Rock Goddess: NWOBHM's female pioneers are ready to roll once more

Rock Goddess

“The thing that remains completely unchanged is the metal fans,” says Rock Goddess singer Jody Turner. “Once you become part of the metal family then it’s for life, and it means so much! I love that. That’s how I felt when I found metal: I knew It was a life-long membership. The strength of passion for the music is evergreen.”

Forty years on from their formation in South London, and a mere thirty since their last recording, NWOBHM starlets Rock Goddess are back, original line-up in place. And they’re not just back in a coining-it-in-on-the-festival-circuit kinda way, having played a series of raucously-received show since their return in 2013: they’re actually back in the studio. There’s an album on the way, and a new EP, led by It’s More Than Rock And Roll, is released on May 19.

“It’s been a long time coming, but we got there,” says Jody. “We are so proud of this, and of each other. We hope people enjoy it as much as we want them to.”

What’s It’s More Than Rock And Roll about?

Jody: Well, it’s saying ‘It’s not just Rock’n’ Roll’, it’s more than that. It’s why we get up in the morning, why we breathe in and out. It’s everything! It’s a song of thanks for making life worth living.

What’s taken so long?

Julie: I left the music industry after the band split, got married and had my two children, so for a time I concentrated on raising my kids. Later, I did start drumming again, but not too seriously, and then I received an email from my dad [John Turner, former manager] asking if I was interested in being part of Rock Goddess again; my life had changed, my kids were older and I said, ‘Absolutely! I’m in!

Jody: We’ve also been looking to get the right record deal. There’s interest but we just didn’t want any more delay in putting some product out. I’d been writing and was eager to record these new tracks. In the end, we needed to do this EP ourselves. And boy am I glad we did! I’m so pleased with the songs and the video and they’ve already been getting great feedback.

How does it feel to be back?

Jody: Like a dream come true. So happy we reformed and people have been bloody amazing. Sure, you can’t please everyone and we aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, but what a response we’ve had and are still getting. At last we’ve new stuff out and it’s gone a bit crazy! Bring it on…

How has the metal scene changed since the early 80s?

Jody: Technology has changed the industry. Record companies are hanging on to their money a lot more and it’s not so easy for bands to get deals or deals with any worthwhile money advances. On the other hand, bands can record and promote their own products now, the balance of power has shifted. In the 80s if you didn’t get a deal you were nowhere.

You’ve been an inspiration to a generation of female rockers. How does that make you feel?

Jody: Humble. I always said all those years ago that I hoped in 20 years’ time there’d be more girls in metal and metal girl bands. And there are. Not as many as I had hoped for, but hey! It’s not quantity, but quality that counts. The wonderful queen of metal Doro always gives me a mention and I feel so proud as she’s amazing. The Amorettes cite us as an influence and they’re a really great band; love them to bits as well. It’s still male top heavy, but there’s no secret handshake to get in, so come on girls… let’s see more girls in metal.

Julie: I’m incredibly proud to be in Rock Goddess and proud that we’re part of the NWOBHM history. If we have inspired anyone then that’s incredible and makes me quite emotional.

Which current bands do you listen to?

Jody: I listen to a lot of different things. I love Lamb of God at the moment, then the next minute I will listen to FM and Steely Dan. I Love Slipknot, Metallica, Thunder, Megadeth, Led Zeppelin, God Forbid, Slayer… the list goes on. Today I was listening to Joe Walsh and Bad Company. Tomorrow it will probably be Sepultura.

You’re playing the Borderline in June. What can fans expect?

Julie: It’s gonna be loud and powerful! A classic Rock Goddess gig. We can’t wait.

Jody: Obviously the new EP songs will be played as well as the old favourites, and we always try and meet people after the gig to say ‘hello’. I’ll also have my new tattoo then, and a big one at that! You will never guess what the word is I’m having tattooed on my arm…

You’ve been an inspiration to a generation of female rockers. How does that make you feel

Jody: Humble. I always said all those years ago that I hoped in 20 years’ time there’d be more girls in metal and metal girl bands. And there are. Not as many as I had hoped for, but hey! It’s not quantity, but quality that counts. The wonderful queen of metal Doro always gives me a mention and I feel so proud as she’s amazing. The Amorettes cite us as an influence and they’re a really great band; love them to bits as well. It’s still male top heavy, but there’s no secret handshake to get in, so come on girls… let’s see more girls in metal.

Julie: I’m incredibly proud to be in Rock Goddess and proud that we’re part of the NWOBHM history. If we have inspired anyone then that’s incredible and makes me quite emotional.

It’s More Than Rock and Roll can be pre-ordered now. It’s available digitally, and as a numbered limited edition of 500 CDs, signed by the band.

The Return of Rock Goddess