London based Chorusgirl are described as many things from “fuzzbomb art pop” to a “jangle and roll” band. Silvi Wersing brought together talents from all over Europe to build on her own material, hoping to bring audiences a unique and engaging experience. The group are coming to Sheffield’s Picture House this Friday and Exposed had a chat with them before the show.
So from what I have read, Chorusgirl was birthed out of a place of frustration which resonates in the band name itself, would that be a fair comment?
Frustration definitely played a part. The other bands I was in previously were very talented, and I was sad when each of them fizzled out. It certainly was frustrating to see talent being wasted. I would have perhaps joined another band after the last one, but I couldn’t because I had to help look after my mother for a bit as she was unwell and couldn’t commit to another band at the time. So I started songwriting by myself instead. However, for me the ‘birth’ of this band feels like less a place of frustration but more a place of finally having the courage to move from being a participant to actually leading a band. It felt like an utterly positive move. I started and I didn’t know whether I could do it, but it turns out I could. I named the band Chorusgirl because I felt like that was the sort of tentative move I was making, from the side of the stage to the front, if you will. On a wholly different level, I’m also in awe of how good you have to be to dance as a chorus girl in musicals. It is one of those jobs, where you have to be amazing and yet you are totally anonymous. It is just a strange concept.
The band is a fusion of different nationalities across Europe, how did you all meet?
We found each other on the internet. When I started putting the live band together, I had come back from a year of going back and forth between my family and my home. I didn’t feel that connected to the London music scene and didn’t really have friends I could ask to join the band. So, in order to just get on with it, I put an ad up on the internet, and we met up, got to know each other and became friends.
Was there a particular vision in terms of the exact sound you wanted to create or was it more of an organic process once the band had officially formed?
I started on my own, as some of the recordings on the album precede the live band. So on some of the songs on the album, I play everything except drums, and basically, I started from my own vision: fast pace, guitar riffs, vocal harmonies, and distortion.
Many critics have commented on the contrast between your lighter, pop melodies with your more intense, dark lyrics (to me reminiscent of the more 80s new wave/post-punk bands like Joy Division) Again, was this something intentional on your behalf?
Yes, absolutely, this is how I prefer it. I love melodies and I love great guitar riffs, but that beautiful sound has to be subverted. You can do that via the lyrics. A lot of bands do it that way, look at the entire output of the Smiths or Pulp or countless other guitar bands. Life is complex, frustrating, weird. I find lyrics that reflect that consoling.
So your debut record “Chorusgirl” is out now, how long did it take you to write and record?
It was written and recorded over a period of 3 years.
Are there any shows on your upcoming tour that you are particularly looking forward to?
We haven’t played around the UK that much yet, so we are really looking forward to all of these shows. We played a lot in London in 2014 and we’re really excited to be getting out a bit. We’ll be playing with a lot of friends on our tour, the Spook School, T.O.Y.s, Wolf Girl, but also new bands; both is fun.
Finally, it seems to me that in recent times there has been a real explosion in terms of women fronted alternative bands (notably Wolf Alice and Savages) especially with a more DIY, punk sound, would you say this is something you feel too?
I’m not seeing that much of a trend. I think female-fronted bands have always been around and always will be. But I don’t really know much about successful guitar bands in the UK. I love Savages, but they’re in a whole league of their own. I greatly admire their sharp focus.