There are a lot of “core” music subgenres out there, you know, like metalcore, hardcore, grindcore, but we bet you’ve never heard of beautycore. That’s a subgenre unique unto itself, invented by the girls in GFM (check out our September interview with them). They have been slowly but surely developing and refining this beautycore sound for several years now, and they are now popularizing it thanks to the release of their latest EP, Framing My Perception, this past May via Rockfest Records. The six-track effort combines the best of heavy metal with melodic vocals, with the trio benefitting as songwriters from life experience to write some pretty impressive songs. Overall, the lyrical theme focuses on rising to the occasion when challenges come along and turning those experiences into something positive and productive.
GFM, short for Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh, are three metalhead sisters from Jacksonville, Florida. The band is led by Maggie English on bass and vocals, C.J. English on guitar, and Lulu English on drums. They were personally invited by professional wrestling superstar and Fozzy frontman Chris Jericho to open for his band this past summer, but unfortunately, those dates got cancelled. Nevertheless, it speaks to the types of influential actors GFM is impressing.
We recently had the opportunity to speak with Maggie, but rather than ask about the EP and the typical music-related questions; we turned the topic to video games and what role they have played in her life as an artist and a musician.
What video game introduced you to the world of gaming?
Maggie English: “I remember vividly when I was little, our cousins had come to visit us for Thanksgiving, and my mom and aunt went Black Friday shopping and brought home an Xbox 360 with Guitar Hero and Left 4 Dead. We watched my dad, brother, and uncle play the games and begged them to let us play. They finally let us try, and we were hooked.”
What are your favourite types of games to play?
“I tend to gravitate toward either shooter games and fast-paced games or storyline games. When I have friends online, it’s fun to play the slower-paced games like Minecraft or Animal Crossing. I hate battle royales, though, because I want to be able to revive as soon as I die (laughs).”
How do you feel about more games featuring VR options?
“I think VR is such a cool thing, but I haven’t been able to try it out much. I’ve been playing scary games recently on the band’s Twitch channel, and I wish I could do the VR versions. I’ve watched people play online, and even though it looks way scarier, it also seems way funnier.”
Why do you think gaming is an important part of our culture?
“I think gaming helps foster friendships, especially for people who are uncomfortable with social interactions in public settings. You already have something in common because of your interest in the game, and you don’t have to worry about making sure you’re making the right facial expressions or gestures. You also tend to be thrown into team-building-type activities, so you’re kind of forced to trust the other person.
“A lot of the people I’m close to are long-distance, and I’ve been able to build and keep some of my closest relationships because we’re able to play games and have that quality time together even when we’re far away.”
Have video games ever inspired you musically?
“Actually, yes! Sometimes, it’s just the general vibe of the game that you want to transfer into your songs, but other times, we’ve wanted our songs to sound like a song off of the soundtrack of a game. A song like ‘115’ from Call of Duty: Black Ops is a popular song that influenced us when we were first starting to figure out how to write our own music!”
If you were given an unlimited budget to create a video game based on your band, what would it look like?
“I absolutely love zombie games, so it might be old-fashioned, but I would love to have some sort of ‘cheerleader vs the world’ storyline game. Think storyline similar to the Left 4 Dead games, and graphics and features similar to the Call of Duty zombie games. It would, of course, have to have a co-op option so you could play with your friends. It would be really cool if all the weapons were based off of the instruments we play on stage, even if it’s just using a guitar as a melee weapon!”
Do you prefer console or PC?
“I am not a picky player. Give me a system, and I will figure out how to use it (laughs). We grew up playing on Xbox consoles, and I still do. I recently got a gaming laptop, though, and there are tons of games that you can only play on PC! So I go back and forth, so I can get the best of both world (laughs).”
Is there anything you wish the gaming community would do more of?
“I wish there were more movies and events surrounding video games. Recently, they’ve started doing more movies like the Mortal Kombat movie and the Uncharted movie that came out recently. I would love to see more movies use the updated technology we have to help these worlds come to the big screen! I’d also love to see stuff like escape rooms or walk-through experiences where you’re able to see what the world would look like if you could actually visit it in real life. It would be super fun to have to do missions and see your favourite characters and live in that world, even if it was just for 45 minutes.”
How do you think gaming culture will evolve in the upcoming years?
“I think we’ll continue to see new technology being integrated into the gaming world. I think they’ll continue to add onto VR experiences and find ways to make games more realistic. We’re already seeing graphics that make cutscenes look like actors from movie scenes, so it’s crazy to think how much that will progress in the upcoming years.”
How would you introduce someone to gaming who has never played a video game before?
“It all comes down to finding what people are interested in! I’ve talked to people that play games like Animal Crossing simply because they love gardening, and they can do that in the game. People who like to be aggressive or work with teams may like sharpshooter multiplayer games. Sometimes it also just takes being with the person and playing with them, and bonding together. They may never play a game by themselves, but it might be a fun thing for you to do together.”