to it with regards to what music we make and how we present it. I feel that we are one of the less leftfield acts on the label, and I think that shows that Steve has a bit more scope when choosing the bands that he likes. But not as leftfield as some of the stuff on the label might still be pretty out there for other people!

IH: You’ve shared stages with bands such as Damo Suzuki, Bad Breeding, Slaves, Wolf Alice and Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs. Pigs x 7 and Bad Breeding are big favourites of mine. The latter I think are a vitally important band that I feel are intrinsically linked to you? Is this the case? Do you know BB at all?

GIS: Not really personally, although I do have dialogue with them occasionally. They seem very passionate about what they do, and they’re suburban Herts heads like myself. I’m a huge fan, we all are really, and they’ve sort of changed the way I approach what we do in some ways. They’re one of those groups that seem to constantly challenge themselves, which I think is so important. Would love to play some more shows with them at some point.

IH: And how has sharing stages with these bands been like? Do you like playing live?

GIS: We don’t pay all that much attention to other groups, but obviously you can tell when a band smashes it; Bad Breeding, the last Fall line-up backing Damo… but we’re a very focussed band. We like to keep our focus pure. Playing live is probably what we’re most known for, and we very much enjoy it. There was a turn around in our live shows about a year in and since then we haven’t looked back. We play the majority of the show from within the audience, which has really changed things for us. And it seems much appreciated. People love it. I don’t know how performing in that capacity will be affected going forward, we’ll see….

WARNING: This video may potentially trigger seizures for people with photosensitive epilepsy. View discretion is advised

IH: Who or what are GIS’s influences (music, literature, politics, etc.)?

GIS: There are quite a lot, a lot of them non-musical. We work within a small group of other artists (photographers, videographers, sound engineers etc) and they’re extremely influential to the process. Musically, Crass, The Fall, disco, dub, soul, funk. Other stuff includes the British subcultural journey from 1950’s soho jazzers to 1970’s soul boys and beyond. A lot goes in, hopefully it’s assimilated into something original. It’s difficult to pick out specifics, as we’re all quite different people. But we share a common goal. It’s a bit cult-ish and intense. I reckon we’ll all need therapy when the group breaks up.

IH: It’s evident that you are (quite rightly) angry and disheartened at the state of this country at the moment as your music reflects this. You seem to be able to articulate the anger both intelligently and ferociously. John Lydon famously once sang, “anger is an energy”. Is this what feeds you as a band? The energy?

GIS: Yeah, I think so. Anger, despair, a lot of anxiety. The same as everyone feels, really. It’s just trying to verbalise and project it so that people identify and can use it as an outlet for their own feelings. Without patronising people and assuming that everyone’s issues can fit into a nice little chorus. I think playing music as harsh and energetic as we do requires a lot of focus and passion, otherwise it’s just going through the motions really. I’m not surprised to see a large scale return of ‘punk informed’ music with the way things are. It’s difficult not to despair sometimes, but you have to try and live in the moment as much as possible to get the results. Might seem a little shortsighted, but there we go…

IH: GIS are currently raising eyebrows and turning heads and it’s more than well deserved. The balance of power, noise and aggression has (seemingly) been perfected so far. Covid-19 allowing, what is next for GIS in terms of recording and live stuff?

GIS: Live, we’ve no idea. We have dates booked in October, but who’s to say? Hopefully they’ll go ahead, but otherwise we’ll have to look at pushing them to next year. I think we’re going to attempt to get to Europe next year, too. So that will be exciting. And as I mentioned, we’re currently working on a follow up. Early stages yet, but it’s shaping up to be quite an exciting record. I think it’s going to surprise a few people.

IH: Thanks guys!

Girls In Synthesis are:
John – Vocals/Bass
Jim – Vocals/Guitar
Nicole – Drums

Debut album Now Here’s An Echo From Your Future released August 28th on Harbinger Sound.  Pre-order the album HERE.

See Girls In Synthesis live at the following dates in October (government advice permitting):
Thursday 15th: Birmingham, Hare and Hounds
Friday 16th: Nottingham, Chameleon Arts Cafe
Saturday 17th: Manchester, The Talleyrand
Friday 23rd: London, Shacklewell Arms
Saturday 24th: Northampton, The Lab

Interview by Ioan Humphreys:


Leave a Comment

%d bloggers like this: