Nova Twins: “Half of my family is from Australia, so I’ve always wanted to go and see what the vibe’s like”

Nova Twins
(Image credit: Federica Burelli)

We’re officially a matter of weeks away from the grand return of the Good Things festival, with its first edition in three years – hitting Melbourne on Friday December 2nd, then Sydney and Brisbane over the rest of the weekend – sporting its biggest and most insane lineup yet. Locked in to headline are Bring Me The Horizon and Deftones, with NOFX (performing 1994’s iconic Punk In Drublic) and TISM (performing for the first time in 19 years) billed right underneath. 

Perhaps the most exciting name on the poster, though, is one a little further down the list: Nova Twins. Unlike any live band you’ve ever seen, these fire-starting Londoners blend the energy of punk and the riffs of nu-metal with the attitude of hip-hop and the grit of drumstep, delivering an audio-visual assault you’re sure to have engraved into your memories for decades to come. Nova Twins’ sets at Good Things will be their first-ever in Australia, and they come hot on the heels of the band’s incendiary second album, Supernova.

Before they make the trek Down Under, Australian Guitar caught up with both members of the pair – vocalist/guitarist Amy Love and bassist Georgia South – to learn a little more about what we can expect from Nova Twins’ chaotic stage show.

So you guys have played a stack of shows since Supernova came out – what songs are people vibing the most?
Georgia South: We play quite a lot of the album, actually. I feel like one that’s kind of snuck up there is ‘Puzzles’. It’s inspired by things like ‘90s R&B, but also the heavier end of the rock spectrum, so we’ve kind of blended the two to create our version of a sexy Nova rock song. We really bring that element to it live and we have these dance battles with a twerk-off and a mosh-off. Honestly, it’s so fun!

Do you each have your own favourites to play as well?
Amy Love: ‘Choose Your Fighter’ is a lot of fun to play. And then ‘Sleep Paralysis’ is a bit of a different vibe for us, and that goes down really well. But ‘Choose Your Fighter’ is really fun.

South: It is really fun, actually. It’s a good festival banger as well.

Speaking of which, what’s the vibe like as you gear up for Good Things?
South: We’re so excited, aren’t we!? 

Love: Yeah, we’re excited! I’m looking forward to catching a bit of summer again – we come out of our winter and hop straight into your summer.

South: Yeah, very excited for that. We’ve always wanted to come to Australia, so it feels great that our first time will be at the Good Things festival. We’ve got friends on the bill, too, so it’ll be a fun week.

How much do you know about Australia’s local music scene?
Love: I don’t know loads about the music scene, but we are both really into Sampa The Great!

South: Yeah, Sampa The Great and Ecca Vandal.

Love: They’re both really cool artists – they came over here and we saw them live, and they were both incredible.

South: We don’t know too much about the scene, but half of my family is from Australia, so I’ve always wanted to just go and see what the vibe’s like.

Well obviously, y’all are well acquainted with Bring Me The Horizon. Surely you’re going to link up for ‘1x1’, right?
Love: We have no idea! I think it depends on their setlist, and if the timings work between our set and theirs.

South: We’ve done festivals together where we haven’t played it, so it’s not a guarantee. But we’ll see!

When you have played it together, what’s it been like?
Love: It’s funny, our first time playing it live – and meeting them – was at their arena tour in the UK, and every night, things were going wrong with the boards, or the in-ear packs wouldn’t work and we couldn’t hear anything. It was literally just stress. So the first few times we played it, it was like, “F***!” But once we ironed out all the technical difficulties, it was great. And then we played it again with them at the NME Awards, at the O2, and that went really well.

South: That tour was mental. We came out of the pandemic and went from seeing no one, to suddenly being on this arena tour and playing for 80,000 people every night. We were like, “Wooooooah!” It felt like a movie.

Love: It was a lot, but it was the best tour!

What kind of guitars are y’all swinging around onstage at the moment?
Love: I’m swinging around two Mustangs. One of them is a custom model – it’s hot pink, sparkly, with a zebra scratchplate – it’s wild. And that’s usually what I use for my D tuning, and then for a quick guitar change, my standard’s just a plain, like, mauve-ish Mustang. I switch between those two for pretty much the whole sets

South: I’ve got a Westone Thunder 1, which is this Japanese bass from the ‘80s. They don’t make them anymore, sadly, so I just get them secondhand. And then I’ve got a wicked custom Fender P Bass – it’s kind of like the old Telecaster-shaped P Bass, which is very cool.

Amy, what is it about the Mustang that just makes your heart skip a beat?
Love: For one, the shape – it’s very comfortable with my body, and it actually fits around my bust area. Sometimes I find that when guitars are too big, they can feel a bit jarring and uncomfortable. And it’s short-scale as well, which is super fun to play. It has P-90 pickups, so it’s not as twangy as the original American Mustang – it’s actually Mexican, but it’s super light. It’s got a beefier tone, and it just really works with all the pedals I’ve got on my board. So yeah, I absolutely love it. I’ll try different guitars all the time, but I just always find myself going back to that one.

And Georgia, what about that Thunder 1?
South: Like Amy said, it’s just the one that I keep going back to. It’s so heavy, but it just adds to the tone so much. It’s made out of, like, four different types of wood. I remember seeing it in my dad’s friend’s house – I was searching for a bass at the time, and I saw it on his wall and I was like, “What is that!?” I’d never seen anything like it. It’s red, it’s got zebra stripes on it… I ended up buying it off him for £100, and I’ve just loved it ever since. It just sounds so fat, it works with all the pedals, it’s passive… It’s just great!

Tell me about those pedals! What are the staples on your boards right now?
South: We don’t actually like to talk about what pedals we’ve got on our boards, just because we like to keep it a secret. It’s like mama’s soup, we like to keep the ingredients to ourselves! Our pedalboards are huge, though – there’s a lot of tap dancing onstage. And there’s no synths involved live; it sounds like our set is very heavy on synths, but it’s actually just us working all the pedals manually.

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Ellie Robinson
Editor-at-Large, Australian Guitar Magazine

Ellie Robinson is an Australian writer, editor and dog enthusiast with a keen ear for pop-rock and a keen tongue for actual Pop Rocks. Her bylines include music rag staples like NME, BLUNT, Mixdown and, of course, Australian Guitar (where she also serves as Editor-at-Large), but also less expected fare like TV Soap and Snowboarding Australia. Her go-to guitar is a Fender Player Tele, which, controversially, she only picked up after she'd joined the team at Australian Guitar. Before then, Ellie was a keyboardist – thankfully, the AG crew helped her see the light…