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WHISKYGIRL juices its genre

Metalcore, but maybe violins and trumpets, too

WHISKYGIRL: metalcore and more!
WHISKYGIRL: metalcore and more!

WHISKYGIRL sends their email answers over to me with a disclaimer: “It’s required by true metalheads to have bad grammar. Beware.” And they punctuate their stories with a liberal lacing of “Ha!” But any grammarian skepticism I might harbor washes out as lead guitarist Mike Burrows reps his hometown. More than proud to be a native, Burrows says, “I was born in La Jolla and have lived here for the last 35 years, ha! I’ve been on three planes in my life. SD is the place to be.” Rhythm guitarist Tyler Dawsey admits Texan birth. “But the Navy brought me out to SD for a few years, and I fell in love.”

The band’s name calls to mind the downtown venue Whiskey Girl. Dawsey swears, however, that the name slid home down another vector. “Okay, so a little background is needed first. Mike no longer drinks after having a youthful indulgence, and is now sober from alcohol. One night, we were in the kitchen, and I asked Mike what his drink of choice was before, to which he eloquently responded, ‘Pssh, I was a whiskey girl.’ We took one look at each other and realized that was it. Aesthetically, we chose to drop the ‘e’ [and] make it one word and all-caps for dramatic effect.”

Burrows found youthful inspiration close to home. “I grew up going to the Epicentre in Mira Mesa, and saw From Autumn to Ashes, Coheed and Cambria, and that motivated me to want to play live. I used to go to a place called The Scene as well. It was in Clairemont. I saw bands like The Blood Brothers and such. As far as video things, I always loved Asking Alexandria and songs like ‘The Final Episode,’ the one in the rain with the little EDM break at the end. The video for ‘Confined’ from As I Lay Dying, and of course ‘Composure’ from August Burns Red.”

Over in sleepy Groves, Texas, Dawsey had his own revelations. “I can remember vividly my mom putting a black CD in the car on my way to school in the third grade and hearing the coolest stuff ever: Godsmack. Never heard anything like that, [it] was a game changer for me. Got my wheels turning for all of rock, metal, metalcore and so on. We had a local radio station, Big Dog 106.1, that introduced me to Smashing Pumpkins, STP, Pearl Jam, Deftones, and Soundgarden. Those bands were idols to me at a young age. Also, being introduced to bands like Bullet For My Valentine, August Burns Red, The Devil Wears Prada, Of Mice & Men from the Warped Tour, and Fuse TV shaped the overall genre of music I’m inspired by today.”

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That brings us to WHISKYGIRL’s genre, which they describe as “Metalcore...or are we?” Translated into sensible English, the band says that they “just like good music, instead of placing ourselves in a definitive genre.” Which in turn means, look out, violins and trumpets may be heading your way.

But they stick to the slicked-up metalcore playbook for their latest track, a rough-and-ready redoing of Maroon 5’s “Moves Like Jagger,” recorded for Hot N’ Heavy: Vol. 1, an album of contemporary pop hits chopped, blenderized, and recontextualized. “I honestly only listened to the first 15 seconds of the main melody,” says Burrows, “and wrote the rest of the song without knowing what the original sounds like, in order to avoid any influence. After that, I went back and adjusted notes and parts to match the original more accurately. Got input and ideas from other members, re-recorded guitars, and everything fell into place.” Adds Dawsey, “Rob [Ground, singer] popped in the studio back at his [Missouri] place and recorded the vocals. And of course, we decided to give the listener a neck-breaking part at the end.”

Working on their original music, including last year’s album Chrysalis and a handful of singles, goes down with the same amiable anarchy. Dawsey describes the process as “A lot of ‘I like it, do you?’ ‘I do!....should we try it again?’ ‘I guess?’ ‘Ok, well what if we add this...’ ‘Bro, I think it’s good?’ ‘Yeah me too...I think?’ Lots of laughing and high-fiving when we’d stumble on something sick.

“It was fun hashing out the album. The routine was simple. We’d both go to work, come home around the same time, get some food and then be in the ‘studio’ — Mike’s room — for hours and hours taking the intermittent Rick and Morty break or having a smoke on the balcony.”

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WHISKYGIRL: metalcore and more!
WHISKYGIRL: metalcore and more!

WHISKYGIRL sends their email answers over to me with a disclaimer: “It’s required by true metalheads to have bad grammar. Beware.” And they punctuate their stories with a liberal lacing of “Ha!” But any grammarian skepticism I might harbor washes out as lead guitarist Mike Burrows reps his hometown. More than proud to be a native, Burrows says, “I was born in La Jolla and have lived here for the last 35 years, ha! I’ve been on three planes in my life. SD is the place to be.” Rhythm guitarist Tyler Dawsey admits Texan birth. “But the Navy brought me out to SD for a few years, and I fell in love.”

The band’s name calls to mind the downtown venue Whiskey Girl. Dawsey swears, however, that the name slid home down another vector. “Okay, so a little background is needed first. Mike no longer drinks after having a youthful indulgence, and is now sober from alcohol. One night, we were in the kitchen, and I asked Mike what his drink of choice was before, to which he eloquently responded, ‘Pssh, I was a whiskey girl.’ We took one look at each other and realized that was it. Aesthetically, we chose to drop the ‘e’ [and] make it one word and all-caps for dramatic effect.”

Burrows found youthful inspiration close to home. “I grew up going to the Epicentre in Mira Mesa, and saw From Autumn to Ashes, Coheed and Cambria, and that motivated me to want to play live. I used to go to a place called The Scene as well. It was in Clairemont. I saw bands like The Blood Brothers and such. As far as video things, I always loved Asking Alexandria and songs like ‘The Final Episode,’ the one in the rain with the little EDM break at the end. The video for ‘Confined’ from As I Lay Dying, and of course ‘Composure’ from August Burns Red.”

Over in sleepy Groves, Texas, Dawsey had his own revelations. “I can remember vividly my mom putting a black CD in the car on my way to school in the third grade and hearing the coolest stuff ever: Godsmack. Never heard anything like that, [it] was a game changer for me. Got my wheels turning for all of rock, metal, metalcore and so on. We had a local radio station, Big Dog 106.1, that introduced me to Smashing Pumpkins, STP, Pearl Jam, Deftones, and Soundgarden. Those bands were idols to me at a young age. Also, being introduced to bands like Bullet For My Valentine, August Burns Red, The Devil Wears Prada, Of Mice & Men from the Warped Tour, and Fuse TV shaped the overall genre of music I’m inspired by today.”

Sponsored
Sponsored

That brings us to WHISKYGIRL’s genre, which they describe as “Metalcore...or are we?” Translated into sensible English, the band says that they “just like good music, instead of placing ourselves in a definitive genre.” Which in turn means, look out, violins and trumpets may be heading your way.

But they stick to the slicked-up metalcore playbook for their latest track, a rough-and-ready redoing of Maroon 5’s “Moves Like Jagger,” recorded for Hot N’ Heavy: Vol. 1, an album of contemporary pop hits chopped, blenderized, and recontextualized. “I honestly only listened to the first 15 seconds of the main melody,” says Burrows, “and wrote the rest of the song without knowing what the original sounds like, in order to avoid any influence. After that, I went back and adjusted notes and parts to match the original more accurately. Got input and ideas from other members, re-recorded guitars, and everything fell into place.” Adds Dawsey, “Rob [Ground, singer] popped in the studio back at his [Missouri] place and recorded the vocals. And of course, we decided to give the listener a neck-breaking part at the end.”

Working on their original music, including last year’s album Chrysalis and a handful of singles, goes down with the same amiable anarchy. Dawsey describes the process as “A lot of ‘I like it, do you?’ ‘I do!....should we try it again?’ ‘I guess?’ ‘Ok, well what if we add this...’ ‘Bro, I think it’s good?’ ‘Yeah me too...I think?’ Lots of laughing and high-fiving when we’d stumble on something sick.

“It was fun hashing out the album. The routine was simple. We’d both go to work, come home around the same time, get some food and then be in the ‘studio’ — Mike’s room — for hours and hours taking the intermittent Rick and Morty break or having a smoke on the balcony.”

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