On Saturday, TOMBOi is playing the Indie Grits Festival at 1:45pm. They are three Southern women from Jacksonville, Florida, making heavy, synth-y electronica. There’s more than enough pop to dance to, but their music has weight. The lyrics are smart and gritty, and the beats show experience and precision. Just watch the videos below. They already have one EP out, another on the way, and they play a big part in keeping the queer feminist heart of Jacksonville beating. I asked them a few questions about where they’ve been, where they’re headed, and the Southern women they admire. Please don’t miss these amazing ladies on Saturday. YOU WILL REGRET IT.
When did you start playing together?
We started TOMBOi in early 2014. Summer and Paige played in a band together previously.
What are your influences?
Alex E. • I grew up on a combination of 90’s hip-hop & house like Tupac, Tribe Called Quest, Planet Soul, Crystal Waters and lots of Southern Rock. Vocalists like Al Green, Grace Slick & Michael Jackson. And lots of YouTube <3
Paige • I grew up on INXS and The Clash.
Summer • My bandmates and watching other drummers play live . . . Or live sessions via YouTube. For a long time, and still, other female-identified drummers (Amy Farina and Janet Weiss especially) have influenced me.
Are you on tour?
Alex E. • We are doing a weekend warrior kind of tour. Hitting Savannah on Friday at this really rad D.I.Y. space called Quolab. They focus on providing an inclusive safe space for all, with an emphasis on respecting everyone’s preferred gender pronouns. We always feel safe & welcome there. Saturday we perform at Indie Grits River Concert at 1:45.
Summer • Lots of mini tours. We play out of town often and are planning more extended tours in June and September.
The new EP?
Alex E. • We are currently in the studio working on our next 5 song EP.
Summer • ^^^ Recording and plotting our artwork for an EP. We have several songs ready to record, and recently started that process.
Is music your only thing or do you have other artistic outlets?
Alex E. • Music is pretty much my life. I’m always working on new beats or workflow techniques for our shows. I work at a really awesome music venue in our homo-town called 1904 Music Hall and stay heavily involved in the music scene.
Paige • I work closely with Keagan Anfuso (www.iamagreyarea.com) on collaborative film projects and do sound design within the local Theater community, working with Dr. Pam Montelone and others at the University of North Florida. I also help organize fundraising events within the Jacksonville music scene.
Summer • I’m a freelance graphic designer, and work on fun projects here and there. Some projects feel more like artistic outlets than others. We all volunteer with Girls Rock Jacksonville, where we work to empower Jax girls, trans*, and gender nonconforming youth, using music and art as tools for creative expression.
Who are some of your favorites singers or songwriters now?
Alex E. • I’ve really been into producers like LUCIANBLOMKAMP, Jamie XX, FKA Twigs, Kali Uchis, Chrome Sparks & White Gold (now known as SuperMagical) as of late.
Paige • Right now I really like Grimes, Slothrust, Blood Orange, and Sales (from Orlando).
Summer • Poliça, Denitia & Sene, Hot Chip, Sales…. I’ve recently gained some new faves, like Thao Nguyen, via the Song Exploder podcast where musicians explain their creative processes.
Any favorite Southern women?
Alex E. • Geexella, Helen of Coi, Chelsea Saddler, and BeBe Deluxe.
Paige • Dolly Parton, Julia & Suzanne Sugarbaker
Summer • Robi Rutenberg/Insel, Girls Rock people that I’ve met in the southeast (especially Girls Rock Jax and Girls Rock Charleston folks)
What’s coming up?
-We just launched our androgynous fragrance line, Surrender – available only at live shows.
-We have a new single out. It’s a remix of our song “Runaround” by Alex E
April 29th – Jacksonville Magazine’s Color Project Fashion Show
May 14th – Harvey Milk Fest in Sarasota, FL with Avan Lava & PWR BTTM
May 15th – 1904 Music Hall in Jacksonville FL with Sea Cycles
May 30th – Rock on the River 7 with Young the Giant, Bearhands, Joywave, The Wombats & the Strombellas
June 1st – The Pinhook in Durham, NC with Rareluth