The band Girlschool has been around since the late '70s and have toured with the likes of Motorhead, Maiden, Deep Purple and more! The lineups may have changed a bit over time, but they are still going strong and representing good oldschool rock and roll! Jackie Chambers was kind enough to take on some questions and had some input from the other ladies. Here's what they have to tell us...
D-Day: I figured we could start by settling some rumors. First, is it true that Lemmy Kilmister introduced the band to his manager in the early days and then you went on to tour with Motorhead afterwards? If so, what was that experience like?
Girlschool: Girlschool had a 1 single deal with ‘City Records’ which released ‘Take it all away’. Doug Smith who managed Motorhead at the time heard the single, he played it to Lemmy and they decided that Girlschool would be a great support band for them on the Overkill tour…Doug then took on Girlschool too and the rest is history.
Well, going on Motorhead's Overkill tour was certainly an experience and we
picked up a few bad habits along the way! It was a three-week tour and by the end of it everyone said how ill we looked - we were wrecks!
D-Day: I’ve also seen that one of the Go-Go’s played in Girlschool at one point. Any truth to that?
GS: Kelly Johnson came along to watch a rehearsal of a band called ‘Painted Lady’ while Kathy Valentine was in the band playing Lead guitar and shortly after that she replaced her on guitar. Painted Lady basically played cover versions in the local London pubs and clubs. When Denise Dufort joined on drums the name was then changed to Girlschool which came from the B side of the hit single ‘Mull of Kyntyre’ by Wings.
D-Day: Tell us about any new releases you may have coming out or perhaps recently released.
GS: We have a new album called “BELIEVE” that is due to be released July 26th, there will be a few gigs announced later and also a video or two to accompany the release.
D-Day: How about tours or shows? Can we see Girlschool anytime soon?
GS: We do plan to do a few shows in the UK later on in the year, at the moment you can see us at the Rock n Blues Show 31st July in Derbyshire. We have a few shows in the USA in September and possibly a short European tour in December, lot’s going on but every date we have we will put it on our website to try and keep everyone informed.
D-Day: From what I’ve been able to find on the net, you guys were “retired” around 1988 and then returned in 1992. First off, let me know if this info that I found is full of shit. Secondly, if that’s correct, what was the inspiration to return?
GS: That information is incorrect, despite what everyone thinks Girlschool have NEVER split up. There have been a few quiet years here and there were members have had side projects or just taken a break, but there’s always been the odd gig happening even in those times. 1992 the band just got busier again and Kelly came back for a while to record a Live album.
D-Day: Who is in the band now, and for how long has each member been a part of Girlschool?
GS: Kim McAuliffe… Rhythm+ Lead Vox
Denise Dufort …Drummer
Jackie Chambers Lead Guitarist + B/V’s
Enid Williams Bass+ Lead Vox
Kim and Denise have been in the band from the start and have always been a part of Girlschool. Enid was in the original line up but left for a gap of 18 years and then re joined when Jackie joined the band in 2000.
D-Day: Who would you consider to be your favorite bands to have toured with? Or at least shared the stage with?
GS: Everyone from Motorhead, Rainbow,
Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden...
everyone Rock and Heavy around that
time, we loved them all.
D-Day: Have you had any problems in your musical careers based on the fact that you are women? Are there some slimy bastards out there that wouldn’t take you seriously?
GS: None of us really see as ourselves as female musicians…we’re musicians who just happen to be female. The music industry has always been sexist but we’ve been OK really…fortunately other bands show us a great deal of respect which is fantastic for us.
D-Day: What are your thoughts on the state of music today? Are there any “newer” bands that you think can make it?
GS: I think there’s a lot of fantastic music out there, there’s also a great deal of shit too but hasn’t it always been that way? I personally don’t like all this manufactured pop and I think the latest trends like pop idol etc. are very harmful for the music industry, but it’s yet another trend and will probably fizzle out soon enough. At least there seems to be a very healthy Rock industry again and I think there always will be.
D-Day: Which bands would be on your “fantasy” tour? Name about 3 groups that would be on tour with Girlschool to complete your dream tour package.
GS: For me that would have to be a line up of Alice Cooper, Foo Fighters and Rammstein.
Denise would go for Deep Purple, Rainbow and probably Rammstein
Kim would go for Bowie, Foo Fighters and Led Zep
Enid would probably go for the same.
D-Day: Has radio ever been kind to your band? Do you consider radio hits to be a sign of success or does it matter anymore?
GS: I’m sure most bands would love all their songs to be played continually on the radio, it’s a great feeling knowing that something you’ve written or been involved with is being heard by other people.
Radio has never been unkind to us, although here in the UK the biggest radio station, Radio 1 would probably not play our CD as we’d probably be considered too old, I seem to remember they refused to play Status Quo for that reason.
Having continuos radio airplay can certainly make a band and help sell numerous CD’s in the process so hopefully when we release our new CD some stations will take it on.
D-Day: Let’s say it’s 1995 and someone comes up to you and asks if you’d like to tour with The Spice Girls. Would you:
A) Slap the Hell out of him for even thinking it.
B) Consider taking the tour because the money would be nice.
C) Slap the Hell out of him, and then find the Spice Girls and slap them too.
GS: Most definitely C - good question.
D-Day: What expectations do you have for Girlschool at this point?
GS: We all think this album is our best yet and has already had some very favourable reviews, it’s very modern but still contains all the elements you’d usually expect to hear from Girlschool.
We would definitely like this album to be successful and we’re going to be doing everything we can to help that happen. We’ll keep recording and gigging as a band for as long as we still enjoy doing so.
D-Day: And finally, do you have any last words for the readers out there?
GS: Thanks for everyone who’s stood by us and supported us throughout the years, we hope you’ll enjoy the new album, let us know what you think.
Thank you, Girlschool!
That was well thought out and she even liked my silly ass questions. See more info about Girlschool at their website.
All Photo's courtesy of Girlschool.