By Cullen Ronan
Strawberry Girls have hit the road with Kurt Travis, and a few of the Esque Records bands lately, how has that been?
We only played the first 4 dates of the tour, which were the California shows. Those for shows were really awesome, and it was fun playing with all those bands. I already knew Amarionette, so it was cool getting to play with them. We also had played with Lemix J Buckley years ago, but didn’t really know any of them til now. They’re all super awesome people and thankfully saved us one night when our vans battery died.
I had the pleasure of seeing you guys on the Dance Gavin Dance 10 year anniversary tour and your set was fantastic. Were there any initial hesitations about doing a tour like this, especially one which brought together a lot of the old and new members?
Thanks! No hesitation at all, just pure excitement. It was by far our biggest opportunity, so we were incredibly stoked to get to perform for way more people than usual. We were already friends with all the bands, so it was like one big family. Love all those guys. One of the most fun tours I’ve been apart of. Super thankful for that experience.
I spoke recently with Nick and Quin from Amarionette and they specifically brought up your involvement with getting them in contact with Kurt Travis, which of course helped them get signed to his label. For you guys, do you take pride in bringing bands under your wing?
It’s always been a goal of mine to help out bands and artists I love whenever possible. Giving something I love a bigger audience is awesome. Our drummer, Ben, is working on his own sort of record label, Spirit Vision Records, through his recording studio, Spirit Vision Studios, which is where we record all our material. Basically his plan is to record smaller bands we enjoy and promote them as best as possible. He’s working with a band called Night Dive right now from Santa Cruz, CA. We played with them a bunch when we first started out, and their new material is amazing. He’s finishing up their EP right now. You can hear stuff at https://www.facebook.com/SpiritVisionRecords/
Strawberry Girls have a pretty vocal fanbase on social media, whether it be on Facebook, Reddit, Twitter etc. How important do you feel the relationship between the band and their fans is?
We try to just treat our fans as friends. We love seeing familiar faces at our shows and hanging out with people. When we’re on the road, we try to stay with people we meet at shows when possible, so it’s fun getting to develop relationships with people all over the place. Having friends in nearly every state is really cool.
You guys starred in “JAM” a few years ago, which chronicles the infancy of the band, how did this opportunity present itself?
Our friend Ted Maider filmed that. Basically, we had our first little 5 day tour, and we had him document it for fun. Wasn’t really any kind of big production, just friends creating stuff with each other. It’s great to have a little documentary like that to look back on stuff we probably forget over time. I haven’t watched it in years, so it’d be fun to see again.
For both French Ghetto and American Graffiti, you’ve had some pretty obscure but certainly attention-grabbing artwork, how important do you feel the artwork can be to an album as a whole?
I think artwork is super important. For someone who hasn’t heard your band, it can be the first thing they experience and form an opinion on regarding you. I think it kind of speaks to how seriously you take your music. Bad art can make it seem like you don’t really care much. For “French Ghetto,” the art was just a collection of pictures I took of some stray cats on a ranch. There was an old abandoned car, and they were climbing all over it, so I took some pictures for fun, not knowing they’d end up being the art for our album. Kali Gregan did the art for “American Graffiti”, she’s an incredible artist. She also did the art for our upcoming release, which is a re-recording of our very first album “Italian Ghosts.” The art for this is even better than “American Graffiti,” so we’re excited for people to see it.
Playing as an instrumental band, how do you feel the atmosphere of a live show is different than one featuring a band with vocals?
I don’t really know. I’m not sure if it’s really that different or not. The last big tour we did featured two awesome instrumental bands, Chon and Polyphia. The shows didn’t really feel any different than normal shows. One cool thing is that people focus much more on the music, rather than being distracted by the vocalist. The music can sometimes take the backseat at live shows when there is a singer, because that’s usually what we’re drawn to. We try to write instrumental music that takes you on a journey and is entertaining live.
This past April, you guys got the opportunity to do an Audiotree live, which was met with a really positive reception on Youtube. Do you guys feel like this was a special experience for the band?
We were all fans of Audiotree already, so getting the opportunity to film with them was exciting. The Audiotree people we’re incredibly nice and great people. I was worried that I’d be nervous and mess up a bunch, but the environment was super chill. Since there were multiple people filming and recording, it felt like we were just playing an intimate show for a few people, rather than filming for something that would be set in stone after one play-through of our set. My only goal really was putting on a good show for the people in the room, and hopefully that translated onto the recording. The hardest part was keeping the headphones on. I wanted to move around a lot more but any time I tried, they’d start to fall off.
Strawberry Girls has been labeled a bunch of different things from experimental all the way to post-hardcore, but how exactly would you describe your sound?
We called it “aggressive groove” at the beginning for fun. We just try to create interesting, fun music. We don’t really think about the genre, because we’re always trying to incorporate lots of different styles into one thing. It’s cool because we have some really heavy stuff, and some really soft stuff, so I think we can play with lots of styles of bands.
You’ve had a great response to your cover of “Swimming Pools” by Kendrick Lamar, and most recently “Starboy” by The Weeknd. If you were to cover another song, what would you choose next?
Not sure what we’d do next, we did the Starboy cover pretty quick. There were a few years in between both, so it’s hard to say. Whatever it ends up being next, it’ll probably be something newer that really catches our ear. We were huge fans of Kendrick and The Weeknd for a long time before we covered either of them. Those are two of my favorite artists, for sure.
When can we expect some new material?
We’ll be releasing “Italian Ghosts” at the end of the year. We’re also writing for our next full length and another project that we have in the works before that. We just wanna keep putting out cool music and hope more and more people enjoy it. Writing music that excites us and other people is really our only goal.