Cheap Girls photographed by Ryan Russell
In lieu of a traditional bio, here are 15 things you should know about Cheap Girls:

1. They are from Lansing, MI.

2. There are three band members: Drummer Ben Graham, bassist/vocalist Ian Graham and guitarist Adam Aymor. Ben and Ian have the same last name because they are brothers.

3. The trio was formed in 2007, the result of three musicians who’d grown up playing in bands around their hometown getting together to make music. “We just wanted to start a simple rock band and just play all the time,” Ian says. “This was fun right off the bat. It was a simple format. I’d write songs, we’d learn them the next day and we’d move on. That’s still what we do.”

4. The band’s first album was recorded quickly and cheaply and initially self–released in 2008. It is called Find Me A Drink Home.

5. Their second album, My Roaring 20s, followed in 2009 via Florida label Paper + Plastick, which also reissued Find Me A Drink Home.

6. Cheap Girls have toured with Against Me!, Lemuria, Laura Stevenson and the Cans and The Menzingers, and performed at Chicago’s Riot Fest and Gainesville’s The Fest. But basically they just want to play with anyone who makes “loud rock.”

7. The first time the band played with Against Me! was at a one–off show in Lansing in 2010. This led to a full U.S. tour together in February of 2011. Against Me! singer Tom Gabel’s reasoning– “Ian ended up getting completely trashed and creating his own party on our bus,” Tom says. “We had to make him leave at the end of the night. I knew then that I was not only a big fan of the band but a big fan of Ian.”

8. One night on that tour in February Ian got drunk again and asked Tom to produce Cheap Girls’ third album. Although Ian doesn’t remember asking, Tom texted him the next day saying yes.

9. Cheap Girls’ third album, which will be out February 21, is called Giant Orange. It has ten songs. It is a “loud rock” album.

10. The album will be released by Rise Records, who signed Cheap Girls in August 2011.

11. Giant Orange was recorded at Tom’s brand new studio, Total Treble Studio, a converted post office in Elkton, Florida. Tom actually had to finish building the studio in time for the band to record in October 2011.

12. Tom is the first producer Cheap Girls have worked with and Cheap Girls is the first band Tom has produced. This ended up working out for everyone. “Tom was more like a fourth idea on everything,” Ian says. “It was casual, but we were all really serious about making a good record.”

13. Except for some tambourine, Giant Orange is solely composed of guitar, bass, drums and vocals. All of the tracks have been road–tested, something the band had never done before. “These are the most lived in songs we’ve ever gone in to record,” Ian says. “We’d done a lot of touring throughout the writing of it so we’d played every song live before we recorded it.” This makes sense as Cheap Girls played nearly 150 shows in 2011.

14. The band will play anywhere that remotely makes sense and they always fill their off–days on tour with more shows. The weirdest venue they’ve played was a glow–in–the–dark arcade/miniature golf course serving a vegan potluck. “We’ve been able to play in a lot of places that aren’t typical,” Ian says. “It’s fulfilling for us but it’s great for fans who don’t get a lot of shows in their cities. We’d rather play than sit around.”

15. It’s hard to compare Cheap Girls to other bands, but Tom thinks they sound like some pretty damn good acts. “With Cheap Girls you not only have an authentic Midwestern rock band in the vein of the Replacements, Soul Asylum, Sugar and early Smoking Popes but you also have an incredibly talented lyricist and songwriter in Ian Graham,” Tom says. “I’m lucky to have gotten the chance to work with them.”
Cheap Girls

Cheap Girls' Ian Graham talks rarities and b-sides