“We just want to inspire kids to do what they’re passionate about” – An interview with Not Ur Girlfrenz

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All female trio Not Ur Girlfrenz are taking the UK by storm. At only 14, 14 and 12 years old, Liv Haynes (guitar, lead vocals), Maren Alford (drums, backing vocals) and Gigi Haynes (bass, backing vocals) are already touring the UK on the Almost Christmas Tour with Bowling For Soup (whose lead singer, Jaret Reddick, happens to be their manager) and Patent Pending. I sat down with them before their set at Southampton’s O2 Guildhall to talk about how they are finding the UK, their career thus far and in keeping with the Christmas themed tour, what their Christmases usually entail.

How are you finding the tour so far?

Liv: It is so much fun, it’s literally a dream come true. Every single night I feel like it just keeps getting better and better and better, and we keep learning new things along the way, and it’s just so much fun.

How are you finding the UK?

Liv: I think it’s really good, everybody from the UK is like “ugh, it’s terrible here” and I get here and I’m like, you guys are crazy, it’s so beautiful here!

Maren: And it’s actually cold here, ‘cause you know, back in Texas it’s always hot.

Liv: Yeah I know, I feel like everyone’s saying “it’s gonna be so cold and you’re gonna hate it”, but, I’m never cold, it’s so hot where I am, so I really love it here.

Maren: Yeah, and it’s also really cool because I feel like people in the UK still are really into more like rock and pop-punk and punk rock music and stuff. As in America it’s a little more like everyone listens to pop right now, so it’s really cool that there’s still a lot of people that are into every single genre of music.

Where is the best place you’ve been so far?

Liv: I don’t know, I think that Bristol was really fun. I really love it here, we did some exploring today. It’s not like we went out everywhere, we did as much as we could! It’s so pretty here, I really love it. And also, we went to Edinburgh, that’s how you pronounce it? Edinburgh? I had to ask like five people, so! But that place was really pretty too. We haven’t really had that much time to explore because we’re so busy and the drives have been so long, but where we have been has been really pretty.

For our readers that haven’t been introduced to you guys yet, can you summarise what Not Ur Girlfrenz is all about?

Liv: Well, we are all about influencing other kids and other – I mean, ages four to eighty, you never know – but girls and boys to just pick up an instrument, or do whatever they want to do with their lives and just go for it, because I feel like so many people are too afraid to take that risk but if you really try hard, you can get where you want to go, so that’s kind of what we’re all about.

Would you guys agree?

Maren: Yeah definitely, ‘cause I mean, we’re definitely a lot about girl power, especially being an all-female band, we get underestimated a lot, especially as kids. But for all kids we just encourage them to pursue their passion, and whatever they love, because they can do it, even if some people doubt them-

Liv: Underestimate them…

Maren: Yeah, ‘cause kids just get underestimated all the time, we even have a song, called ‘No One Asked You Anyway’, about that, which we just released a music video for and so we just wanna inspire kids to just do what they’re passionate about.

Liv: We get a lot of people all the time underestimating us, before the show…

Gigi: It’s like “hey, what track are you playing to?”, “what song are you gonna lip-sync to?”, and we’re like, “um we’re gonna play our own instruments”.

Liv: Yeah, but then after the show, everyone slowly is like “okay, I see”, so, that’s kind of cool.

Okay, so how and when did the band start?

Liv: The band started two years ago, and our anniversary was November something…

Maren: I think it’s the thirteenth, I put it on my calendar.

Liv: Yeah, I have it on my calendar somewhere but I don’t know, something like that, so it’s been two years, and it’s been a great two years! I feel like the years have gone by so fast.

Maren: It doesn’t make sense that Gigi was ten when the band started, it doesn’t feel like that to me. It’s just gone by so fast.

Gigi: Now you’re in high school, that’s weird!

Maren: That’s really weird!

And you’ve just played Warped Tour, so that was huge. How did you find playing that?

Liv: It was so much fun, it was hot! But it was lots of fun and we met so many cool bands that gave us so much advice and helped us along the way, it was almost like every single band there was another member of this big huge family that’s just helping each other along the way, so it was really cool. Everyone thinks that “oh, people in rock bands, they’re so dangerous and mean”, but you notice that they’re almost nicer than all of the diva pop stars.

Gigi: Yeah, they’re like “hey, watch out you don’t trip, okay?”

Maren: I definitely feel like both the bands and the people that go to Warped Tour and everyone, like the crew that works there, is just one huge family that’s really big about being yourself and acceptance and everything. So it seems like every single band we met was so nice to us, no matter how big they were. Especially Simple Plan was so nice to us, they let us go onstage and dance with them randomly, and bands would come and watch the show.

Gigi: Well, they didn’t let us as much as we crashed it, but they were so nice about it, they weren’t upset or anything.

Liv: I feel like everyone accepted us as equals, so that was really fun.

And what’s it like touring with Bowling For Soup and Patent Pending?

Liv: So much fun! This is the first time that we’ve ever played with Patent Pending before, so it’s the first time we’ve met them, and they’re super nice, and it’s so much fun being able to watch their set every day, and also, of course, we love Bowling For Soup. Jaret’s our manager and it’s just been such a fun tour so far.

Maren: Everyone’s just so supportive.

Good! Okay, so do you guys have any Christmas traditions?

Liv: Oh my goodness! Well, I mean of course the baking of the cookies and giving out presents and stuff. Well, we have the star on the tree.

Gigi: Staying up all night, not being able to sleep, that’s a tradition, right?

Liv: Usually mine and my sister’s grandparents will come and visit, sometimes we’ll play music for them and stuff so that’s always fun, Christmas music and also just stuff we want to play.

Maren: Baking crescent rolls is a very big part of our Christmas.

Liv: Ooh, I want to come to your house for Christmas.

Who are your musical influences?

Liv: Well, I feel like one of the biggest ones is probably Paramore, because they are a female fronted band and there’s not that many female-fronted bands so it’s hard for girls like us to be able to look up to a powerful, female lead singer, or even a drummer, bassist, guitarist. There’s not really that many, and so she is, and the whole band together, is a huge inspiration for us. And also we love Fall Out Boy, because they’re just amazing, and also classic punk rockers like Sum-41, Blink-182, all that good stuff.

Gigi: Waterparks.

Maren: 30 Seconds to Mars, that was the first band that we all kind of geeked out together about.

Liv: We have a lot of different genres of music that we like that we all pull inspiration from, so it’s not ever just one specific thing.

So a bit of everything?

Liv: Yeah!

That’s awesome! My last question is, what is coming up for you guys in 2019?

Liv: Hopefully some touring, I want to come back here, as soon as I can because I love it here, I want to move here! And I really want to have an accent, I want all of that! And then new music of course. Today we’re going to be playing a song and it’s like the sixth time we’ve ever played it, it’s not even released yet. So yeah, we’re already writing some stuff and working on all the good music, so that’s what’s in store for Not Ur Girlfrenz.

Check out the video for ‘No One Asked You Anyway’ below. 

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