By Mindy Abovitz for Tom Tom Magazine
Photos By Bex Wade
We found out about this British rock star when Tom Tom’s Kiran Gandhi (then working for Interscope Records) wouldn’t stop raving about her. She saw her play live in LA and was taken aback by both her stage presence and her seamless use of the kit and drum pads. When she headed back home, one of our favorite photographers, Bex Wade, was in the UK and ready to shoot her. What follows is an interview with a fiery drummer put together by three of her fans here at Tom Tom.
Hometown: Bristol, UK
Lives in: London, UK
Past bands: Wilder
Current Bands: Willy Moon
Drum Set Up: Tama Superstar – 24″ kick, 14″ snare and a 16″ floor tom.
Cymbals: 19″ A Custom Rezo crash, and a 20″ Zildjian Sweet Ride and 14″ Rezo hats.
Hardware: Standard Tama touring hardware, Iron Cobra kick pedal
Fav Venue: La Fleche d’Or, Paris
Fav Band: Haim. Generally it would be Fleetwood Mac
Tom Tom Magazine: First of all, I love how you incorporate samples into your beats with Willy Moon. What are you using to trigger those samples?
Gigi: Currently using some Roland RT-10k acoustic drum triggers into an SPD-S pad.
What are the lowest and highest points in your career so far?
I sunk kinda low when I vomited after playing a show in France. I was exhausted. It is hard to understand when you’re not touring how intense it can be on your body. A high point, it was quite amazing having Jools Holland and Jack White (not at the same time) compliment my drumming.
What is your favorite thing about touring?
You’re constantly seeing new parts of the world, it’s an incredible opportunity. Cliché I know but it’s true. Then there was that time I went skinny dipping with champagne and a rapper at our hotel in Hollywood. That was epic.
What movie/book/artist is inspiring you right now?
Haha, this makes me seem like I’m completely Fleetwood Mac obsessed (maybe I am, thank you for proving this to me) but I find Stevie Nicks quite inspiring. The way she speaks – she seems confident, innocent and naive at the same time. A few interviews I’ve seen of her during the early 80’s/late 70’s capture that side of her beautifully. It’s inspiring.
How would your childhood music teacher describe you?
An annoying, won’t stop talking, disruptive little noise maker.
What are you doing/working on now?
Currently I am working with Willy Moon, that’s my job. In my spare time, I have my own band with a couple friends back home.
What three things would you take to a desert island?
I would take a book on how to play the piano, a piano and a solar powered iPod with loads of music on it. I think I’d probably be alive for like 22 minutes.
What three people (dead or alive) would you like to be in a band with?
I’d have Tchaikovsky on synths, Meg White on drums and Prince to tie it all together on guitar. I’d be their producer and I’d just sit back and watch.
Who has influenced your work?
I love Matt Tong, Mick Fleetwood and actually I’m quite into the theatrical style Roger Taylor had in Queen.