INTERVIEW: Amy Love & Georgia South From Nova Twins Talk Good Things Festival & More
The word revolutionary is frequently bandied about in the realms of rock'n'roll, but few artists in the modern era have even come close to the imaginative might and ricocheting strives for change wielded by British alt rock renegade duo Nova Twins.
Driven by the fiercely DIY dynamic duo of Amy Love and Georgia South, Nova Twins evolved from two childhood friends bonding over eclectic musical tastes into a trailblazing and unforgettable force to be reckoned with. Whether they're smashing together elements of punk, rap, pop, hard rock and beyond, campaigning for POC artists and environmental change, or just generally defying the status quo, Nova Twins continue to burgeon as one of the UK's most electrifying and increasingly sought after acts.
Spending their formative creative years battling narrow-minded expectations and a lack of representation, the pair served up a sonic battering ram in the form of their debut 2020 album Who Are The Girls?, following up just last month with their sophomore effort Supernova, both scoring resounding critical acclaim, millions of streams and a plethora of accolades. Rule-breakers, risk takers, and advocates of the highest order for those who don't fit the prescribed mold in heavy music in particular, it's not just the duo's explosive tunes, razor-sharp live performances or their high-profile touring history alongside the likes of Prophets Of Rage, Bring Me The Horizon, Enter Shikari and countless others that dazzles the most; instead, it's the pair's authentic drive to inspire and challenge a whole new generation of creatives, and doing it with effortless flair.
From being shunned when they first entered the scene back in 2014 to becoming bona fide superstars entirely on their own terms, December 2022 will also see the pair travel to Australia for the first time, appearing on the massively stacked lineup for Good Things Festival, taking place in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane on December 2nd, 3rd and 4th respectively. But before Nova Twins jump on that lengthy plane ride down under, Tiana Speter grabbed a moment with both Amy and Georgia to chat life lessons, the shifting industry and what role the Arctic Monkeys is currently playing in their listening habits. Read on!
TIANA SPETER: Georgia and Amy, it's so awesome to chat to you both today. I know the past few years have been pretty strange, yet somehow you two have emerged more potent and more empowered than ever, you've had a headline tour, you recently unveiled Supernova and, of course, you'll also be heading to Australia this December for Good Things Festival. But tell me, how are you both feeling right now in this moment? Have you had a chance to catch your breaths yet, it feels like a zero to 100 thing after the last few years!
GEORGIA SOUTH: It does feel like that to be honest! I feel like we've had small snippets of breath, but not fully. I feel like in the winter period, our winter period over here, that will be our holiday/relaxation time. Christmas will be a chance to put our feet up (laughs).
TIANA: Something that will be very overdue by that point, especially after that long flight back home from Australia after Good Things! Now I mentioned Supernova earlier, obviously it was a second full length Nova Twins album, and I think my walls are still shaking after I kept playing it nonstop. It's fun, it's feisty and, honestly, it also really felt like an album that we all needed after the insanity keep levelling up over the past few years. Going into the album, did you two have a pretty firm idea about what you wanted this album to be, or did you just kind of go into it open to whatever might happen?
AMY LOVE: We don't usually really have a plan (laughs), we don't really think about it. I think we just do whatever makes us feel good or whatever we're feeling that day will just come out and that will be the result. It's very environmental, your environment does affect it, you know? So, whatever is going on with us or whatever phases we're into, anything and everything that's happening will definitely just bleed into the music in general. We just take each day as it comes and whatever feels right, feels right.
"We wanna be bright, we wanna wear colourful things. We wanna do what we wanna do and just be ourselves."
TIANA: I think that's the healthiest way to do it, and the bonus is your output always sounds incredible! Now, you'll be coming to Australia armed with a brand new album, but I know you've been able to play some of the songs live already...how has it felt to be able to play these songs live finally and how have the crowds been reacting to the new material?
GEORGIA: Yeah, it's been so great to actually play this album at festivals and live. Our debut album got cut by the pandemic, we didn't actually get to tour it, so it's been nice having a new experience with this one. And, yeah, it's been crazy! We especially love playing Choose Your Fighter, Fire & Ice and Antagonist.
AMY: Yeah, it's been very fun!
TIANA: I had Antagonist on my wishlist of songs I'm hoping are on your Good Things setlist...but as if you wouldn't have that on there, it's such a festival-ready song! And with Supernova as a whole, obviously the critics have adored it, you've hit #1 on the UK Rock and Metal charts amongst other amazing things..and your debut album Who Are The Girls? was equally adored when it was released, clearly it's not just a fluke and you two are onto a winning formula. But while the accolades are nice, how does it feel to have this resonance given that this is music you've made entirely on your own terms, particularly given the resistance and setbacks that you faced in early days on this Nova Twins journey?
AMY: Yeah, I think if anything it was just a lesson to always follow your intuition and to kind of have that self-belief. Because when we first started, it was very much like: OK, you need to have another writer, you need to work with this man or, you know, you need to have this and that. Then we kind of rejected all of those ideas - and it was a definitely a slower journey. But I think for that, we ended up just learning a lot ourselves and the fact that we can, you know, that both albums we've written solely ourselves just between me and Georgia...and that it still can be recognized? It goes to show that there can be more female writers and producers, that you don't need ten writers on a son. You can have that though, and it can also just be brilliant. But also it's about just having that trust in yourself and know that you can do a good job too, if you just get given that kind of encouragement and that belief. And we were really lucky because Georgia's parents are really musical, so they were always very much like: You can do it yourself, go and do it, what are you waiting for?! We were very lucky to have that early encouragement. Not everyone has that, and you've got people planting seeds of doubt maybe, or telling you what you should do. But just trust yourself and trust in the journey and just let it roll out.
TIANA: For me, watching your journey...it just makes me so happy. I know there are so many different experiences, but for me as a female growing up...we didn't have bands like Nova Twins who were front and centre. There are just so many people out there who would just feel so seen by what you are both doing. I always thought when I was younger that rock and metal was no place for a girl like me - and now I just don't give a fuck! And also destroying the notions that to be included or accepted you have to wear all black or that girls can't get in the mosh...it's just so inspiring, and one of the most rock and roll things of all time, in my opinion.
AMY: Yes! 100%, we agree! We wanna be bright, we wanna wear colourful things. We wanna do what we wanna do and just be ourselves.
GEORGIA: Yeah, we'd always turn up to festivals and everyone will be all in black and we'd be draped in neon. But now it's so nice to see it is diversifying, you see other people, women and non-binary people, just owning the scene!
TIANA: On that note, as a band you two are so fiercely DIY, unable to be pigeonholed, it's an incredible thing. And you've flown the flag for so many different causes in the music industry and beyond. But do you feel like inclusivity and acceptance is in a positive state of flux right now, are we heading in the right direction? Obviously there's a long way to go with a lot of stuff, but do you feel like there's been a significant shift for the better?
GEORGIA: Yeah, I think for sure. We've played festivals this summer, and there's been a mix of festivals. There's some that you'll play that are more diverse than others, and we will shout out Slam Dunk Festival which was so diverse in terms, they had Meet Me @ the Altar, pinkshift...
AMY: Magnolia Park!
GEORGIA: Yeah, Magnolia Park too. And it was lovely to see just a massive shift from the pandemic and from BLM that people were actually listening to and finding different bands and doing their research. And the bands are saying: Yeah, we're sick, we deserve to be on this bill as much as anyone. It's nice to see that it is pushing forward. Obviously a lot of other festivals are a bit further behind, but hopefully they follow suit with the others that are kind of charging at the front and trying to make a difference.
"We thought we'd need a major to be able to get to where we are today - but we didn't! We had good people around us, supportive, encouraging people around us, and we just kept working at it."
TIANA: Absolutely, it's gonna be really interesting to see what happens even going into 2023. For both of you, it's no secret that you've got some pretty high profile fans in the world, Tom Morello's a fan, you've teamed up with Oli Sykes from Bring Me The Horizon, you've had so many incredible things happen in this adventure so far...but I'm interested to know, I know you two bonded when you were younger over some specific artists and music...but what are you two actually listening to at the moment? Like, if I snuck into your playlists, what artists would be getting the most spins at the moment for both of you?
AMY: Let me check my Spotify...weirdly...it's really random (laughs). The last two things in there are Lianne La Havas' newer album, I've been listening to that a lot. And then I've been going back and just listening to AM by Arctic Monkeys again, it's really random! My playlist will look so different every time, but it's mostly those two randomly, I've just been in the kitchen or just, you know, in my own space and I just find myself wanting to listen to those albums. I don't know why it's specifically those two, I just always go back (laughs).
GEORGIA: I've been listening to Arctic Monkeys as well, we've been blasting them in the van. We just got to see them live for the first time because they've been at a few festivals we've been playing. I'm looking at my list too I've got Arctic Monkeys....I've got Craig, David, I think we listened to him the other day...
TIANA: New Craig David or OG Craig David?
GEORGIA: OG Craig David!
TIANA: That is the right answer!
GEORGIA: (laughs) I've also got James Blake, his new album's really good, I love that. And Beyonce's new album...
AMY: Oh yeah, that's on mine too!
GEORGIA: Melody Gardot's My One And Only Thrill, I used that to go to sleep. And then I've got Ariana Grande's God is a woman (laughs).
TIANA: I love all of this, it just proves your trademark eclecticism is alive and well! All of this is so on brand. Now to start to close us out today...given how far both of you have come and amongst all of the highs and lows that come with the reality of being musicians and in the music industry, and what you two have specifically overcome to get to this point...what key piece of advice would you give to younger artists who may be facing similar pushback or trepidation for not fitting into the mainstream box in the music industry?
AMY: We always say...for one, you've got the time, don't rush. Not everything you want needs to happen now. And every artist is different. For some people, it does happen just like that, for other people, it doesn't. But I think just trust in your journey and also trust in yourself. Know that you can do so much more than you ever thought was possible. We didn't know that we could, we didn't know we'd be making our clothes or building our sets or, you know, that we would be an independent band. We thought we'd need a major to be able to get to where we are today - but we didn't! We had good people around us, supportive, encouraging people around us, and we just kept working at it. Don't be afraid of the work, trust in the journey. And just give yourself time, don't put a limit on it. Don't put any limit, just give yourself that time and it will unfold how it should.
TIANA: Amazing advice, and no doubt for Nova Twins it's only going to continue to get bigger and brighter - starting with your first trip to Australia this December! I cannot wait to be front and centre for your Good Things set listening to all my Nova Twins favourites!
AMY: Aww, thank you!
GEORGIA: Thank you so much, lovely to meet you!
GOOD THINGS FESTIVAL LINE UP: Bring Me The Horizon | Deftones | NOFX (performing ‘Punk In Drublic’ in full + all your favourites) | TISM (Exclusive: First shows in 19 years!) | The Amity Affliction | Gojira | ONE OK ROCK In Alphabetical Order: 3OH!3 | Blood Command | Chasing Ghosts | Cosmic Psychos | Electric Callboy Fever 333 | Jinjer | JXDN | Kisschasy (Performing ‘United Paper People’ In Full) Lacuna Coil | Millencolin | Nova Twins | Polaris | RedHook | Regurgitator Sabaton | Sleeping With Sirens | Soulfly | The Story So Far | Thornhill
DATES AND VENUES: Friday 2nd December - Flemington Racecourse, Melbourne (LIC AA 15+) Saturday 3 December- Centennial Park, Sydney (18+) Sunday 4 December – Brisbane Showgrounds, Brisbane (LIC AA 15+)
For more information head to www.goodthingsfestival.com.au
TICKETS ARE ONE SALE NOW: www.destroyalllines.com
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BY TIANA SPETER