Your new favorite group NOT THE MAIN CHARACTERSare back with their new single “evian (boohoo!)” and they’ve got a lot to say. Comprised of members Gabi Gotts, Perrin Xthona, and Tammy Gonzalez, NOT THE MAIN CHARACTERS initially started out as just a simple, creative outlet during quarantine. Eventually, the three decided to release some of the music they created together online, and well, the rest is history!
With members branching from three different parts of the world — the UK, New York, and Oregon — NOT THE MAIN CHARACTERS have created an overall sound that is fresh, bubbly, and downright cool. With lyrics heavily driven by their experiences on the internet and songs mixed with synths, loud beats, and elements of 2000s pop, the trio are making music that anyone can put on to feel like they’re the star of their own movie.
Their new single “evian (boohoo!),” a collaboration with hyperpop icon Alice Longyu Gao, is about “making light of whatever stresses you’ve got going on, and turning it into an aesthetic — like tears into diamonds… writing “evian (boohoo!)” was our way of laughing at ourselves and turning our emotional baggage into a Louis luggage set” they explain.
We got the chance to ask NOT THE MAIN CHARACTERS all about their new single, the chaos of the internet, musical influences, and more, which you can read below.
Hi guys! Where did the idea for your new single “evian (boohoo!)” come from and what was the writing process like?
Gotts: The idea for “evian” was a happy accident — we were at the end of a long string of sessions and we were flat out of concepts. We were all exhausted in the studio and someone made a joke about crying but making it aesthetic. In response, our co-writer, Alice Longyu Gao, freestyled the first lyric: “drop, drop, drop like diamonds,” and our song-baby was born. We always start the writing process with what we jokinglycall “slam poetry.” We all brainstorm lyrics in a shared google doc since they’re our favorite part of the writing process. While we worked on lyrics, producers Alice and Nathaniel Clay laid down beep-boop-bops to create the beat for us to write melodies over.
Xthona: A couple months later we took it to our friends Gabe Reali and Jason Hahs. Gabe came up with a new drop idea and Jason added a bunch more sonic elements to the beat; they really helped pull the whole thing together.
The age of the internet and all that comes with it seems to be a major theme throughout your songs. How do you personally view the internet now? Is it still something you view as chaotic or are there more positive aspects that you like about it?
Xthona: I think we’re equally in love with (and terrified by) the internet. I feel most understood when I’m scrolling through Tumblr or TikTok and just hear other people’s life stories. It makes me realize I’ve never had an original thought in my entire life, which is scary and comforting at the same time. That’s how all of our existential conversations begin, and they’re what eventually leads to concepts.
While your group’s name is NOT THE MAIN CHARACTERS, I think the music you’re making really inspires fans to feel like they can be the main characters in their lives. In what moments do you feel especially confident and like a main character?
Gonzalez: Anytime all three of us are getting ready to go out, we blast music on a speaker. It makes us feel like we’re in a movie and whatever playlist is on is the soundtrack to our night. The songs that get you stoked to go out are the types of tracks we love to make.
Gotts: Getting dressed up for events or nights out are especially fun for us because we all have online shopping addictions (oops) and live for creating fun ‘fits. We have such varying styles from one another that when we show up to parties it kind of feels like a trio of main characters amalgamated into one unit.
Xthona: I also feel like that’s part of why we’re not the main characters, because it’s fun to make music that makes other people feel like they are.
Do song ideas usually come to you out of the blue, such as how “evian (boohoo!)” came to be?
Gonzalez: Our song ideas usually come from random conversations we have. We’ll go on complete tangents and then someone will say a cool phrase that ends up being the title or concept. I feel like our song concepts are often just a reflection of our drawn-out banters.
Gotts: Our intense 1-minute bits turn into 2-minute bangers.
All three of you grew up on ’90s and early 2000s pop and R&B. Is there a particular artist or group from those eras that inspired you to pursue music/songwriting?
Xthona: I used to be — and still am — obsessed with the Spice Girls. I would steal my older sister’s CDs and play them in my Hello Kitty CD player on repeat. I also watched the Spice World movie all the time and I loved their interviews because they had absolutely no filter. So they’ve definitely been an inspiration to me.
Gotts: I remember every Christmas I’d get a “Now That’s What You Call Music” CD, and that’s all I’d listen to for the entirety of the year. I also had a heavy Ashley Tisdale and Miley Cyrus phase. I think overall though, Ed Sheeran will always be the OG instigator for my career in music – his (+) album low-key taught me how to feel.
Gonzalez: I have vivid memories from my childhood where I’d wake up early to watch VH1 Top 20 Countdown. It was 9 a.m. and I was fully blasting Rihanna, Gwen Stefani, and The Pussycat Dolls on my TV. I feel like all of the 2000s pop bops from this era heavily shaped the way I think of writing melodies now.
Lastly, do you have any words you’d like to leave for listeners just getting into NOT THE MAIN CHARACTERS?
Gotts: Affectionately referred to by ourselves as the three stooges, we’re just three examples of mayhem distilled into hoomans and we’re happy that you decided to come along for the ride. We have no idea where this rollercoaster is heading, but we’re having a great time and we hope you are too. Also, we’re dropping our debut EP in early 2022! It’s filled with hype pregame and party songs and we can’t wait to share it with everybody!