Cumgirl8 Play Respectable Street Wednesday Night

This article originally appeared in PureHoney Magazine. Check them out here.

When PureHoney interviewed cumgirl8 in 2022 — leading up to their headlining performance at Bumblefest in West Palm Beach — they shared stories from their notoriously wet and wild live shows. 

When we caught up with them more recently, the stories were of a more humble sort. Drummer Chase Noelle told us in an email during their European tour, “We were on a ferry on the English Channel during a storm that was careening us 80 feet in the air and slamming into waves. Plates crashing. Couldn’t walk down the hallway without falling down. It was creaking and hawing and really sounded like the Titanic.”

Another tragic story comes to mind: the 2022 film Triangle of Sadness by Ruben Östlund. With actual quotes from Marxist literature strewn throughout like broken porcelain plates, it’s a satirical critique of capitalism as told from the perspective of two young fashion models caught in the middle of the storm.

Even as an anticapitalist band, cumgirl8 are, like many artists, part of an elite world of music, fashion and nightlife. The band’s singer and bassist Lida Fox and guitarist Veronika Vilim are models themselves. Vilim just walked for one of New York’s most beloved designers, Collina Strada — Hillary Taymour’s “platform for climate awareness, social awareness, change and self expression.”

Cumgirl8 have shown their own fashion collections,

which loosely coincided with the release of their first two records, a self-titled debut album and a follow-up EP, RIPcumgirl8. For their 2021 collection, models playfully strutted down a Manhattan sidewalk in sexy, colorful designs featuring cutesy references from the band’s adolescence. Take a look at the cumgirl8 of the world and you’ll see how fashion can heal your inner child.

But as all hardworking artists can attest, success and struggle go hand in hand. “Since signing with 4AD, it’s like we’ve gotten an international team that believes in our freak agenda,” Noelle told us. But, “we lost all our savings because of a shit tour.” Vilim and guitarist Avi Rodrigues got robbed on a train in the Netherlands. “We were in the middle of nowhere and freezing and the cops wouldn’t help.” On top of that, Noelle wrote, “Everyone expects us to suck.”

That’s one reason they have an affinity with Cicciolina, the legendary singer and performer, and former Italian politician and pornstar, whom they made a music video with last year. Noelle gushed, “She was amazing! She was so gracious and generous and FUN. And sexy too. All 73 years of her.” Then reflected, “There was a moment when we were nervous if we would be too much, but then we realized that she’s honestly the most punk of all of us.”

The video for the song “Cicciolina,” from their 2023 EP Phantasea Pharm, was directed by Emmie America, a young artist whose work “explores narratives around coming-of-age vulnerability, LGBTQ+ experiences and femininity as a source of ultimate power.” Noelle made it clear: “It’s very difficult to make a 3:30 minute long video that is entertaining the whole time and is still completely intentional. There isn’t a single second in that video that is just ‘pretty’ for the sake of being pretty. The art direction Emmie gave was fully informed and referenced back to different moments in Cicciolina’s career.”

The political implications of a female sex worker and performer who went on to write policies that championed peace and equality for women and LGBTQ+ people, and opposed the expansion of nuclear power and NATO, still ring our bells today. The lyrics go: “don’t take my shit from me, don’t assume i don’t know it my shit / your story doesn’t match my memory / don’t forget i get more than some basic ass bitch with her privilege gets / still i didn’t grow up rich i take my lucky charms with grits.”

The powers of intention, positivity, privilege and grit have given us this amazing band. Someday, capitalism will fall — and with it, intersections of sexism, ageism, ableism, racism, and ecocide. Until then, we have artists like cumgirl8 leading the way, their own way. They’re in the studio recording their next album now. With a song about UTIs!

“We aren’t writing to impress anyone but ourselves,” Noelle wrote. “Just being who we are is a political statement.” And — “Through all of it, we really love each other.”

Cumgirl8 with Palomino Blond and Lindsey Mills play 8pm Wednesday, February 28 at Respectable Street in West Palm Beach. GET TICKETS HERE 

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Carly Cassano

Writer, editor, and transcriber focused on the arts and education.