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Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States | INDIE

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States | INDIE
Band Metal Punk


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This band has not uploaded any videos



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Hardcore music has always been based on a DIY attitude. Bands have been booking their own tours, recording their own albums, creating artwork for their own merchandise, and doing things how they want to do them for years. Girlfight is no exception to this. The Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania band’s vocalist, Dave Watt and drummer, Brandon Volkman took a break from printing off and putting together copies of their record to sit down and do an interview for DeafeningSound.

Q: So how long has Girlfight been a band?

Dave Watt: A little over two years. 4 out of our 5 founding members were in a band together before Girlfight started, and that band broke up after about a year and a half. After a few months of doing nothing, we started Girlfight.

Q: And did you guys have any intentions when you started the band, or did you just want to keep playing music?

DW: Well, in the few months after the demise of our old band, we each tried starting various other projects that just didn’t pan out. We all wanted to keep playing music, and Girlfight began as just a fun thing to do to keep making music. It’s definitely grown into something way more ‘serious’ than we thought when it began.

Q: How do you think that seriousness manifests itself in your new material compared to the material on Haggard?

DW: I think it’s apparent when you listen to Haggard and then listen to Ghost Eater. Haggard was literally the first five songs we wrote as a band, and originally recorded as a demo. I feel like those songs are, comparatively speaking, really unfocused and not as direct as the material on Ghost Eater, and even more so with the new songs we’ve been writing.

Brandon Volkman: Let me just say, that five minutes ago I discovered that Dave Watt types like a sixth grader. Now I know why he got turned down for all those secretary jobs.

DW: That and my refusal to dress casually on casual Fridays.

Q: I can’t work in offices.

BV: Neither can we, why do you think we’re in a band?!

DW: Yeah, the only Office I could work in is that one on TV. Will Smith said it best with ‘Bosses just don’t understand.’

Q: Will Smith, haha. I was doing something wasn’t I? Was I trying to be professional a second ago?

BV: Well, 'professiona'l really isn’t our thing. We do want to make sure the world hears what we have to say, though... especially the stuff about Will Smith.

Q: Girlfight doing it Big Willy Style.

BV: So to speak.

Q: Anyway, what are some bands that have had an impact on you and your style, or that you draw influence from?

BV: Well, as with most bands I’m sure, the four of us have ‘common ground’ with a handful of bands, and then we’re each into our own things. We’re all really into Converge, Harvey Milk, Lords, Every Time I Die, Young Widows, The Bronx... Plus some of our friends’ bands we play with a lot like Ancient Shores, Red Knife Lottery, My America, Mega Touch, Consumer, and The Last Hope.

Q: You know, not enough people around here like Converge.

BV: Dude, they’re so good it hurts my feelings.

Q: I knew I liked you guys. If I did those little emoticon things, I’d put one right at the end of this sentence.

BV: I think the common thread with all those bands is that they write incredibly clever songs, while still ripping your face off - and put on amazing live performances. So I definitely think that's what we are influenced by with our own band…but I would never compare us to fuckin' Converge.

Q: What would you say are the biggest influences on the material you’ve been working on? What’s been inspiring the stuff you’ve been writing lately?

BV: Well I can tell you right off the bat, our new songs are shorter than ever. We want to keep people on their toes. We don’t want to be a predictable band. The slows are slower, the fasts are faster.

Q: When you say faster, is your newer material more grindcore oriented, or is it just faster?

DW: We’re really embracing the ‘hit it and quit it’ mentality. Just ripping a part, ripping another part, and we’re done.

Q: Like good sex. I like that approach.

BV: Girlfight does NOT endorse good sex... But actually no, it’s not ‘grindier’ in any sense. I would say there are more groove-oriented parts than anything; it’s just sometimes that groove is happening at 85 miles per hour.

Q: Are you guys a straightedge band?

BV: No, haha, we’re not a straightedge band. We have a tee shirt with Yuengling bottles on it!

Q: That’s a shirt I need to buy.

BV: For you, $50.

Q: Haha, maybe some other time. So has Girlfight always been the people in the band now or have you guys undergone some lineup changes?

DW: That is quite a sordid tale, are you sure you want the grisly details?

Q: Yeah man. This is your Spinal Tap.

DW: Well, it’s actually not all that complicated. Our original bassist left to play drums in another Pittsburgh band called Failure to Fall. In the few weeks we spent trying to find a replacement; we had a few friends fill in and ended up getting Richie Lattanzi as our bassist, and our friend Tony joined on second guitar. Then we ended up partying ways with our original drummer, and Tony left with him to start Run Forever. Enter: Brandon Volkman, who really swooped in and saved the day. We’ve been going strong ever since, up until a few weeks ago, when we unfortunately parted ways with Laura. So right now, Jordan Bellotti and I are the only two original members.

Q: When you guys write music, does everyone write their own stuff, or do like two of you do the majority of the writing, how exactly does that work?

DW: We just started hitting our stride writing-wise. All the songs up until this point have been written under other lineups, and weren’t really cohesive. We recorded a few of those weirdo songs, and that became this Ghost Eater EP we’re putting out. But right now, Jordan, Richie and Brandon have been doing the majority of the writing. I come to practice every once in awhile to throw in my two cents, but the bulk of it is written by those dudes. I write all the lyrics on my own, and then just reformat and retool them to fit the songs.

Q: Does/did Laura ‘write’ her synth parts or how did that come about?

BV: Laura never played anything that could be ‘written’ per se – her synth parts were more textural white noise sort of stuff, which she would come up with on her own most of the time.

Q: What do you think that extra layer added to your sound, and what are you going to do to replace that? How is the band’s sound adjusting to losing that added element?

BV: Her vocal and synth parts definitely added a chaotic element to our sound, so without that element our songwriting has certainly changed. It’s a little more airtight – no frills, just solid riffs and drum beats.

Q: Let’s talk more about this record you guys have coming out soon. You chose to do this thing pretty much DIY. Was that based on a lack of label support or are you just really hands-on dudes?

BV: It isn’t at all a lack of label support. If Matt Boylan from Emerald Moon Records lived any closer, he’d be tucking us into bed at night.

Q: So it’s more a matter of quality control?

BV: When we were beginning to talk about releasing these songs, he was down for whatever we wanted to do. We could have pressed the record in gold. Matt really believes in us. We decided we wanted to make this release a little more of a ‘collector’s item’, which a lot of our favorite bands have done. And yes, we are very hands-on dudes. Dave and I are arts’n’crafts gurus. Our respective bedrooms look like Aisle 7 of Jo Anne Fabrics. Haha, we were just talking about making our set lists with glue and glitter, so we knew we were going to have fun with this.

DW: From the beginning, I’ve made all of the art and visual stuff for the band, for multiple reasons: a) It makes sense that a band should have control over the visuals that go along with their music b) I refuse to pay someone else for doing something that I can do myself, and c) I feel that I have a definite vision of what we want associated with our music, and some other schmuck probably doesn't.

Q: Is that going to be a limited printing, since you’re doing all of it yourselves?

DW: Yes, we are only going to have 150 physical copies available. Anybody that wants to get their grubby fingers on it has to pick one up at a show. Everyone else has to settle for downloading it on iTunes.

Q: Since you guys are so happy with the label you’re on now, do you have plans to shop around for a bigger label before you release the full length you’re writing, or are you satisfied putting it out through Emerald Moon?

DW: We signed with Emerald Moon for an EP and a full length, and although this EP is being released on the label, I think we have an understanding that it’s more of a little bonus. We fully plan on releasing the upcoming full length with Emerald Moon.

BV: Matt is like family to us. Even when we’re talking business it’s more like talking to my dad about what’s for dinner. He’s seriously the nicest, coolest dude. He uses a lot of emoticons in his text messages, but he’s also very wise and delivers on everything he promises, no matter what. I don’t think many bands get to have that kind of relationship with their label.

Q: Are you planning on touring more before the full length is recorded to expand your live audience, or are you going to stay in the general PA area?

BV: We haven’t played a show in about three months now. It’s killing us, we belong on the road. We have a lot of regional (PA, WV, MD, OH) shows lined up for the spring, and we’re still working on more of that. But we’re also planning a week with Red Knife Lottery at the end of May. We’ll most likely be heading South and ending up in Louisville, KY. That’s where we’re recording the full length in June.

Q: How important to the ‘Girlfight experience’ would you say it is to see you guys live?

DW: I think our live show is definitely where we shine. Personally speaking, if I don’t feel like total garbage after a set, I feel like I’ve failed to get everything out that I want to get out. Additionally, we love meeting new people and mixing it up in general.

BV: Yeah, if I’m not soaked in sweat and completely sore at the end of our set, then I feel like I phoned it in... I know that’s a really good visual.

Q: Haha. Well, what are you plans spanning beyond recording this full length? What’s the future looking like for Girlfight?

BV: We’re recording the full length, which we’re still writing, at the beginning of June with Chris Owens. I’m hoping that we can release the record by mid to late summer, and then we’ll see what happens. We’ll either be in our van, touring as much as possible and eating at every Taco Bell we see, or doing a state fair tour with Buckcherry. I really hope it’s the former. We can only hope that eventually this band can be a full time thing for the four of us. These dudes are my family and I want to go everywhere with them.

DW: And do something ridiculous in every town we go through.

BV: Richie tattooed a kid somewhere in Eastern PA.

Q: What are some of your favorite memories from playing shows? And HOW did your bassist tattoo a kid??

BV: Well, Dave crowd surfed in a basement in West Virginia once... And Richie is nuts. He bought a tattoo gun on a whim. We’ve been letting Dave tattoo us with it, because you know…we’re idiots. All of our friends that are actual tattoo artists yell at us.

DW: I call them shit-tats.

BV: But we played this show near Bethlehem, PA last summer and we stayed with one of the bands that played, and they really knew how to party. We knew we had to bring our A-game, and the tattoo gun just happened to be in the van. A series of bad decisions were made, and BOOM Richie was sterilizing all this equipment in this kid’s sink. I forget what the tattoo ended up being, but man... I can’t even imagine what that dude thinks of us now.

DW: I just imagine these kids with the “One time Girlfight tattooed me” type stories...

Q: The kind of stories you tell your grandkids. Anything you guys would like to add that you think people need to know?

BV: We’re in the twilight of our adult lives, driving around in a packed conversion van, crowd surfing in people’s basements, throwing ninja stars that we found at a truck stop at anything we can find...

Q: Wait, wait, wait…you guys have ninja stars?

BV: Yeah. Louisiana is weird.

DW: I just want to have more fun than anybody, and I think we let that take us where it will. - Deafening Sound


Favorite snacks?
We love snacks. Jordan has been obsessed with trail mix lately, Dave is a big fan of Combos, Volkman keeps a bag of sour gummy worms in the glove box of the van at all times, and Richie’s diet is literally 95% snacks. He treats 7-11 like it’s a restaurant.

Best fast food?
Taco Bell, $.89 crispy potato tacos are a GF staple.

Do any of you work in food service when you’re not touring?
Most of us do, actually. Food service is generally the easiest job to hold down when you’re in a traveling band. Jordan helps manage an independent, gourmet hot dog shop in the basement of a church downtown called Franktuary. Brandon is a fry cook / line server at Qdoba Mexican Grill. Dave washes dishes in a retirement home kitchen, but spends a considerable amount of his shifts practicing throwing knives. Seriously. He’s gotten really good. Oh, and Richie used to deliver pizza, but recently broke out into the world of retail.

Dietary restrictions?
Dave is allergic to peanuts and Brandon is vegetarian. Anything else is fair game… Hide your food. We’re gonna eat it.

What’s for breakfast?
Cereal. Tons of it, and not even just for breakfast. We went through 4 or 5 boxes of Lucky Charms during the week we spent recording our new album.

Favorite out-of-town restaurants?
Black Bear in Morgantown, Stuggy’s in Baltimore, Señorita Burrita in Lancaster, Mighty Taco in Buffalo, Vietnam Kitchen in Louisville.

What food is on your backstage rider?
Two cases of Yuengling. Oh, wait – food? Shit… You know what? We’ll be fine with just the Yuengling.

Thoughts on pizza?
We love pizza. We love partying. We love pizza parties.

Any soda junkies in the band?
Richie drinks more Grape Faygo than most juggalos, and Dave is a regular patient of Dr. Pepper, MD.

Do you cook while you’re on the road?
As most independent touring bands find out sooner than later, the cheapest and most sustainable food source on tour is the grocery store. We travel with a big box of pasta and various canned goods so that we can cook for ourselves when we’re staying at people’s houses.

If your sound had a taste, what would it taste like?
Sweat and warm beer. - The Taste of Sound

"Pittsburgh showcases its intensity"

Girlfight – “Infinite Carcass:” Usually when someone puts out an album of 10 songs and under 12 minutes long, the word “lazy” may come to mind. This album, though, packs quite a punch and with a lot of substance. Songs like “Doom Route” and “Sick Day” seem to epitomize the band and their ability to intertwine angular, off-time parts with standard metered, traditional hardcore.
Vocalist Dave Watt points the band’s direction towards its predecessors, like Every Time I Die and Gallows. The guitar riffs carefully weave a web of dissonance and major keys through quick riffs and thick chords. The rhythm section keeps the tempo beating quickly, like a heart-racing after sprinting. The band only slows down to emphasize chord-laden sections, really knocking the listener for a loop.
While this may be a hardcore album, it is actually more listener friendly than its inspirations, like Converge and Botch. This album can definitely serve as an “introduction to hardcore-punk music.”
“Infinite Carcass” receives a 7 out of 10. - Purdue University Chronicle

"After two EP releases, Girlfight comes out swinging on their full-length debut"

If you take a look at any respectable band throughout their career, you’ll see that it took them a long time to get to the level they are at in that moment. Sometimes that can take up to 5 or 6 years. However, there are some exceptions to the rule.

Girlfight’s first full-length, Infinite Carcass, is a testament to the old adage “the rules were meant to be broken”. This album avidly shows that the band has highly evolved since their start in April 2008; their first EP, Haggard, doesn’t hold a candle to Infinite Carcass.

After a revolving door of member changes, Girlfight has maintained a 4-piece lineup devoid of frills. Much like a mother cat carrying her kittens, Infinite Carcass grabs you by the scruff of your neck and takes you on the wildest of all rides for 12 intense minutes. The album starts off with the intense “Doom Route”, which hits you right in the face off the bat.

All of the songs flow perfectly, leaving the listener with absolutely no downtime to recuperate and prepare for the next track. Girlfight provides an arsenal of their signature blistering-speed short songs, with the longest track coming in just under two minutes. The band has expanded their dynamics on this record as well, with some crushing slow jams such as the back-to-back brutality of “Halcyon” and “Seven Cycles”.

Looking at the band overall, each member has honed his individual musicianship into something massive. The biggest change I’ve picked up on is the change in vocal style by singer Dave Watt. His screams have more of a polish to them as opposed to the raw howls that have come on their two previous EPs. This isn’t a bad thing, mind you, as it fits with the songwriting and production perfectly.

When I saw that the band was recording with Chris Owen of the band Lords, I was anticipating that the record would have more of a gruff production value to it. However, the album sounds very clean, which takes away from the no-nonsense attitude of each song. The high-treble mixing of the cymbals causes the record to sound somewhat thin as well. However, the sheer ferocity that Girlfight brings to the table with Infinite Carcass vastly overshadows these issues with the production value. - The Pittsburgh Scene

"Local hardcore band Girlfight releases the ultra-compressed Infinite Carcass"

In the time it takes to listen to Girlfight's Infinite Carcass, the local hardcore band suggests, any one of the following tasks could be accomplished:

Microwave a dinner
Take a quick shower
Watch half an episode of Full House
Listen to one Pink Floyd song. "Our album syncs up perfectly with 'Shine On You Crazy Diamond," jokes drummer Brandon Volkman.
Composed of four faithful members -- Volkman, guitarist Jordan Bellotti, bassist Richie Lattanzi and singer Dave Watt -- Girlfight has seen several different lineups since forming in 2008, and released two EPs on Emerald Moon Records (which has also released albums by All Time Low and My America). "As the lineup became more refined, the music became more refined," Volkman says.

Infinite Carcass was intended to be a full-length, and then accidently wasn't, exactly. "We'd be like, 'This song is done ... shit, it's only a minute long,'" recalls Watt. But if it's not a long-player in terms of time elapsed, it is in spirit.

I'd love to indulge in a hackneyed, Andy Rooney-style tirade about music in the age of Twitter, and the ever-weakening of our nation's collective attention span, but that would be missing the point. Infinite Carcass wasn't born of distractions, but rather distillation.

"I think it's really a testament to quality over quantity," Volkman says. "We didn't want any bullshit in there." And there isn't any.

Once Watt's rusty yowl hacks through the false starts of "Doom Route," there's no time to get bored, or think about skipping tracks. I, for one, feel a little like a hit-and-run victim every time I get to the end of "Shitty Lazarus," with its lyrics, "my life's an empty grave." And, whoa, I thought that even before Watt pointed out the record's loose theme of humans as road-kill.

"We're all hit by cars," Watt explains. "Eventually something happens and you're just another body on the side of the road."

Girlfight recorded in Louisville with Lord's Chris Owens, an experience Volkman and Watt agree was one of the most intense of their lives. "For a week our whole lives were this record. Usually you're recording with some dudes in Pittsburgh over five weekends," Volkman says. "All we did was record, play hacky sack and eat noodles."

The sense of compression is palpable. Like some airborne toxin, it doesn't take extended exposure to Infinite Carcass to contract the rousing anxiety it radiates.

Girlfight will release Infinite Carcass with a show at the Hot Metal Bridge Faith Community at 6 p.m. Sat., Oct. 16. For more info, visit - Pittsburgh City Paper


2008 - Haggard EP
2009 - Ghost Eater EP
2010 - Infinite Carcass LP



Girlfight brings a bone crushing sound from Pittsburgh, PA. Loaded with monster riffs and back breaking beats, they will for sure melt your face.

Words cannot express the feeling one will have after listening Girlfight but these fine folks have tried. The Pittsburgh City Paper says, "The sense of compression is palpable. Like some airborne toxin, it doesn't take extended exposure to Girlfight to contract the rousing anxiety it radiates." And says, "Much like a mother cat carrying her kittens, Girlfight grabs you by the scruff of your neck and takes you on the wildest of all rides."