Leather Girls are an Austin based psych-punk band with clean yet gritty, polished and crisp yet disheveled and effortless, sounds that lend them the ability to soar. With two singles ‘She’ and ‘Arabian Daze’ under their belts, you can find the band’s self titled debut (released on June 2nd) via Yippee Ki Yay.
How did Leather Girls get their start? What was the seed that formed you?
Mike: The dudes in Holy Wave introduced Erik and me. They knew we had similar taste. Erik’s then band, Low Times, was calling it quits and he told me he wanted to start something new. I had just recently moved to Austin from New Orleans and wanted to get involved with something new. We loved all the same stuff and started hashing out songs. Dillon came up to me and Erik one night and offered his drum expertise. Deb just walked into the band room one day and was like, “Alright dorks, let’s do this shit.”
What’s the general zeitgeist from your self-titled debut?
Erik: listen loud / do dank
Mike: It’s a Greek tragedy about where to eat lunch. You do the math.
I’m absolutely in love with ‘Arabian Daze’, I have to confess. Could you tell our readers (I really mean me) a bit about it? What’s the story behind this song?
Erik: I wanted it to have an old Stax meets Teddy boy vibe and the lyrics are a little snotty. We’ve all played in bands and have been hanging in bars for a while now. It’s about seeing the next generation party and not really see the whole picture. Which is fine cuz fun is fun. But their wisdom is sophomoric. And your heart will always be better off filled with love anyway. The song is just laying it all out.
If you could describe Leather Girls in five words, what would those words be?
Deb: Blood, Guts, Cum, Piss, Heart
Erik: one, two, three, four, five
Mike: Breaking hearts and stinky farts
Your sound takes one back to the heyday of garage rock but gives it a fresh twist. Who are some of your inspirations from this time period? Or from any time period or genre for that matter?
Deb: The Velvet Underground, The Pleasure Seekers, good garage rock and punk. The Nerves and The Shangri-Las.
Erik: Definitely inspired by nuggets and other beloved comps. There are too many inspirations to name though. Our sound is simple. It’s mostly Texas’ dude.
Mike: The Stooges and the MC5‘s energy is always lurking in my brain. Caetano Veloso. Sly Stone. Buddy Holly. How much time you got, buddy?
In honor of your debut album: is there a debut LP that’s stuck with any of you through the years?
Deb: The Yeah Yeah Yeah‘s first album. I heard it in high school and thought, “Holy shit, girls can do that?!”
Erik: Tyvek‘s self titled. It threw fans for a loop. I think it’s perfect. ‘Blood Visions‘ too probs.
Mike: The first Ramones record is perfect.
What would the general consensus be as far as a favorite track off ‘Leather Girls‘?
Deb: ‘Drawing Lines’ is the most fun to play. I like the ones that I sing on.
Erik: I think I like the way ‘Arabian Daze‘ came out the most.
Mike: On the record, I’m with Erik, I like ‘Arabian Daze‘ the most. Live it’s ‘Drawing Lines‘.
‘She’ is a wicked nitty-gritty track, what’s the song process like for you? Do you start off with lyrics or the melody or a combination thereof?
Erik: It’s always an idea for me. I want it to sound like this or like that. I’ll write a riff but it’s usually hard to come up with the final melody until the song gets hashed out with the band. It doesn’t take long though. We churn ‘em out. Songs get flipped like pancakes.
Mike: Do you ask a rainbow why it’s beautiful, man?
You guys had a string of tour dates past June coinciding with the release of ‘Leather Girls’. What were you most looking forward to while traveling to these different cities?
Erik: We just got back from tour but I always look forward to meeting new people and making new friends.
Deb: Before we left I couldn’t wait to go to New Orleans and Chicago and to see more of the country. Now that we’ve come back Milwaukee stands out as one of the most fun cities to play and hang out.
Mike: It was great to be back in New Orleans and see my old friends. I got kicked out of a band in New Orleans years ago and the lead singer came to the show. He gave me a hug and I told him, “It all worked out in the end, you shithead.” Also that show sold out, so I’m glad he was able to get in.
What’s the next step for Leather Girls? Can we expect any more live dates on the horizon?
Deb: We’re gonna be writing some new songs.
Erik: Excited to record again. We’ve got a new video in the works. Our next show is in Austin at Hotel Vegas October 6th with Bob Log III and Teenage Cavegirl.
Mike: Plus more surprises.
Photo credits: Sarah Lim