London based Girl Called Johnny have released the video for their debut single Heaven Knows. A stunning piece of footage shot in Wales, it is the perfect accompaniment to a pop laden gem of a song. Karen Anne, lead singer and songwriter for the band has a bewitching voice that compels you to listen to her heartfelt lyrics. AMBY spoke to Karen about the new album, stroking a rhino, and procrastinating by watching cartoons.
AMBY: How would you describe Girl Called Johnny’s sound to those unfamiliar with your music?
Girl Called Johnny: It’s pop music but its bittersweet. Simple melodies and lots of guitars.
AMBY: Heaven Knows is such a wonderful song, what is the story behind it
Girl Called Johnny: Thank you, it’s an important song to me. I’d had a hard couple of years where a lot of things happened and I wanted to write a song that told that story.
AMBY: The video for the song is quite breathtaking. What was the experience like making it?
Girl Called Johnny: It was amazing but it was hard work! Try riding a Vespa on sand. I’d had the dream to make this video for ages. We filmed it on 16mm in Wales with a small group of my mates.
AMBY: “But there’s an aching, there’s a longing, the drugs or men or money won’t subside” is a rather heavy lyric. Who inspires you as a songwriter?
Girl Called Johnny: When I started writing this album my main goal was to try and be brutally honest in the lyrics and find some real truths. I’m a bit obsessed with Henry Miller and Diane Di Prima at the moment, and I love Nick Caves lyrics.
AMBY: What do you have planned as far as the release of your debut record?
Girl Called Johnny: It’s almost finished! The plan at the moment is to release it on Bullitt Records which is my own label.
AMBY: What is your guilty pleasure song?
Girl Called Johnny: Don Henley ‘Boys of Summer’ at karaoke
AMBY: What is your worst habit?
Girl Called Johnny: Procrastinating by watching cartoons
AMBY: Which three albums changed your life?
Girl Called Johnny: Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, Yeah Yeah Yeahs Fever To Tell and The Smiths Hatful of Hollow
AMBY: What has you excited for 2013?
Girl Called Johnny: Travelling. even if I only see the inside of venues I just want to get out of my studio.
AMBY: If you could create a law that everyone would have to follow, what would it be?
Girl Called Johnny: Nothing gets done before breakfast.
AMBY: And lastly, what’s something about Girl Called Johnny that nobody knows yet?
Girl Called Johnny: We all stayed at a zoo and stroked a rhino named Jambo when filming Heaven Knows.
Alicia & Yaz Atout