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