Interview by Sam Cook
Images by Jan-Willem Dikkers
Video by Rafiki Tree Productions
“...but great art that challenges a system and
makes people think is rarely initially popular.”
— Harmony Tividad
Punk duo of Harmony Tividad and Cleo Tucker, born and raised in LA and currently relocating to Philadelphia. Girlpool’s 2014 self-titled EP is out on Wichita Recordings, and their single “Alone at the Show” is out on The Le Sigh Volume II compilation album.
Musician and songwriter, best known as frontman of Philadelphia four-piece Radiator Hospital, whose albums Something Wild (2013) and Torch Song (2014) are out on Salinas Records. He also experiments with a range of often-overlapping solo and collaborative projects.
Sam Cook-Parrott: Where are you from?
Cleo Tucker & Harmony Tividad: We were raised in Los Angeles, CA.
SCP: When did you start playing music?
HT: I started singing and taking choir classes at a young age, and started playing guitar when I was 13.
CT: I started taking guitar lessons at a music store near my house when I was seven.
SCP: What’s your story of getting started as Girlpool?
CT & HT: Both of us were going to a lot of shows in LA and feeling really electric and passionate about music. We had the intention of collaborating and didn’t know who else (if anyone) we wanted involved, so we started jamming together on songs we had each written and then began writing songs together.
SCP: How does it feel to have finished your upcoming album? What was the process like?
CT & HT: It feels amazing! We are so excited to share this piece we have made. We really feel like it encapsulates so many experiences we have shared and represents our songwriting acutely.
SCP: How do you try and use the natural limitations of your setup to your advantage?
CT & HT: Without drums there’s kind of a “rock ’n’ roll” void in our sound (for lack of a better phrase) – the absence of something that’s intriguing to experiment with.
SC: What have you found to be the biggest misconception about your music?
CT & HT: It’s rare that any conception directly matches our intention.
SCP: What does the idea of a music community mean to you?
CT: Music is a special state of existence. To me, a music community is a place where people congregate together in their own kind of ‘special states.’ The beauty that comes from sharing is immensely powerful to witness in a community of people all likely minded to honor one another’s expression. Music communities inspire me and truly keep me going.
“It’s rare that any conception
directly matches our intention.”
HT: Music community, to me, is supporting other artists (whether musicians, visual or other), spaces, labels and peers in both the words you say and in actions. Music community is hugely important – it is what allows bands to grow. The support of volunteers in DIY spaces as well as audience members or co-creators is what it takes to make a community. A community is more than the bands playing, it is anyone involved who is supporting that band or encouraging others to explore their creative abilities. Music community is volunteering to work at a show where you may not know the bands and may not even enjoy their music personally, but are supporting it regardless to encourage the scene, and set an example by showing you care. This is CRUCIAL because there’s always going to be music that doesn’t fit to whatever is currently “popular,” but great art that challenges a system and makes people think is rarely initially popular. Music community is social collaboration, whether creatively or otherwise, mutually hoping for each other’s genuine well-being and growth. Music community is for weirdos and normies alike, and for that reason it is crucial. It can benefit anyone who allows themselves to be infiltrated by the feeling of it.
SCP: What are you hoping to find, if anything, by relocating to the East Coast and ￼specifically Philadelphia?
CT & HT: We both have lived in LA our whole lives. Our urge to explore somewhere new kind of began growing as we began to tour (totally wide-eyed and excited to be in new and beautiful places). When we visited Philly, we were both moved by the strong sense of community and it felt special. We seek to continue to be immersed and inspired by such passion.
SCP: What are your interests and passions outside of music?
HT: I like making zines and reading about gray area.
CT: I enjoy looking at things and walking.
SCP: Who are some artists that influence you?
CT & HT: ￼Dear Nora, Glass Cake, The Breeders, Violent Femmes, Beat Happening, Phil Elverum, Elliott Smith, Stereolab, Bright Eyes, Nick Drake, Young Marble Giants and ￼Wizard Apprentice.