All-girl glitter-rock band Glam Skanks have opened for Alice Cooper, jammed with Johnny Depp and played with The Runaways’ Cherie Currie as her backing band – and they’re set to arrive in Bristol this weekend with a New Romantic legend. We grabbed a few minutes with these ferocious females to find out more…
Congratulations on your second tour with Adam Ant that – how did all of this happen?
Glam Skanks: Thank you. We are so grateful that Adam invited us to the UK. Our publicist showed him some of our videos, he really liked what we do, and we were asked to join the Kings of the Wild Frontier North American tour in January/February. It was the biggest tour we had ever done, and an amazing experience. We killed it and Adam invited us to come to the UK for the Anthems – The Singles tour.
What’s it like to tour with Adam and his band?
GS: It’s amazing. They are some of the most talented, hardworking, and genuinely caring people you could ever hope to work with. We all learned so much from Adam and his band and the crew the last time around. And his fans care about seeing and supporting a new opening band. Most crowds only come to see the headliner and hang in the lobby during the opener, but Adam’s fans love a show, love the music and are there for the experience. They trust that whoever supports Adam is part of the show, and shouldn’t be missed. Adam fans wouldn’t want to miss a band that Adam likes himself.
Pictured: Guitarist Veronica Volume
What have you been most looking forward to with this UK tour? And, Veronica, we understand that you already toured the UK when you were still a teenager?
Veronica: Yes I toured with my band Blame Ruby supporting Babybird in 2010, when he promoted Unloveable. My band also acted as the headliner’s road crew, setting up and breaking down their gear! It was hard work, but a great experience. We are definitely excited to perform at the Royal Albert Hall. I have been dreaming of playing there ever since I was 12 and saw a live DVD of Led Zeppelin filmed there.
Let’s go back to the beginning. Veronica, your father plays in a certain well-known rock band [Hollywood Vampires] and your mother is an esteemed rock photographer. What’s it like to grow up in Hollywood and how do you end up jamming with stars like Johnny Depp and Joe Perry of Aerosmith?
Veronica: It’s been great growing up in Hollywood with my family. Having parents who are talented and respected in the industry has helped me in the sense that I know that celebrities are just like everyone else. It’s definitely great help having a dad who can record us and a mom who can take our pictures. They care enough to help us get the look and sound we want. My dad is a producer and musician and I have been lucky to have some of them ask me to jam with them. The most amazing thing is that I’ve got to play with people that I looked up to my whole life! I’ve been an Aerosmith fan forever and the opportunity to perform with Steven Tyler and Joe Perry was definitely one of the highlights of my entire life.
How did you meet each other to form Glam Skanks?
GS: Ali and Veronica met through Craigslist. We were both running ads on Craigslist that were almost identical, loved the same music and wanted to start an all-girl band. Then by total coincidence, we emailed each other at the exact same time! It was definitely meant to be.
Is it true that you were nearly named after something you ate for dinner?
GS: Haha, sort of! We just wanted to get out and play, so we booked a gig before we had a name. Coming up with a good name is one of the hardest things for any band. Finding a name that describes the band, and that everyone can agree on is almost impossible. The show was coming up and we still didn’t have a name. We we’re joking around with a friend and he mentioned something about cooking up some lamb shanks. Veronica said; “Throw some glitter on them and they’re glam shanks”. He started writing a list of things that rhymed with lamb shanks and we decided that Glam Skanks was perfect.
Traditionally, the word ‘skank’ has had a derogatory meaning – what does it mean to you?
GS: It doesn’t necessarily mean something different for us than it does for everyone else. We’re trying to take back the word – the way that women have been taking back the words ‘bitch’ and ‘slut’. If you don’t take offence to the word and you use for yourself, it stops being derogatory.
Tell us about your love for Seventies’ music and all things glitter-rock. Do you have to look to those who came before you, like David Bowie and Marc Bolan, in order to look forward?
GS: Two of the band’s biggest influences are Bowie and Bolan. We’ve been inspired by early to mid-Seventies’ rock, glam and punk our whole lives so we’ll never not look back to those artists for inspiration. So yeah, you have to know what came before you to move forward. Look into what inspired the people that inspire you. However, we are artists and even though it has all been done before, we try to create something that is unique and new.
We understand that you played with Cherie Currie of The Runaways. How exactly does that happen, anyway?
GS: Cherie already knew about Glam Skanks and we had mutual friends. She was the DJ at an event we were playing, and it was planned that she would join us on Cherry Bomb. Not long after, we got a call from our friends over at Lethal Amounts which is an awesome clothing store in Downtown LA. They were putting together a New Year’s Eve show with Cherie and she needed a band to back her. They had mentioned us and she loved the idea.
If The Rocky Horror Picture Show had a house band, would it be you?
GS: Oh definitely! We’re huge Rocky Horror fans and actually wrote our song Miss Androgynous about the experience of going out to see the Rocky Horror show and bonding with all the fans in line while you wait. We are also true believers that anything can happen if you really want it. “Don’t dream it, be it”!
Speaking of movies, we understand that you had some music in Kevin Smith’s Yoga Hosers movie. Tell us more…
GS: Yes, actually Miss Androgynous is in Yoga Hosers! Kevin had been working with Veronica’s dad in our home studio, recording some other tracks for the movie. Veronica has been huge fan of Kevin and his movies since she was a teenager, so she just had to go out to the studio and talk with him. She told him about our band and gave him some of our tracks. The next day he told us our sound fit perfectly with the kickass girl power aesthetic of the movie and asked us to contribute to covers as well as originals.
And, you’re making a sort of mini-movie with the video for your new single and another song from your Glitter City album?
GS: We just released the short video for Bad Bitch which acts as a sort of teaser for longer movie/music video. It’s based around our songs Karma and Bad Bitch and filmed by the amazing team of Justin Andrew Robinson and Kelsey Talton.
Tell us more about your album and what fans can expect
GS: They can expect a high-energy, feel-good, glitter-rock explosion! Our record is a combination of everything we grew up listening to and loving. We have our more glam side with the title track Glitter City, a more punk vibe with Tube Tops and our feminist in-your-face rock vibe with Bad Bitch.
What’s next for you after the tour with Adam?
GS: We’ve been writing new songs and plan on getting into the studio as soon as we’re back in LA to record our second album. Also, we plan to book more tours through the rest of the year and bring the Glam Skanks’ show to everyone.
Photography by Suzanne Allison