INTERVIEW: Venus Grrrls discuss ‘Violet State of Mind’

Venus Grrrls
Credit: Tash Koziarska

Leeds’ all-girl rock group, VENUS GRRRLS are back with their riotous new offering, ‘Violet State of Mind’, the band’s first release since their 2021 EP Potions. The song and accompanying music video carry a dark aura with a piercing energy that’s both infectious and a whole lot of fun.

With this new release, VENUS GRRRLS continue to cement their presence in the alt-rock scene, with ‘Violet State of Mind’ capturing the sounds of the delicious 90s Riot Grrrl era. The track’s opening bass line and heavy guitar riff wouldn’t sound out of place on an old L7, Bikini Kill, or Veruca Salt album, with powerful vocal performances and pounding drums that allow the group to pull off a nostalgic sound in their own fresh and exciting way. XS Noize caught up with the band to discuss the new track and more. 

Venus Grrrls
Credit: Tash Koziarska

Please describe your music.

We’d say we fall into alternative rock, but with the added layer of lots of synths and riot grrrl influences.

Where are you and any other band members from?

We all met at university in Leeds whilst studying at Leeds Conservatoire. We’re actually from all over the place, with GK coming from Watford, Jess from St. Albans, Hannah & Gabby from Leeds, and Grace from Hartlepool. It makes it easy logistically when touring, as we usually have a couch to crash on!

How did you get the title of your latest release, and what does it mean to you?

With the song being about two people meeting in a bar and crushing on each other, we really liked the idea of doing something around the word ‘violet’. It’s a fairly passionate colour, so building a song around it made sense. The hook is obviously the ‘hey, hey, hey’, but we wanted the title to differ from the rest of the song. It is inspired by our own experiences, such as having a hot girl summer but most importantly, having fun with our mates, which is incredibly close to our hearts and reflects on our real lives.

Who produced the release – what did they bring to it? If you produced it yourselves, what do you enjoy most about producing your own material?

Ady and Lee (Sugar House Music) have worked with us on all of our releases from Goth Girl onwards. They are fantastic with their approach and cut no corners. We have a very open and honest communication with them, and they drive us to take risks and polish things in a way we wouldn’t have necessarily thought of to start with. They really gave VSOM the injection it needed; for example, they encouraged us to up the tempo even though we were initially sceptical. But this paid off so much as now we can’t imagine it the old way.

What do you want the listener to take away from listening to your music?

We are infatuated with the idea of empowerment and self-love. Therefore any way we can showcase that during our songs and live shows is incredibly important to us. We want people to have fun amongst all of the important topics we speak about. So if there’s any way we can strike a balance of getting people to reflect but also enjoy themselves, that’s what we want to do!

How does a track normally come together? Can you tell us something about the process?

Our writing technique varies from song to song, be it starting with lyrics, a riff, or just a melody. With VSOM, Hannah and GK had recently moved in together, and the song almost wrote itself. It began with the chorus melody and lyrics, and then we looked at the structure and harmony of the entire piece. We knew we wanted it to be punchy and simple but wanted to introduce more intricate little details to keep it interesting. The song also got slightly re-jigged by our producers Ady and Lee (Sugar House Music), which injected it a little more, so it packed a punch.

Venus Grrrls
Credit: Tash Koziarska

What band/artists have influenced you the most since you started this project, and why?

We originally began wanting to be a punk band, writing very simple and shouty songs. This was hugely influenced by the Riot Grrrl movement, something that’s still intrinsically involved in our musical stature today. This includes bands such as Bikini Kill, Brat Mobile, and L7. However, as we spent more time writing together, we became more melodic and now fall more into the genre of Alt Rock. We would say bands such as Garbage, Wolf Alice, and Dream Wife are our biggest inspirations to date, as we love how they navigate the industry and their approach to writing.

What countries would you like to tour? Are there any standout venues you’d like to play in?

We’d absolutely love to play in Germany, as well as the Netherlands. We think they’re both beautiful countries that we’d be honoured to play in! In terms of standout venues, we’d love to play Alexandra Palace one day and Whelan’s in Dublin too!

If you could pick one track for our readers to listen to in order to get a taste of your music, what would you pick, and why?

Obviously, with it being our new track, we’d naturally pick VSOM. We’re entering a new era sonically, so it makes sense for people to hear our most current and up-to-date sound! However, we think Goth Girl is another staple of ours, so we’d recommend that one too.

What ambitions do you have for your career?

We can only hope to be writing together for the foreseeable, as this is fundamentally what we love doing and what makes us incredibly happy. Creating music with your best friends is an unparalleled feeling, especially when it all comes together. We want to take this as far as we can, so as far as we’re concerned, the sky is the limit.

Finally, as you leave the stage, what are your parting words?

This is typically dependent on the show, but we feel showing the utmost gratitude to our audience is what we usually do. We’re always so grateful to all who have taken the time to listen to our set, which touches upon topics we feel are incredibly important such as feminism and mental health.

Check out the video for ‘Violet State of Mind’ – BELOW:

VENUS GRRRLS are: GK (lead vocals, rhythm guitar), Jess Ayres (lead guitar), Hannah Barraclough (bass), Grace Stubbings (Synth) and Gabby Cooke (drums)

To find VENUS GRRRLS online, visit:


Xsnoize Author
Mark Millar is the founder of XS Noize and looks after the daily running of the website as well as conducting interviews for the XS Noize Podcast. Mark's favourite album is Achtung Baby by U2.

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