RAH RAH RASS :: Nihilist Cheerleader - Interview w/ Lead Singer Flynne Collins

Nihilist Cheerleader
A few weeks ago, I went out to see some bands with my room mate. The venue was in downtown Atlanta at place called Mammal Gallery. It seemed to be a celebration of jorts or Jortsfest, as they called it. Not knowing what to expect, we walk into a nice spacious venue, bar to the right, vendor booths setup and a high energy punk band on stage. I was drawn near by their raw energy and talent. After listening for a while, I had to find out who this was - I went to ask the door guy who didn't have the lineup, but pointed me toward someone who did.

"Ummmm, looks like it's Nihilist Cheerleader on right now." he said,

Nihilist Cheerleader - was the perfect description of what I was hearing. I reached out to the band later that night on social media and Flynne Collins, the lead vocalist responded back. She agreed to interview with me and we finally got together tonight to talk.

Hello Flynne! Thank you for taking the time to talk to us today.

Of course!

So, can you tell us a little bit of the band's history?

Nihilist Cheerleader started out as a two-piece with and a friend of mine on drums and playing guitar and singing. Then we added in bass and second guitar and switched drummers somewhere in between. I started Nihilist Cheerleader to have a band centered around having fun and creating healthy/engaging live performances in a somewhat dead/uniform punk scene. We all really love each other in Nihilist Cheerleader and our main goal is to have a good time with people!

It's pretty obvious not only that you vibe together, and enjoy having fun. Can you introduce the rest of the band and tell us how you met?

Soooooo... Leora plays bass and is one of my best friends, we have known each other since we were in kindergarden. Our lead guitarist is named Dylan, i met him in high school. He's one of the sweetest guy's in the world! And our Drummer is named Charley. I met Charley while participating in a thing called "Athens Face Off" where groups of 3 musicians around town are put together and given a month to put together a 15 minute set. We are all just kids that grew up in the Athens/ATL area that found our way together.

You're pretty lucky to have found your dream team, especially when touring and you have been touring a lot recently. Can you explain what its like touring in a female-led punk band in the south?

Touring is very sweaty. Otherwise, touring has really suited our band. Most all of the venues and acts we have played with have been so supportive and respectful. We met a lot of bands on tour that we want to bring to Athens. You'd think there might be some haters due to some of our content, but so far that hasn't been a huge issue ( perhaps because often times it's hard to hear what I am singing live ... haha).

Well, that's punk for ya! haha ... So here's a few questions in a row - is the band Nihilist? is the band feminist? Is the band strictly made of former cheerleaders?

We are not Nihilists and we are not cheerleaders. The name started out as something funny.... I mean a Nihilist Cheerleader ... hahaha. But at the same time, now I feel like it really fits with a the state of mind I want to evoke in our music. Nihilism is belief in nothing and cheerleading is belief. I am deeply upset by a lot of things but I want to seek solutions rather than just letting things build up. I love angry punk music, but I want there to be some light in Nihilist cheerleader songs. I hope that makes some sense. Also, the band is not feminist, but I centrainly bring feminist ideas into my lyrics.

That makes total sense. I always felt like Nihilist and Cheerleader were a dichotomy. You get your message in there for those close enough to pay attention. I know you respect Kathleen Hannah as an influence, any other influences ... I could swear, I hear some Kim Gordon influences on "Shark Fin Soup" ... am I crazy?
I'm definitely a Kathleen fan. Also definitely a Kim fan. Although, I wasn't really thinking Sonic Youth when it came to Shark fin soup. I was actually inspired by the GoGo's for that song! But Sonic Youth influences could have definitely slipped into the song without a conscious decision! We are all Sonic Youth fans-- so you're not crazy!!

I would like to think that we all are. They say that all music is subconsciously borrowing from something we've heard. Last question - what's your music guilty pleasure?

Oh god I have a lot, but I've been listening to Ashlee Simpson recently because she was one of my fav musicians in the third grade ... haha. 
I mean her whole lip-sync scandal was messed up but her songs at least have sort of a powerful independent women thing going at least.

Hope Nihilist Cheerleader doesn't start sounding like Ashlee Simpson haha!
I highly doubt that. Well, thanks Flynne for the great interview!
Yeah! Thanks so much! keep me posted and have a good night!