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'Some girls' look through 3 decades

Photo courtesy of Fort Apache
Juliana Hatfield, Freda Love and Heidi Gluck, the girls behind Some Girls, have been writing and playing music since the mid-'80s.
By Kevin Smith
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday October 16, 2003

Frida Love was rocking while most UA freshmen were still sporting diapers. In 1986, along with Juliana Hatfield and then-boyfriend John Strohm, Love helped form Boston alternative band Blake Babies. The band eventually caught MTV airplay and popular press coverage.

"There was definitely a feeling of excitement and openness that anything was possible," Love said of the late-'80s music scene. "That something was sort of brewing."

This was around the time, kiddies, when Mr. Cobain was still a struggling musician and Mr. Vedder was a surfer working at a gas station.

"That 'alternative rock,' that term, didn't exist yet, so no one was quite sure what to call this collection of musicians, this group of bands that were coming about," Love said.

The Blake Babies split in the early '90s, and Hatfield went on to achieve solo success as Love and Strohm continued to play in various bands. Love ended up getting married and settling down in Indiana with two children.

Still, she couldn't shake the creative spark the Babies provided.

After attending a Hatfield solo performance, she realized that she really missed the chemistry the pair shared. She got the inspiration to reform the Babies and recorded new material for 2001's "God Bless The Blake Babies."

In the wake of the reunion, Hatfield and Love decided they did not want to drift apart. So they began

corresponding with help from the U.S. postal service.

"There was a desire to maintain contact," Love said. "Sort of keep the connection going after the Blake Babies had reunited."

Their snail mail communication eventually became a full-blown music project.

"Sometimes I would just get an idea for a melody, just kind of a vague little idea, and I would put it on a tape and send it to Juliana, and then she would come up with a lyric," she said. "And sometimes she would send me something that was completely written but it needed a few more words, it needed a another part, like a bridge or something, and so I would finish it."

Splitting the songwriting duties created enough material for an album. In April 2002, Love (drums, vocals) and Hatfield (guitar, vocals) joined with an Indianapolis friend, Heidi Gluck (bass, vocals), to record. Until that point, neither Love nor Hatfield had even been in the same room together to flush out the music.

"We didn't really collaborate in person until we got to the stage where the songs were completed," Love said. "We got together and demoed them. So then as far as the arraignments go, we worked on some of that in the same room together."

Feel It became the name of the album. All that remained was a name for the band.

"When we were recording demos, our first demos, the engineer just made an offhand comment about something we were working on," Love said. "He said, 'Oh that sounds very 'Some Girls,' and we just immediately thought, 'Oh, that'd be a really cool name for this band.'"

Love denied referencing the various sexual encounters of girls detailed on the title track to the classic Rolling Stones' album, but did not entirely alienate Mick and the boys.

"Partly in tribute to that Stones record, which is definitely a record that we all like a lot, but also just because we are 'some girls,'" she said.

Love is finding out that all-is-not-what-it-once-was in the music industry: the music scene of 2003 is vastly different than that of 1986.

"It certainly feels more corporate," she said. "Like the labels have figured it all out. But I think a lot of it, and I really haven't thought about this a whole lot, is kind of a cyclical thing. That there are cycles where things begin and kind of break open and then they become defined, codified, and then the door closes up."

Currently bucking the empire-like music industry, Love feels more prepared for the future than she ever has.

"As a musician I feel so much more comfortable and confident now that · it's sort of a tradeoff," she said. "Back then there might have felt like more possibilities, but I had no idea what I was doing and was completely unprepared to be doing anything in front of people. Yet I was doing it and it was fun. But now I feel more composed about what I'm doing, more kind of ready to do it."

There is, however, a slice of irony that comes with adulthood and the changing times that Love has kept a sense of humor about.

"And now no one's looking," she said, laughing. "Just kidding."

"Some Girls" play Plush, 340 E. Sixth St., tomorrow night at 11. Tickets are $7 and can be purchased at the door.

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