AN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW with LEATHER GIRLS

Photo: Sarah Lim

When she was in high school, Deborah White was inspired by iconic bass players like Kim Deal, Kim Gordon, all the Kims, not only because they rocked, but also because they were girls who rocked. “Getting to see females playing music was so important,” she recalls. “A lot of girls, like me, didn’t grow up being told this was something we could do. I’ve been told several times, ‘You’re good for a girl,’ stuff like that. I have to say, there are a lot more women in the Austin music community these days, and it’s really good.”

White is the bassist for Austin garage rock outfit, Leather Girls, and the lone female force in the band. “Erik, the lead singer, asked if I might want to play bass for them, I’d been playing for a long time. They’d already named the band so I had no say in that,” she laughs. (Also, be careful when you try to Google “Leather Girls,” I speak from experience.) “People are usually either disappointed or confused because I’m the only girl.” As the only female Leather Girl, White has learned some valuable lessons. “You learn that you need to bring your own toilet paper to the practice space, other than that, I really enjoy the only girl,” she says. “I’ve been in all girl bands before, and bands with girls and guys, but I really enjoy this band. Being around these guys reminds me of being around my brother; there are definitely some learning opportunities sometimes,” she adds. “They’re pretty open-minded though.”

Though the individual members have been in other bands playing different styles of music, Leather Girls gets their kicks from the sounds of the 60s, and it comes through with an energetically fuzzed-out and deliciously gritty flare that definitely makes them stand out in the competitive Austin scene. Leather Girls, made up of bassist White, lead vocalist/guitarist Erik Camacho, guitarist Mike Garrido, and drummer Dillon Fernandez, will release their self-titled debut on June 2nd via Yippee Ki Yay Records. “I’m so excited, I’ve never had anything on vinyl before!” White exclaims of the album. “Most of the songs are sung by Erik, but Mike sings a song, and I sing a couple; one of mine is a Starfires cover called ‘I Never Loved Her,’ and then the other song is called ‘Jeff,’ one I wrote about Jeffrey Dahmer.”

Wait, what?

“Recently, I’ve been fascinated by serial killers, their motivations, what makes them tick,” she explains. “His story has a little bit of everything; I felt like I needed an outlet because it seemed unhealthy to be thinking about that stuff, so I wrote a song from his point of view.” White reluctantly admits that there is a song on the album written for her. “It’s called ‘Dear Deborah,’ I guess that’s pretty obvious,” she laughs. It’s also pretty cool, even for a girl. 😉

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TOUR DATES:

June 2 Austin, TX at Hotel Vegas

June 3 San Antonio, TX at Limelight

June 9 New Orleans, LA at Circle Bar

June 10 Memphis, TN at Murphy’s

June 11 Chicago, IL at Underground Lounge

June 12 Milwaukee, WI at High Dive

June 13 Des Moines, IA at Daytrotter

June 14 Colombia, MO at Sinkhole

June 15 Springfield, MO at Outland

June 16 Norman, OK at Opolis

June 17 Dallas, TX at Armory

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