For their second album, Australian musician G Flip had one thing on their mind, creating a pop record with drumming as its main focus serving almost as a love letter to the instrument that began it all for them.
Appropriately titled ‘Drummer‘, the LP sees G Flip tackle every instrument, showcasing their musical versatility along all of the tracks such as ‘Be Your Man’ in which they rip their first ever “cheeky” guitar solo and ‘The Worst Person Alive’ which highlights their sharp vocals and crisp drumming.
The album scored the musician six ARIA nominations including Song Of The Year, Best Solo Act, Best Live Act and Best Independent Release. Though they were in shock at the number of nominations they had received – originally assuming they’d be in a few categories, not at all expecting the six – G explained how they would love to win Best Live Act not for themself but for their band who helped create their current live shows from scratch.
2024 also saw them embark on their first-ever US headline tour. Making stops in major cities such as Philadelphia – where they sat at the front of the fan queue to enjoy their first Philly Cheesesteak along with their devoted fans who had begun to camp out in order to get prime spots for the night’s gig – Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles and more.
Ahead of their New York show at Brooklyn’s Music Hall Of Williamsburg, G Flip sat down with NME for the latest instalment of the In Conversation series, where they discussed the creation of ‘Drummer’, their ARIA nominations and becoming the queer, non-binary role model they always wanted when they were younger.
Is there a main difference between writing for yourself versus writing for others?
“When I’ve been in rooms helping other artists write songs, I want it to feel authentic to them. So it’s a lot of talking because I want to know, their story to write a song that they can sing on stage and then they can connect to it because it’s from their experience.
“If I just write a song about something I’ve been through, it’s not gonna be authentic. I’ve been in rooms where I’ve had topliners in the room, and they’ve just written a song and I’m sitting there like, ‘I’m never gonna sing this, it’s totally not me’.
“So when you’re toplining or helping other artists write a song, you have to learn about them and talk about your feelings and relationships or ask ‘What do they want to write a song about?’ or ‘What are they inspired by?’ And you just help bring it out of them. You’re just there to facilitate pulling the song out of them rather than writing a song and throwing it at them.”
There was a point where you collaborated with various producers while focusing on writing for other artists, Do you have any advice for aspiring artists or musicians who may want to navigate that songwriting process?
“I think when you go into a room and you’re fresh in the songwriting, producing world or going into sessions, no idea is a bad idea. When I’ve worked with younger artists, there’s like this little bit of nervous or, they’re shy to say the ideas. But no idea is a bad idea.”
You performed with Mike Shinoda onstage recently, which was huge – what was that like?
“I’ve been such a massive fan of Linkin Park and Fort Minor my whole life growing up. I met Mike a couple of years ago and we just got along really well. We’ve worked in the studio on some music together that’s in my vault of tunes.”
“He’s just become a friend and I saw that he was in Australia when I was doing my headline tour over there. I texted him and I was like, ‘Do you happen to be around any of these dates?’ and he was like, ‘Oh my god, I’m actually in Sydney that night. That you’re playing’.
“So I asked him if he would get on stage and he’s like, absolutely. We did an extended version of my song, ‘The Worst Person Alive’. He added Linkin Park’s ‘In The End’ and then I joined him in the chorus and just kind of made a fusion between the two songs. That was a pretty surreal and crazy moment for me.”
You have made music with Mike Shinoda, what do those songs sound like? What’s he like to work with and what’s it like to go from fan to collaborator?
“It’s very drum-heavy. I remember the first time I worked with Mike I went absolute ham on his drum kit. You can definitely hear the Mike Shinoda production vibe in it.
“Collaborating with him was great. He’s just such a likeable and loving dude. He’s so cheery, happy, easygoing and fun. He’s got a bit of, like, chilled, laidback Aussiness to him. But at the same time, he’s really good at having direction and decision-making when creating a song.”
Congrats on the 6 ARIA Awards nominations – including for Album of the Year and Best Live Act. Is there one category or nomination that means the most to you and why?
“I think the one that I’m most excited to be nominated for is probably Best Live Act. My band and I make our own show. I don’t have an MD that is sourced elsewhere that creates a show and then teaches us the show so to get Best Live Act was really cool and it means a lot to my band members.
“To get nominated for that category means so much to those boys. I love them so much, they’re like my brothers. Seeing them so happy, I really would love to win that ARIA just to make their fucking life.”
What was it like to rip and record your first guitar solo on ‘Be Your Man’?
“Honestly, on stage, it’s my most nervous point of the show. With drumming, I’ve done so many hours on stage in past bands and have been playing in bands for my whole life so I’m not nervous on drums. And if I fuck up on drums, like it’s like, Ah, I can really easily just get back to it because I’m seasoned and I’ve done my hours.
“But like rocking guitar solo on stage, I haven’t done my hours on lead guitar. For the first few shows, I’d fuck up a little bit because the anxiety in my head is like ‘You’re not a fucking guitarist? Why are you doing this?’ And then I just had to get over that a few times. And now I’m a bit more confident.”
As a queer, non-binary drumming lead singer – you’ve become the role model you always wanted when you were younger. When did you realise that and what was that revelation like?
“I think it hasn’t really sunk in just yet. I think I’ve still got a long way to go. I definitely strive to be the idol I never had and the few times I’ve seen glimpses of it has been really emotional for me.
“I did meet and greets across Australia and met so many kids who were dressing like me and who we’re dealing with their gender identity just like I had been. I met so many amazing kids who told me like that they look up to me. A lot of fans they send me videos of their kids like watching a TV screen of like me playing drums and they’ve got little sticks and it’s so cute. It makes me cry. It’s really emotional.”