Earlier this month we wrote about Boys Club For Girls’ single, ‘5 O’Clock Shadow‘, the poignant track commenting on the price paid for drug and alcohol addiction. It’s such an important subject, and we felt it deserved a follow up. We spoke with Boys Club for Girls members, Amie Miriello, and Vanessa Olivarez, and, hopefully, were able to capture something of what makes them tick.
First off – what features would you ideally want to see in a boys club for girls?
Amie Miriello: Inclusivity, love, acceptance, and fierce support for everyone involved. A club where everyone’s invited as long as they’re kind.
Vanessa Olivarez: Yes, equality! First and foremost we want people to know this is music for all. We want to be advocates for women, men, queer and trans people, and humans of colour alike.
What’s the story behind the name? How did you come together as a duo?
Vanessa: Amie and I had been searching for a name for a long time, and after many different ideas were tossed around, I ended up throwing out Boys Club and it stuck. But it wasn’t quite complete because we couldn’t wrangle the Insta handle for Boys Club, so we wound up using @boysclubforgirls. Grimey [Mike Grimes, co-owner of acclaimed Nashville venues the Basement and the Basement East as well as the Grimey’s New & Preloved Music record store] was a fan of the band and kept INSISTING we use the full moniker. So, after some deliberation, that’s what we did!
Amie: We’ve both been in the music industry for a long time and had our own experiences with it being a boys club. We were just sick of feeling like we had to look or act a certain way just to be included. We no longer wanted to subscribe to the gender and power norms. And we wanted our music to be about the music, and for everyone to enjoy it and relate to it. We wanted to create a boys club for everyone.
We met at a charity music event that Vanessa was running with our good friend Marti Dodson, and I was one of the featured singers.
‘5 O’Clock Shadow’ is a very deep, and emotional track, about the toll of drug and alcohol addiction. The video is very moving, and for me, the most moving part was the end where the people explain why they stopped drinking. How did you come to write the song? What was the songwriting process?
Amie: We got together like we always do. I had a chord progression and melody, and Vanessa had the title “5 O’Clock Shadow.” I loved it and started singing the hook. Then we wrote the lyrics together. We immediately knew it was special.
Vanessa: Amie and I always just seem to happen upon the magic. It sounds crazy, but it’s rare a song takes us more than about an hour to put together. The idea for “5 O’Clock Shadow” was something I brought in and had no idea we would use it. Amie began singing this incredible melody and I said, “This sounds like an idea I had recently.” She started the first lyrics, “Woke up drunk again…pounding in my head…” and it just took off from there.
What do you want listeners to take away from listening to “5 O’Clock Shadow?”
Vanessa: I think the idea is to let people know they are not alone no matter what they are going through. Everyone has struggles, whether it’s drinking, or drugs, or a person, or depression, or a habit that isn’t serving you. Everyone lets the loneliness creep in from time to time.
Amie: We’d love to convey that the darkness and pain within them is also within us. That we struggle with everything we sing about, too. We always want our fans to know they’re not alone.
Who are your biggest inspirations in life, and in music – and why?
Amie: My biggest musical inspirations are Tori Amos, Joni Mitchell, and Ani DiFranco.
Vanessa: I am a huge fan of Fleetwood Mac and old school music of the ‘70s. I also love my ‘90s rock women and the Lilith Fair era. Classic country music also speaks to me.
Do you have a favourite brand of guitar you like to use, and if so, what is it and why?
Amie: I love my Fender and I love my Martin, but my next purchase is an Alvarez. Maybe my Fender wins for now because Fender gave it to me. Free is free! (laughs)
What’s next for Boys Club For Girls? What can fans expect?
Vanessa: We are looking to do a video soon for our song, ‘Closest’. It remains one of my favorites on the album, so I really hope it happens in the near future.
Amie: And we’re already deep into our next record! So fans can expect new music soon, and also lots of fun content.
Finally, what question do you wish someone would ask you in an interview, but nobody ever does? And what’s the answer to that question?
Amie: Hmm. What would you be if you weren’t a musician? And it’d be private crime investigator. What can I say, I’m a true crime junkie!
Vanessa: What’s your theme song? And it’s “Gypsy,” by Fleetwood Mac.