Interview: ‘Gold, Frankincense & Myrrh’ Keep on Delivering

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CHICAGO – The trio of teenage sisters that are “Gold Frankincense & Myrrh” (GFM) – CJ Sanders, Maggie “Rose” and Evie “Lulu” English – create their sound by blending the melodic pop-rock of Paramore with the power and aggressiveness of Slipknot. GFM wants to use their music as a vehicle to illustrate that women and young people can create positive, uplifting music that can still rock.

The Jacksonville (Florida)-based band has never been shy about delving into the unknown, and relished the chance to be creative with the people who understand them the most … their dedicated fans. The result is their new single (click title), ”Susan”, a comedic departure from GFM’s usual aggressive style.

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Gold, Frankincense & Myrrh (GRM)
Photo credit: TheGFMBand.com

GFM are breaking boundaries in the music industry and bringing life back to rock and metal with their encouraging and positive message. The sisters all began taking music lessons at just five years old, which sparked a love that would continue to grow. As they got older, the girls collectively decided that they wanted to pursue this passion for music professionally, and began putting in the “blood and sweat” that created GFM.  
 
GFM’s first album, “Identity Crisis,” was released in 2016, followed by “Oh, The Horror” in April of 2019. After touring the US multiple times, the group headed overseas to Germany in 2018, where their energetic performances established GFM as a festival favorite. A new EP is scheduled for release this fall. Jeff Doles of HollywoodChicago.com recently got an opportunity to interview the band.

HollywoodChicago.com: You describe your sound as ‘Beautycore.’ What is that genre and how does GFM embody that description?

Gold, Frankincense & Myrrh: Beautycore is a genre that we created ourselves. It started off as a joke because we didn’t really know which genre we fit into, and we were tired of not “‘belonging’ to a certain genre, so we joked that we made up our own.

The more people heard it, the more they encouraged us to use it.  We decided to brand ourselves as Beautycore because we love playing up to the fact that we’re girls playing metal. It’s now become a sort of movement with some female bands.  We’re an all-girl band made up of sisters.  It’s our way of saying girls can play metal too.  We hope it encourages more women to join the music world.

HollywoodChicago.com: In that sense, what are the origins of the band?

GFM: GFM originated when we started playing music lessons at a young age. Growing up, our parents said we had to take music lessons for at least two years. We ended up falling in love with music and picked different instruments to play.  We started playing covers after our dad suggested forming a band, and in 2015 we started to write our own music for the first time ever. The rest has just kind of snowballed from there.

HollywoodChicago.com: What type of music are your influences?

GFM: Our musical influences come from everywhere. We try to find inspiration from all genres of music, whether it’s from melodies, crowd interaction, stage performance, lyric writing or instrumental writing. We listen to artists like ‘Lights’ and ‘A Day to Remember,’ but we also take stage performance inspiration from ‘Butcher Babies’ and ‘Fever 333,’ as long as it fits in with our messaging.

HollywoodChicago.com: So recently, you used SONGLINKR, the new video conferencing platform built for musicians. How was collaborating with fans on that new platform to write the song ‘Susan?’

GFM: SONGLINKR was actually super easy to use. You just have to make an account, and when you’re ready to stream, you load in your stream key from either Facebook, YouTube, Twitch, or Mixer.  We chose to do ours through Twitch, and the interaction with our fans was insane!  Everyone was eager to throw out lyric ideas. 

If you use it, you’re going to want to have the instrumental track already written and recorded, so those who interact can hear it and write along with it. There’s a notepad, so our fans were able to read the lyrics and see the progress that’s been made. There aren’t a million steps to go through in order to stream through SONGLINKR, which was phenomenal. Once you’re linked to your streaming sites, you’re good to go!

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Sister GFM: CJ Sanders, Maggie “Rose” and Evie “Lulu” English
Photo credit: TheGFMBand.com

HollywoodChicago.com: The song that was the result, ‘Susan,’ smacks of humor, sarcasm and dry wit. What inspired the band to go outside of their comfort zone and aggressive sound to create the song? 

GFM: We thrive when we allow ourselves to make jokes … that’s how we stay sane. For example, we created the Derek, Kyle, and Chad skater characters to promote our new hats last year. Then, when we did a special Valentine’s Day broadcast, we introduced ‘Susan’ as Derek’s girlfriend, in a spoof skit. Our fans have become fond of these characters, and they treat them like TV show personalities. 

The song was partially done in the first skit, and it kept getting added onto whenever Derek would appear on ‘radio shows’ and at ‘parties.’  As the characters became more popular, we realized we needed to give our fans what they wanted … the entire song that supposedly Derek wrote.  All three of our senses of humor tend to fall somewhere in between dry/sarcasm and the sensibility of a 5 year old. When it’s all innocent, and you’re causing yourself to laugh through lines, that’s when you know it’s good. It helps you take a step back and just write about nonsense. Everyone should do it at least once in their lives.

HollywoodChicago.com: We all had to adjust summer plans … what is GFM planning for this unusual summer of 2020, especially in touring and new singles?

GFM: Tentatively, we have lots of touring plans this summer. We’ve got fans chomping at the bit to see us, and they’ve created a ‘Mini Woodstock’ at our first scheduled show … they’re flying in from all over the United States to come see us. We plan to be gone all of July and August, as well as part of September. Of course, we always want to put Team GFM’s safety first, so we’ll be following all the needed protocols to keep everyone healthy.

As for new singles, we may have a few tricks up our sleeves … if we had sleeves.  The GFM cheerleading uniforms are lacking in that area. [laughs]

HollywoodChicago.com: How can fans and potential fans learn more about GFM and keep supporting your band’s journey?

GFM: Fans can support us in SO many ways!  Following us on all of our social media sites [see below], but @thegfmband is super helpful … that includes watching our YouTube videos every day – we come out with new videos every Monday and sometimes Thursdays – watching our Friday night Instagram livestreams, watching our Twitch livestreams, and pretty much any livestream really helps! 

Any picture we post NEEDS comments … we interact with all of our accounts, and we love being able to talk to you guys in the comment section. Make sure to like our posts, watch our TikToks, and share them with your friends! Stream our music every day … we’ve heard it makes us live forever … [laughs] and add us to your playlists on Spotify, iTunes, Google Play, anywhere you listen to music. Just remember your online actions, to follow, like, share and stream. 

We also have tons of merch options to choose from on our website (click here), and we have a Patreon platform that gets you exclusive GFM information and items. Finally, coming to shows is extremely helpful as well, so if we’re in your area, DON’T HESITATE TO SHOW UP!  Keep requesting our songs on your favorite radio stations and tell your favorite news outlets to interview us. Tag or message your favorite festivals and venues to bring GFM to their show … all of this stuff helps us spread the word on GFM!

Join Team GFM now! We can’t wait to meet everyone and get to know them!

Gold, Frankincense & Myrrh (GFM) are CJ Sanders English, Magdalene “Maggie” Rose English and Evie “Lulu” Louise English.

Follow Gold, Frankincense & Myrrh (GFM):
Website: Click here 
YouTube: Click here
Facebook: Click here
Instagram: Click here
Twitter: Click here
Patreon: Click here
Twitch: Click here


Interview by: Jeff Doles
Published by: Patrick McDonald, Editor, HollywoodChicago.com

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