Girls Are Honest and Beautiful

Originally published in September 2008 on Dazed Digital.

A bright new boy band from California.

San Francisco was once known as a birthplace of radical and influential music before an abject creative fizzle came with the gentrification of the1990’s. Now Girls, the city’s newest boy band, is stepping in to reclaim the former glory of the upper West Coast. Made up of Christopher Owens (Holy Shit) and Chet “J.R.” White, Girls paints a new California dreamscape where beach houses and broken hearts share equal time with hazy drug escapades up and down the golden state, all amidst a wash of heavy guitar reverb and blinding lyrical optimism. Creating buzz from Los Angeles to New York, Christopher and J.R. talk to Dazed Digital about how Girls plans to divide and conquer.

Dazed Digital: How did Girls originally take shape?
Christopher Owens: When the person with whom I started “Curls” [the original band] broke my heart. She was the singer in the band, so for the first time in my life I had to try singing and writing lyrics on my own. It’s my favorite thing to do now, I’ll never stop.

Chet “JR” White: I realized it was serious when we found ourselves canceling fun social obligations to be held up in a dark room drowning in cables and stressing out about “tones”.

DD: Speaking of tones, the tone of each song seems to differ a great deal from the next and the vocals are quite elastic as well. CO: I was inspired by singers like Billy Corgan, Britney Spears, David Bowie, Ariel Pink, and Harry Merry.

JR: In recording, we didn’t want to hide those influences, we wanted people to conjure up auditory memories of like, listening to a Beach Boys song out of an old car speaker or being high with friends and listening to Oasis on full blast.

DD: Considering that the band is so new, you’ve gotten a tremendous response, bordering on a sort of mania from some fans. Why do you think people are so excited about Girls?
CO: Because it’s good and it’s personal, and honest, and beautiful, and not a fucking joke like so much other shit these days, and it’s unique.

JR: I hope people listen to our music and realize there is a need for real, from-the-heart pop music minus the irony and pretensions of a lot of current “cutting edge” music.

DD: What can we expect during a live (nude?) Girls show?
JR: Lots of floral arrangements, low lighting, kissing, and holding. Like the best girl-boy sleepover party you ever went to.

DD: Will your band expand to include more permanent members?
CO: It’s hard to find a group these days, since everybody does so much and travels so much. At least that’s what it seems like, but I would love to have a band that just stayed together forever and would be a family. If anyone is outstanding in their field and wants to commit, please contact me.

J.R.: We’re still waiting for Pete Doherty to call.

DD: What is your biggest hope for the future of Girls?

CO: To play the biggest, best live show of all time, with a full orchestra, broadcast around the entire world viewed by everyone alive.

A girls vinyl EP will be released this spring on True Panther Sounds.