Earth Girls is one of those bands that haven't gotten the exposure they deserve just yet. Based in Chicago, they excel at writing the kind of power pop tunes that are as punky as they are garage-y. Don't take my word for it though. Check out their debut full-length "Wanderlust", out now via Grave Mistake Records. But read our interview with guitarist/vocalst Liz Panella first.
PRT: What’s the best Earth Girls Are Easy reference you’ve heard so far? And how tired are you of them?
Liz: I don't think I've actually heard any besides people leaving "...are easy" in comments on articles about us. I don't actually find it annoying, surprisingly.
PRT: Congrats on the album… I already liked “Someone I’d Like To Know”, but the new songs are even better! I read on your Facebook page that you were happy to finally finish the album after two years of delays. What happened?
Liz: Two years was a slight exaggeration on my part. It was really closer to a year and a half. All of the delays were caused at the pressing plant. We had the record mixed and mastered within three months of beginning the process.
PRT: On the album you blast through 12 power pop gems in 21 minutes. Do you consciously try to keep things short and sweet or do your songs just naturally turn out this way?
Liz: Yes, keeping things short is a very conscious decision. For this style of music I think too much length or too many repetitions can be overkill. I want the songs to leave people wanting more.
PRT: The main themes of the album seem to center around feelings of uncertainty, anxiety and longing. Why do you think it is that not so happy lyrics lend themselves so perfectly to upbeat, hook-filled music? Or is it more just a case of it not being very interesting or rewarding to write about how happy you are?
Liz: It's funny, because I can actually only write music when I'm happy. I think I'm the opposite of a lot of people in that regard. I guess the lyrics come across as not so happy because I'm a super introspective person and I'm always analyzing my past thoughts and actions. I suppose I want it to come across more as thoughtful than as negative or unhappy.
PRT: The definition for wanderlust is ‘a very strong or irresistible impulse to travel’. What do you prefer writing songs, recording them or being on the road and playing shows?
Liz: When I was first playing in bands in my early 20s, I absolutely preferred being on the road. As I get older I appreciate being home more and I've started to focus more on the craft of songwriting. I've never liked recording. I'm way too much of a perfectionist and I always end up frustrated that it can't be exactly perfect.
PRT: I read that you are critical of wanderlust considering that so many places in the world are becoming more and more alike. Shouldn’t that be an incentive to travel more now before there is indeed a Starbucks on every street corner?
Liz: Yes, I think so. It's just that now you have to go yet her and furyher to experience the same awe from travel as previously.
PRT: Wanderlust is also a pretty bad comedy starring Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston. If you could have one of your songs in any movie ever made, which one would it be and why?
Liz: I'm not actually much of a film fan, but Earth Gurls has been featured a couple of times on my favorite baseball podcast Effectively Wild, and that pretty much made my year.
PRT: You’re the main songwriter in Earth Girls. Does that mean the band is a bit of a dictatorship where free speech is prohibited and criticizing the supreme leader comes at a high cost?
Liz: Absolutely. There is a time out chair in the corner of our practice space for the dissenters. In reality though, I only bring songs that I consider finished to band so there's not usually much discussion. I wouldn't mind if there were though.
PRT: “Wanderlust” came out earlier this month, around the time you are doing a solo tour with Mark Plant from Military Police. How did that tour come about? And how come you’re doing that instead of touring to promote the album?
Liz: It's hard for Earth Girls to tor right now since Joey lives in Tokyo. I decided that doing a solo tour would be a way to at least get the album on peoples' radars. Mark and I are roommates so it seemed a no brainier to go together.
PRT: What’s up next for Earth Girls after that tour?
Liz: Once Joey is back we'll hopefully do some toying as a full band and then get started on another full length.