The Collapse Board interview – Samuel Miers (School Girl Report)
Over the past three months Sam and Oak have been writing everyday – using love letters to Sam from girls from high school as the content of most of the lyrics, along with stories that Sam and Oak wrote when they were seven years old. ‘Comprehension Carrot Cake On Friday’ was one such story whereby the animals befriend the rabbit only to eat his carrot cake, and not because they had any interest in being friends with the rabbit.
Lifting the lyrics in full from parts of their lives gone by, Sam and Oak are hoping to express every aspect of themselves and their pasts. It’s a part of why playing live is so important to the band’s delivery of their music.
“We want to expose every part of our personality on stage. Both the good bits and the bad. That’s why it’s so important that we’re both singing now. In other bands we’ve played in I’ve felt really able to hide because I was playing bass. But if you’re up front singing and you try to hide, it won’t work,” says Sam.
There’s a certain confidence that Sam has about the music which he credits to feeling like they are doing something unique. He says the dynamics between the two of them are special because they share everything – a car, money, cigarettes and food and they’ve been doing almost everything together since they were in pre-school.
“Oak is an amazing drummer. He plays drum beats that I’ve never heard before. He’s listened to a lot of stuff like My Disco, Fabulous Diamonds and Absolute Boys, so there’s definitely influence there, but he pushes it until it’s unique and doesn’t sound like anything else we’ve ever heard.”
The name of the band is curious – especially considering both Sam and Oak are now dating schoolgirls. The association makes Sam uncomfortable – as I infer the band name might have something to do with the fact.
“We called the band that much before,” he says.
“It came from when I was working at a parade in The Netherlands. Every night before the fair grounds shut all the staff would crowd around the big swing ride, hoping to get on the last ride of the night. The guy who ran it always made it go higher and last longer on the very last ride. While it was going around he’d play a song from the School Girl Report soundtrack. It was really beautiful and I wanted to call a band that.”
“Plus, it’s about the schoolgirls who wrote the letters who make up the lyrics. There are heaps of reasons we’re called that, and it’s just a coincidence [that we’re now dating schoolgirls],” he says.
“I feel uncomfortable about it but you have to stick to something that you start.”
Despite the naïve, playful topics depicted in the songs – bunny rabbits and love notes – the music has an aggressive feeling. But this, Sam says, is something that just comes out that way. They don’t mean to be so angry, really. They don’t.
“If we wrote Top 10 pop songs I’d be happy. If what we wrote sounded like Jay-Z I’d want to play it. It’s just when we’re playing it comes out aggressive with lots of screaming,” he says.
Staying true to the Abortion Eve beginnings, Sam plays guitar (badly, he concedes) without any pedals. They’ve never interested him, because they lack a certain organic quality that he particularly likes in music.
“I use nails under the strings on one song. Spanners, a peg, a drill, a headband and a bracelet. They all give different sounds to each song.”
“I don’t understand the songs we make. The sounds that come out are confusing. But I’ve decided that confusion is a perfect state of being for me,” he says.
School Girl Report are playing 116 Latrobe Tce, Paddington on 12 March from 2pm in support of “Dying Wine Bottles: An Exhibition by Robert Vagg” with Kitten Party and Meat Thump. BYO
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by Rah Mcv