Q&A: G Flip Is Bringing the Drum Kit to the Forefront of Pop Music

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Photo: Reuben Moore

Australian singer, songwriter, producer, and multi-instrumentalist G Flip is a striking and distinctive new voice in the world of pop. Taking a uniquely unconventional approach to the genre, one wherein the drums are the emphasis rather than backtracked or placed amongst the background, the Melbourne artist has proved to be a breath of fresh air over the course of only two standout singles. This is not the sole opinion of a singular music critic, as G Flip’s two tracks to date, “About You” and “Killing My Time,” have both received widespread critical and commercial acclaim, racking up over 11-millions plays on Spotify alone. 

We had the honor to sit down with G Flip during a studio session in East Los Angeles and ahead of her forthcoming US headline tour to discover more about the woman behind the drum. What we were introduced to was more than just a remarkable new pop icon in the making but an artist who is truly in love with her craft and poised to bring a much-needed shift in the pop landscape at large. 

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OTW: How and when did the drum obsession start?

G; It started when I was nine years old. My uncle bought me my first little blue drum kit, like so small, because I was tiny and didn’t grow because I didn’t hit puberty until really late. I was tiny my whole life. So, I had this little blue drum kit and that’s where my obsession started. Then I went to high school. and I got a really sick drum teacher named Jenny. She taught me everything I know. She really inspired me and that’s where I kind of grew from.

OTW: And you named your drum kit face after her. Jeromo, right?

G: Yes, because her name was Jenny Rose Morris. So, I then just yelled that out. I have so many memories of being in class and seeing her, because she’d come to the school and teach me and some other girls. She’d walk past the window, and I would get out of my seat really obnoxiously. Like did not care about class and would just yell out the window, “JEROMO!” And she’d be like, “Oh fucker, shut up. Get back in class.” I would always use going to drums to get out of class. So, like every class, I’d be like, “Sorry miss I got to leave early to go to drums.”

OTW: What is it about the drums you were drawn to more than anything else? 

G: I think with drums there is much more you can do because you have four limbs working altogether. And there are so many different beats. Like there is a never-ending amount of different drum beats you can do. Like each foot can do a different pattern. When I just look at it, I see so many possibilities.

OTW: So do you get into any trouble for your unrestrained drumming?

G: Oh yeah. So, my neighbor hates me and bashes on my window so much that it has a crack through it.

OTW: Oh shit.

G: Yeah, he hates me. And then I remember after one of my first drum lessons in year seven with Jenny. I came back tapping on the table heaps. And the teacher was like, “Stop tapping on the table!” I said sorry, but I kept tapping on the table. And she was like, “Georgia! Come here!” She pulled me up to the front of the class and kneeled me next to her for an hour. For the rest of the lesson, I was sitting next to her on my knees.

OTW: Wow they’re harsh over there.

G: Yeah that was pretty extreme. Other than that, like I just always got in trouble for being loud. Neighbors, police being called, having to deal with the police all the time.

OTW: It’s just the usual.

G: Yeah just the usual. The cops at my house just chilling. You know how it is.

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OTW: Tell me how Jeromo came to be. That whole period of building it.

G: When I was in my bedroom for that year, trying to work out how I was going to make myself an artist, because I was always drumming in bands. I’ve never done my own solo stuff. I secretly wrote all this music but never showed anyone, and then I talked myself out of producing and put all this together. I just wanted to bring a different sort of element to my music, to my project that’s like so whack that no one’s ever thought of and it’s just like, “What?!.” I read this thing that said, “Make the songs you wish existed.” And then I was just lying in bed reading it like it was a meme, thinking that’s cool. I was just thinking how I wished a lot of things existed. 

I always kind of called my drum set my best friend, like it’s my dog, like it has always been my best mate. Whenever I would walk into my room I’d say, “Hey buddy to it,” because I a werido. So, later that day I imagined what if my drum kit could talk back to me. And then I was like “WOAH!” and my brain exploded. I remember pacing around my house from like midnight to four in the morning. I was just like pacing around my house calculating how the fuck am I going to do this. Then I looked into it and it was like my obsession. I never stopped until it was built. Now it is a thing, now he’s alive.

OTW: It’s a he?

G: Yeah, it’s a he. He’s a cheeky little boy. Yeah, he is my best mate and we feel the same. He feels my feelings so during the songs his face represents that. He has different moods, depending on the lyrics and how I’m feeling. We feel the same. It’s pretty cute.

OTW: I have so many questions, but I have to move on. Your music is technically classified as pop but obviously, it’s pretty different from the standard. How would you describe what makes your sound yours and yours alone?

G: This is always a hard question, because I have no idea what other people think my music sounds like. Definitely pop, because I like trying to make hooky melodies that stick in your head, so I haunt everyone at 4am in the morning when they wake up and they are still singing my song. That’s my goal, to just haunt everyone. But I’d say I’ve grown up playing indie rock and rock my whole life. So, I have this jangly background of just mashing sounds together like it’s not a process of making it lush and sound sparkly. I just fuck around with sounds and synths and play instruments and blend them together and I’m like, “That sounds fucking sick.” So, I have a way more rough rock approach to my pop music, cause that’s just how I’ve grown up. Also, I’m a fucking rough gross human being. I’m not like perfect looking and dress and showers as often as the normal person, probably. Like it is just rough pop kind of, or like garage pop. You know how like garage rock is teenage angst in their bedrooms making music? Like that but the pop version.

OTW: Can you give us a visual of what your band is like when it is translated into a live setting?

G: So, I actually realized that I can’t actually play every instrument on stage, because I don’t have enough limbs. I had to get two of my best mates to come in and play with me. It’s me and my two homies—Tooth Pick and Fern Tree—and they play with me. They are my best mates, so it is really great that we get to travel around together and see the world. We kind of do a round robin of instruments. Like every song, we switch instruments. So, one song I’ll be singing on drums, then I’ll do another on guitar, and another few songs I’ll just frontwoman and run around. 

I’m really excited that I get to run around now, because I spent so many years sitting on a drum throne. I like to move. It’s fun for me. Yeah, so it’s like a little cute three-piece. Eventually, I want to expand the band, ‘cause I want to have enough people to have every instrument live. Right now, we have some of the instruments in backing tracks, because I just can’t afford bringing around ten people with me. But eventually, I want to expand the band and do some crazy shit. I have so many arrangements in my brain that I want to execute but yeah maybe later. 

OTW: Tell a bit more about Tooth Pick and Fern. Some pretty great names.

G: Yeah! Tooth Pick is a friend from way back and Fern Tree I have only met him this year, but we all get along so well. But when I want to rehearse and actually have the time off, we aren’t even in the same country. We only have two days to rehearse and am sending everyone their parts, and telling them that we have to be prepared for this and it’s just pretty hectic. 

OTW: You’ve been selling out a fair number of your shows. Does it ever begin to feel a bit surreal?

G: When a lot of my shows sold out, it was fucked up. Like who the fuck is buying these tickets? I don’t have enough family, so it is actually just random people. I got a lot of shows coming up, and I am trying some new cute touches to the live set and adding some new songs in. 

OTW: Would you consider moving to LA?

G: Yeah! I want to. For sure. I ask my manager Dan in my time off to send me to LA.  I want to write, record, hang out. There are friends that I have here now, which is actually pretty cute. I actually have like real life human friends here. Yeah, it’s pretty cool.

G Flip is on tour this November. 

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