A heatwave surfed through the landscape of a particularly warm Saturday, the 17th, delivering dreams scored to the sounds of a mango smoothie-filled pool and the pounding of a belly tom. The reverie raged on…carrying the wild shrieks and synched symphonies of a two-piece rock band that is presently (and very successfully) strumming their way through the L.A. music scene. The following is a text transcript from the intimately rebellious Harmony and Cleo of GIRLPOOL, as part of DUM DUM Zine’s text message interview series.

girlpool-coverGraphics by Tonia B//Browntourage

Text message from DUM DUM Zine (DD): How are you two holding up in this super real Los Angeles heat? I think I’d trade too many things for a chance to be splashing poolside right now.

Text message from Harmony Tividad (H): Hi Chan!! Holding up okay, at work currently!! Would love to be swimming in a pool of smoothie right now (I work at a smoothie place)

Text message from Cleo Tucker (C): Hey! Haha ya. Wow. Smoothie sounds amazing with this blueberry scone I’m eating right now

DD: That all sounds too right. If Girlpool was an actual pool, what type of liquid do you both think that would it be filled with?
C: Amazing question. I’m thinking mango smoothie? Smoothies have now taken over my BRAIN!!!! (Brainfreeze? Lol)

DD: Smoothin’ on with the smoothie theme, I dig it! Onto more blended things: the harmonies in your self-titled are unavoidably on point. Do you ever finish each other’s sentences in real life too?
C: YES! All of the time…. omg. My dog is throwing up right now AHHHHH
C: Harmony and I usually say “woah” in unison
H: It’s actually dumb how often we say the same thing, yeah I was just going to say that
C: it’s actually dumb how often we say the same thing
H: ha ha DAD!!

DD: Your vocals are always so upfront and realized. It’s very apparent that you don’t employ drums and it’s extremely successful, but if you had to pick an object–either musical or ordinary–to implement as percussion, what would it be? For example: clattering on a steel teapot or maraca on a washing machine.
C: Oooh! Love this question! Maybe somebodyz belly.

DD: Dude: belly percussion–that’s the good stuff!
H: Gahaha we talked about having just a tom for a while too but belly percussion would be sick though.
C: But hm, it’s sort of difficult to imagine our music with drums. We’ve tried it a few times but it’s something that would definitely take us some time to get comfortable with.


DD: What led you guys to stray away from the tom idea?
H: We just don’t want drums really, it’s like a rebellion against what people expect of a band, kind of. So many people come up to us after our sets saying “Wow, you don’t have a drummer? Why?” It”s not like you go up to a three piece rock band and ask “Why don’t you have a keyboard?”
C: Yeah! Exactly. I feel as though the drums create another layer further from our words. We like the open space we have, it exhibits vulnerability and intimacy.
H: Totally.

DD: Yes yes yes! Your sound totally engages with the audience on that level. Like that remarkable shriek in “Jane” on your record. Which one of you is responsible for that noise and how did you decide that it was something the song needed?
C: That’s Harmony! Yeah, she’s a WILD one!
H: I just started screaming when Cleo played it for me like the few first times. We were going through it and I asked her “Do you like that?” and she said “Yeah!!!” and then I asked “Is that weird???”
C: Hahahahahhaha! That’s exactly what happened.

DD: Respond with a photo… any photo!

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C: Pope lighter from Rome 🙂

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DD: I want to put all of these images in a View-Master. What a cool toy that would be! In “Slut Mouth,” you sing about not wanting girl toys. What were your favorite non-girl toys growing up?
H: I loved like little cars and Legos and Pokemon
C: Oooo, I loved Pokemon cards, never knew what to do with them though. I was way into remote control cars. I had a reaaaaal big one.

DD: Given your feelings on girl toys, how do you feel about those pink girlie guitars with like Hello Kitty and florals on them?
H: omg I always wanted one tbh. I still REALLY want a Powerpuff Girls one. Oh MY GOD.
C: A gnar, sparkly green Buttercup one would be too rad for words.

DD: So you guys went from playing small DIY shows to blowing up in the local scene, even nabbing LA Weekly’s attention. How have you been reacting to all this?
C: 🙂
H: A LOT of ” AHHH ” and “OMG”
C: It’s been super overwhelming! And unbelievably gratifying!
H: It’s been so amazing and bizarre. I’m so grateful. We still talk about how insane it all is like constantly

DD: It’s definitely well-deserved! How do you feel about the L.A. DIY scene right now?
C: We both think it’s all so surreal, it feels like nothing before! There’s no better feeling than playing music for people who feel passionate about what you’re saying.

DD: How would you feel if Girlpool was single handedly responsible for starting a new movement of Riot Grrrl Realism?
H: Oh my god, that would be insane. I would be so honored and STOKED.

DD: I mean, it’s not too far from the reality. There is definitely a gaping hole in the music scene (L.A. or not) where riot grrl music has been pastel-ized and is sort of wavering out in a way that’s causing a huge hunger for a totally fresh perspective… I really think Girlpool is feeding all of our bellies in that regard (we should all just donate our full bellies for the drum idea, right? We can just line-up our tummies for the kit.)
H: Oh man… I really hope we do somehow inspire the return of some Riot Grrrl ideology…

DD: It’s gonna happen! It can’t not! You girls be plantin’ seedssss. When’s the next show?
C: Actually! We have a show on the 24th. It’s a homeboy benefit show with Tashaki Miyaki! Oo… and Kitchen Hips! It’s at this cool space (that used to be a church, I believe?) The cool gal from Kitchen Hips lives there with some pals, I think!

DD: Ooh!!! Nice! Count me in! I’m gonna show up hungry (or thirsty?) for some mango smoothie Girlpool action! Thanks so much for taking the time out of your respective smoothie slinging and scone smashing Saturdays for this interview.
C: Mmmm! Yum! Oh gosh, of course! Thank you!! Hope to see you around?? You should totally come to the Homeboy show!

DD: Wouldn’t miss it! Maybe toting mango smoothies?
H: Yes!! Groovy!!


Catch Harmony and Cleo at one of their Girlpool comeback shows tomorrow at Gal Palace w/Tashaki Miyaki and Kitchen Hips!

Chan Plett is a Southern California native who prefers dabbling in all avenues of creative expression over being an animal for the man. She is a sad beach dad with a penchant for poetry and has been a featured wordslinger for Magpie Mag, Cynic Mag, Black Heart Magazine, and the WOMEN group. Check out her work at chanplett.com.