Argonaut are a beloved LOUD WOMEN band – they played our very first event, and many more since then. We posed 10 questions to frontwoman Lorna, guitarist Nathan, keyboard/guitarist Abby, and bassist Joules, ahead of their appearance at our family-friendly matinee at the Lexington on 30 September.
1. Who would you most like to cover your songs?
Lorna: OMG That’s a brilliant question. So many bands I love … NIN, Cyndi Lauper, Yeah Yeah Yeahs … I think it might have to be Tori Amos cuz when I was 17 ‘Crucify My Love’ was one of my favourite songs and she has so much passion that I would love an acoustic version of one of Argonaut’s songs with her singing.
Abby: Someone quite disco-ey. Like Divine?
Joules: Brotherhood of Man. That’s my standard answer to that sort of question.
2. Choose: Cat or dog?
Lorna: Has to be dog cuz I had two lovely dog friends when I was a child. Worthington and Candy were my childhood pets. Love dogs.
Abby: Cats – because they’re awkward buggers. Oh I love them.
3. Choose one of your songs to be played on Strictly Come Dancing. What dance would you like to be performed to it? TV?
Lorna: ‘Vintage Dress’ definitely. I would love them to wear fantastic vintage clothes and Doc Martin boots and dance in a Goth, grunge 80s/90s dance fashion.
4. Choose: Pixies or Breeders?
Lorna: Pixies are the best!
Pixies is a massive influence and for me leaving school in the early 90s and going to clubs in Birmingham and dancing to the Pixies was so amazing. ‘Where is my Mind’ is a favourite for me. Love the Breeders too. ‘Cannonball’ was and still is a great dance song.
Abby: Both incredible, but it’s got to be the Pixies. It’s the combination of Frank and Kim’s voices and the manic energy of the music.
Joules: Both. Except if you’re talking about now, then, Breeders. Pixies aren’t Pixies without Kim.
5. Recommend a record and a book that you think our readers might not have heard of.
Abby: Record: Les Georges Leningrad‘s ‘Sangue Puro’ – it’s life affirmingly mental noise. Sort of defies description really. Book: ‘Astragal’ by Albertine Sarrazan – frank ’60s tale of young French woman who escapes from prison and her subsequent thrills and spills.
Nathan: New Beaches or Mermaidens albums? So many amazing female bands coming from Australia and New Zealand at the moment, the Antipodes always seem like a wonderful parallel universe, so many great bands that feel just that little bit misaligned and left of centre. I really enjoyed recently reading the Siouxsie and the Banshees biography, great ground zero inspiration and a good excuse to listen to the records.
Joules: Album: Solex vs The Hitmeister. Crafted almost entirely of samples from the bargain bin of the artist’s (Elisabeth Esselink) Amsterdam record shop, not that you’d ever know. Ethereal and a bit angsty. Book: The Manual (How to have a Number 1 the easy way) by The KLF. A bit obvious perhaps but I love it. Hopelessly dated but the attitude is still DIY 101.
6. Bikini Kill or Fugazi?
Lorna: Bikini Kill. Love the power in Kathleen Hanna‘s voice and great fun tunes. Kathleen Hanna is such a big ball of energy and a massive influence on the whole Riot Grrrl movement in the 90’s and today with her new band. Saw Julie Ruin twice and they were amazing.
Abby: Bikini Kill, though I like Le Tigre way better. It’s bloody Kathleen innit? Nuff said.
Nathan: Bikini Kill. I loved them since I saw them with Huggy Bear. I only heard Fugazi once I read about them in connection with Riot Grrrl. I have a Fugazi record, must listen to it more!
7. What’s the most difficult thing about being in your band?
Lorna: Sometimes because I’m the front woman I feel like I should be up there speaking out about things to the audience, but I’m quite a shy person when it comes to public speaking, so I tend to shout out about our lyrics instead.
Abby: Nathan’s jokes.
Nathan: Writing your best songs for a mostly imaginary audience.
Joules: Balancing rockstar ambitions with family life.
8. What are your band goals?
Lorna: To find a fantastic drummer. To release songs together more and have fun!
Abby: A nice outing sometime soon.
Nathan: To write songs for an unimaginary audience? Would be lovely for more people to hear our new album and to come to our shows.
Joules: To have fun. Mission already accomplished. Fuck everything else.
9. What’s the most important thing we need to know about your band right now?
Joules: New album Argonaut Forever imminently available to pre order at www.keymailorder.com
10. Give your top 5 contemporary bands
Lorna: 1) The Baby Seals Seen them a few times live and bought their CD at LOUD WOMEN Fest. Very good tunes.
2) Pete Fij & Terry Bickers . Saw them live a few weeks ago at Aces and Eights . It was an acoustic set and absolutely beautiful. Both used to be in 90’s bands Adorable and House of Love/Levitation.
3) Suede – Night Thoughts. A really beautiful album . Been into Suede from when they first came along in early 90’s got all there first 12″ singles and albums. Saw them live in 90’s too at the Hummingbird. Great live! Brett Anderson’s voice is so amazing.
4) Car Seat Headrest – Teens of Denial. A fantastic album, it really grows on you the more you listen to it. Nathan and I both love them.
5) Chastity Belt. Heard them on 6Music and I really liked them. Think they are playing live in September.
Abby: 1) MIA – innovative, witty ‘up yours-ey’ pop tunes. 2) Sink Ya Teeth – amazing band recently discovered at LOUD WOMEN Fest. Charley Stone says they’re a bit like Silver Apples, and I agree. 3) Velodrome – this is actually one woman, Katherine Christie Evans, who just has this utterly beautiful soprano voice accompanied by gorgeous and very original music. 4) The Menstrual Cramps – the singer is really arsey in a brilliant and inspiring (and funny) way, and the guitarist and bassist are just so very cool. Their songs are ace too.5) U S Girls – like MIA, this band (actually also just one woman (Megan Remy) have been around for a while, and deserve way greater recognition than they get. Megan writes great and very original pop songs about overtime and periods. She also has this unique feline voice.
Nathan: 1) Kane Strang – when I saw him Lorna told him he looked like me when I was young and he replied ‘maybe he’s my dad!’ 2) Noveller – I am really into guitar pedals and Jazzmasters at the moment and she is the queen of both! 3) Scott and Charlene’s Wedding – greatest songs, greatest name, great people and two of the best shows I saw last year. 4) Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile – a heavenly match, loving the single and really looking forward to the album and live shows. 5) Car Seat Headrest – so young and clever. Let’s see how that works out for him…
Joules: The Lovely Eggs. Fantastic, loud and absolutely bonkers tunes with from husband and wife duo who are accompanied on the road by Holly’s mum to look after their young son. Holly’s guitar work is astounding (especially live) and David’s drumming is an engineer’s dream.
Find Argonaut on Facebook and catch them live at Little LOUD WOMEN on 30 September at the Lexington