Nova Twins: ‘You have to make room for new bands, otherwise rock will die’

Nova Twins are only a handful of minutes into their sold-out show at The Echo in Los Angeles when a writhing circle pit opens at the heart of the pogoing crowd. You’d never guess that tonight is the first time the rising stars of British alt-rock have ever played a note in this city. The duo’s neon-hued DIY future-punk aesthetic is reflected back to them in a sea of elaborately dressed fans who know all the words to every song. On stage, bassist Georgia South nods her head beneath an explosion of bright red curls as she unleashes a groove that shakes the sweat from the walls. Beside her, guitarist and vocalist Amy Love is leading a righteous call and response. “It’s my body! It’s my mind!” she howls, and the answer comes straight back from the devoted audience: “Do what I want with it!”

The defiant energy crackling around the packed room isn’t just down to the loud, proud, genre-blending sound the pair have arrived at by fusing together hardcore rock, punk, metal and rap. It’s also a product of the open-hearted community Nova Twins have built around themselves since they first started playing shows together eight years ago. Signs posted around the venue set out exactly what they stand for. “Nova Twins: We Are Pro Love & Respect!” they read. “No Harassment. No Racism. No Homophobia. No Transphobia. No Xenophobia. No Ableism.”

That fervent belief in the power of inclusivity is just one way Love and South are redefining what it means to be a rock star in 2022. When I meet the pair for a deep-fried lunch at rock’n’roll institution The Rainbow Bar and Grill on LA’s Sunset Strip, they explain they have no time for clichéd band posturing. “Sometimes you see people who are a bit too cool for fucking school,” says Love, an outgoing frontwoman whose brand of cool is as easygoing as it is chic. She offers a sneering impersonation to illustrate her point: “‘We’re fucking rock stars, and we don’t give a fucking’,” she says. “Being a rock star isn’t about putting up some weird façade.” The duo have a knack for finishing each other’s sentences, and South, the quieter of the two, picks up Love’s train of thought. “I feel like that’s not cool anymore,” she says. “Back in the day they’d be in here doing that, but now you just look like a dick. It’s cooler to be kind.”

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