In today’s world of pop princesses, the Glam Skanks are a literal glittering alternative. Formed in Las Angeles, this all female band can rock with the best—having jammed with Aerosmith’s Joe Perry and opened for Alice Cooper, who asked permission to use their make up. But just because they like make up and glitter, doesn’t mean that they aren’t to be taken seriously. They are touring with Adam Ant and receiving rave reviews. Their sound is edgy, loud and fun. The C Mag talked with Millie (Bass), Ali Cat (Vocals), Veronica Volume (Guitar) and Cassie (drums) about everything rock n ‘roll and the importance of guaranteed freedom of expression.
The C: I know you have been influenced by David Bowie, Alice Cooper and others. But what about Queen? The Glitter City album art is very reminiscent of Queen.
GS: Yes, definitely Queen. Queen is a huge influence on us especially for Ali. Her all-time favorite singer is Freddie Mercury.”
The C: After your experiences with ghosts Bristol and Manchester, will you be starting your own paranormal research team?
GS: “Hahaha, probably not anytime soon. We’ve had enough ghost stories for now…”
GS: “The Doors are great, but growing up in LA everyone talks about and covers the Doors, so if we were gonna cover one of their songs it would probably be something obscure.”
The C: To V—I thank you for bringing back the Afro. In an interview you said that your first rock n’ roll experience was when Adam Ant pulled you onstage at the age of 2. How does it feel to be opening with him now?
V: “Thanks! It feels amazing. A total full-circle moment. To go from being a little kid with no concept of playing music and just being there onstage to actually working with Adam as a musician and knowing he chose Glam Skanks to be there because of our music and our stage show feels like such an accomplishment.”
The C: How did you come up with the name Glam Skanks?
GS: “We had booked a gig without any original songs, a bassist or a name and knew we had to come up with something to promote the show. V was brainstorming with a good friend of ours, Carlos, and he had said something about making lamb shanks. Jokingly, V said to throw some glitter on them and they’d be glam shanks. From there Carlos started writing a bunch of things that rhymed and ended on Glam Skanks. We thought that name totally fit our image and vibe.”
The C: In today’s political climate—do you feel that, as artists, your freedom of expression is being challenged? How important is it for artists to be ensured freedom of speech
GS: “It’s always seemed like an artist’s freedom of expression has been challenged in some way. People have been burning records since they’ve existed and no matter what side you fall on there are going to be critics. That said, artists are at their most creative when they have to find a way around those challenges or when they say screw it all together and just say what they want. No matter where we are politically that challenge will always be there. It’s just about how you look at it.”
The C: Would you say that—in today’s music culture—many of the most popular people are made in the studio, have the look but no real musical talent? (Hint, you get extra bonus points if you agree with me on this.)
GS: “Unfortunately with the recording technology we have today that is the case with alot of popular music. It’s very easy to make someone sound better than they do. But we definitely see a lot of younger up-and-coming bands that are saying no to studio tricks and are working hard on being great musicians, so hopefully that trend will be over soon.
The C: Okay, I’ll bite. What do you do when Alice Cooper asks to borrow your make up?
GS: “At first we laughed, thinking he was joking! When we found out he was serious we obviously let him use whatever he wanted.”
The C: If you could collaborate with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
GS: “Probably David Bowie. He was one of the most talented people ever and every time he collaborated with someone, whether it was Lou Reed, Iggy Pop or Mott the Hoople, he brought out the best in them.”
The C: What is the process for writing your music?
GS: “Different songs happen differently. Most of the time V will bring in music and Ali will write lyrics or vice versa, but lately a lot of our newer songs have come out of jam sessions where everyone throws something in and we turn it into a song.”
The C: What has been the dumbest interview question you have been asked?
GS: “One time we were asked about our favorite flavor ice cream. That was pretty dumb.”
The C: Can I expect to be covered in glitter at your show at The National?
GS: “When we play with Adam we do a slightly more restrained show since we don’t want to get all these beautiful venues covered in glitter for all eternity. But if you come by the merch booth to meet us after the show, you never know!:
The C: Anything you would like to say to your fans?
GS: “We just want to say thanks for all your support. Without our fans donating, listening and sharing our music we wouldn’t be where we are. We love our Skank Squad!”