• Photography  Max Barnett
  • Words  SP Hardy

PYLOT meets ‘Girls In Synthesis’ a Punk band from London to discuss their imagery and understand how they view their creative relationship with today’s society. Girls In Synthesis is comprised of Jim Cubitt, John Linger, and Nicole Pinto.

“Here no one else can gain entry, since this entrance was assigned only to you. I’m going now to close it.” Franz Kafka, The Trial, 1925.

The visual aspect of the band seems important to you. What do you see in the relationship between your soundscapes and the images that accompany them?

John – I think they’re linked in every way. The gig is a continuation of us as people, just as the performance and the visual aspect is a continuation of us as people. Everything about it is linked and none of it was an accident. Before we started playing music we considered, without it sounding contrived, the image. Sometimes when bands start out they spend a lot of time trying to work out what they want to look like. For us, because we’d been in bands before it was something we knew we didn’t want to spend time doing. What would you say that Jim?

Jim – Yeah 100%, we planned a lot of stuff before we even got in the rehearsal room, a lot of it was born out a really vibrant idea of what we wanted it to look like and what we wanted it to sound like. We’ve said before that we had the pedals figured out (which is one pedal by the way – the same pedal each) we had the set up, us facing each other, we knew we wanted a female drummer … we had all of this figured out.

Girls In Synthesis logo
Girls In Synthesis EP cover, Photography by Bonnie Carr
John – Some people would think you should just go on stage in your work clothes, but all the bands we love have never done that; whether it’s a flashy image or a utilitarian one, they’ve had an image. I’ve never had time for bands that just turn up in jeans and a t-shirt, I think it’s lazy. There’s a million and one bands that everyone can go and watch right now. You’ve got to make them want to watch you. You’ve got to captivate people from the start.

Jim – And all those ideas we had were said over the bar within five minutes, it wasn’t some carefully considered plan. Our two heads came together and it felt natural.

John – In terms of the artwork, to us it’s about minimalism, it’s about stripping stuff down and using something really simple to portray a more complex subject matter. We’ve got our EP coming out in a few weeks time, the cover is a photo by our friend Bonnie. She takes photos of doors, they’re all these fantastically mundane images of suburban doorways and garages. We’ve got this picture of a double garage with a St George’s flag wilting above it. The title track is about small town bigotry, a really narrow mentality, that image was perfect! It’s so boring, it means nothing. You look up and you’ve got that pathetic thing, I mean who puts that in their garden? We grayscaled the picture for the cover, but the original is just as gray, it’s perfect!

You said previously that you want yourselves and the audience to feel ‘elated, but physically and mentally exhausted’ at the end of a gig. It seems in our work lives we’re left wanting a lot more, do have any thoughts on why we feel the need, at the end of a day, to exhaust ourselves?

John – I can’t speak for a work/life balance outside of the group really, I’m quite happy doing my job and as little as possible else if I’m honest. This outlet of being in a group is important, every rehearsal is like a gig, it is physically demanding and mentally exhausting. The lyrics and the performance unfortunately do usually portray forms of aggression or mental instability and it’s not like we’re the first band to sing about that stuff. We’re not singing about love and smiles so it does drain you; you never completely detach from the lyrical meaning, you’re always living a part of it.

Jim – We’re not driven by an animosity that makes us want to pound the audience. This is our art, we put it on stage.

John – Yeah, recently we’ve been dragging the mics down and performing in the audience, it does – and I know it’s a bit of a cliche – break down the barrier, you get weird stuff happening, people playing our instruments, someone singing nonsense … The amount of effort we put in we do want that to involve to the audience. We are sweating our bollocks off.

Noise rock seems have really found its place in today’s society. Do you have any thoughts on our desire to be engulfed by noise?

John – That’s essentially why we started playing. We’re not extremely young people, it’s a case of us realising – and you do at a certain age – that everything is a bit shit, everything is a little bit fucked. Once you’ve lost that vigour of youth you’re left with this moment where you realise you’ve been taking yourself out of reality and you wonder: What am I left with?

You are left with corrupt politicians. You are left with pointless wars. You are left with street crime as a result of poverty. You are left with, what I would classify as, noise: something that blurs your focus of what you need to be thinking about. You are dragged into thinking about stuff you don’t want to. When we formed the band we wanted it to be intense because life is intense. We’re not going to be next big thing in political commentary because we don’t know enough about it. But we do know how we feel about it and we can push that. Sometimes the atmosphere of music can create all the dread, all the hatred and all the fear in the world that you want it to. That’s not for the sake of shocking people, but just for the sake of not pretending that it’s not happening.

Nicole Pinto of Girls In Synthesis
Jim Cubitt of Girls In Synthesis
John Linger of Girls In Synthesis

Girls In Synthesis EP “Suburban Hell” launches tonight @ Gun Factory Studios. Click this link to attend
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