Meet New York's Coolest Girlband, cumgirl8
(Yes, you read the name correctly)
(Yes, you read the name correctly)
Meet cumgirl8, the coolest band you've never heard of (unless you run in equally cool circles).
The band as a whole almost feels like a Brooklyn-based fever dream, but in reality, it's the brainchild of four friends - bassist Lida Fox, guitarists Veronika Vilim and Avishag Cohen Rodrigues, and drummer Chase - who use their music as a form of self-expression and a way to get their feelings out into the universe.
Founded on the idea of taking back control and fighting against toxicity, cumgirl8 is true adventurist-punk group. The group has received praise from the likes of Stereogum and Fader, and their latest song, "dumb bitch," has already garnered over 15,000 listens on Spotify.
V entered into cumgirl8's expressive, psychedelic world to learn more about New York's hottest girl band:
V: You guys have been outspoken about how the band is your way of empowering yourselves and fighting back against toxicity in relationships. Why did you decide to form the band when you did? What was the catalyst?
Lida: At the time, I was just starting to play music as an outlet for a lot of repressed and pent-up emotions, and it felt like there wasn’t really any space to be just starting out or not to know what you wanted to do yet. And, I had several friends who were in a similar situation of not being fulfilled or fully listened to in their relationships or their work. Veronika and I, for instance, came from modeling, and it’s often so rare for models to be able to have their own opinion or represent themselves as they want to be represented. And the music/creative scene then was still way more male-dominated and gate kept, this was like 2017, when we first started writing together. Also, we knew probably six or more different relationships that fell apart around that same time, ours included, so it felt like there was a major shift happening or about to happen. Very serendipitously, a musician friend was moving to LA and gave me the keys to their studio for the rest of the lease so we had a space to play, create, and unleash the energy!!
V: How does your name tie into the emotions you were founded on?
Chase: cumgirl8 is clickbait, like a DM from a cam-girl. The name is founded on the only emotions that seem to really affect people.. to be sexy and disruptive. cumgirl8 is clickbait! First, we draw you in; then we radicalize you.
V: You’ve written songs about everything from panic attacks to sex to the impacts of capitalism on society. How do you navigate the vulnerability of releasing such honest music? Is there ever a subject you feel like you guys won’t breach when it comes to music?
Lida: I don’t think any subject is off-limits when it comes to writing or art. Personally, I, do try to maintain an element of hope if I’m writing about darker subjects like depression or abuse, because I’m usually an optimist and even an idealist. But, I do still love and admire some music that takes a more pessimistic approach. Sometimes, you need to destruct to reconstruct. Ultimately, I see music as a way of being more honest with oneself, as opposed to being an escape.
V: You guys have worked a lot with Ben Greenberg, how has his musical sound influenced yours as a band?
Avishag: Working with Ben has been a great experience. Always when working with a producer, you get their touch and sound when they work, so automatically when working with a producer like Ben he is becoming sort of a “fifth member” in a way. On our last EP, RIPcumgirl8 which he also produced, you can hear that he is more involved, especially on songs like "Go Away" and "I Wanna Be" where these songs changed a lot in the studio. They were still based on our live takes, but were mainly made in post-production. That’s where you can actually feel the presence of the producer, mixing in with our sound.
V: “dumb bitch” is a bit more dance-punk than your earlier stuff. Is this the sonic direction you see the band moving in?
Avishag: I feel like sonically we’re going in all different directions at once right now. We are in a constant look for change and new ways in which we can evolve and expand our sound, sometimes dancing around the different musical genres.
"dumb bitch" is a good example of a song that was made differently than what we usually do. It was recorded very DIY, and it's the only song that doesn't include live drums. The drum machine might be giving it a more ‘dancy-punk’ vibe. We are looking to work on new materials that will be touching more on electronics than the live band setup, but I think that it’s not necessarily that we are going in one direction, but instead exploring our sound and possibilities as a group.
V: How much of a role does fashion play in your band?
Veronika: We have had two collections with the band so far. Our latest one is selling at cafe forgot and h Lorenzo. But in general, I’d say it has a pretty big part in the band. We all spend time getting ready together before shows. It’s kind of a spiritual ritual to get us in the performance space. It reminds me of our fantasy farm story, where I put on this cow leotard and then Chase pulls out this “grill father” apron. I cut it on her and made it slutty. I admitted to listening to “Old Mac Donald” by Ella Fitzgerald in the back of the tour van, then Lida put on a chicken outfit and Avi became the lawnmower. That was the birth of our fantasy farm. And, it would’ve never happened without the power of fashion.
V: How do you guys look at fashion as a means for creative expression?
Veronika: It’s a way of becoming whatever you want. You can create an identity of yourself through fashion. It makes you feel something, like listening to your favorite song or your least favorite song. It’s another creative outlet for expressing your current mood.
V: You just wrapped up a mini tour. What’s the vibe you try to curate at your shows?
Chase: On stage we are absolutely on our own little planet, speaking our own secret language. The audience isn't just witnessing surrealist punk performance art, our shows are an event to vibe with other psycho, hot, fun people. It's a meetup. We put a lot of thought into every single show we perform, and our crowd does the same. Our DJ (DJ Acetone) said a cumgirl8 show is like curated IRL tinder. It's specific, for sure. It's safe and fun and absurd and very chic.