A force to be reckoned with, Not Ur Girlfrenz took the UK by storm when they supported Bowling For Soup on their latest tour. The all-girl trio from Dallas is a true inspiration for any female in the industry; I got the opportunity to catch up with them before the show and talk about their experiences within the music industry, and what their favourite pizza toppings are.
The badass band is made up of Liv, 15 (vocals and guitar), Gigi, 13 (bass), and Maren, 15 (drums). Don’t let their ages fool you into thinking they don’t know what they’re doing. This group certainly know how to put on a show and aren’t afraid to show up anyone who doubts them. Taking a horrible experience and channelling it into something inspirational, Liv wrote ‘No One Asked You Anyway’ about a situation involving a cynic.
Liv explained, “I actually wrote that song on the way home after a gig where a sound guy was actually like, ‘Are you going to be lip-syncing today or do you need help adjusting your mic? What track are you going to be playing to? Make sure you speak up in the mics so everyone can hear you’ – and just babying us to the max.” This is a situation a lot of women face in the industry, but NUGF handled it fantastically. “’It’s ok dude, we’ve got this’. And I just got so mad, so I just ranted in the notes on my phone. And I got home and wrote a song about it.”
On the other side of this, the girl gang have also had a great reaction from other bands and artists. Before heading out on the Vans Warped Tour, they named a new song in anticipation of it. Whilst at Warped, they created a music video charming other artists into getting involved with them. “We were like, ‘Hey, wanna sing a line of the song?’ And they were all super nice and supportive. None of them were, ‘Who are these little girls?’ They were nice and supportive – not patronising or anything,” Liv says.
Female representation at music festivals is at a low in the UK as well as in America, which is something everyone wants to see change. A lot of the major festivals are heavily male-dominated, yet there are lots of female artists and female-fronted bands. Glastonbury recently released its line up with 52% female or female-identifying acts, which is a great step in the right direction. Gigi pointed out, “In Guitar Centre, guitar sales are going up for females, for women. But you don’t see a lot of them actually going out there going on stage performing; I think we need to see more of that in America and the UK.”
The impressive group don’t stop there with their views; each one has great advice for their peers. These girls are a true inspiration for anyone wanting to get out there and follow their passions.
Liv’s advice is, “Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and get as much experience you can, and don’t let anybody push you down. Like [with] that sound guy, just say ‘no one asked you anyway’. Just carry on; just always have fun.”
And Maren’s advice: “One thing we all think about as a band is following your passion, whether that’s not just music, whether that’s art, or directing, or anything like that. So you if you wanna do that – and not just for girls, but everybody, like kids, teenagers… Just do it for the next generation.”
The overall advice? “Just do what you wanna do, man.”
In addition to creating brilliant music, they’re all working actresses, managing to juggle touring and working. They’ve been keen to blend this with the band on something like writing a soundtrack for a movie or TV show – like their mentor, Jaret of Bowling For Soup. In their latest release ‘Game Over’, they’ve created a music video combining their love of acting and music together. Liv explained, “I definitely love incorporating acting in our music videos; I usually write the concepts for them. We actually have a music video coming out soon – there’s going to be some acting in that.”
Jaret Reddick – the frontman of Bowling For Soup – manages the band, and it’s clear that BFS has had a big impact on them. This wasn’t the first time the NUGF had toured with BFS, but this doesn’t stop them from watching their set every night, taking inspiration from them. They explained their stage presence has relaxed since watching and absorbing knowledge from their mentors. “I honestly feel like there’s not a better band that we could have gotten thrown into the touring cycle with than BFS,” says Liv. The bands and crew feel like one big self-confessed family on this tour – something every band hopes for.
The band takes musical influences from a wide range of music genres from pop punk, classic rock, to just plain pop. One of their favourite bands is My Chemical Romance, to the point that they’ve covered one of their songs. Getting to meet Frank Iero was one of their many highlights from Warped. “He gives the best handshakes ever; he’s the nicest person,” Maren says.
If you haven’t read enough to make you want to hear more about these awe-inspiring ladies, I even delved into their favourite pizza topping (which also happens to be mine as well – minus the ham!) “Hawaiian! Everyone judges us; everyone’s like ‘Ewww, you like pineapple?’ It’s good, try it!”
To see how these girls are winning over hearts and minds, check out the video for their latest single, ‘Game Over’: