ALL-GIRL POST-PUNK BAND CUMGIRL8 TAKES PERFORMANCE TO A WHOLE NEW LEVEL OF THRILL.
OLIVIER ZAHM — Let’s start with your name. Why did you choose an erotic screen name for your band?
CHASE LOMBARDO — We met in a sex chat.
OLIVIER ZAHM — You did?
VERONIKA VILIM — Yeah, we met on the Internet.
CHASE LOMBARDO — That was cumgirl7.
OLIVIER ZAHM — All four of you or just the two of you?
VERONIKAVILIM—All four of us.
ALEPH MOLINARI — And it was a type of sex chat, like a forum?
LIDA FOX — Yes, a sex chat for hot aliens…
OLIVIER ZAHM — So, you’re really a product of your generation.
VERONIKA VILIM — Exactly.
LIDA FOX — Looking for friends.
OLIVIER ZAHM — It’s a great name.
VERONIKA VILIM — It’s like a divine female energy number, too, because spiders have eight legs, and then you can turn it on its side, and it’s infinity. Eight is a sacred number.
OLIVIER ZAHM — So, the two blondes are speaking, and the two brunettes…
VERONIKA VILIM — They’re giving us the ideas.
CHASE LOMBARDO — We’re just the puppets. You can’t tell, but we’re plugged into the back of our heads.
OLIVIER ZAHM — Is this your first tour outside New York?
VERONIKA VILIM — We did our first on the West Coast a year ago. We actually stayed in this exact house a year ago. It’s our friends’ house.
OLIVIER ZAHM — How is it going?
VERONIKA VILIM — It’s been fun. Yesterday, we played at a venue that we had played at a year ago, and the crowd was definitely feeling it more, which is sick.
LIDA FOX — We were bad babies last year.
CHASE LOMBARDO — Yeah, we dressed up as giant babies. We were wearing giant diapers.
AVI COHEN RODRIGUES — Dirty diapers.
OLIVIER ZAHM — Do you have any New York band references that you like?
CHASE LOMBARDO — Lydia Lunch.
VERONIKA VILIM — Lunachicks.
OLIVIER ZAHM — I don’t know them.
VERONIKA VILIM — They’re cool.
ALEPH MOLINARI — And from the ’80s?
CHASE LOMBARDO — Yeah. And Kembra Pfahler, definitely.
VERONIKA VILIM — Christeene.
CHASE LOMBARDO — I think she’s from Texas.
VERONIKA VILIM — Oh, yeah, Christeene’s from Texas, but she lives in New York. And Gustaf, and Patti Smith.
OLIVIER ZAHM — Patti is important for New York, yes.
VERONIKA VILIM — Yeah. The Statue of Liberty, the Chrysler Building.
CHASE LOMBARDO — We love industry. [Laughs]
ALEPH MOLINARI — And why start a punk band today?
CHASE LOMBARDO — So we could get famous. [Laughs]
LIDA FOX — Well, we’re not really… We didn’t want to be a punk band.
VERONIKA VILIM — Yeah. We’re not a punk band. We just wanted to make art and do something, and the Internet wasn’t enough, so we had to make it physical.
ALEPH MOLINARI — To perform?
VERONIKA VILIM — Yes, exactly. We wanted to perform outside of the Internet.
OLIVIER ZAHM — The Internet is never enough.
VERONIKA VILIM — It’s never enough. You need to physically embody and embrace shit. So, that’s where we’re from.
OLIVIER ZAHM — It has no limit. No beginning, no end, no future. No history.
CHASE LOMBARDO — Deee-Lite is an inspiration, too, for New York.
OLIVIER ZAHM — What happened to Deee-Lite? They were such a success.
VERONIKA VILIM — Yeah, super, super cool.
CHASE LOMBARDO — And oh my god, her costuming was so fucking cool. Oh, Bush Tetras, too.
ALEPH MOLINARI — Oh, yeah, “Snakes Crawl.”
CHASE LOMBARDO — They’re playing in New York with Michael Imperioli next month. They live upstate, or some of them live upstate.
OLIVIER ZAHM — So, what’s the music scene like in New York or Brooklyn? Is it fun? Is it creative?
VERONIKA VILIM — Yeah, there’s a lot of cool things happening now. I feel like New York is kind of like New York in the ’70s. Or, at least, during Covid.
LIDA FOX — Yeah, the rent went up.
CHASE LOMBARDO — The rent went up. It’s really hard to live in New York. But I feel like you can be super experimental right now. No matter what you do, it’s really embraced. And the further you go outside the box, the more people are excited. And I think that’s a product of Covid. And maybe the rent, too.
LIDA FOX — And you have to work so hard to stay there.
VERONIKA VILIM — You have to work so hard to live in New York now.
CHASE LOMBARDO — The passion is there.
ALEPH MOLINARI — And where do you go out in New York? What are the places that you frequent?
LIDA FOX — There’s not one scene. There are so many different scenes, but there are a lot of bills that combine very different acts.
CHASE LOMBARDO — Yeah. There’s a lot of mixing of different genres and people and scenes.
VERONIKA VILIM — That’s something that’s fun about shows in New York.
CHASE LOMBARDO — There is a new secret spot that has really cool experimental shows. And Nublu is also cool.
VERONIKA VILIM — They’re really cool.
OLIVIER ZAHM — Is it in Brooklyn?
VERONIKA VILIM — Nublu is on the Lower East Side.
CHASE LOMBARDO — Chaos Computer is in Greenpoint. Actually, don’t say where it’s at. That’s a secret. Chaos Computer exists secretly.
VERONIKA VILIM — Only on the Internet. New York Internet.
VERONIKA VILIM — Baby’s All Right.
LIDA FOX — Forever, yeah, Baby’s is always great.
OLIVIER ZAHM — Baby’s All Right is still there?
VERONIKA VILIM — Yeah, it’s still there. Market Hotel.
CHASE LOMBARDO — Market Hotel is sick. We put in new sound so it’s a little cooler.
OLIVIER ZAHM — That’s good.
CHASE LOMBARDO — What’s the place in Little Italy? There’s a basement of an Italian restaurant. I don’t wanna blow up the spot. There’s a place called Bella Ciao. It’s a really cute restaurant. And the basement… It’s kind of like Kasbah Café, but bigger.
OLIVIER ZAHM — So, the city never stops. It’s constant- ly moving, changing places, and there are always new things, right?
VERONIKA VILIM — Totally. There are always new things. There’s also a lot of old things. So, you get a mix of both.
OLIVIER ZAHM — What about sex in the city? Is New York still a sexual city?
CHASE LOMBARDO — Everybody’s fucking on the street. On the sidewalks, in the malls, in the movie theaters. It’s hard to even go anywhere without getting in the way.
VERONIKA VILIM — There’s a bunch of cool parties, too, and some are sex parties. A lot of queer sex parties that happen underground.
OLIVIER ZAHM — But only for kids? Only if you’re 17, 18, 19, 20?
CHASE LOMBARDO — No, for older people, too. For all people. We go to the ones with 70 and up. [Laughs] They like us more. They’re more generous.
VERONIKA VILIM — We’re more popular with that crowd.
CHASE LOMBARDO — That’s kind of our chosen demographic.
VERONIKA VILIM — Fifty and up. Seventy and up.
CHASE LOMBARDO — We prefer that. They like to fuck. Yeah. In the parties.
VERONIKA VILIM — In the parties, yeah.
ALEPH MOLINARI — That’s why you use a diaper, no?
CHASE LOMBARDO — Yeah, exactly.
VERONIKA VILIM — We share the diaper. There actually is a diaper sex party. I didn’t go, but a friend of mine was telling me about it, and they got peed on into their diaper.
OLIVIER ZAHM — My god! Would you consider yourself a feminist band?
VERONIKA VILIM — Of course. Yeah, definitely.
CHASE LOMBARDO — A humanist band.
VERONIKA VILIM — Yeah. Humanist, too.
CHASE LOMBARDO — Feminism has not stopped.
VERONIKA VILIM — Yeah, especially now.
CHASE LOMBARDO — When they’re trying to take away…
VERONIKA VILIM — Yeah, with the Roe v. Wade shit. It’s fucked.
ALEPH MOLINARI — Are you trying to use music as a way of protesting?
VERONIKA VILIM — Yes, there’s definitely a bit of protest. Even without trying. It’s because of who we are and what we represent, and the way that we express ourselves both physically and verbally. And we also play along with it. People are always like: “Oh, you’re stupid. You’re too skinny. You’re blah, blah, blah, blah.” We’re like: “Okay. Yeah, sure. Whatever you fucking say.” Ironically.
CHASE LOMBARDO — Agency over our bodies and our image. And I think that the more that women realize, and all humans realize, that they have complete control… People have to be mirrors for how others want to see you.
VERONIKA VILIM — It’s funny — the more confident you are, the more you can laugh at what other people have to say and play along with it in a way where it’s iron- ic and also kind of liberating.
CHASE LOMBARDO — Yeah, but it’s a joke anyway, especially in the mainstream.
VERONIKA VILIM — We’re also just out here having fun. So, if you want to talk shit, then it’s your own problem, you know?
OLIVIER ZAHM — Yes, it can be a problem now, a politically correct problem, to be as beautiful as you are, the four of you.
CHASE LOMBARDO — It is. We get a lot of problems for that.
VERONIKA VILIM — Yeah, I have some trolls that call me an ugly bitch every day.
CHASE LOMBARDO — We’re getting physical threats now, too. It’s pretty crazy.
OLIVIER ZAHM — What about your look? It’s always been part of the music scene, especially punk rock, but you have incredible style. Do you have a stylist?
VERONIKA VILIM — No, no. We do it all ourselves.
CHASE LOMBARDO — It’s pretty spontaneous. It’s how we feel.
VERONIKA VILIM — Yeah. Because fashion is a way of expressing the character that you’re feeling on that day. Like, you could one day dress up as a baby and the next day dress up as a plushy bunny. It’s an expression of how you’re feeling in that moment.
OLIVIER ZAHM — But you don’t take it too seriously, right?
VERONIKA VILIM — Oh, definitely not. We’re out here just trying to have fun.
CHASE LOMBARDO — We also never tone it down. Like, these are grocery-store clothes, going-to-visit-our- family clothes, going-on- stage… It’s all the same shit.
VERONIKA VILIM — We all like to dress in a way that makes us feel good about ourselves.
OLIVIER ZAHM — There’s a girly aspect, too. A bit Japanese.
VERONIKA VILIM — Yeah, I think a mix of both.
OLIVIER ZAHM — There’s not a lot of black. It’s more flashy colors.
LIDA FOX — We have some dark moments.
VERONIKA VILIM — I do not wear dark colors. When I do wear a dark color, it’s definitely a mood of the day.
AVI COHEN RODRIGUES — But there are no rules.
VERONIKA VILIM — There are no rules. Maybe one day, we’ll wear beige. Oh my god, I don’t know about that.
CHASE LOMBARDO — Or, tomorrow, brown. We’re going to enter a lot of eras here.
VERONIKA VILIM — A lot of different characters.
LIDA FOX — We are very colorful, but recently we’ve also been getting put in a lot of goth styles.
VERONIKA VILIM — Yeah, we’ve been playing a lot of goth.
CHASE LOMBARDO — We just played a giant goth festival in LA.
LIDA FOX — But it’s cool because our music has a lot of somber and macabre tones.
VERONIKA VILIM — We just wrote a song called “Good Goth Girl.”
OLIVIER ZAHM — That’s a great name. Who does the writing? Do you write together?
VERONIKA VILIM — Yeah. It’s very collaborative.
CHASE LOMBARDO — Lida is an amazing lyricist.
OLIVIER ZAHM — Thank you very much, girls. Cumgirls.
VERONIKA VILIM — 8.
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