An Interview with The Bralettes
by Erin Christie
The music industry is becoming saturated with self-made artists as of late, and that’s far from a bad thing. Currently, at-home recording software is much more attainable and a public relations team is a thing of the past since one can brand and market themselves via social media on their own time. With that in mind, the possibility of becoming the “next big thing” isn’t so few and far between anymore.
By the power of Spotify and recommendations from friends via social media, I have come across a few artists that I wholeheartedly believe deserve a far larger platform than what they have currently. One of those artists is none other than the Austin-based trio, The Bralettes.
With the intention of giving them an ounce of well-deserved recognition for their truly masterful work and delving deeper into their history as a group, I reached out.
Via e-mail, I recently had the chance to discuss upbringings, musical influences, and the war against women in the music industry with our favorite gals.
First, can you just introduce yourselves and what your role in the band is?
Hi! We are the Bralettes! We are from Oak Cliff, Texas. Paulina plays guitar and sings, Molly plays bass and sings, and Andy plays drums!
What has been the timeline for you guys since The Bralettes came to be? (And when was that?)
Paulina and Andy started playing casually together with a different bass player for a little bit throughout high school. Once college started, we wanted to take it more seriously. That is when Molly joined the band and we started playing more shows. With current members, we have been together for two years in February!
Being from Dallas and such a heavily influential + cutthroat scene, how has that influenced you guy as musicians and creatives in a general sense?
We are from Oak Cliff, which is an area that is part of Dallas, and not too many bands come out of there. It is normally rappers, hip-hop artists, or hardcore bands. With that being said, I guess it affected us because it seemed like we didn’t really fit in. It’s hard to get accepted or supported when you’re not what the people around you normally listen to and when you’re a band full of girls. It was just harder for us to get started, but now we feel like we have developed a fan base full of all kinds of people that are very supportive.
In terms of sound and artistic image, were you inspired by any current/ past artists? Or did you want to create something that is completely your own?
We are definitely influenced by tons of artists. We have always gone to shows and have been exposed to tons of bands that come through town. Our main influences are Kate Nash, The Coathangers, and Hinds. As far as our sound, the songs that we make pretty much change based on our mood. We don’t feel like we have a specific and overall sound like most bands because our emotions really change how our songs come out. Sometimes we feel sad, sometimes angry, and sometimes we just to have fun!
Based on Spotify, you guys only started releasing music earlier this year but you’ve already gained a significant amount of support (myself included)- what kind of emotions does this evoke?
It really does mean so much to us. We didn’t know how much support we would receive (and for a while not many people did) but things are definitely picking up, and it just makes us feel like all our hard work is starting to pay off. Like the possibilities are endless. It makes us want to do more! More music, more music videos, more tours.
“Mr. Movie Phone” is undoubtedly your most well-known track. Was the situation described inspired by true events? (because, at least for me, I can totally relate to the situation of not knowing how to talk to someone and being conflicted about the situation).
It started off being about a very specific event, but it made us think about how talking to someone that you’re interested in is way harder than you think. The song started to become more about those nervous and unsure feelings. Especially when there’s a possibility of saying the wrong things and ruining everything.
The video for “Scary Harry” came out this month (perfect timing with Halloween having happened so recently!)- how did the concept come about? / How was it shooting your first video?
All of us REALLY love the Halloween season so it was only natural for us to make our first music video Halloween themed. The concept came from the lyrics (which we tried to include as much as possible). We had the help of our close friend Martin Phi Vu Tran to bring it all to life, and he did such an amazing job directing. We recorded our video with our friends, in Molly’s backyard, in Andy’s bedroom and living room, which is all in Oak Cliff itself. That made it very special to us. It felt good for it not to be something that felt artificial. Instead, it was something that literally felt close to home.
Along with aesthetics, who designs the cover art for your releases?
Our go-to-gal is Haley Cook. She designs practically all of our shirts, buttons, stickers, etc! She also designed the cover for our “IDK” release. Our debut EP “Friday” was done by our close friend Mariah Rocha. “Eddie” was designed by Chase Robinson (@suenamic). And, “Party” was done (not so graciously) by us, haha.
Currently, the music industry is becoming a dangerous place for girls, both in terms of creating content and consuming it. In combating the harmful narratives being spread, what do you think of the situation? What needs to be changed/ what would you like to see happen?
As far as being musicians, it is hard to be taken seriously as a woman. People definitely judge us harder than they would others, even if we are on the same level as them. On the other hand, it’s also very conflicting because sometimes people are too easy on us and make us feel like we are “pretty good for a bunch of girls.” It definitely hurts sometimes, but we just try to have fun no matter what anyone says.
If you had the chance to tell prospective fans about your work/ what you guys do, what would you say? (Feel free to plug yourselves here as much as you want!
Be confident. Love yourself and your body. Start a band and take your shirt off in front of strangers. Do whatever you want. We started this feeling small and self-conscious about ourselves. But The Bralettes has helped us become more comfortable with just being ourselves. And we hope that the people who are with us can grow as well.