With Perla Cervantes (bassist, singer), Micaela Hammond (drums), Max Magendantz (guitarist, bassist), and Medbh McNamara (singer, guitarist).
Nic: Why do you call yourselves Surly Grrly?
Medbh: Funny story…I realized we needed to give someone a name in like an hour and so we all just started texting ideas at each other and we wanted to make a nod towards the Riot Grrrl movement. We all agreed on Surly Grrly…because its catchy, it rhymes, its accurate.
Nic: What genre would you consider Surly Grrly?
Medbh: Girl punk.
Nic: What musical inspirations do you have?
Medbh: There’s this band called GRLwood. They just followed us on Instagram. Also, Bikini Kill and Le Tigre.
Micaela: I don’t really listen to punk on my own. I’m a lazy bitch and on Spotify I just listen to like the “Latest 50.”
Perla: I pull stuff from punk bands from a lot of countries… I get a lot of inspiration from Japanese punk bands and Mexican punk bands.
Max: I listen to a lot of punk. I’ve always been into rock and grunge too. Recently, I’ve listened to stuff ranging from obscure electronic lo-fi to metal. I try to pull inspiration from a lot of different genres.
Nic: How long have you guys been making music?
Medbh: Micaela, Jace and I started last semester at NoMandu…so five months.
Perla: One of the things we want to do the most is keep doing things that people wouldn’t expect from us. Each of us, individually, have something very different from other bands.
Medbh: One of our goals for when we play for people is educating them about punk and the culture of punk. Punk is really whatever you want it to be. The one key element is that you are your pure self. We’re not always doing the loud angry sounds that people might expect from a punk band. It’s more like, look, I’m feeling weird today and I’m going to do this weird thing at you, and you know that’s punk.
Max: Punk is supposed to be very empowering. It is hostile, but not necessarily towards anybody. It’s supposed to be cognizant of the things that make us angry individually.
Micaela: And just feel good. You’ve been to Katmandu and people just sit and play their ukulele and its very calm and everyone just sits there and its very quiet, but when we play Katmandu people stand up and they jump around and they’re feeling good.
Perla: It’s nice to be able to perform in a way that you can’t anywhere else—like I wasn’t able to scream at church.
Nic: Do you guys have any original music?
Medbh: We’re working on original stuff, but we haven’t performed it yet. We plan on having a set together by the end of the year—a mix of originals and covers.
Nic: Where can Earlhamites watch Surly Grrly perform?
Medbh: Katmandu every other Friday at Music House (Doan House)! NoMandu will be at CIGI (Hole House) on March 29th. Also, the set at the end of the year!
Micaela: They can also, follow us on social media (Instagram: @surlygrrly; Facebook: Surly Grrly).