Perth favourite pop punk trio Axe Girl is currently between two waves. With the release of their self-titled debut album just behind them, they are embarking on a multi-state tour later this week. I talked with vocalist and guitarist Addison Axe on Monday.
Axe Girl was formed accidentally on purpose when London native Axe was performing in a theatre piece for the local Fringe Festival and met Jebediah veterans, bassist Vanessa Thornton and drummer Brett Mitchell. Axe recalls with a hint of nostalgia: “We just hit it off, the three of us, immediately. We started writing songs straight away and then we did one show and that lead to a bunch more shows. Before we knew it we were a band that was, unquestionably, a band.”
It was soon time for Axe to return home, but the separation proved too heart wrenching for the newly formed band. “I just ended up staying,” says Axe with a laugh. Changing hemispheres is quite the commitment. Axe Girl continued to play Perth venues, gaining a well-deserved local fan base. In July 2013 the band made a bold move: launching a crowd funding campaign to self-produce their first album, via the Australian site Pozible.
Axe attributes the success of their Pozible campaign to “Not doing it too soon… We already had quite a decent following online, you know people who were engaged with us, a lot of people asking when we were going to make a recording. We sort of had people who already were willing to partake. We certainly weren’t expecting the response that we did get.” The band was also grateful for support from the tight-knit Perth musical community, with the WA street press and W.A.M. sending word of the campaign to their own mailing lists.
Since then Axe Girl has stayed in close contact with their extended family of fans and supporters over social media. They also juggled local live shows with work on their promised album. “We wanted to road test all the songs before we started recording them,” Axe explains. “Sometimes it’s really hard to look at something objectively before you’ve played it to an audience. And then as soon as you’re up there in front of people you realise ‘Oh, that bit should go here’ or ‘Oh, that was really crap’. I think, for us, having that immediate response and being in front of people has been really important.”
The album finally released last week, garnering rave reviews. Their irresistibly edgy pop punk songs are perfect for summer, and ready to be taken on the road. Shows are, after all, Axe Girl’s speciality: “In essence we see ourselves as a live band”. When asked if she was nervous about the tour, Axe replied blithely: “I’ll be on the road with my two best mates, what could possibly go wrong?”
Axe Girl will perform in Adelaide on November 20th at the Worldsend Hotel, while their album is currently available to buy via their website (www.axegirl.com).
Interview by Nicola Woolford.