London-based alt-rockers Nova Twins are the UK’s next big thing and they’ve just stepped up a gear with new single ‘K.M.B’.
Although Amy Love (Vocals & Guitar & Georgia South (Bass) formed the genre-bending outfit, Nova Twins, back in 2014. It feels like the duo are finally reaping the rewards they deserve. The last couple of years have been a whirlwind, the pair released their stellar debut record, Who Are The Girls?, in 2020, and have since gone onto play massive arena support slots, numerous festivals, gained a slew of famous musical fans (Oli Sykes from Bring Me The Horizon, Dream Wife, and Tom Morello to name a few) and continued to push their artistry to the next level. Alongside all this, the pair have used their rapidly growing platform to support important issues such as race & gender equality and environmentalism. It’s easy to see why they are one of the most exciting acts around, their music and live shows are high-octane, empowering and wild.
Now after coming so far, Nova Twins are on the precipice of greatness or world domination if you will, as they get ready to step into the next chapter of the band as their sophomore LP, Supernova, is dropping June 17th Via Marshall Records. If the first two singles are anything to go by, ‘Antagonist’ and the more recent release ‘K.M.B’, it’s going to be one wild ride. Amidst their UK headline tour, Love & South sat down with 1883’s Cameron Poole to discuss the music video for ‘K.M.B’, the new Nova Twins era, and more.
Hi Amy and Georgia, thanks for speaking with 1883 Magazine. Let’s talk about your newly released single K.M.B. (Kill My Boyfriend) and its accompanying music video. How did the track come about and what did you both make of co-directing the shoot alongside Fin Frew & Matt Rendell? It looked so fun!
Georgia: It all just happened in lockdown as we started writing the new album. So this is one of the songs that probably came in the middle of the writing process. It’s just a sassy number and I think we were both kind of a certain mood when we both wrote the song. It started with the music, I guess and it had kind of had that sass and we tapped into a R&B feel but made it ‘Nova’ and we added the heaviness as well. It was fun to kind of play around with the different sonics and different flavours.
Amy: It’s just a fun song, it’s like a colourful kind of nightmare or something. It’s like the light and shade you know, we wanted to flip it on its head. You always think of women having a happy ending, a fairy tale ending, but we kind of wanted to take the power and be like ‘actually no, we get fucked over, so this is what happens’ but in a horror movie kind of thing. So we’ve dedicated it to all our favourite films like Mean Girls, Clueless, but then you also have Jennifer’s Body and Pulp Fiction.
Amy: It became very cinematic and visual in our minds and then that led onto the track’s visuals. Over Christmas, a leaflet got posted through one of our doors and it was for a pop-up event at someone’s house. So we decided to go to this random address and see what they’re selling, I don’t know why we did it but thank god we went.
Georgia: We were walking for miles as well to find the house!
Amy: We then found the house and it had a pink door. We weren’t sure if we should turn back because it could have been something dodgy. But we saw a load of women selling things on different floors through the window, so we went in. It was just full of incredible local artists in Hastings selling art, vinyls, clothes and more. It was wicked and the house was immense, wasn’t it?
Georgia: Yeah, it was all female as well! The owner of the house, Anne Marie, had decorated the whole place herself, mainly through lockdown and made loads of things. Everything you see in the video is from her house.
Amy: Her house is arty!
Wow that is so cool the video was shot at her house, it’s such an interesting looking place, I thought it was on a film set or something.
Both: Yeah, it’s just her house!
Amy: At the time we visited her house, we weren’t thinking about ‘K.M.B’ at all. But then later that evening, we realised it is the perfect house for the video. So we put a letter through her door the same day. We said to her in the letter that ‘we fell in love with your house. We’re doing a music video and this is what it’s about….’ And she then replied to us and said she would love to be involved. Anne Marie mentioned that it was the perfect song and asked if the song could be called ‘kill my husband’ because she’s about to get rid of the house and she’s going through a divorce because he was a naughty guy. So it was the perfect song, there was a synergy between us and Anne Marie was really happy that the video got made in the house haha.
It’s almost like fate, you could not have planned it…
Amy: You couldn’t have.
Georgia: It was meant to be. It all happened in a very serendipitous way.
You’ve also just announced your second studio album, Supernova, which is out June 17th via Marshall Records. Since the release of your debut LP, Who Are The Girls?, back in 2020 and even in the last couple of years, there has been a vast amount of growth for the band and so many huge milestones. Were there any certain lessons you’ve both learnt that you’ve brought into the studio this time round when making the record? And what are you most proud about this new LP?
Georgia: In terms of writing it, we wrote it in lockdown and had a different method of songwriting. We got really involved with using Logic [a music software] and recording a lot of it ourselves as well. We really built up sounds, made beats and vocal effects. So we got more involved with the production side of things. We were into the production side of things for the first album but we didn’t have enough skills on logic to really get fully involved. But as we’ve had loads of time to learn during the pandemic, we were able to get more invested in this new album. We had loads of fun and felt more empowered doing those sort of things. We then collaborated with Jimmy and Romesh.
Amy: They produced the songs but we already had the demos sounding better than the first album. Before, our demos were like a punk band and a really bad mic.
Georgia: But now we’ve kept a lot of the things that we added ourselves in the production, we are really proud of that.
Amy: I would say we also learned from the first album that we’ve come such a long way. We played exactly what it was, so whatever we made on the first album, we just played live like that. We didn’t really think about the sonics and layering sounds. But with this album we still have the same ethos of having the sounds come through the bass and guitar but we just decided if we want to add a counterpart bass part that you might want to play on the record but it won’t go on the live show, we weren’t as scared to do things like that. We just had this thing where we didn’t want to do certain things because we had this certain idea of what we are as an act, so we’d only put things on the record that we would play live, nothing else. But time we’ve learnt to add more layers in terms of our instruments compared to the first record.
Georgia: I think on the first record, Who Are The Girls?, a lot of people were like, ‘can they even play, is it real, can they play their instruments, they are miming’…
That is ridiculous, I’m sorry to hear that Amy and Georgia.
Amy: And as certain things sounded quite synth-y live, people assumed it’s coming from a track and not necessarily coming from the bass….
Amy: Also you don’t see people who look like us on this platform. So we just thought we need to have the first album exactly how we have it live on record. So when we do play live, there’s no confusion. The album basically said this is us and we felt we could experiment a little bit more on Supernova.
Georgia: Yeah! Even though we haven’t experimented that much on the new album haha.
Amy: Yeah, it’s still basically all bass and guitar haha!
But on this new album you obviously feel a bit more freedom to experiment which is great…
Amy: We weren’t as precious, we were a bit more like if there’s a counterpart that’s on the record, we just won’t play it live because there’s only two of us.
Georgia: It’s nice for people to have a different experience on record and in a live environment.
Amy: Yeah, exactly.
I think we need to just delve into some of those milestones: numerous front covers for different music magazines, played some massive arena support slots, collaborated with BMTH, and all this is only just scratching the surface. Since starting the band in 2014, what has been the most surprising milestone yet, something neither of you could expect? And now you’ve already come so far, surely world domination feels obtainable?
Amy: Well, we would love that haha. So many things have happened, sometimes it’s some of the smaller things, because we have been a band since 2014, as you put it correctly, we’ve had a really slow and organic form of growth, and therefore you really appreciate the smaller things because you know how long and how much it takes and how much work and how much emotion you have to put in when you’ve been a band for a long time. We’ve gone through it fucking all. We’ve gone through the times where no one gave a fuck about us, you know, and people were just like ‘we don’t get it, what is this music? It’s not rock’, that’s what we got told.
Amy: But to be fair, Kerrang and NME have always been really great but in terms of just us trying to be a band that can be sustainable, it was difficult at the start. We just did everything we can to keep propelling forward. Therefore, the smaller moments and the big ones are really appreciated. Once we played Hellfest and there was 20,000 people, we were really just like ‘fuck’, that was a big moment. When we won a heavy music award in lockdown…
Georgia: That award was a major pick me up during lockdown.
Amy: It was just like ‘wow’. We played The Wedgewood Rooms in Portsmouth the other night as a headline show. We were just amazed at the fact that it was our show, usually we are the support band but to be a headliner… And then the BMTH tour, there are just so many things that have happened which we think are so incredible….
Georgia: Even the two NME Awards nominations, we had no idea.
Amy: Everything’s always a surprise!
Georgia: Yeah, we saw it on Twitter and were in shock.
Amy: Yeah because we’re just so used to being that punk band in our ethos. We’ve always just got on with or without anyone’s approval. So now people are obviously reacting to us, it’s nice. We are really appreciative of it but we’ve always been here. So when things do come through, we are always like ‘really? Okay haha’.
Of course, you have to do so much and keep pushing before people take notice, when you start out, you normally play open mic nights to get started… on a side note, I saw you guys post about that pub, The Ravensbourne Arms, it was the first venue you guys played at…
Georgia: Yeah, the local community are trying to buy the pub, so they can turn it into a community bought pub. That’s where we literally had our first open mic, where we wrote our names down.
Amy: We weren’t quite a band yet but we were always together.
Was this under the band’s originally name before Nova twins, BRAATS?
Amy: We were BRAATS for like two months.
Georgia: It literally just said ‘Amy & Georgia’ on the piece of paper, we didn’t have a drummer or anything. We had two songs and probably played them so many times. I hope they can save The Ravensbourne Arms.
Amy: Yeah, places like that are so important aren’t they.
Georgia: Grassroot venues in general. We need them, new bands need them. if they’re not there…
Yeah, you need places like that to start out and to get experience…
Amy: Unless you’re one of them lucky bands that just gets put to the top straight away which is rare.
And then they get called industry plants, but obviously that’s not always the case.
Amy: Yeah! Sometimes it’s just connections and who you know.
Georgia: But without connections there are so many bands that need venues like that.
Amy: We needed it.
Georgia: We needed it, just like we needed Camden.
Amy: Yeah, it’s how we learnt.
Can you please tell us about Supernova’s artwork, what was the concept behind it?
Amy: We just wanted it to be powerful. It was like the beginning of a new era really, wasn’t it.
Georgia: The weird thing is that the artwork came before the name. After playing with the artwork, I feel the name became more prominent and it had to be called supernova.
Amy: Yeah, it’s true. There’s a journey and theme happening throughout the album. It’s quite a moody album cover but quite mystical at the same time. But you’ll understand from the intro of the album, there’s a whole ‘birthing’ experience. As a listener, it’s the end, but it’s the beginning of a new era. And then this album is almost like this world you enter. You have this journey of songs, emotions and dynamics right until the end, it feels almost like a fucking dream. So that’s why the artwork is quite super charged and electric.
Georgia: We wanted to make people feel empowered.
I know it’s been well talked about that you both make your own stagewear, but I’m curious to find out more about Bad Stitches, are there plans in the works to launch it as an official fashion label? Also if you could design some Bad Stitches garments for any artist or actor, who would be your top picks?
Georgia: Missy Elliott.
Amy: Oli [Sykes] and Jason [Aalon Butler] would be good.
Georgia: They’d look great in Bad Stitches.
Amy: I think we do want to make it an official thing. But It’s just having the time to do it and then it being the right time. So we will and then it’ll be good because we hand stitch everything, it’s not like we can make a lot until…
the time and capacity is there, you are both very busy at the moment!
Amy: We are busy.
Georgia: Music is our first love but we also love fashion. So soon hopefully, those two worlds will collide. But we’ve just got to focus on the music and ride this train.
You’re both such strong role models for the younger generations, and you’ve done some environmental campaigning via No Music On A Dead Planet and Oxfam, and helped DR Martens raise money for the black curriculum. It’s so good you’re both using your platform to raise environmental and diversity issues. Are there any other issues you both feel need addressing within the music industry?
Georgia: People’s merch at venues and when the venue takes commission!
Amy: We were having this conversation and I think we need to have a petition. Right, So for new bands, bands who are opening for bigger bands, big venues should not be taking commission. Usually the opening band besides their merch, doesn’t get paid that much. As they’re paying to be on that support tour, they’re paying their crew, so they are relying on the sales of merch. The 20% or 25% that these bigger venues take off the opening band, they don’t need that money, that should be scrapped.
Georgia: Another thing is price matching with big bands.
Amy: The main support band generally gets a good fee from the tour. But if you are only a small opener and not a main support…
Georgia: You’re not getting a good fee.
Amy: They need to scrap that and change it. Let the opening band sell their merch for no fee because nine times out of ten, people are not going to buy it because they’re going to want to save money for the headline band’s merch. There needs to be a new rule going forward just because it’s hard to tour, it’s hard for new bands to break through and if you want to keep circulating and for musicians to be able to have some sort of livelihood out of music, and be able to take the opportunities, something needs to change.
Amy: Do you know how many conversations we’ve had about this, our friends’ bands as well, it’s always like ‘how are we going to do this tour?’ Merch sales are needed to help smaller bands. We need to look after the bands that are coming through, so I think there could be more things to be done to do that. And then separately, the music scene needs to diversify more and it is slowly.
Willow Smith liked a few pictures of yours on Instagram a few years back, there needs to be a collaboration opportunity surely?
Amy: Funny thing about that… Willow is such an organic artist really, when she came to us years ago, we wrote a song together just for writing sake, not even to release, we didn’t put it anywhere. But she’s really free and just does things you know, and she’s really great.
Georgia: We love Willow.
Ok, I don’t think you ever fully divulged the story about meeting Pharrell a couple of years ago, out of sheer embarrassment, but would you be willing to share the full with us now?
Georgia: Nope haha!
Amy: I don’t care but Georgia loves Pharrell, so it’s not my story. It was me that made the embarrassing moment happen.
Georgia: I want to meet him again properly and then erase that other time, I don’t want it out.
Amy: It’s hilarious!
Georgia: He would never know, we can meet him fresh haha.
You never know, you might meet him again and I had to at least ask.
Amy: When we’re friends with Pharrell, then you could tell the story, it will happen one day haha.
What unreleased tracks from the album are you excited for fans to hear?
Georgia: We love ‘Puzzles’. It’s a very cool song. ‘Fire & Ice’ as well…
Amy: ‘Fire & Ice’ is our favourite, it’s weird, crazy and heavy.
Georgia: ‘Sleep Paralysis’. ‘Athena’ was a fan favourite from our first album. I feel like potentially ‘Sleep Paralysis’ could be like that because it’s a weird song.
With Supernova signalling the start of a new Nova Twins era, how would you both sum up this new chapter in a few words? Are there any words you would associate with it?
Amy: It’s kind of like nightmares and dreams ,all in one. It plays on polar opposites like light and shade. But the words I associate with it are – dynamics, roller coaster…
Georgia: And supernova, I hope people feel supernova when they listen to it. That’s what we want people to feel. We also want them to feel good about themselves.
Amy: I think no matter where you are as well, wherever you’re at the point in your life where you feel really good. This is the album that you can walk to the rhythm of it and be like ‘Yeah, this is embodying me right now’. But it can work for the opposite. If you’re literally feeling like shit. This will be your album that can get you through that as well. The journey of where everything has been for the last two years is in the music as well. So I think people will have something to relate to one way or another.
The Nova Twins fanbase is pretty cool, I think I can recall that a fan made you both a two-piece necklace, you each have one piece and it connects to make the Nova Twins EP artwork…
Georgia: Oh that was by an amazing jewellery designer called Parabellum. He just came to the heavy musical awards and he just had these two pouches.
Amy: We didn’t know who he was, Georgia thought it was drugs haha.
Georgia: He did give us pouches at an award show… but it wasn’t, it was sick jewellery.
Amy: It was amazing, such a beautiful present.
Georgia: Yeah, we loved it. And then after that, he was like ‘I would love to make you guys jewellery’.
Amy: It’s very cute.
What do you love about your fanbase and as you’re currently on a UK tour right now, how’s it going?
Amy: The audiences on tour so far have been really incredible. It’s been very emotional because these people have kept onto their tickets for two years or if not, they have helped us. When we booked the venues, some of the venues have had to stay the same but some have been upgraded in lockdown because of people just discovering us now. I’m really grateful for the audience, as they have made this all happen.
Georgia: Seeing people in real life is so surreal because we’ve seen them all online, but now we can actually physically see people sing our songs and mosh and have that energy. You just can’t trade that for anything, It’s just the best.
Amy: One of the things that we love about our fans is that so many of them draw incredible pictures online. Their artwork could range from something really cartoony or proper sketch or some kind of pastel oil painting, they’re all very creative.
Georgia: They even make their own Nova Twins merch. There are so many designers, artists and creatives.
Finally, you’re both like sisters to each other which is lovely, so what do you admire the most about each other?
Amy: I mean, we’re sisters. There’s no other closer bond than that, we support each other through thick and thin. I’ve always wanted a sister and Georgia has given me that kind of relationship. Georgia advises me and I’m the big sis haha. She’s very caring and creative. If she wants something, she is not scared to ask and go get it. She makes things happen.
Georgia: It’s the same thing with Amy, she is super caring and we met at such a young age where you were my big sister. I was like twelve at the time, she taught me how to do my makeup, she is just amazing. It’s just so easy to work together and we’ve been together constantly for over a decade, it’s all just a breeze.
Amy: Before the music, there was our friendship and I think that is why the band has held out for so long because we have that solid foundation. We don’t argue and have that respect for each other. It’s that twin thing.
Interview by Cameron Poole
Photography by Corinne Cumming