Body Type are a really good band from Sydney, and you should already be listening to them. Without their sultry, scuzzy sounds your summer trips are going to fall short, and that would be a real shame. 2016 has, overall, been a real stinker of a year so it’s important to disappear into sounds like this as a form of crucial self-care:
We highly recommend you get to them first, so you can be the pal at the pool already in the know. Luckily for you, we caught up with them about the things that keep them ticking, their big plans and rock n roll backgrounds.
Catalogue: Who are you and where are you from?
Body Type: Sophie, Cecil, Georgia and Annabel. Four girls living in Sydney making tunes.
Catalogue: Did you know each other before becoming ‘Body Type’?
BT: Sophie and Cecil have known each other for a while – we are both from Perth and moved to Sydney at a similar time. Georgia is also an old friend from Perth, and Annabel magically came to us via moving in to a friend’s share house. The first time we all hung out together was when we had our first band practice like 8 months ago or something. It’s striking how through the act of playing music and performing on stage you actually become a family. It feels like we’ve known each other for ages, where in reality we’ve only been in each others pockets for about a year. Maybe we were in a band together in a past life, who knows.
Catalogue: How did you each get involved with music?
SM: My dad is an old rock n roller, so all my family grew up playing instruments. I was raised on piano and saxophone, but didn’t start playing guitar or writing songs until about a year ago.
AB: My current involvement with music is a miraculous accident. One Christmas morning when I was eighteen, a blue Fender I’d been fantasising about appeared in my life, and then I spent a couple of years developing mediocre guitar tab-reading skills; occasionally wiping dust from the neglected fretboard. Before I met the girls I’d resigned myself to life of whispering into my mac speakers late at night, making the world’s sketchiest demos in Garageband.
GWD: My mum was a rock n roll photographer so my initiation happened at a pretty tender age. I’d get to see all these amazing acts as a child which definitely informed my love for music and performance. I think I was encouraged to really tune into the women on stage – my memories of these shows are loud. I remember watching Adalita challenge the audience, Kim Gordon reclaim the stage with her rhythm or Kim Deal tear it up.
CC: I think a few of us might have a similar beginnings there… I started classical piano at a young age, and flute too, so ventured more into that realm during school/uni, studying music literature/history, messing around on guitar every so often. Definitely always wanted to be a band but never knew where to start when it came to ROCK N ROLL! Hopeless. I’d always wanted to learn drums, so when I got Sydney i just thought “fuck it” I’m going to do it and started having lessons last year from this awesome guy who loves ELO and Michael McDonald… it was perfect.
Catalogue: Do you feel like you are supported as much as your male counterparts in the music industry?
BT: You know, in some ways we actually feel more supported. We are in a pretty exciting time for females in music – so many girls are feeling empowered and able to pick up an instrument and put themselves on a stage, and it feels like the scene is really open to that. People are looking for a point of difference in music, something that challenges the stereotypical four white dudes playing indie rock kinda vibe, and we are so proud to represent that and help create more of a space for anyone outside of those norms. Being a woman on stage is complex: your awareness of being watched is so heightened; you watch people watch you, and you kind of have to manipulate that energy and throw it back to get some power. Some control. It’s so great watching how women do this on stage, where their power comes from. Plus most of the people we have worked with so far – photographers, producers, our record label – have been women. There’s a real sisterhood building in the Australian scene and it’s a cool thing to be a part of. But then you go record shopping and find a crate labelled ‘Female’ or ‘Girl Groups’. Or the male sound engineer belittles you. Or people are still booking all-male lineups for their shows and not seeing the issue with that. So there’s still a way to go.
Catalogue: What are the main topics that inspire your songs?
BT: All of us write songs from very different experiences, so we cover a lot of ground thematically. Walking home on a hot day, having crooked teeth, heartbreak, car crashes, hair going grey, mouldy sharehouses, revenge, all sorts.
Catalogue: Who (or what) are you currently into?
BT: Weirdos in general. Deerhunter, Broadcast, The Breeders, Todd Rundgren, Connan Mockasin, Jenny Hval, Cherry Glazerr, Karen O, Iggy Pop, Chastity Belt, Angel Olsen. We have made all of our output ourselves so far, with the help of some beautiful friends – recordings, our video, t-shirts, images – so everyone who has been a part of the little BT machine is an inspiration.
Catalogue: Are you currently working on anything new and exciting?
BT: Yes! We have a couple more songs recorded and are planning on tracking some more early next year, so hopefully will put everything out as one big ol’ release within the next 6 months. Plus, Melbourne label Our Golden Friend is putting out our first two singles – Ludlow and 264 – on a 7” before the year is through which we are very excited about.
Catalogue: What are your plans as a band for 2017?
BT: Hopefully playing lots more shows, developing our live act and meeting more sick musicians. Would be great to do a bit of travel together too, and play in some cool new far away places.
Catalogue: If you each found $100, what would you spend it on?
GWD: I wanna buy a Roger Mayer VOODOO bass pedal, please and thank you.
CC: Probably donate it… but if I couldn’t I’d spend it all on Pilpel Hummus. It’s so delicious.
AB: Cheese, obviously.
SM: Buying my cute bandmates some treats because I love them so.
Photography: Joe Brennan @joebrennarghh
Catalogue Girls: Sophie @s0phiemc, Cecil @cecilcoleman, Georgia @gwilder___ and Annabel @hannabelecter of Body Type @bodytypeband