Cleo Tucker, left, and Harmony Tividad are Girlpool. (Courtesy Allyssa Yohana)

Girlpool musicians thrive on intensity


Roches-rustic outfit Girlpool – guitarist-vocalist Cleo Tucker and bassist-vocalist Harmony Tividad – didn’t set out to track their debut “Before the World Was Big” as a drum-less duo. They just gradually whittled other possible musicians out of the equation. It started when they met in Los Angeles three years ago, and immediately got into a deep discussion about Conor Oberst’s music, both in and out of Bright Eyes. “We were jamming with some other people, but we just found that we shared a really similar intention that we wanted to explore, without any other factors,” says Tividad.


In the album title track, you’re leaving your house at 7:45 in the morning. Where were you going?

Cleo Tucker: I was going to school. To high school, and studying everything, all the good stuff. And I got into studying music for a long time in high school, but I took a music theory class, and it made me really sad and it freaked me out. But mainly, I just wanted to play music, so I started getting distracted toward the end of high school, because the only thing I cared about was writing songs.

What was so scary about music theory?

CT: Well, I actually was good at it. But it just really broke my heart, just thinking about music in that way. Harmony knows a lot of theory, and some people can really use it and apply it, and it can be really helpful. But I don’t see it like that. I remember we had to write a song and record it, write the music out on paper and bring in the sheet of music to class. So I did, and my teacher played mine on the class computer, and said – in front of everyone – that it belonged in a ‘60s porno. That was probably one of my, uh, less-better school days.

Is that why you simplified things with Girlpool?

Harmony Tividad
: Well, our goal was just to do whatever felt good. And sometimes our music is complicated, and sometimes it’s really simple. But Cleo and I always felt really drawn to each other because we have a similar intensity, and we like to think about things in a specific way and seriously discuss our ideas together.

Do you always pal around together? Even on tour?
CT: Yeah. We hang out almost every day. We hang out a lot. And visiting places on tour together is real cool, real special. And we both carry around notebooks, We heavily journal. And this past year on tour, Harmony and I have both been drawing, making art in those journals, too. And it’s fun to share that kind of stuff with each other whenever we’re journaling.

IF YOU GO
Girlpool
Where: Slim’s, 333 11th St., S.F.
When: 9 p.m. Oct. 24
Tickets: $16
Contact: (415) 522-0333, www.slimspresents.com

Before the World Was BigCleo TuckerGirlpoolHarmony Tividad

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Riders should expect big changes when Muni rail returns in August

Reconfigured routes will mean fewer, longer trains through tunnel

Californians to vote on restoring voting rights of parolees

If passed, Proposition 17 would amend the California Constitution and allow parolees to vote

New audio of couple calling police on SF man bolsters racial bias claims, supe says

Pacific Heights incident spurred CAREN Act to outlaw discriminatory reports to police

SFUSD students may start the school year at home

Staff report recommends starting with distance learning in the fall, transitioning to hybrid model

Universities fight new immigration restrictions on international students in court

Local colleges are scrambling to keep international students in the country as… Continue reading

Most Read