GFM is the new generation of bands in the Christian rock/metal scene. Hailing from St. Johns, Florida. Comprised of a trio of sisters, GFM infuses positive, youthful energy into traditional rock styling. The group’s family ties inherently developed a tight musical bond, though GFM didn’t officially begin touring until 2014. Since then, GFM has been sought out for both religious and secular events throughout the Southeast, playing festivals, community events, traditional venues and the Axes and Anchors Cruise (Feb. 2016)
In the interview below, Maggie English (Bass/keys/vocals) speaks about the debut EP “Death Of Giants” the upcoming full-lenght album “Identity Crisis” and much more.
TMR: Hello Maggie this is The Metal Resource from Holland, how are things going there in Jacksonville, FL ?
Things are going great here in Jacksonville, FL! We have some super exciting things coming up.
TMR: A rock/metal band consisting of 3 young women, wow: Tell us the brief history of GFM.
GFM got its start as a cover band in 2011. We then got a taste of writing original music and haven’t turned back. We started work on our EP “Death of Giants,” and hit the road as an official original band in 2014. And haven’t stopped since.
TMR: Will you Introduce yourself and the band please ! [name and instrument]
Maggie English – Bass/keys/vocals (15)
CJ English – guitars/vocals (17)
LuLu English – drums/vocals (12)
TMR: How did you get into metal?
Our dad raised us on 80s rock, bands like Poison, ACDC, Guns and Roses, and we just kept wanting heavier and heavier music. I kind of led the pack into heavy music by discovering bands like Bring Me The Horizon, Memphis May Fire, Motionless in White, Disciple, Of Mice and Men, Asking Alexandria, RED. We are constantly on the lookout for more bands like them.
TMR: What is your musical background ?
Our parents had a rule that we had to try music for two years once we turned 5. After those two years, if we didn’t like it, we could quit. We all fell in love with music so naturally we kept it up. We were all supposed to play piano, but CJ wouldn’t practice because she wanted to play the guitar, so she learned how to play guitar. LuLu didn’t even try piano, she went straight to the drums and wouldn’t take no for an answer. I (Maggie) was the only one who stayed with piano, but we needed a bass player, so naturally I was the one who got double instruments.
TMR: Why the name GFM ? Is there a story behind it ?
Our actual name is Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh; our fans call us GFM. Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh were the first three gifts given to God, and there are three of us, so we are three gifts to give back to God.
TMR: Who writes the music/lyrics in GFM? … how do you get in the mood for writing music? And which bands/situations have influenced you for writing music and lyrics ?
There are multiple people involved with the writing in GFM. All three of us write, our dad pitches in with some lyrics, and we collaborate with our music teachers. Every once in a while, we get together with some local people to collaborate as well. As for getting in the mood, a lot of it is spur of the moment ideas. We have writing sessions almost every Monday with the music aspect, but lyrics are a whole other story. Being as young as we are, we might not have had the same experiences as other band members so some lyrics are us empathizing with people we know, as well.
TMR: What are some key principles or phylosophies that you hold onto as foundational stones as who you are as a person?
As an individual, I am a follower of Christ and I live by His commandments.
TMR: Is there a highlight you will always remember, since the beginning of GFM?
I will always remember when we got contacted by Jake Jones.(formerly of We As Human, currently of As We Ascend) He wanted to work with us in the studio and that was a huge deal seeing as we were big We As Human fans and wanted to play concerts like them.
Another thing I will never forget is when we were invited to play the Axes and Anchors cruise. We got to share the stage with bands like Motionless in White, Thousand Foot Krutch, Demon Hunter, Breaking Benjamin and many others. It was the experience of a lifetime.
TMR: And the worst thing were ? (if there is one)
We haven’t really had any hard times as GFM. We are extremely grateful for the situation we are in as of now and can’t wait for what’s instore.
TMR: What is your favorite drink and food ?
Favorite drink: lemonade. I don’t know why, it just tastes really good
Favorite food: I have a huge sweet tooth, so anything sweet.
TMR: So what makes you laugh?
My sister CJ can usually make me laugh no matter what is going on. She can always find something funny and put her twist on it, so it is ten times funnier.
TMR: What is your biggest fear ?
My biggest fear would be losing my family. They mean so much to me, and I couldn’t live without them.
TMR: What is the last album that you bought?
The last album I bought was Asking Alexandria’s “The Black.”
TMR: What are some of the things you like to do away from the band?
I’m really into reading. I like science fiction, fantasy, pretty much anything that makes up an entirely different universe. I like going to other bands concerts as well. There is so much energy and it gives me a chance to see new things to try on stage.
TMR: Speaking of recording, your debut ep “Death of Giants” has been released in Dec. 2015 what can you tell us about the album [such as the recording process, the songs/lyrics, record label etc.]
Recording our EP “Death of Giants” was a very cool experience. It was the first time being in a real studio and we made a lot of memories during that time. The recording process was pretty easy. A lot of jokes were made and we still laugh about them today. We recorded one song at a time because we were still in a traditional school setting, and could only go to the studio on our holidays, so it took about a year to finish the whole thing.
TMR: About the cover artwork. Do you think it is as important as your music? Does it visualize the lyrics of your songs or what’s the actual story behind its concept?
The cover artwork for our EP is important because it was a means to introduce Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh (GFM) to our listening audience. It visualizes our lyrics in the sense that we were fiercely dressed in order to fight our “giants” which is expressed in the songs on the EP.
TMR: You guys are working on a full-length album. Can you tell us something about it? When can we expect it?
Yes, we are working on a full length album. It will be titled “Identity Crisis” and will have 10 songs on it. We will be dropping its first single in September 2016, with an accompanying video to follow shortly. The album will drop in the Fall of 2016.
TMR: How do you promote your band (and shows) ?
We are on all social media outlets…..except for MySpace. (haha) You can find us on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Periscope, YouTube etc. as @thegfmband. We’re also on iTunes and Spotify and Google Music etc. as Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh.
TMR: Tell us about the hardrock/metal scene in your area please?
North Florida is going through a transition, and the heavy rock/metal scene is getting stronger and stronger up and down the coast. Florida even has its own hard rock/metal support group called the Rockvillains, who support all the local hard rock/ metal bands.
TMR: How do you prepare for a show?
We always pray before a show. We do the usual vocal warm ups and guitar warm ups.
TMR: What is your favorite concert that you saw and what made it so good?
Maggie: My favorite concert was when I went to Welcome to Rockville 2016 and saw Asking Alexandria and Bring Me The Horizon. What made it a good concert was 1. I got to see two of my favorite bands live and 2. their crowd control. I’d never seen a crowd react that way, and I knew in that moment, that was how I wanted a crowd to react to my music.
CJ: My favorite concert was when we were on the Axes and Anchors Cruise and we got to watch Motionless in White. What made it so good was all the energy: both on stage and in the crowd.
LuLu: My favorite concert is the same as CJ’s: Motionless in White on the Axes and Anchors Cruise. I loved the energy everyone had.
TMR: What is the most embarrassing music on your phone or in your collection and how do you justify it to others?
Maggie: The most embarrassing song would have to be “We Don’t Have to Dance” by Andy Black. I mean come on, it’s a fun pop song….
CJ: Anything Justin Bieber. I don’t feel like I have to justify Justin Bieber. LOL
LuLu: It would have to be “Daddy” by PSY. Because I got it from my daddy… literally.
TMR: If you could pick a band to tour with, who would it be? And where would the tour go?
Well, you can’t just tour with one band so I’ll give you a lineup. 🙂 Bring Me the Horizon, Memphis May Fire and Asking Alexandria along with GFM. It would be a world wide tour!
TMR: What is the dumbest question you have ever been asked?
From everyone, WHICH ONE OF YOU IS GOLD WHICH ONE OF YOU IS FRANKINCENSE WHICH ONE OF YOU IS MYRRH?
TMR: What are the biggest obstacles for bands/musicians ?
The cost to operate as a band. There’s so much expense involved, keeping your gear in order and traveling. As with any profession, there’s never enough money to go around.
TMR: As a band today, what do you think is the biggest challenge you face?
Getting radio support. We’re currently getting ready to go to radio and need the listeners’ support.
TMR: Any plans for the near future ?
We’re dropping albums and playing some major shows and working towards getting on some major tours.
TMR: Maggie thanks for your time and the interview. We wish you and GFM all the best … Is there anything you wanna say at last ? [any final statement ?]
We thank you for the privilege of getting to do this interview, and we appreciate your support and encouragement. If we can ever do anything for The Metal Resource, please let us know. Hope to see you soon at a concert in your country!
“Death of Giants” EP (2015)
“Identity Crisis” (Fall 2016)
Sept. 22 – Mai Tai Bar, Daytona Beach, FL US
Sept. 24 – Murray Hill Theatre, Jacksonville, FL US
Oct. 09 – 316 Main Street Station, Daytona Beach, FL US
Video below: ‘Darkness’
Video below: ‘Death Of Giants’