Artist Spotlight - Sad Girls Aquatics Club
We had the opportunity to interview Pittsburgh, PA indie-pop duo Sad Girls Aquatics Club! With a fun, almost atmospheric sound that is ready for alt radio, this is a band that you are sure to want to tune into. We can easily see SGAC blowing up, check them out on Spotify! Check out what they had to say below!
1. How did you come to pursue music and how long have you been at it?
We both started playing music in early childhood and continued through high school and college, where we initially met. I (Chelsea) was trying to start a music project a few years ago when I reconnected with Marie while working on another project (with KING RELD) and I just couldn’t stop thinking about her!! I called her up and we’ve been working together ever since. When we started this project, we had no idea what we wanted it to be, we just took influence from our experiences and each other and let it evolve into what it is now.
2. Could you walk us through your process of writing music?
Usually one of us comes to the production team with a demo recorded on our phone or through garage band. It’s usually somewhat rudimentary, just vocals, a beat, guitar or synth, and bass, and then everyone just goes at it and starts throwing their ideas around until we feel like the track is finished. This process has taken anywhere from hours to months, we currently have about 10 unfinished tracks that didn’t make this album and are still waiting to be completed. It’s definitely a highly collaborative process. For this album, it happened to end up that the tracks alternate on who did the initial writing (starting with Marie on the first track).
3. What artists have inspired you in your career?
There are so many, for this album we were listening to a lot of Pond, MGMT, St. Vincent, Connan Mockasin, Mild High Club, Courtney Barnett, Homeshake, Fleetwood Mac, GUM, Ariel Pink, LA Priest, Mariah Carey, LCD Soundsystem, Talking Heads, King Gizzard, Sleep… and a lot more that I’m forgetting right now.
(Marie) This is always really hard because I am always leaving a lot out so the list won't be so long! There are so many artists I love and inspire me, but I would say my top influences are XTC, They Might be Giants, ELO, St. Vincent, The Breeders, Sufjan Stevens, Squeeze, Prince. This past year I really fell in love with Rostam, Pond, Aimee Mann, and Mitski.
4. Do you have any favorite music gear (guitars, amps, effects pedals, keyboards, etc.) that you love to use? If so, what’s the story on them?
I (Chelsea) have a guitar that is very special to me and use a lot, my vintage Harmony Bobkat. I had loved this guitar ever since I heard what Annie Clark could do with it back in like 2009 when she played Dig A Pony on her festival circuit, then my boyfriend got me one for my birthday in 2012 and I have been in love with it ever since. Other than that, we have been very open to using whatever sound is perfect for the song. We have a mantra in the studio which is “nothing is so sacred that it cannot be changed” and this has definitely served us well.
I (Marie) def have a thing for synths, and other weird little almost kitsch instruments like lap harps and glockenspiels. But my favorite is this pastel pink bass that is a Fender Musicmaster re-issue. It's short scale and really fun to play. My dad got me this Deluxe Bass Big Muff pedal from electro harmonix that I absolutely love using with it. There was something so fun about letting it shake the whole venue when Chelsea and I would play gigs in a previous project. But Chelsea hit the nail on the head, we are super open and love finding whatever the song calls for. There are so many great synths on this record for that exact reason.
5. Can you describe the vibe at your live shows? Also, what do you enjoy most about a venue when you do a show?
We have not started playing live shows with this project yet, but we have envisioned what we want our crowd to feel and look like, which has consistently been “crying but dancing” lol. We have played many live shows together in past projects and have enjoyed different things about different venues. We would say that the people usually make the biggest difference. If you have a sound guy who is friendly, fun to work with, and is passionate about making everything sound its best, that makes all the difference in the world. And if the crowd is vibing and having fun, that makes up for any shortcomings a venue might have. We love playing house shows for this exact reason.
6. What is one thing that you want the public to know about your music?
Marie and I have both struggled with mental health issues throughout our lives, this past year being particularly tough (which seems like a trend among our generation). This album was pure channeled emotion and pain from our own personal lives and experiences. We were hoping that people would listen to our music and relate to it. Our band title itself is supposed to be a bit tongue and cheek, but on a deeper level, it’s meant to be a reclamation of our own mental health status and to help our listeners feel like they are not alone, but a part of the “club”. Self-care is important and taking some time for yourself to listen to music and be immersed in your emotions can be therapeutic. If we have one piece of advice to give anyone it would probably be this; go to therapy.
7. Do you have any upcoming projects you would like fans to know about?
YES!! We have two music videos coming out in the near future which we are SUPER excited about. We got to collaborate with some really talented people, and it was a ton of fun! We are also working on a live show and a new EP, so we have a lot on our plate right now! But we are super excited to have another manic shut-in winter and to emerge in the spring with a lot of new material! Thanks for caring and best of luck with everything! <3 SGAC