‘There was no stopping me’: G Flip on being the representation they never had growing up

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‘There was no stopping me’: G Flip on being the representation they never had growing up

G Flip
Photo credit: Nazrin Massaro
Words by Sidonie Bird de la Coeur

It’s the day before International Non-Binary People’s Day when I get the chance to interview G Flip.

About to kick off on their highly anticipated DRUMMER tour, they reflect on being at the forefront of queer, non-binary representation in the mainstream Australian music landscape. 

“When I came out as non-binary, I knew that I’d have to talk about it a lot,” they say. “I knew that there’d be a bit of a responsibility but I’ve always liked public speaking and I like educating people. I was a music teacher before G Flip took off, so for me, it came pretty naturally, to fill that role.

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“I think a big part of the G Flip project is being the person that I never had growing up. We never had non-binary musicians growing up, so it’s awesome now that there are people filling those shoes for kids who are looking for an idol, searching for someone to look up to.”

Playing both drums and lead vocals, as well as keys and guitar, any output from them is nothing short of a marvel of multi-instrumentalism. While to some, drumming and singing lead may seem to be an unconventional combination, for G Flip, however, the two go hand in hand. 

“I’ve been drumming since I was nine years old and I was always singing in private. Like, if I was home alone, I would sing. I was too shy to sing in front of anyone. I always wrote solo music on piano and guitar when I was a teenager. But it was always alone and I never showed anyone.

“So, yeah, no one ever heard my songs or my voice ’til I was 19, maybe 20 years old. It wasn’t until I came out as queer that I felt comfortable sharing my songs because a lot of the lyrical content of my songs was very queer based and I hadn’t come out yet. As soon as I came out, I was ready to share my songs.

“The drums was like my safe space, it was my shield. And then as soon as I came out as gay, then I was ready to take the microphone and share my story. It’s a big part of my journey.”

Featuring standout track The Worst Person Alive, DRUMMER is a powerful, high-octane pop album that could only have been made by a devoted percussionist. Singing “You used to call me, “Baby, come over” / Now I’m the worst person alive,” the track deconstructs the isolation that comes with suddenly being completely out of the loop with a person you used to date.  “That’s how some breakups go,” they say. 

“I’ve had relationships where we’ve ended up being friends, and that particular one that I wrote about, it’s just like dead silence. I’ve never heard from them again. 

“I wanted to write a song about those feelings and that from being each other’s everything to being absolutely nothing.

“I did some Pride shows recently in the States, and I tested out The Worst Person Alive. For me and my band, that’s one of the most fun songs to play live, we enjoy it so much. And the crowd reception and reaction for that song has been really awesome. 

“And a lot of my core fans and friends are saying it’s one of the best songs I’ve ever released so far, which is so awesome to hear, and I’m glad that that song is out in the world.”

In what has since become heralded as a legendary moment in G Flip’s career, they broke their arm while in the midst of their 2022 tour and despite doctor’s orders, appeared on stage mere hours later, drumming one-handed. As it turns out, they were more than prepared for the mishap. 

“I watched Travis Barker growing up, who’s an idol of mine, he broke his hand and then he did a whole tour with one hand. So as a kid, I’d always practice my set one-handed and teach myself that. 

“So, I already had kind of prepared because I do silly stuff and I used to skateboard a lot. It was something that I could see in my future.

“I broke my hand, but then in the hospital, I just started learning my set one-handed. Then, I was on stage about eight hours later playing the show. I had six more shows and then I did Splendour one-handed. 

“But I just trained and learned how to fill in the gaps with my left foot. So, under my left foot, we put a pedal there. So then in all my drum fills, my left foot was engaged and I had all my symbols on my left side. 

“There was no stopping me. When I had a broken hand, I almost found it like a challenge. I wanted to find the most badass drum solo and do it one-handed. So at Splendour, I ripped like a five-minute, six-minute drum solo one-handed and it was so fun.”

Hot off the back of their August 11 release, they’re slated to perform 13 Australian dates on their upcoming tour – before heading across the ditch to bring DRUMMER to the States. “I do get extremely fit on tour. I feel like a melon currently, but once I’m on tour, I get full abs and stuff,” they laugh. Singing real hectic while drumming – the heart rate goes up like no other.” There really is no stopping G Flip. 

Catch G Flip at the Forum on August 29 and September 2 + 3. Grab tickets by heading here.