Iso Guitarist-Vocalist for Melbourne Punks Gutter Girls: “Seeing more and more female-identifying people front bands really inspired us”

Handmade collage by B.

Naarm/Melbourne-based femme 4-piece Gutter Girls began in a sharehouse. They had no musical background but saw many of their friends playing in local bands and decided to start a band and join the fun! Gimmie interviewed guitarist-vocalist Iso about their most recent single ‘Skin 2 Sin’ which was mixed and mastered by Iso’s housemate Michael Ellis from Kosmetika.

What’s an average day look like for you right now?

ISO: The Gutter Girls are all still working from home, listening to our friends and idols host or play on community radio and daydreaming about what’s for dinner.

Tell us a bit about yourself. Do you have any hobbies?

I: We collectively love to watch trash TV, spend more time at band practise eating than rocking and finding fun places to swim!

How did you first get into punk rock?

I: Thanks to my oldies for playing the gold hits like Skyhooks, Susie Q, AC/DC and Divinyls. Then sprinkle a little teenage angst into the mix with some Green Day, No Doubt and Nirvana and a big thanks to The O.C. soundtracks from 2003-2007-ish—best punk rock era ever.

What was the first local show you went to?

I: I can’t remember the first one ever, but an early iconic show was when Crepes played at the Tote and covered Mental As Anything’s ‘Nips are Getting Bigger’. Afterwards my now-great-friend-but-then-acquaintance and I played pool with strangers, who were annihilating us until we made the return of the century and came out on top. It was all very worth getting locked out of my house in my pyjamas at 3PM the next day for leaving my hangover nest to get Maccas.

Who or what first inspired you to make your own music?

I: Lots of our friends were playing and we wanted to join the fun! We’d go to local shows regularly and always wanted to be in a band but didn’t think we could without any knowledge of how to play instruments. Seeing more and more female identifying people front bands really inspired us and gave us the confidence to give it a go ourselves. Turns out YouTube and practising helps a lot!!

What inspired Gutter Girls to get together?

I: We were all on the same page of being excited and motivated to start a band and learn how to play from scratch all together. We didn’t know each other well in the beginning, but we were attending all the same shows and shared the same love for music which made it pretty easy to get things moving. Our first few practices were spent learning Joan Jett covers and it wasn’t much longer before we had our first gig locked in.

Last year Gutter Girls released songs ‘The Bullet’ and ‘Skin 2 Sin’ and the previous year before an EP and back in 2018 your demo; will we be seeing a full-length this year? What’s been influencing your songwriting lately?

I: We are easing back into Gutter Girls post-lockdown quite slowly, with all members in other local Melbourne bands now as well (such as Carpet Burn, Dragnet, Blonde Revolver). We definitely plan to write and release throughout the year but haven’t decided what the final product will look like at this stage. After being apart for so much of 2020 we’re mostly excited for the writing and developing process which we always have a lot of fun with.

What’s one of your all-time favourite songs written by someone else?

I: ‘Live it Up’ by Mental as Anything—cos life is a dancefloor and we should live it up.

A lot of time was spent in lockdown last year; what’s something you’ve discover about the neighbourhood where you live since you’ve been back out and about in the world?

I: I’m very lucky to be living in walking distance to lots of Melbourne’s beautiful parks, a few favourites being Murchison Square in Carlton and Methven Park in Brunswick East. I hadn’t spent much time in either parks prior to lockdown so it was nice having the opportunity to discover those local gems.

You played your first show of the year in January with Eggy; do you have any pre or after show rituals?

I: Nervously drink vodka sodas before we play and then happily drink vodka sodas after we play. The rush after playing is always worth it though, and it’s a nice reminder you’re alive when you’re a bit nervy before something.

How do you feel when performing?

I: I don’t think I could tell you honestly because all that is going through my head is ONE, TWO, THREE, FOUR or trying to remember silly lyrics from a few years ago. It’s a lot of fun though, especially glancing around to a familiar face in the crowd or one of the Gutter Girls’ giving off a big grin.

What are you most looking forward to this year both band-related and personally?

I: Making up for a lot of lost-to-2020 time with the Gutter Girls and friends whether that’s making new music, dancing to other people’s or watching Coyote Ugly on repeat.

Please check out: Gutter Girls on bandcamp; on Instagram; on Facebook.

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