💖 Hi y’all! Gender Warfare has been super active in the last couple of months. You’re doing amazing for a fresh new band! You managed to play many shows & build yourself a place in the DIY scene within a year, that’s quite impressive!
Where did you meet? How did Gender Warfare set up?
Mia: Gender Warfare met in a very cult-like prison, which isn’t the ideal place to meet but you’ve gotta make do with what you’ve got. Eventually, we got into a situation where we kept making intense eye contact while still doing other things, & when we actually started talking we realised we had to start a band.
(In actuality, I just met Zoe through her twin).
💖 Your music seems to be influenced by many genres as your sound is a crossover of heavy music & electronic music. You stand by: “Hardcore is Dance Music”. How would you define your sound? What are your main music influences?
Mia: When the band was first starting to gig, I saw someone say “Hardcore is Dance Music” on The Armed’s Discord server (REFRACT), & it really resonated with my approach to music. I want people to have a physical reaction, I want people to move. Mosh, dance, skank, pushpit, I don’t mind, just a complete visceral reaction.
To me, artists as diverse as Sunn O))) & Chic have the same aim, it’s the physicality of music. They are absolutely influences on my music in general, but specifically for this project, there’s been a lot of emphasis on faster dance music producers like Water Spirit, Lil Texas & Sherelle. The recent lyrics we’ve written have had a big Fiona Apple vibe as well.
Zoe: I love all music but I’m mostly into punk, queercore especially, & some of my favourite bands include the likes of Against Me! G.L.O.S.S & Limp Wrist but I’m super into genre (& gender) fuckery. Sonic Boom Six do genre fuckery really well but I might be biased because I love ska.
💖 We had the chance to see you live a couple of times. Your riffs are Nu Metal bouncy & your lyrics & vocals bring a riot grrrl dimension to your sound. All that mixed up with dance/jungle elements creates a very unique sound that isn’t usually found in punk.
You didn’t have any bass player at the time but you were using sample triggers instead. Are you considering getting a bassist or are you happy working with samples?
Mia: For me, bass is a supernatural, psychedelic force. The human body can’t detect the direction that low frequencies come from as well as higher frequencies, & that makes it unique. With loud enough bass, I’ve had psychedelic experiences, both in clubs & in rehearsal spaces.
We’re always going to push the bass as loud as possible in our performances, or at least as much bass as the subs in the venue can give (not referring to our audience here).
We have a couple of different ways we get bass for our live sets, sometimes it’s samples, sometimes it’s from the guitar, it just depends on what would serve the song best.
We cannot confirm or deny any rumours of possible future or past bass players. 🙀
💖 That leads me to this question: What’s your writing process?
Mia: Lots of our riffs & melodies come from melodybot3456 on Twitter. We chop up the melodies it generates & turns that into songs. Then I just scream loudly into a mic, & that somehow always startles Zoe.
💖 Who are your main influences in life? What inspires you to play music?
Mia: In life, its fashion currently. It’s only been more recently that I’ve met designers, & I’m starting to understand the intricacies of clothing. It’s filtered into lots of other things I’m doing.
For music, the thing that’s always driven me is trying to fit the weirdest sound design into songs. I’ve been messing around a lot with trying to fit different pedals & synths into our sets. As for artists, I’ve been diving through the back catalogues of The Mars Volta, Autechre & Fiona Apple
Zoe: I’m really inspired by the queer community, our joy & struggle & how that interacts with our culture. I’m big into queercore & queerpunk because it offers us a platform to express our pains, happiness, desires & wrath.
Also very much by DIY punk fashion because of its individuality. The idea of having clothing that nobody else has expresses exactly who I am. People who like what I’ve got to offer will know that, as much as people who don’t.
I’m really inspired by the queer community, our joy & struggle & how that interacts with our culture.
. . . it offers us a platform to express our pains, happiness, desires & wrath
💖 Your aesthetic definitely stands out from the usual punk visuals. You’re far from the black & white graphics or the street-style graffiti artworks. Your brand seems to be more niche & nerdy. Your main colours are neon green & pink & your mascot is Garfield.
How would you describe your aesthetic? Why Garfield?
Mia: The original punk bands used the technology at the time (cut & Xerox machines) to make their aesthetic. We’re just continuing that, with an eye on all the visuals that have come out of different internet scenes.
Why not push yourself to do the most with the resources you have? Punk should be making the glossiest, most hifi images with a cracked version of Photoshop.
Punk should be making the glossiest, most hifi images with a cracked version of Photoshop.
Zoe: Well Garfield is clearly transfem, she hates Nermal because of gender envy (Nermal is a femboy but expresses femininity in a way Garfield feels she’s not allowed). She hates Mondays because she works as a barista at some big Corp coffee shop & people often don’t gender her correctly there. Arlene cracked Garfield’s egg.
💖 Your only physical release is a very limited amount of floppy disks. Why floppy disks?
Mia: The fancy reason is that on every Windows computer, the A & B drives are still dedicated to floppy disks. On (possibly) over 1.5 billion computers, most of them have this spiritual void that we wanted to fill with an old format that most people don’t consider & might not remember.
The boring reason is I had a few lying about & thought it’d be fun. I’m still surprised at the response to them, I thought they’d last a lot longer on our bandcamp, & have people tell us for months afterwards they couldcareless about them.
We’re looking at more weird formats for our next release as well.
Zoe: Yeah I’m thinking we record to one of those wax cylinders or whatever from the early days of music recording. Or maybe one of those music boxes that play from the paper cartridges with holes. You know the ones?
💖 You also made your own patches. I’m not exactly sure what was written on it but I believe it was something like: “Not your dude”.
What is your feeling about people using the words “dude” or “man” to everyone?
& what is the place of DIY in your ethos?
Zoe: Cis straight guys will insist they call everyone dude or bro, but if you ask them whether or not they’ll fuck a dude suddenly that’s super gross, then I’m in this weird dude limbo where I’m both disgustingly masculine & also “totally the gender I say I am” but when I want to call them “gals” or “sis” then woooooow that’s not their personal pronoun & I’m the one making them uncomfortable. Fuckers.
Mia: I’ve always felt weird about DIY. I started writing a zine/article/newsletter about how to truly do a DIY release, from building the instrument yourself to recording & releasing it. Ultimately it just got too convoluted, but it made me realise that everyone has to use whatever resources are at hand, people or otherwise. You can’t just go it alone, you’re always going to need to reach outside for help, whether it’s a scene or a company.
No one has to fully commit to a label or DIY anymore, you can pick & choose to suit your needs, & that’s what we’re gonna do. Everyone’s a sellout so no one is a sellout. You’ve gotta still watch out for the poseurs. I fucking hate poseurs.
💖 You released your first track Don’t a year ago, followed by “Sound of the Underground“ last November. In our understanding, “Don’t” is about how the music industry uses queer individuals as tokens for their own financial benefits regardless of what they have to say. (Correct us if we’re wrong).
What are they both about?
Mia: Don’t is about the inherent contradictions in life, & using that into making the world for yourself. It’s about combining things you want & turning them into something new. It’s about onions & pomegranates, & bad experiences in nightclubs.
It is an inherently transexual song, but ultimately, it’s about nothing at all.
Sound of the underground is a cover of the second best girl band of all time, & the girl band with the best debut single. The music of the early 2000s had such a futuristic/year zero quality to it, that it still sounds fresh now, & we wanted to continue that trend as well as pay respects to Sarah Harding.
Zoe: I didn’t really listen to much Girls Aloud before Mia suggested we do the cover, now they’re one of my favourite bands.
💖 When you’re not doing band stuff what do you get up to?
Mia: Having hot T4T sex
Mia: But not with each other
💖 What’s one thing everyone could be doing to make the scene a better place?
Mia: Stop tucking & start taking cross sex hormones.
Zoe: Listen to gender warfare & also take us really incredibly seriously