Alison Galea of the Beangrowers

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CWG: How did you all come together as a band?

Ian and Mark started a band with another friend of theirs when we were 16 and I was asked to join as a keyboardist. Soon after, I picked up a microphone, ditched the idea of playing keyboards live and taught myself how to play the guitar.

After a couple of years we ended up as a 3-piece and things have stayed that way ever since.

CWG: In an indie rock band, one of the rules is that one male member and one female member have to be married to one another or seriously dating. Is this the case with the Beangrowers? Please feel free to use adjectives, like "boink."

This was never the case with Beangrowers and we never “boinked!”

I guess we get a medal for being one of the few bands to break the rules! With us it would be repulsive and considered incestuous because we have always had a relationship of the “sibling kind.”

CWG: Do the Beangrowers have an on-going rivalry with any bands?

None of that Oasis vs. Blur stuff has happened yet but there have been bands who have decided to use our achievements as a means of competing with us.

They’re alone on this as we don’t compete with anyone.

CWG: "Not in A Million Lovers" - very cool video. How did you guys come up with the concept?

Thanks - glad you like the video. We absolutely love it!

The idea came to life thanks to Duncan Bone’s vision, Ian’s assistance and my patience - posing with a mouth like a goldfish for about 2000 photos.

The video’s storyline follows me through a series of relationships and the only thing which remains from the relationships are photos which show different guys coming in and out of my life - not really a million of them but we fit in what we could.

CWG: Is there a story behind "Life's A Bitch and Then She Sings in Your Band" and "Good Band Bad Name?" If so, does it have to do with the Beangrowers' on-going rivalry with another band?

There’s no talk of rivalry at all. “Life’s A Bitch and then She Sings in Your Band” is something of a reference to what Ian and Mark always say about me.

Since Ian and Mark can’t use the traditional quote when referring to me, they had to rearrange it to fit their situation.

I went along with it (because it’s no use fighting their machismo) and I actually sing proudly that “Maybe i’m a bitch, but i’m the best.”

Obviously, we’ve all had a few good laughs about it.

I think it’s our best song title! As for “Good Band Bad Name” it’s a song about a band which gets shunned by the record industry but that doesn’t stop them from having a good time.

CWG: Do you guys have any weird hobbies or guilty pleasures, like para-gliding?

Not really. We sometimes pick our noses but that’s about it! My guilty pleasures usually involve gourmet food.

CWG: If you weren't in the Beangrowers, what would you be doing?

I’d probably be an ice-skating queen, Ian a porn star and Mark would be out fishing in the Mediterranean sea.

CWG: What was the inspiration behind "Not In A Million Lovers" the album?

I think this album captures the essence of a band that has matured over the years and that it is heartfelt and genuine. What you hear is what we want to hear.

The inspiration for it came from a reflection on different kinds of relationships that are not necessarily all of an amorous nature.

CWG: The Beangrowers have been compared to Blondie meets Joy Division. What do you think of that comparison?

We were never good with comparisons nor do we know if any of them are any good. It’s up to you and our audiences to decide for yourselves.

CWG: You're compared with PJ Harvey and Nina Persson. What do you think of that comparison? There are very few female rock singers on the scene, do you see yourself as a role model for other females?

I am aware that there are far too few women on the rock scene and even less of them who play an instrument other than their vocal chords, which is a shame.

It is an honour to be compared to the likes of PJ and Nina Persson but I always feel that there are too few female musicians to be compared to and that the choice is limited, and therefore not always accurate.

I hope that I can be an inspiration to other women so that they can share their musical talents with the rest of us. If there were more women on the scene, people would stop judging me and other female musicians simply for the fact that we are female, i.e. the minority in this case.

CWG: What was it like to be in Malta and then in Berlin? Did it change the approach to creating music? How are the music scenes different?

Imagine the difference between an island country in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea where life is much slower than in most European countries and where the sun is always shining; then imagine a northern, bustling city of Berlin or any other capital city for that matter.

It’s a phenomenal difference which has inspired us in so many positive ways. We love both worlds, but our hearts will always be down south where it’s warmer and where we can write our music without any external pressure and where we feel at home.

Lives, loves, music scenes and so on, are all relative to the size and influences of a place. We feel lucky to have experienced the best of both worlds.

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