Tina from Coolies talks tinnies and GG Allin

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Having played the inaugural Sugar Mountain festival at the Forum in May, garage-punk grrrls Coolies are returning to Australia this weekend to unleash their raw-as-hell girl-group noise on Melbourne and Adelaide. Sara Savage had a quick catch-up with vocalist Tina Pehiha.

SS: You’ve toured the States and your old bandmate lives there permanently drumming for Vivian Girls. Would you guys ever consider moving there too, or do you see yourselves pretty firmly planted in NZ?
TP: No, hell no! No way. We like visiting there, we like travelling, but we do love coming home. Yeah, this is our home. I couldn’t imagine it. Too different… it would be such a culture shock for us. We love it there, and so many of our friends in bands are from there, but it’s such a different culture over there to our people.

What’s your take on the Auckland music scene?
We don’t go out that much! But it’s okay. I mean, in other interviews we’ve been asked if it’s thriving, but I kinda think the opposite. It’s pretty music industry-based. There’s not a big sense of community. When we started it was more of a career choice, maybe. But now everything moves so quickly, everything’s so fast-paced, everyone’s so slick and planning to put their first album out really fast when you’ve never even heard of them before.

In Australia a ‘tinny’ is a can of beer. Can you explain to our Australian readers what a tinny is in New Zealand?
Hey I don’t know anything about that! (Laughs). Nah, it’s just weed. Wrapped up in foil. It’s just a little parcel, a little tin foil of weed. Can’t get much out of ’em really these days!

You’ve got a song about GG Allin. Is he some kind of an influence…?
That was ages ago! Nah it was just kind of a joke between us. Just talking shit between each other. He’s…nah, actually, I probably shouldn’t talk about GG Allin (laughs).

It’s been a massive night out, you’re in the city, it’s 3am and you’re starving. What’s your late night food of choice?
Whenever we get hungry we go to this place called New Flavour. It’s super good Chinese food… prawns and shit like that, but it’s always really fresh. And of course they’re always open at four in the morning.

What we can expect to see on the weekend?
We don’t really know what to expect ourselves! We’re bringing a lot of friends over. One of our buddies is playing drums for us, ’cause our regular drummer can’t make it. We’ve got Mikey from Die! Die! Die! so it should be fun.

Coolies play The Workers Club, 51 Brunswick St Fitzroy
Sunday 9th October . Doors 8.30pm, $10
They’re supported by TAX and Assassins 88.
CooliesMaster LP is out now through Chapter Music

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