LK: Do you find that you have a disproportionately large female audience?
NG: It's funny that you ask that, because I have always assumed that this must be the case since I think our aesthetic and all of our art-making comes off as very feminine and I write overtly from a female perspective. However, we have loads of male fans--in fact, some of our most loyal and fervent supporters are male! I recently looked at the statistics charts on Facebook where we can see the age, sex, city and country of all our Facebook fans, and there's only about fifteen percent more female than male! I find this extremely refreshing.
LK: Your songs' subject matter and lyrics are thoughtful, frank, and unapologetic. What is your songwriting process? Do you feel you draw more inspiration from events in your own life or observations of the people around you?
NG: The songwriting process and getting it down to a personalized system is still something that eludes me. Ideas come very randomly and suddenly, and they are usually inspired by other people and events first, but then regurgitated through the lens of my own experience along the way. I have an old tape recorder where I keep musical ideas and ditties, and sometimes I'll come back to something very old and the song will unfold naturally, years later. I usually write lyrics while walking around neighborhoods at night, singing to myself. I think books and movies are my primary inspiration.
LK: Were you at all apprehensive about releasing your personal thoughts and feelings for public consumption?
NG: This hasn't really been an issue for me yet, but that could change depending on the content of future songs I guess. For now, I don't think anything has been disclosed that I am not willing to expose to the world. Expressions of ideas and raw emotion are the currency of the human soul and I don't get caught up worrying about that side of things.
LK: Is it true that Agent Ribbons is banned from the UK? How did that happen?
NG: It's true, unfortunately. We are banned for ten years, as it stands presently. We are partly at fault because we didn't have the money for work visas and pretended to be coming over for a vacation instead of performing. However, they found out the truth very easily, and then proceeded to overreact in a way we never would have imagined! They interrogated us, sent us home and banned us from entering the country for ten years. I think it's ridiculous to require expensive work visas for poor artists in the first place, but to punish us in this way is completely asinine.
LK: You've toured the U.S. extensively as well as gained quite the following in Europe. If you could plan your ideal dream tour, where would it be and who would you tour with?
NG: There are so many dream tours! We'd love to tour Europe with The Raincoats. In the U.S., maybe Quasi or Rasputina! Ever since we first started the band we've wanted to go to Japan, so that dream tour would be with Shonen Knife...and lastly, a tour of Mexico with Le Butcherettes.
LK: When Agent Ribbons is not on the road, how do you occupy your time?
NG: The truth is, we are very rarely not touring these days and don't have much time to pursue our other interests. With that in mind, Lauren works at a massage, jewelry and incense shop when we are home. I used to cook at a Thai restaurant, but starting in January I'll be working for Habitat for Humanity. We both like crafts, cooking, watching movies at home and going out for drinks whenever we can afford it!
Agent Ribbons is playing several dates in northern California before coming back to The Bootleg in Los Angeles on Monday, December 20th. Stay tuned to BestNewBands.com for a full show review of the event, and please visit Agent Ribbons on Myspace here for more tour information. Their first full length album Chateau Crone is now available on iTunes.