Interview

Goat Girl – At home with Lottie, Rosy… and Vera the ghost

Basically a party house that most of us aren’t relaxed enough to live in ourselves

If you’ve followed Goat Girl over the past year or two – their south London scene beginnings, their broken arms, their being trolled for not wearing bras on Later with Jools Holland, their take-it-or-leave-it debut album of strung-out psych rock and post-punk slow-burners, their timeless sense of being young and in a gang and doing well – you can probably imagine exactly how and where they live; in the case of singer Lottie and drummer Rosy, at least.

Band mates Ellie and Holly live separately and north of the river but Lottie and Rosy have remained in Lewisham, where the band formed and still rehearse, in Ellie’s mum’s garage a few streets away. South London has been important to Goat Girl, but the location of their terrace house, shared with a couple of friends and a ghost names Vera, pales to the stuff inside.

Lottie’s and Rosy’s place is basically a party house that most of us aren’t relaxed enough to live in ourselves. There are things everywhere, seemingly, whenever I ask, from three sources: Deptford Market, Poundland, which Rosy has become obsessed with, and the street outside. Across the board, these items include whole sofas, shopping trolleys that the band have converted into summer BBQs, paintings of horses, paintings of dogs, an unofficial Robbie Williams calendar, books about Zayn Malik and Rosy’s “inflatable boyfriend”, Stu (discarded behind a skateboard until next year).

Lottie opens the door and leads us to the kitchen for a strong cup of tea. I note the Christmas bunting – it’s not that it’s up early, Lottie tells me; it never came down from last year. Spoiled for choice for the things we could talk about in this house, Lottie and Rosy spend the next hour or two showing me around and having a good laugh as we go. It was just how I expected it to be. Apart from the ghost.

Playstation 2

Lottie: What is it they say about computer games – the worst ones are the ones they make into films. All of the games I own are those ones. My favourite is Tomb Raider.

The TV we found on the street. We find so much stuff around this area. There were all these TVs that had been left, so we took one. They were all sitting in water, so it was pretty dangerous to plug it in, but it works fine. And because the screen is so small, it makes watching TV a real workout for your brain. It’s not as if you’re just sat there doing nothing.

The garden 

Rosy: If it was the summer this would look really nice because I did the garden up over the summer. Now it’s turned to shit.

Lottie: The sheet is from where we were trying to watch films outside. We set up a projector, but every time our neighbour turned their light on we couldn’t see anything. And we couldn’t have the sound on because it was too late, so we’d be sat there watching a silent movie of 21 Jump Street.

Rosy: That at the back in the mud bath. When it was really hot I made that really wet and just lied down in it. I had fun, covered in mud.

Rosy: That against the fence is a wheel that I found and decided I just had to have it. It was in my room but it fell on my friend’s head, because the ghost moved it. Because we have a ghost called Vera. [Rosy shows me a brick in the house with ‘VERA’ written on it.] She lives in the cupboard under the stairs and I’ve had a couple of paranormal experiences with her.

One time she turned my music down. It was on 13, and I was sitting on my bed, and I just heard the music fade out mid-song, and I went over and it had been turned down to zero. And then, with the wheel, it was on the top of my cupboard and it just flew onto my bed. Because there was this fly, and I was trying to put it a jar because it had really nice wings, and the next thing I know the wheel flies off and lands by my bed. I think Vera was saving the fly.

Robbie Williams calendar

Rosy: I got this from Poundland – I have a bit of an obsession with Poundland. There weren’t any other choices, it was just Robbie. It’s all stock images that are unflattering. It’s not good, Robbie. I think Robbie’s quite funny, though. I like that album cover where he’s all of the football players – it’s all him.

Hank 

Rosy: This is hank. He came from Deptford market and goes everywhere on tour with me. He’s nice to hold and cuddle in the van. The thing is, he’s very robotic and not very cuddly. You can feel that he has wires in his arms, but I’ve not dared to put batteries in him yet. He would probably start saying my name because we’re very close. I was really scared of him at first. He looks pretty scary.

Painting 

Rosy: I found this big piece of cardboard and thought, ‘ok, let’s paint something.’ I like drawing weird alien creatures, and liked the idea of giving this one a story about him being an ethical thief.

I’ve only made four pieces of art in my life. This is one, and that’s one [a collage of photos from cheap porn mag Razzle – not pictured]. When we were on tour once I had the urge to buy a porn magazine at a service station. I acted really casual to the little old lady behind the till – ‘hey, how are you doing? Just that please…’ Everyone was like, ‘that’s disgusting,’ but there were all reading it with me because the stories are so entertaining. I thought I should find something to do with it, so I made that.

BBC passes

Lottie: These are from our Marc Riley sessions. The one from this year was more of an acoustic session so we had to work out renditions of songs to play, and it was live on air so it was kinda nerve wracking. It went pretty well, and it was filmed as well so you can see it online. It was funny because I don’t really like to shave my armpits but it was so clear in the video, because they were zooming in on me playing the guitar and it was casting a shadow on the back wall. Someone commented “hairy armpits, nooo!” I love those kinds of comments – “Oh my god, women with hairy armpits, how disgusting!” Someone commented when we played Jools as well, about Rosy not wearing a bra. They were both women as well. It’s pretty strange.

Moroccan dagger 

Rosy: I got this in Morocco. I tried to bring back a bow and arrow as well but it went missing. I think it was £20. If someone broke in though, this isn’t the thing that I would reach for – I’ve got things here. And I’ve got a golf club. It’s a lot of choice, but I’d clearly go for the hammers.

Caps 

Rosy: I bought this one in Croatia and then I was in Camberwell walking past a shop and I saw this. I have a side project called Sexy Princess so I just had to have it.

The Trump hat I’ve graffiti’d to say ‘Make Amerie Release Another Banger like One Thing again’. This was in Poundland, which was really bad. I don’t think it was in an ironic way. Although I think Poundland do have a sense of humour because sometimes you go to the self checkout and it speaks in an Elvis voice.

‘Country Sleaze’ artwork 

Rosy: This is the original artwork that we used for our very first single. My boyfriend at the time did it and just threw it away. I rescued it out of the bin.

Surfer Rosa 

Lottie: ‘Surfer Rosa’ is the first album I got on record. I got given it for my thirteenth birthday. I kinda hated it at first. I didn’t understand it – I was like, what is this noise. But I came back to it and thought, what was wrong with me. It’s not the easiest Pixies record to start with but it opened a lot of doors for me. It’s such a beautiful cover I thought I needed to make use of it and show it off.

Sketch book

Lottie: In here is my poo series. I made a whole comic book of poos in different situations, like getting crappuccinos. There are these paintings too, and charcoals. I don’t do it on tour so much, because I like to play with paints. We play a game where one of us starts telling a story and you have to start drawing it as they’re telling it. I like people that can’t really draw but have a sense of childishness to do it.

Petong the horse

Rosy: Petong is the most gracious horse to ever have been painted. We got this in Deptford Market, along with a lot of the things we own. We just can’t deny these bargains.

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