Vice: Hello, how did you become Grass Widow? Some of the band were in an outfit named Shitstorm before, right?
Lillian: Hannah and Raven were in Shitstorm. I played as a replacement drummer for about a minute.
Hannah: When the guitar player of Shitstorm [Wu Li Leung] left for an indefinite Mexican bike trip, us girls kind of sat down and said, "Do we want to keep playing together?" We said yes and so we did.
Raven: Before Shitstorm disbanded though, there were definitely moments of foreshadowing. All of us glimpsed something of the future.
What were your first-ever bands called?
Hannah: My first band I was ever in was called The Insides. I was the singer/jump-arounder. I didn't grow up feeling empowered about playing instruments and actually didn't play bass until I was 23 or so. I didn't play any instruments until our first Shitstorm practice. I just sort of picked up the bass and said, "I'll be the bass player."
Lillian: I had a band called Yes Please that started right out of high school and lasted about five years.
Raven: My first band was called Hoover Middle School Symphonic Band.
What does the expression Grass Widow mean? I don't think it's used in the UK so much.
It isn't used anywhere much.
Raven: Sort of an antiquated term... It's been used to describe a woman who's been left by her husband for a while, but not widowed. We recognise that there might be negative connotations coming to mind for some, using a word like "widow," but the meaning for us isn't about loneliness or helplessness. If anything, it's the opposite; the band serves as a constant in our lives, it reinforces the faculties of independence and perseverance.
What are the top five bands that influence the music you make with Grass Widow?
Can you recommend us some current bands you are into?
Rank/Xerox, friends of ours in San Fran. They're the creators of a video zine called MondoVision, and collaborate on the Make A Mess label with Eric from Nodzzz. Very tight, intentional songwriting. Well-crafted and momentous.
Purple Rhinestone Eagle, from Portland, Oregon. We played a house show together while on tour. They enraptured us with their skill and potency.
Nodzzz. We are honored to be in cahoots with these guys. They are S.F. locals, too, and one of our favorite bands to share a bill and a practice space with. See. Them. Live!
Brilliant Colors. Another S.F. gem. Jess, the guitarist, vocalist and songwriter, writes music that is timelessly genuine. She's moving to L.A. and we plan to caravan in her direction.
Caethua. We met Claire in Bloomington, Indiana, on our US tour last year. An effective and insightful lyricist, she'll carry a set with minimal accompaniment and somehow makes a person feel like they've witnessed something important. She currently lives and records in Belfast, Maine.
Thanks! Do you have any plans to tour the UK?
Hannah: We have plans to tour Europe next June.
Great, I'll come. Thanks girls!
The song below is called "Tattoo" and will be on the Grass Widow 12" EP on Captured Tracks really soon.
Grass Widow - Tattoo