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 Bianca Valentino

Giant Drag’s Annie Hardy – The Collapse Board Interview

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Annie Hardy Fuck Yeah Fest

In a previous interview you said that with the making of the new album you feel like you went through a lot of changes and you commented you feel like you’re finally waking up to what life is and what people that you love mean to you and what music means to you.

It’s hard to talk about that without sounding totally clichéd or lame or like a female musician but … I don’t know. It became something that meant a job after a very short amount of time and I totally took shit for granted and I just got bored. My life started falling apart and weird shit was happening. I was having falling outs with who I thought was my best friend, then another friend and I was feeling completely alone. On the other side of that I went through some sort of mental change where I was excited about shit like music, it was the first thing that I was ever super passionate about. My whole high school and junior high school years were fucking saved by the fact that I learned to play guitar and sing. Other than that I was just the weird girl that went to a fucking new school every year. I wanted to die all the time – well, not all the time, but I was weird and I stuck out like a fucking sore thumb in Orange County.

Growing up in Orange County did you experience the punk scene that was there?

No, there was no punk scene there. I had about 10 friends and we all listened to punk. Maybe it was the area of Orange County I grew up in but there was no music scene. I remember it was a huge fucking deal that somebody could play a show that wasn’t at somebody else’s house or backyard. It was hard. I was always trying to start a band without being the token girl keyboard player which happened anyway. I’d start bands with girls and then they’d get a boyfriend and be totally uninterested in music which still happens surprisingly 15 years later. It was really hard for me to mesh well with most people. I met Micah [Calabrese] – everything good just happens naturally and by mistake I’ve realised. Our press kit from the first record obviously mentioned how my mom and Micah worked together because that’s what every single article talked about. My mom tried to make me meet Micah and I was like, no that sounds like a horrible idea! We ended up meeting anyway thanks to our mutual friends’ mutual genitals going into each other. We became really close friends and we would record and then my friend Max from this band The Adored booked me to play a show and at the time it was just me and Micah recording my songs and I said, Micah play the show with me and Giant Drag was born on accident, just like me.

Micah + Annie

I was an ‘accident’ too, my parents had me at 43.

Wow that’s pretty old, I thought my mum was old, she was 31. I’m looking down the barrel of that gun right now hoping to not get pregnant. My mom and I seem to have a common thread for doing everything at the same age.

Has your mom been an inspiration to you? I know she’s a great writer and she’s made all kinds of things like plays and musicals.

Yeah. Surprisingly my mom wrote this musical and she’s completely tone-deaf. That’s actually where I realised that I really wanted to play guitar and sing. It was when she was having her actors do rehearsals for that musical at our house and one dude who plays acoustic guitar in the play – I remember him playing a Pearl Jam ‘Black’ song during a break – I was like, oh shit I want to do that! I just found all the guitar tablature from one of the three guitar lessons I took in fifth and eighth grade and all it is, is that song, Guns ‘N Roses and Nirvana.

Didn’t one of your guitar teachers stop giving you lessons because you told him one day that you were God?

Yeah I did. I really freaked that guy out. He called my mom and he said, “Annie told me at her guitar lesson today that she was God and she seemed really serious about it”. I don’t think I ever had a lesson again after that. I didn’t like lessons anyway because they reminded me of school. It wasn’t quite working out on either end.

(continues overleaf)

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