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MeanGirls have put out one of the most exciting punk albums to come out this year with their debut full-length Squirm. It's an excellent combination of angst, agression and passion that has the raw emotion that made punk what it was. I had the chance to exchange a few emails with their lead guitar player Morgan and the conversation that transpired is below.
Rob 1340 (RF): How did Mean Girls come to be?
Morgan McCoy (MM): I actually met Raine through our friends in a band called Elway while they were on tour in Austin. They had a flat tire on their hideous tour bus (it had a godawful mural of San Francisco or something on the side of it), so I told them I’d drive them around the next day after we got lunch. Turns out Elway and the other band on tour with them Direct Hit! were staying at Raine’s house, so she came to lunch with us. I saw her again at another Direct Hit! show that year and she yelled out, “My band is not doing anything right now, so if anyone here plays an instrument and wants to be in a band…” and I did. For a while, it was just us playing acoustic songs together because we were pretty dead set on having our new project be an all-girl band, but we were having difficulties with finding women/femme-non binary musicians that had enough time to spare for this project. Eventually, we got sick of not playing shows, so we expanded our requirements to anyone who isn’t a bigoted piece of shit. ENTER: Tommy. I never met him before the first night we practiced. After meeting him at a trivia night he hosted for his work, we went to a practice space and managed to write our first song as a band called Perfect Symmetry. Shortly after (before we even had our second song finished), we were offered our first show at a University of Texas co-op. Let me tell you, everything that could have gone wrong at the show did. From transphobic sh*t yelled, to equipment problems, to someone being stabbed with a broken piece of glass, it was a nightmare. Luckily, we haven’t had to deal with shows that horrible since. Anyway, we played as a three piece for a few months before we found our missing link: Karsten. Our first practice with Karsten was phenomenal. We were all thrown back by how fast he came up with these tasty bass riffs and how it took every single one of our songs to the next level. At the end of that practice, Raine asked him if he felt comfortable to record our first demo in the next week and Karsten said yes. Sure enough, after just practice with us once, he nailed the recordings. We released those first recordings as a full band in January 2015 and have been going ever since.
RF: Seems an obvious question, but does your name have anything to do with the Lindsay Lohan movie?
MM: 100% yes. Raine and I went to one of the trivia nights Tommy hosted with a bunch of other friends. All night we would keep going back and forth about what we should name our band, but nothing would stick. Finally, near the end of the night, Tommy asked the audience what next week’s trivia movie should be and our table yelled out, “MEAN GIRLS!”. Raine and I immediately turned to each other with an “OH F*CK YES” look in our eyes. After Tommy got done, we told him our idea and I’m pretty sure he was more excited about calling our band Mean Girls than both Raine and I combined. And so it was.
RF: What are your favorite movies?
MM: Oddly enough, I’m not much of a movie buff even though I work at a film school, on sets, and am trying to be a camera operator. My only go-to movies are the Star Wars and Lord of the Rings trilogies. I gravitate far more toward TV shows because I have the attention span of a hamster.
RF: What is the story behind the daggers you use on your artwork everywhere?
MM: We wanted to use something that’s not typically associated with women even though almost every single woman I know carries a knife with her for protection and a tool. It started as a switch blade for our first design and just kind of progressed since then.
RF: Who do you feel are your main influences as a band?
MM: I think a lot of us take from bands like Against Me!, the Get Up Kids, Alkaline Trio, and the Lawrence Arms.
RF: What is your favorite part of Squirm?
MM: That’s a hard one. I guess my favorite two songs on there would have to be Summer Bodies and Cold Showers.
RF: What is being on your brother's label like?
MM: It’s the best! My brother Kyle and soon-to-be-sister-in-law Melody put their heart and soul into everything they do, especially Close Quarters Coalition. They’ve made most of our merch, three pressings of our original demos (the third one being a colossal rush order that had to be mailed to Nebraska because we ran out of almost everything not even a week into our two-week tour), and do an amazing job promoting us. Right now, CQC is working on getting our album on vinyl!
RF: Any fun stories to share about Kyle?
MM: He would get SOOOO pissed at me for using his black eyeliner when we were both going through our mall goth phase.
RF: What should people expect seeing Mean Girls live?
MM: We’re loud, very loud. Also, Karsten has the best posi-jumps.
RF: Where do you see Mean Girls a year from now?
MM: On tour we were talking about starting a hardcore side project called Meaner Girls. We’ll see if that happens.
RF: Where can people find out more about Mean Girls?
MM: The best place would be our Facebook page. We post new merch, interviews, shows, and whatever else on there.
RF: Thank you very much!