New Video and Q&A with ARXX

ARXX, bands, UK, female bands, Hannah Pidduck, Clara Townsend, female drummer, drummer, drums, musician, women in music, hard rock, punk rock, punk, female musician, womenwhorock, womenthatrock, music magazine, Tom Tom Magazine

Brighton, UK-based artists Hannah Pidduck and Clara Townsend of ARXX chat with Tom Tom about their musical roots and new video, “Moments at a Time” (watch below).

“A fine tuned mix of garage rock and gospel. All pounding vocals and seductive drumming, or perhaps the other way around? They won’t be playing little clubs forever; catch them now.” – Brighton Noise

[Tom Tom] First of all, can you give us a bit of background information about who you are and what inspired each of you to become a musician?

Clara: I’m the drummer! I lived in a really musical household, there was always music on in the house and my Dad played multiple instruments.  I picked up a second hand drumkit when I was about 10 but didn’t take much interest. A few years later I saw Cherisse Osei playing drums for Mika and I remember really noticing that he had a female drummer. I had lessons from that point on and then started my own little band.

Hannah: I’m the singer/guitarist. I grew up around a lot of different music, and seeing live music was a big part of my childhood, it was an essential outlet for me. My idols were always musicians, and in 2007 when Kate Nash’s ‘Made Of Bricks’ came out, 14 year old me was like “yeh, I can do this” so I started writing.

How did ARXX form? Also, what does “ARXX” stand for?

ARXX was formed by Hannah and existed with a different line up in its early stages, but it became something different when Clara joined in 2017. We had known of each other through the gig circuit, and when Hannah reached out to Clara for recommendations of a new drummer, Clara adorably asked to audition. We hung out for about half an hour and quickly realized we’re as weird as each other.
ARXX, bands, UK, female bands, Hannah Pidduck, Clara Townsend, female drummer, drummer, drums, musician, women in music, hard rock, punk rock, punk, female musician, womenwhorock, womenthatrock, music magazine, Tom Tom Magazine
Hannah Pidduck and Clara Townsend of ARXX
The name ARXX actually doesn’t mean anything, Hannah just really loves boats.

Tom Tom is turning ten this year. If you could go back in time and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?

Join an a capella band, instruments are really heavy.

Your debut EP Daughters of Daughters was released last year to critical acclaim from feminist magazine LOCK. How do politics inform your lyrics?

Hannah: When I’m writing, I just talk about what’s on my mind. It’s hard to be a young person and not be affected by politics, let alone a young queer woman. I don’t claim to know all there is about politics, but I do care about it, because I can see how it’s shaping the outlook of our future. I think sometimes this creeps into my lyrics.

Do you feel any pressure from your foremothers to perform in a certain way or to be a certain kind of “role model” for the public?Clara:

I think that being women onstage you are often in the minority, and you might feel like you need to represent that group of people. It’s not uncommon for me to be the only female drummer at a gig, and I do feel a kind of responsibility to be present on stage so that people can see that there is as much representation as possible. A bit like Cherisse [Osei] was for me, I would love for someone to see a woman playing drums and feel inspired to pick up an instrument themselves, because they’ve seen that women can do it.

We recently featured a throwback article on Sandy West of The Runaways. Have all-girl bands from the past influenced your sound? If so, how?

We’ve certainly been influenced in terms of our attitude, by all-girl bands. Our sound is a bit of a melting pot of all our influences, but Hannah was very heavily influenced by Joan Jett of The Runaways and Deap Vally. In fact, it was a very pivotal moment for ARXX when Hannah saw Deap Vally at ACL and realized that you only need two people to make a bloody racket.

I love the visuals in your new video, “Moments at a Time,” from the wild gold glitter to the spirited dancer against a grounded rock-solid driving beat and hard guitar. Who came up with the concept for the video?

Thank you! It was Hannah’s vision. The idea was to show the contrast between beauty and softness, and aggression and power, and have them all existing in the same place. We like to play with the expectations of what it is to be a woman, especially in music, and even more especially in the rock genre. Emily Westgate is the incredible dancer in the video, and her choreography captured our idea perfectly. Rosie Powell was chosen as our Videographer, and she’s exceptional, she is a total dream to work with and she actualized everything we threw at her.

Has being a woman impacted your experience of being a musician in the industry? If so, how?

Definitely, especially in the heavier scene. It’s sad, but you we’ve often felt like we have to prove our worth more than our peers. However in certain scenes we’re definitely noticing a positive change in representation, which is awesome to see.

When you’re not playing music, what do you like to do?

We like to play band tennis, and come up with ridiculous car games.  Snacking is also a top priority.

What is your warm-up routine? How do you prepare for a live show?

Star jumps, lunging, lucozade, and Kesha. (Clara also does a few paradiddles into singles and doubles!)

Do you plan to tour the US anytime soon?

We do, it’s a big dream for us. We will be there as soon as we’ve got our heads/funds around the whole visa situation.

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