Germein are the critically acclaimed trio of sisters from Australia that are starting to build up a real UK following with performances like last weekend’s Isle of Wight Festival appearance and opening slots for Ronan Keating and Little Mix.
Before that appearance, the band were quoted as saying:
”We are over the moon to be heading back to the Isle of Wight Festival! It’s been a tough couple of years for everyone and we’ve really missed being able to perform for our amazing UK audiences- so we absolutely can’t wait to finally share our new songs with everyone this Summer!”
They have been very popular because of their energetic and charismatic live energy and absolutely smashed the Festival but at the back end of last year they released a single which is getting some real attention with its edgy guitar hooks, powerful lyrics and rhythmic vocal percussion. It’s a song that has an important message and goes beyond the haunting harmonies that only siblings can create. The song has many levels and deals with many issues about gender equality and judging people by their appearances, it’s a bold statement but for me will be the song that finally brings them to a wider audience as their music is brilliantly cross genre and by the end of the Summer, Germein might just be your favourite new discovery.
“We wanted to write a song that would help tackle these stereotypes, and give a voice to anyone who might be going through a similar experience. It’s about giving womxn an equal playing field, and not discriminating based on gender”
I was lucky enough to chat with the band after their IOW performance and this is what Georgia, Ella and Clara had to say.
EP: Inevitably, you seem to always get compared with HAIM, that’s cool, but is that not just another illustration of the annoying insistence of putting artists in boxes? After all, there’s an element of that problem of stereotyping highlighted in your new single ‘Good for a Girl’. Is it important to be genre fluid?
G: Well, we think they’re amazing so we are totally happy to be compared to them and I guess everybody’s always looking to compare you with someone or find who you’re similar to.
I think as people never knew how to categorize us over the years, there’s always been a “you’re kind of like this, you’re kind of like that” kind of thing. And I think since HAIM got big and kind of well known, people have thought we are quite similar to those girls. I think even if they weren’t sisters we’d probably still be compared, there’s that connection.
And maybe because its three girls too. But, they’re incredibly talented and we’re happy to be on the same sort of scale. If someone said you’re like The Beatles or like Queen, we might think differently (laughing). That’s alright, they’re good.
EP: You’ve become regulars at the Isle of Wight Festival, this is your fifth time. What makes you keep coming back to that specific festival?
G: We love going there, it’s one of our favourite festivals. John Giddings, the guy who organises it, he has us back, thank goodness. We just love it. The UK festivals are so much fun and the UK crowds really get around new artists; it was such a nice vibe this year as well. After COVID, everyone was there to have a good time and we just love it. It’s so funny, there was some technical issues on the main stage and there was a bit of booing and they just put ‘Sweet Caroline’ on and the whole crowd completely changed their tune.
EP: You can’t be unhappy with ‘Sweet Caroline’ playing, it’s a cure all. It’s become a real thing in the UK; it was played at the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee concert so I guess it’s now our unofficial National Anthem (laughing)
G: We’ve got a few of those in Australia (laughing)
EP: ‘Good for a Girl’ was inspired by an interesting trip to a music shop; tell me about what happened please?
G: I was just going into a little music shop and I think I needed a tambourine to add to my drum kit and the guy at the desk asked if I’d bought it for my boyfriend. I was like “no its for me” and then afterwards I thought that was a bit weird and a bit presumptuous. Saying that we’ve been to many music shops and most of the time they are absolutely lovely but there was just that business where people would say “you’re good for girls”, girl musicians and we just wanna be good. It shouldn’t matter what gender you are.
The second verse was inspired by friends and stuff in that you can dress the way you want; everybody can dress the way they want. We wanted to cover a few different aspects because a lot of people think that if girls present themselves in a certain way they are asking for a certain type of attention and I’ve had some friends who have had some really negative experiences and me, myself, over the years too. There are people that think that because you like to wear short shorts or high heels or get glammed up that you’re asking for someone to crack on or take advantage of that sort of thing. So, we wanted to write that you should be able to dress and be whoever you want to be and not get harassed for that. And then the last verse was more about equality and that everyone deserves to be treated with respect no matter how they want to live their lives. We wanted to cover all the bases with that.
EP: For me, it’s a really cool song because it’s lyrically quite powerful and thought provoking and it’s also melodically strong. Fun and harmonious but with real depth if you dig deeper into the lyrics. It’s a really important message isn’t it across the whole song? Is that something you’re trying to achieve by having music that has an earworm but also has an element of message?
G: Yeah, we want people to have fun, we want people to have a good time but some of the best feedback we get is “I really love those lyrics in that song, it really spoke to me” because that’s the whole point of music. It’s such a universal language and can mean different things to different people. So if you touch someone when they listen to the music then you feel like that’s a success as a musician. You can be making millions of dollars but it’s more important if you affect people, or help them with processing things through lyrics or just make them feel better; then you’ve done your job as an artist, I think.
EP: I think it’s those songs that stick around in people’s memories, the ones that resonate. The ones that mean something to people. Are you enjoying getting back to playing these songs live?
G: Yeah, it’s been amazing. COVID was a very different time for us obviously and for many other musicians, so being back doing this familiar thing, we’re just so excited. We want to soak in every moment and see every site; probably in the past we’ve been a bit more heads down, drive there, get things done kind of thing whereas now we look for those little opportunities of fun along the way if we have time and really soak it all in.
EP: I think the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns have really made us all appreciate how important live music really is, the community, the common focus and just enjoying each other’s company.
G: It was just so cool to see so many people having a great time together and it was like “COVID Whaaaat? Did that even happen?” but yeah, it was so cool.
EP: Did you find that lockdown gave you a little time to evaluate, take stock, write the songs you wanted to write and find your direction of travel as a band?
G: A bit of both. We wrote ‘Good for a Girl’ and another song called ‘21’ and we’ve got a few more that are in the works at the moment and we also came up with a concept to keep our musicianship alive called the ‘Sister Sessions’ where we collaborated with other artists around the world and we could write with them. It was definitely a different way of doing music because a lot of it was online and there was time to write songs I guess. We had more time to spend at home and it was hard coming back in a sense too, almost like a sort of post-traumatic stress or anxiety that came with COVID because there was a lot of things that we’d get booked in to do and then they would get cancelled and booked in for next year, and then get cancelled again and it was continuous so we didn’t want to get excited about anything in case it didn’t happen. It was a bit of a weird feeling because you want to do it but also thinking ‘what if this is the end?’ kind of thing and coming to terms with that because we’ve been doing this since we were teenagers and its part of our identity. You start thinking what am I without music and that sort of thing so now that it’s all kicking back we really feel this is what we’re supposed to be doing and this is who we are so it’s nice.
EP: When you were chatting about the second verse of ‘Good for a Girl’ and the need to accept people however they dress, the difference of perception dependent on how you present yourself. Do you think the gender barriers, freedom barriers and genre barriers are being broken down by songs like yours and songs like Maddie & Tae’s ‘Girl in a Country Song’? Pushing back against those pre conceived ideas. Is that the feedback you’ve received from this song?
G: Yeah, nobody really talks about the second verse too much; it’s more about the guitar shop one. Hopefully people that do listen do hear the message in that because I think it can go over people’s heads a little bit but that was something that I personally really wanted to express in it because a lot of people talk about the other side of it but think that people that present themselves in this world with confidence are really asking for a certain type of attention because they are confident in their own skin and confident in showing their skin and that sort of thing but I think in this world now, you can really wear what you want, you can be and do what you want; it doesn’t mean that you’re a certain type of person if you present yourself in a certain type of way. That can be the same if you’re wearing baggy clothes or emo black head to toe or if you’ve covered up. It’s just not judging people on what their appearance is as well because you never know what people have been through or what they’re like. Everyone deserves respect.
EP: It’s such an important message, which must make it really rewarding to you guys that the song got an Honourable mention in the International Songwriting Competition for Best Lyrics and also won third place out of over 21 thousand worldwide entries. Was it almost more important to get the lyrics nod than the third placing in the whole competition.
G: We will take whatever we can get (laughing) but it was really nice to be judged on just the lyrics. That was very special. It was pretty cool.
EP: It is cool with over 21000 worldwide entries to get that recognition for your work. Will you be coming back to the UK soon?
G: Yeah, we’re just organising some things. We might be staying longer than expected and also might be coming back to the UK too. This trip was more to say ‘we’re back’ and it’s been really, really good so far. We’ve had some amazing feedback from the show and people are keen to have us back to play and so we’re just organising that at the moment. We would love to stay here a lot longer so we will just have to see what happens. Georgia’s dogs are having puppies back in Australia in a couple of weeks so we’ll see.
EP: Finally, you are a really inspiring group but who are the people that inspire you?
G: Our Mum has been amazing. We wouldn’t be doing this without her. She was sort of our Manager since we started because who’s got a better interest in your career than your parents? They’re not there to make money; they just want to see you do well. So, our Mum has been amazing. She’s worked all over the world; she spent time in Africa doing aid work and for the Flying Doctor in Australia; she’s always pushed us to pursue our dreams and encouraged us to do what we’re doing. She’s probably been our biggest inspiration in terms of who we’ve looked up to and our Dad as well is amazing, especially on the music side of things. Tons of other artists but I think our parents will always be our biggest inspiration. I like seeing people that don’t stop, they just keep going because it is harder especially as you get older; you have to change your style a bit and some people feel a bit lost. But, I think the people that just keep going and keep going, that always gives me encouragement.
EP: That’s great to hear; they must be super proud. Thank you so much for taking the time to chat and I hope I get to see you play live soon. Good luck with the music and have a great Summer ahead.
G: Thanks, you too.