Polygram recording artists "Girlschool" were in town recently If you caught their show at the Landmark Theatre, then you know they gave headliners "Blue Oyster Cult a real run for their money!
We talked with bassist Gil Weston prior to the show about "Girlschool."
Q - How did you manage to get two of the guys from “Slade” (Noddy Holder and Jim Lea) to produce your latest album?
A - Through our management in London, actually. We tried for about a year to find a producer that we'd get along with. This guy who used to work for our management said I know Jimmy and Noddv. cause we put down Chas Chandler 'Slade" manager) on our list of producers. We couldn’t afford the real expensive producers like George Martin or Biorn/Benny from ABBA, who we approached and were busy for a year and a half. We called "Slade" up and they agreed to do it.
Q - Just like that?
A - Not quite We agreed to do a single with them, a couple of trial things with them. We liked what they did With us we got on we got on really well We got them drunk We took them to the pub and we said 'Will you do the album too"' We kept on and on. and they said yes.
Q - That was a pretty clever idea.
A - It was clever of them to get us to do the album in six weeks. They made us do it. We took 3 or 4 weeks to record this album and maybe 2 to 3 weeks to mix it, and finish it perfect it.
Q - What's been the reaction overseas to "Girlschool"?
A - They look on us as a real rock "n roll band'. We've headlined in Europe perhaps more than we've headlined over here. The last time we went to Europe for any length of time, we supported "Rainbow." We've headlined in the 3-5,000 seat theatres. They don't have big places like they do over here. We took "Samson," a pretty well known band with us to Yugoslavia - They're a heavy metal band from London. Between us we managed to fill the places.
Q - I've noticed that many of the heavy metal groups when asked will deny that they're a "metal" band. Why do you suppose they do that?
A - I know why bands deny that they're anything in particular, because nobody can really define heavy metal, or rock 'n roll. Rock 'n roll encompasses everything, so everyone says we're a rock 'n roll band. "Metal" is a sort of grey area. Does it mean you wear lots of studs? Does it mean you play only power chords? Does it mean you play really fast and have a certain ending? Nobody seems to know.
Q - What would you label Girlschool's music?
A - We call ourselves "Slapstick rock." We try to make it a bit more fun. We smile all the time now. If you play a bum note in public, you say 'I'm sorry' instead of trying to cover up for it, sort of more audience participation.
Q - There was a time when groups like "The Runaways" weren't taken too seriously. Has all that changed now or is it still pretty much an uphill battle for a group like "Girlschool" to get respect?
A - The ground has largely been broken by other bands. And it had to be. I'm sure that it never could have been that the' first really good all female band was the most famous, because somebody’s got to break ground. It was a very male dominated thing, for a variety of reasons. Women didn't think they could play!
Q - How involved do you get in the business aspect of Girlschool?
A - Believe it or not we're only just learning how to read the books every month. We've been incredibly lazy. We haven't been knowing where our money has been going. We're just sort of now getting worried about how much money we spend, where it goes, what percentages the record company, the agents, and the management take, and how we're doing in general.
Q - Do you girls get any male "groupies" waiting for you backstage after the show?
A - I think male groupies over here have long been a short of closet thing. We never sort of encountered them, except as people who'd come back to sort of get your autograph. It's a new thing, and nobody knows what male groupies are supposed to do. We don't want them to do anymore than buy-records, shake your hand, and say hello. That's what we're in the business for, to make contact with people. They're mainly young kids and they just come to say hello, which is great for us. It's refreshing and it's wonderful, and I hone they don’t ever stop