First, please tell us who the members of Girlschool are, and their roles in the band.  There are three original members right? And when did you come into the band? 
Myself Jackie 'Jax' Chambers onlead Guitar and Backing vocals. I joined in 1999 still the new girls after 14 years*:) happy. The other members are all the original members Kim McAuliffe Lead vocal and rhythm guitar, Denise Dufort Drummer and Enid Williams Bass guitar and lead vocals, although an original left for 18 years and came back into the band in 2000.

How did Girlschool start out?  
Kim and Enid lived in the same street, they put a band together when none of the boys would let them play in their bands, first of all it was a covers band called 'Painted Lady' then later Denise and Kelly joined and they became Girlschool in 1978.

Can you explain the bands ties to Motorhead?  It's my understanding that Ian "Lemmy" Kilmister had heard your first single "Take it All Away" on the radio, and the rest is history!
Yes that's exactly right when Girlschool released their 1st single 'Take it all away' Lemmy heard it and liked it, he went along to see the girls rehearse and invited them on tour with Motorhead, the rest is history as you say *:) happy.

Tell us about the NWOBHM years of the band.
Well I wasn't in the band back then but I know it was a special time for all involved and most of those bands are still around today still recording and playing gigs. They influenced a great deal of bands today with that style.

When is Girlschool's next tour?
We are about to go on tour with Raven (another NWOBHM band) next week (Nov 2013) playing in the UK and Europe together.

Girlschool has toured with so many great bands, and played so many shows, festivals, and many awesome tours.  What are the bands Girlschool has toured with?
Pretty much every rock band from the 80's. I know the girls always mention the best tours being with Black Sabbath and Iron Maiden in the 80's, my own personal Favourite would be when we played with Alice Cooper in Spain andopf course the Motorhead tours we've done

Have you guys done any American tours?
Yes a few over the years, the last one we did was 2005 when we played a few gigs on the west coast, great fun but a lot of travelling.

How many albums have Girlschool put out, and what is the latest album?
I think it's 13 now? The last album we released was a re recording of Hit and Run which we re-recorded for it's 30th anniversary back in 2011

What are each member of Girlschool's musical and non-musical influences?
My influence would be Alice Cooper and a lot of the old punk bands as that was the era I grew up in. I think that Kim would say Led Zep, Den would say Rainbow and Enid David Bowie.

When will Girlschool be going back into the studio?
Not sure as we've had a really busy year this year celebrating our 35th anniversary year and played Brazil, Argentina, Canada, Japan as well as a lot of European dates too. We'll have to talk about that once this years tours are over.

Who writes the songs in Girlschool?  Is there a general theme to the lyrics?
Me, Kim and Enid all write, I used to have studio so tended to write the music then give the Cd to Kim and Enid to write lyrics to and that worked and sometimes we jammed songs and sometimes we'd have a song completed that we'd all written individually and brought along. The lyrics are whatever seems to be going on in our lives or what we're thinking about, no specific themes, just what we're passionate about.

What should the fans look forward to for the rest of 2013 and beyond?
Well we're about to tour the UK and Europe with Raven nov/dec and then next year we hope to finally get a DVD released so at the start of the year we will be concentrating on that.

I think it would be really cool to talk about former guitarist Kelly Johnson.  Could you please tell the fans about her?
Kelly was a lovely woman and we all miss her a lot. She left the band in 1999 and unfortunately fll ill with cancer and died in 2007. She was an amazing talent and will always be remembered for that.

What has it been like being a female in the metal/rock music industry? Have you guys encountered any forms of discrimination?
There has always been a lot of that in the industry but I think Girlschool have managed to avoid that as there has been a respect for the fact that we could play our instruments and have stuck at this for so long.

I think the fans would love to hear what each members favuorite hobbies are?  What was the first ever cd each of you bought?  What was the first concert of each member? And if each member could jam or tour with any musician past or present who would it be?
I love sports of all kinds, I play badminton every week, go to boot camp and sometimes Karate so try to keep fit. Kim loves her garden and loves to read as does Enid and Den loves her computer and her soaps *:) happy . Hmm not sure about the others they would probably have bought a rock band of some sorts. I can't remember my 1st album at all but it will have been a punk one being around the 1977 era.

Questions by Heather Williams
Answers by Jackie 'Jax' Chambers (g./v.)

December 2013