Borderline Toxic are a new heavy alt-rock band based in London. The
band draw on their rock and funk influences to encapsulate a
groove-filled, hard-hitting sound.
And Kerry Glass, front woman for Borderline Toxic is here and answering
all our questions today!
Thank you for taking this interview! How has the New Year been for you so far as an artist? It's been wicked. We spent lockdown writing and content creating so it's nice to be out gigging and trying out the material live! London has been buzzing again since the start of the year so it's flying in and a lot of fun again! Can you tell us how you've transformed from the beginning to now as an artist? Well, before I moved to London only 4 years ago, I was singing in a soul choir and hadn't even given songwriting a thought. It was only When I met my partner Pete Ray Biggin, who is a professional musician, down here did I get the drive to start taking it more seriously. All Suddenly, I was surrounded by amazing musicians and I was like ehhhh I want to do that. Funnily enough, I didn't even consider songwriting until I sent one of them big scripted angry texts to my boyfriend and his response was 'you're a songwriter' haha. He was probably trying to distract me and get off the hook from my wrath but it worked :). So yep, from choir girl to heavy alt-rock frontwoman haha! How did you come up with your latest project? I joined a few original bands but became frustrated with the lack of momentum and control I had to push forward, so I thought it would be best to start my own project. We had just gone into the first lockdown in 2020 and I wanted to come out the other end of the pandemic with something to be proud of. I wanted to make the time count. I tried writing songs on my own in my bedroom but that bored the hell out of me. My partner, Pete, then put me in touch with Henrik Fossum, a wicked rock drummer and producer based in Norway. We connected and realised straight away that we had very similar tastes in music and started writing remotely. We wrote most of the songs that we have to date remotely apart from our next single 'I'm Sexy' which Henrik, Pete and I all wrote together in London at the end of 2020. The name Borderline Toxic came from when I was in Bali, Indonesia. I spent the third lockdown (first half of 2021) there with my partner and well, we bumped heads quite a lot when drinking Espresso Martinis. A friend of ours over there tried to stage an intervention with "you guys aren't toxic but you're... Borderline Toxic". Our reaction straight away was "That's a wicked band name" haha. We now have a two drink limit on Espresso Martinis but hey, they served a purpose. Where are you from originally? I'm from Erskine, a town just outside Glasgow. Henrik (our drummer) is Norwegian. Quentin (our guitarist) is Belgian and Jack (bass) is English. Where do you live now? Maida Vale, London. Do you think where you live impacts how your music is made? Hmmm I think the people you are around more impact the music you make. Writing remotely worked in lockdown but we create much more interesting sounds when we are together as a band in the studio. Although, in saying that, we joke that Henrik adds the Viking Touch to our songs as the production always seems to get heavier and dirtier and I think that definitely influenced his Norwegian roots. Some of the Norwegian bands he's introduced me to are mental! I've I have also been keen to add an element of funk into our harder rock songs and that's definitely an influence from being around my partner. There's also a bit of an electronic sound coming from our guitarist Quentin as he draws on his influences. What was the inspiration to make music your career? It wasn't originally as I wasn't in an environment where I thought that could be a reality. It was only moving to London and being around I realise it could actually be done. The inspiration for me now is to never live the mundanity. I always want excitement and to experience new things, I always want to be outside of my comfort zone, even if the trade-off is being forever tired. I have this incessant need to pack as much as possible into my life. How do you want to shape your career? I'm not too sure at this stage. The music business is a funny one. All I know is that I'm finally at a point in my life where I feel fulfilled as I'm creating and pushing boundaries that I never used to dare explore for fear of the unknown or judgement. I've f**cked all That's off now. We're in the early stages so it would be good to take the band outside of London and get out on tour. I'd like the sound to continue evolving and to keep producing fresh material that I can continue to be proud of in the future. Do you work on a tight timeline always or do you go with the flow when it comes to your music? We try to work on as tight a timeline as possible but not at the expense of rushing out something sub-par. As a new band, I'm very conscious of keeping up momentum but also of production quality, both audibly and visually. I like to have a plan and deadlines to keep some form of structure and strategy but inevitably things need to be flexible as timescales don't always go to plan. How did your latest title of your music come to be? Our latest single Breakdown was named after the outro as the song follows a very rhythmic flow and then just cascades into all out madness. We also all almost lost our sh!t making this song so it felt fitting. Our single before that was called Mr. Obsanity which was a mix of Obscene and Insanity... it was written about misogynists in power such as Trump and Epstein so again, seemed fitting. Is it hard to let go of the music when it is done? Nah. Well, I can get a bit fussy about the vocals and wanting to add in/take bits out last minute but fortunately the band are good at telling me when to stop messing with it. We're extremely lucky to have amazing musicians/producers in the band as well as being surrounded by best friends who are also insanely talented musicians... the cut throat type that would tell you if it sucked. So, by the time everyone has had a listen and approved, we feel quite comfortable with releasing. Do you feel an emotional attachment with your music? It depends. So, my biggest musical and lyrical influence is David Byrne from the Talking Heads who rarely sings about love, heartbreak and emotions. He can sing about a chair or a building and you'll dance to it because he has the vibe down and the music is amazing. But he's a very creative lyricist, for example take 'Life During Wartime' the song is upbeat and funky and the lyrics are about the Vietnam War from the viewpoint of the Vietcong. I think that's amazing. I'm not an outwardly emotional person so I would feel uncomfortable writing about my feelings. That said, I do want there to be a message in my music. For example, I'm extremely proud of Mr Obsanity. The riff is weighty but groovy so makes you dance, the melody is catchy and commercial but the lyrics are relevant and heavy, calling out current and old misogynists, racists and pedophiles in powe. How would you describe your music in one word to someone who hasn't listened to it yet? Filthy Where do they go to listen NOW? We are available on all streaming platforms but we have a fully produced video for each release so I'd suggest starting out with our Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCK9huD2s_8yCm1xdYLA0XMw What has been the best fan reaction to your music? We got described as a Dirty No Doubt, which was class. Is there anything exciting coming up for you? Lots! We are getting ready to release our first summer self-love song 'I'm Sexy' in a couple of months (it's also the first song I sing in a Scottish Accent - just like Austin Powers' Fat Bastard haha). We have some gigs this month around London. After that we are going to be getting the head down in our brand new studio and creating and developing our sound. We hope to have a full album out by the end of the year. Are you performing the song anywhere LIVE? We are! We will be playing The Black Heart in Camden on 15th May! We have also just received the live footage back from our last show at Nambucca in London so I will be posting that soon! Give us all your socials and links so fans can link up with you! Thank you for this interview! Links Insta - https://www.instagram.com/borderlinetoxic/ Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/BorderlineToxic Tiktok - https://www.tiktok.com/@borderlinetoxicmusic Spotify - https://open.spotify.com/artist/4dBHgxNdzAfuK3rbGC2UAW?si=Sp8hJx9sQDynZBRsBwClog