A Microinteriew with Christopher Owens

Owens, the singer and guitarist in the San Francisco-based group Girls has become known as one of the top songwriters in the rising psych-pop scene of Northern California. 

His upbeat music often masks the sadness in his lyrics, which can be attributed to his troubled past. Born in Miami in 1979, Owens was raised in the Children of God cult, known for its forced prostitution and child abuse. 

At 16, he left the cult while living in Slovenia and moved to the U.S., first to Amarillo, Texas, and eventually to San Francisco. In 2007, he and bassist/producer Chet “JR.” 

White created Girls and released their first album, _Album, in 2009, followed by an EP, Broken Dreams Club, in 2010.

These works showcased Owens’ songwriting skills and unique vocal style. Girls’ third album, Father, Son, Holy Ghost, was released last month._

Alex Scordelis’ name can be seen.


After putting out your EP, you wrote a letter for your fanbase that declared the album “an illustration of the vista.” What does the remainder of the outlook — beyond that illustration — appear like to you?

Christopher Owens has no ambition to create the world’s most popular or greatest songs. He has always aspired to write melodies like “Love Me Tender” by Elvis Presley and “Imagine” by John Lennon; in other words, straightforward, relatable, and honest songs.

Even though “Bohemian Rhapsody” is more intricate, he still wants to compose something similar.

He admires Cole Porter’s uncomplicated yet beloved music and hopes to eventually produce a song that would join his list of life-changing tunes–one that would resonate with everyone.

Owens is still determining if he’ll be able to accomplish this goal with his next album or even three from now, but his ultimate aim is to leave behind at least one of these memorable songs.


The Children of God’s leadership had a great enthusiasm for music and established music camps for young people and broadcast stations in Europe referred to as “Music with Meaning.” Were you ever oppressed in terms of your musical knowledge while growing up in the cult?

Christopher Owens admits that his musical education in Children of God was so much a part of everyday life that he didn’t recognize its peculiarity until recently.

In his teenage years in Texas, he never boasted of his musical expertise, just as someone who is an avid gamer would not typically announce it in conversations.

Although the music he was exposed to was primarily religious, he was initially resistant to it. When he left the group, he had no desire to keep playing music.


While growing up in Europe, were you accustomed to playing in the streets to draw people to your cause?

Christopher Owens recalls that when he and his family members were done busking, there was no recognition of the skill and interest in the activity.

It was treated as a chore, not something special. In hindsight, he has come to appreciate it more, but as a child, it was just another part of life.


What is the most helpful advice that another musician has given you?

Christopher Owens recounted that a good piece of advice he received when he first started was the lyrics of a song by Belle and Sebastian, which states, “[ singing ]

Oh, get me away from here I’m dying / play me a song to set me free / nobody writes them like they used to / so it may as well be me.”

This resonated with him and gave him the motivation to start writing songs. He also mentioned that he finds much of his advice from reading various rock biographies, such as Keith Richards’ memoir, which he found to be quite significant.


Do you strive to make songs that feel like they could stand the test of time?

Christopher Owens has noticed a fortunate thing regarding timeless songs: a realization that Keith Richards, John and Paul, and Harry Nilsson have all listed their earliest musical influences as Elvis Presley, the Everly Brothers, and Chuck Berry.

This shared admiration and appreciation of the same artists is something Owens has seen in the Keith Richards book, the story of the Beatles forming, and the Harry Nilsson documentary.

When I left the Children of God in 1996, I began to explore all types of mainstream music, from punk to new wave. Over the past fourteen years, I have listened to it all.

However, the Everly Brothers, Elvis Presley, and similar artists are the ones who made the most significant impression on me. They are the same idols that the Beatles and the Rolling Stones looked up to.

This was not planned; it was because these were the only artists I was allowed to listen to in the Children of God, apart from religious music. Thus, if you listen to our album, you will hear modern and classic influences as I strive to write timeless songs.

It is possible to avoid plagiarism by altering the structure of a text without changing its meaning or context.

This can be done by rewording the sentences, rearranging the order of the words, and varying the sentence structure. Doing this ensures that the semantic meaning of the original text is maintained.

A photo of an outdoor setting can be seen in the image, containing a variety of vegetation and greenery.

The landscape is filled with trees and foliage, giving viewers a tranquil atmosphere. It is a peaceful scene that can bring a sense of serenity to those who take the time to appreciate it.

The concept of coolness was quite trendy, but did it hinder something else?

Hilary was uncertain. She frequently thought she almost perceived something more profound, yet something captivating would transpire at the same time.

She had encountered some impressive people in her life, which was exhilarating. One such occasion was a spiritual experience that brought her close to celebrities.

She perceived that she was being challenged or enticed.

In the past, cakes, especially chocolate ones, were typically seen as symbols of temptation. They were often given titles that alluded to something sinful.

Deciding between feeling attractive and getting a rush from sugar was similar to two indistinguishable twins competing for the same magenta-colored jumpsuit.

Hilary kept obtaining gift cards.


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