Gold Frankincense & Myrrh is a new breed rising; an all-female Beautycore band comprised of a trio of sisters, commonly referred to as GFM. Hailing from Jacksonville, Florida, GFM infuses positive, youthful energy into traditional metal styling. They have introduced a new genre to the music world by the name of Beautycore which is a mix of hard rock and metalcore, played exclusively by women, and have coined the phrase “we are a new breed rising” from their song Graveyard of Identities. The group began touring in 2014. Since then, GFM has been sought out for both Christian and general market tours, festivals, and the Axes and Anchors Cruise. GFM was a part of the Summer RockFest Tour 2017 with Seventh Day Slumber, Random Hero, Scarlet White, and The Protest. GFM is currently slated for Summer Rock Fest Tour 2018, Rock Fest 2018 (Cadott, WI), and Loud and Proud Festival in Germany 2018.
Nineteen-year-old CJ shines as the band’s lead guitarist and shares vocals with seventeen-year-old Maggie, who rocks dual instruments on bass and keys. The youngest of the group, fourteen-year-old Lulu, anchors the band with an intensity on drums that is way beyond her years.
GFM’s edgy sound resonates in the familiar dark corners of its metal genre; but with influencers like Wage War, Memphis May Fire, and Fit For a King, GFM’s lyrics infuse a positive energy. Through their individual journeys, GFM manages to blur the lines of the Christian sub-culture. Drawing its name from the original gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh, GFM proves that while the guitar’s distorted, the message is clear. The mission is spreading hope and strength to a dark and hurting age.
GFM's current full-length album, "Identity Crisis" is available on all digital download websites including: iTunes, Spotify, Google Music, etc.
For more on GFM, visit www.thegfmband.com. Check them out on all social media: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc. @thegfmband and iTunes, Spotify, Google Music, etc. @ Gold Frankincense & Myrrh. Booking information is available by contacting (904)-303-2783 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. All other correspondence should be sent to Gold Frankincense & Myrrh (GFM), 450 SR 13 N Suite 106, Jacksonville, FL 32259, USA.
Sponsorships & Partnerships:
Partnership with “Beneath the Skin Organization” as an AIF band (Artists Investing in Fans)
Sinister Guitar Picks
Saturday night Music Madness attended the Homeless Veterans Charity Event at Franks Place in Leesburg, FL. The festivities included eight fantastic bands who donated their talents on stage for this worthy cause set up by Chris Ward.
One band in particular that by most standards did not seem to fit in with the rest. The band calls themselves Gold, Frankincense & Myrrh (GFM). There was not a bad band on the list but watching these three young women take the stage in cheer leading outfits and war paint, almost seemed surreal. Everything I thought I knew about metal changed as soon as the drummer LULU, the youngest of the girls screamed the countdown to for the first song. Whoever said girls are made of sugar and spice obviously never attended a GFM concert. To say these girls “rock” is the understatement of the year.
Maggie on bass who shares vocals with her other sister CJ on guitar, took command from the beginning. Their message is both positive, empowering and spiritual while being neatly wrapped up in a package even the most hardened of metal fans will appreciate.
It’s obvious with the support and respect shown amongst all the bands to each other, GFM is part of this tight knit community of talented musicians. Talking to them before and after their show, they were funny, charming and hilarious.
Along with Auditory Armory’s April Rose, the girls of GFM paid special attention to some of the much younger children who were lucky enough to attend and rocked out down front watching their favorite girl fronted bands. After they finished their set people were definitely talking about this band. Some were no doubt surprised by what GFM brought to the stage. If you haven’t seen them yet, don’t wait!
Music Madness had the opportunity to speak with these young women and learn a little more about GFM and their message.
Music Madness: Tell me about GFM and how the band came about.
GFM: Well we’re all sisters so we’ve basically been playing together since birth. When we were five our parents wanted us to be involved in music some sort of way because they never got the chance to do that.
GFM: They said we had to take music lessons for two years, and if we hated it, we could quit. We ended up falling in love with music. We all kind of branched off to our own instruments, and that’s how the band was formed. Yeah, we picked our own passions since we were little. When my dad saw that we had enough people for a band he was like, why not, we can do it just for us in the living room, just for fun, and then it kinda just branched off from there.
Music Madness: That’s cool. Talk to me about the concept of Beautycore. What that means to you?
GFM: Yeah well, it definitely didn’t start that way … Like with the meaning that it has now. Beautycore was pretty much just a joke between the three of us for a couple of months before we came out with it and made it a live term. We were kind of just like making fun of it. People always asked us what genre we were, and we would say metalcore, but we didn’t really fit the definition of that, because we’re a three piece band and we’re all young female girls who are under the age of 19. So that doesn’t really qualify as a metalcore band, because the sound is completely different.
GFM: We just felt like ourselves, using that term for a couple months and then we started to joke with the band that we were playing with and said, “Yeah we’re Beautycore.” Then they were really into it. They were like, “No, that’s cool. Is that a real thing?” And we’re like, “No we’re just kidding.” And we had enough people tell us that we should make it a real thing. So we brought it live, and now it’s kind of this symbolic meaning for this women’s movement we’re trying to bring into the Metal world. Showing all the girls that you can be a girl, but you can still play heavy metal and you can compete with all the guys out there.
Music Madness: That’s inspiring! You are bringing a completely new dynamic to the genre and it is a unique time in metal. What does the phrase “We are a new breed” mean to you? How does Beautycore tie into that?
GFM: Well we really wanted it to tie in … Like a lot of the music out there now kind of has the same message. Maybe a couple of them are positive messages, but we really wanted to change the music genre as a whole. We wanted to be the new breed rising that brings up stuff that a lot of the schools don’t talk about, or bring to light that you’re not alone or by yourself. Because we wanted to let people know that it’s one big family, you know? And we were gonna all rise together instead of fall by ourselves. It’s just a really big movement that we like to push to let people know that we’re gonna have a fun time. You’re gonna feel a positive vibe after you leave, and it’s gonna be great.
GFM: Well, we definitely wanted to start our generation and bring it together so we could rise together and not be silent anymore about the struggles that we’re facing. Because we started a campaign for “I will not be silent”, which ties into it. It’s just speaking out about your issues and feeling that we’re changing an environment that is safe for people to talk about their anxiety or their depression or their self-harm, or even their suicidal thoughts. We’re showing people that it’s okay to not be okay, and that it’s okay to reach out and get help. That they don’t have to be scared.
Music Madness: Yeah, it’s a scary time as far as that goes. What have you encountered so far in the industry that has been the most difficult for you? Whether it be your age, being females, or all of the above.
GFM: I think all of the above really. I feel like that makes us work harder. Like for example, we had a … Like we were playing at Jackrabbits, a local venue in Jacksonville, Florida, we were the opening band, and the headliners thought that we were just coming to watch the show. And I said we were opening and they rolled their eyes. They’re like, “Okay yeah.” But that’s when we had to prove ourselves. Once people see us they believe it, but we don’t care what people think.
GFM: That probably helps us make who we are, because if people are like, “Oh yeah come play.” I don’t think we’d be the same people who we are. We’re confident with ourselves. If people don’t think that we’re gonna be good, or they’re like, “Oh yeah you’re just young girls playing metal.” We’re like, “Okay, well we’re gonna go play now.”
GFM: But we’re very stubborn, so if someone thinks that we can’t do something we’re gonna do everything that we can to show them that we can do something. So just kind of being taken seriously is the biggest thing that we’ve faced. If you come to a show you can see that we’re gonna break that mold. Like if you don’t think we can play you’re gonna come to a show and you’re gonna be proven wrong.
Music Madness: People see these young women and the cheerleading outfits, I’m sure the stereotyping is always the hardest part to break through.
GFM: Yeah well we kind of play up to it now. That’s part of the reason we brought the cheerleading uniforms to life. Because we didn’t use to dress like that, but it became an ide we had last summer and it’s a lot easier not trying to figure out what you’re gonna have to wear every day. But it also plays up to the fact that there’s such a hug contrast that it creates like, oh yeah we’re little girls, little cheerleaders, but then this huge metal sound comes out. So it freaks people out and it’s just really funny to watch.
Music Madness: Yeah. How is it to be on stage singing your songs and having people just going nuts and singing your music back to you? What does that feel like?
GFM: We definitely love that theatrical movement that we’re for. So it’s crazy. We love the energy we create, and just to see people singing back our words is crazy. Like Maggie being able to put down the mic to some of the people in the audience and they can sing along, it creates this feeling like … Like it’s hard to explain, because they’re no other way to describe it. There’s nothing else that causes that feeling.
Music Madness: Oh, I can imagine. What is your favorite and least favorite part of the creative process?
GFM: I think definitely my favorite part is being able to create something, like create a story to be able to reach out to our fans and show them, like yeah this is what we’re doing and we can relate to you on this level. And just seeing that creative process come to life through music and through videos. Then being able to perform it live and meeting all the people who are hearing it, and are being impacted by it. Because we definitely couldn’t do anything without our fans, so just meeting all of them and hearing their stories and seeing it all come to life is my favorite part.
Music Madness: Very cool. So do you have a favorite track that you like to play live?
GFM: I feel like my favorite to play probably everyone else’s, probably “Graveyard”, of our originals right now. It’s such a high energy song. Because we bring it down in our set, and then we just boom, like right out of nowhere we just play, and it’s so fun, the energy.
Music Madness: Do you get the whole mosh pit thing going on?
GFM: Oh my goodness yeah.
GFM: It’s crazy.
Music Madness: Awesome I love it. Yeah I’ll be the crazy guy with in the middle always going, “I’m way too old for this crap. Why do I always get caught in the middle?”
GFM: That’s so funny.
GFM: Yeah. I love watching mosh pits. I’m such a people watcher, because I love the energy it brings. When other bands are playing, if we played or we’re waiting to play, I just love it. I can never go in the mosh pit though. I’m too scared to do that.
Music Madness: If you had, a chance to do a cover song from any band, what cover would you pick?
GFM: Well we actually play a cover song live that we all really like, and it’s “Bodies” by Drowning Pool.
GFM: And we love that song so much. We’re like, “You know what? Why not just learn it and play it if we love it so much.” So, that’s one of our songs that we play. Playing that live, seeing the crowd go crazy, is probably one of the best things about being in a band.
GFM: Yeah we have five specific covers that we change in and out so we don’t have just one that we do. We have “My Curse” by Killswitch. We have “Got Your Six” by 5FDP, “Paranoia” by A Day to Remember and Avril Levine. We alternate them, but we just love those so much.
Music Madness: What’s going on with the band? I see you are busy with a ton of touring including Europe. Is this your first trip to Europe?
GFM: Yeah, that’s gonna be our very first time going overseas. We’re super excited about that, because we’ve never even been there just traveling with family and everything. So it’s kind of nerve-wracking because we’ve never been there before, but we’re super excited.
GFM: We’re super excited to vlog it too. Because, we do vlogging on our YouTube channel. But we’re super excited because it’s gonna be just a totally different atmosphere over there, and we hear that they go crazy for our style of music. So, we’re really pumped to see what they think of us.
Music Madness: Haven’t you done a rock cruise as well?
GFM: We did a rock cruise in 2016 called, “Axes and Anchors”.
That was so much fun. We got to share the stage with Breaking Benjamin, Motionless in White and then like 40 other bands.
Music Madness: That’s awesome. Were you awe struck? I mean who freaked you out the most that you were like, “Oh my god.”
GFM: Well all of the headliners came to our last show on the last night. So that was exciting. That was when we were first starting to actually know what we were doing. We hadn’t even released our album Identity Crisis yet. We were freaking out the whole time.
Music Madness: What should everyone know about GFM?
GFM: Definitely go follow us on all social media at The GFM Band, literally all our social media is that. So it’s super easy. Go follow us. Subscribe to our YouTube channel, because we put out vlogs. We want all our fans to be able to kind of experience what touring is like. So you can watch all of our funny vlog videos because we’re going on tour this summer, and so we’re starting the vlogs up again.
GFM: Yeah, definitely come see us on tour this summer. All our dates are on our website, the gfmband.com. So we might be coming to a city near you this summer.
Music Madness: Good luck on your summer tour. We look forward to hearing and seeing a lot more from GFM.
GFM: Well thank you for having us.
Check out this Beautycore band:
Review and photos by Jake Rage and interview by Steve Carlos
Gold, Frankincense & Myrrh – “Identity Crisis”
Posted by TMR on February 8, 2018
Jacksonville, Florida brings us the beautycore band Gold, Frankincense & Myrrh, also known as GFM. 3 sisters started this band and also introduced a new genre. Beautycore is a mix of hardrock and metalcore played by exclusively women. The sisters are also quite young, with the oldest being 18 and the youngest 13. They want to bring a message of hope and strength in a dark and hurting age.
This band is quite interesting. They show that even with their young age they know how to make music. Their first song Beneath the Skin is a great introduction to this band. It’s powerful and just sounds great. The heavy guitar riff and the clean strums make a great combination. The sound they have reminds me a lot of Icon For Hire in their early years. GFM’s song Graveyard of Identities starts off with the first time on this album grunting becomes part of their sound. It fits right in and just sound great with the rest of their sound. They do a great job combining hard rock with metalcore. It sounds so natural and make the metalcore sound more acceptable for people who don’t really like it. I’m a big fan of bands like Memphis May Fire ands The Devil Wears Prada, but I also like bands like Skillet and I must say that GFM picks enough of both styles to make a great combination. The song Chatter in the Room is different from the rest of the songs. It is softer and actually a pleasant pause from their heavy sound.
They give you enough time to give you a rest and ready up for the rest of their songs, because they rock on after this song. For example Death of Giants kicks you in the face again with the beautycore sound. Dimensions ends the album strong. It made me want more of this band. I really can’t wait for their next album.
I really liked this album. It is just the kind of combination of styles that sound good to me. I’m also inspired by this band. It shows me that it doesn’t matter how old you are, if you have passion for music and are good at composing you can make good album. Not only the sound is good, I also like the fact to make the world a bit brighter with music. It’s an universal form of communication and that makes it one of the best media to communicate with. I’m looking forward to hear more of this band and I think that they will come far. I love to recommend this album, especially when you like bands like Skillet and the early years of Icon For Hire mixed with bands like August Burns Red and Fit For A King.
Rating: 8.5 / 10
Written by Joshua
1. Beneath the Skin
2. Graveyard of Identities
3. Stuck in My Suicide
4. Twisted Humanity
5. Judas Kiss
7. Chatter in the Room
8. Evil Lies
9. Death of Giants
CJ – Guitar and vocals
Meggie – Bass/Keyboard/vocals
Lulu – Drums
“Death of Giants” EP (2015)
“Identity Crisis” (2016)
Record Label: GFM Music
Weblinks: Website / Twitter / Facebook / Reverbnation / Instagram / iTunes
Buy the album here:
Holland: First Paradox
Norway: Nordic Mission
In the very same way, on the strength of their dreams these ungodly people pollute their own bodies, reject authority and heap abuse on celestial beings. But even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not himself dare to condemn him for slander but said, “The Lord rebuke you!” Yet these people slander whatever they do not understand, and the very things they do understand by instinct — as irrational animals do — will destroy them. Woe to them! They have taken the way of Cain; they have rushed for profit into Balaam’s error; they have been destroyed in Korah’s rebellion. These people are blemishes at your love feasts, eating with you without the slightest qualm — shepherds who feed only themselves. They are clouds without rain, blown along by the wind; autumn trees, without fruit and uprooted — twice dead. They are wild waves of the sea, foaming up their shame; wandering stars, for whom blackest darkness has been reserved forever.
We live in troubled times. Domestically, horrific wildfires are ravaging Oregon, Washington, and Montana. Texas is still working on sufficiently drying out from Harvey to initiate rebuilding. Irma is inexorably marching toward Florida. Across the Pacific, a madman plays with thermonuclear toys, working daily to facilitate throwing them at us. Europe wonders not if, but when and where the next crazed jihadist will slaughter innocents. The watchwords of our time are love and peace, yet we are engulfed by hatred and war.
On the line dividing fact and fiction
You’d like to stake your reputation
But the natural man has an addiction
To believe the worst of fabrications
And when the rumor is on the wire
It will be trial by fire
It’s a test of any man’s endurance
Just to survive the castigations
You hope and pray for some deliverance
As you turn to face the accusations
And when your future is on the line
What will your answers be?
Come to the question and state your case
Will you make or break it?
Choose your weapons well
Make or break it
Soon the toll will tell
All freedom has its price
Is this your paradise?
A mastermind of much illusion
Media controls the public reason
It terrifies with great confusion
And a power that fosters truth or treason
And when the rumor is on the wire
It will be trial by fire
And fact and fiction don’t mean a thing
Will you make or break it?
Choose your weapons well
Make or break it
Soon the toll will tell
All freedom has its price
Is this your paradise?
And many good men have fallen
With no defense from the fatal word
Is this a part of the American dream
Will you make or break it?
Choose your weapons well
Make or break it
Soon the toll will tell
All freedom has its price
Is this your paradise?
– “Make Or Break It”; words and music by Kerry Livgren
We also live in a time where self-aggrandizing political prattle reigns supreme. Wisdom and experience’s still small voice is drowning beneath tidal waves of loud obnoxious buffoons restating the obvious with vapid feigned insight. We are called to speak the truth in love. Instead, we continue to slobber the trivial in lavish tongue baths.
It is imperative for those of faith to proclaim Christ’s message boldly, unfailingly, and primarily. The public voice enjoys no division between secular and sacred. Jesus is not a fire alarm, ignored save in emergency situations. Nor is He a trophy displayed when it serves our purposes. Jesus is Savior, or He is not. Jesus is Lord, or He is not. He does not serve us when we pull Him off the shelf and dust Him off because we need more blog post hits or a bigger audience share. We are commanded to serve Him. We are commanded to love others as He loves us. We are commanded to proclaim His message. And no, churning out echo chamber copy does not qualify. Certainly politics matter. Decisions made by government affect us all. There is room and time for informed debate. Cutting and pasting news stories is neither debate nor informed. It is weak coattail riding.
It should be a shot across the bow that three teenage sisters have done more in one three minute video to proclaim Christ crucified and risen by being real than has been achieved in thirty thousand political blog posts. The luxury of shoving Jesus into a corner because we are too busy shoving ourselves into the spotlight as self-proclaimed pundits is no longer affordable. Now is the time to prioritize. A hurting, bleeding, dying world does not need another DACA rehash. It needs Jesus. It needs us, each of us, spreading the Good News while directly helping each other and stranger alike.
This is our call. Will you make or break it?
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In a world seemingly gone mad, finding something or someone worth praising can be difficult. The old adage regarding the news media, namely “if it bleeds it leads,” has seldom been more accurate than it is today. Be the blood literal or figurative, the latter shed by those living in Perpetual Butthurtsville shaking with fear over killer statues, the crazies are crowding the stage. Those practicing normalcy, or working toward the betterment of others, receive scant if any attention. So let’s pay them some.
In Florida, there resides a household featuring three sisters, ages of same being seventeen, sixteen, and thirteen. (I’ll save you troubling yourself with the math; their collective age is twelve years lower than mine. Ouch.) As is easily imagined, said household can get a mite loud. Seriously loud.
Welcome to Gold Frankincense & Myrrh, three young women on a mission.
While the notion of three teenage girls playing and singing blistering metalcore (or, as they not inaccurately call it, beautycore) might seem a tad odd, they are not the first female hard rockers. However, they are one of the very few featuring substance rather than sex appeal and style. Tongue in cheek, quite modest cheerleader outfits are the band’s standard stage apparel, and offstage the members stay modest in all areas. Also, Gold Frankincense & Myrrh (GFM for short) might be the first all-woman metal band to include a mission statement on their website that would warm even the most cantankerous fundamentalist’s King James Version-bound heart.
Thankfully, mom is cool with her daughters musical adventures. In fact, she’s so cool she works with the band, her collegiate studies in finance and investment doubtless proving quite handy as she reps for them. And moms them without stage moming them, instead keeping the focus on her remarkable trio of offspring.
While I freely admit my current listening habits lean far more toward my beloved classic Christian rock plus excursions into Grateful Dead and Gentle Giant territory, I rather like GFM’s mix of muscle and meaning. It warms my heart to see young woman serving Christ without doing the same ol’ same ol’ worship recipe cut and paste pablum. Three plus decades after it started, there are still artists proclaiming the Message without compromise either spiritually or artistically. You better believe I’m going to do what I can to let people know they’re out there and need our support. GFM won’t be everyone’s cup of tea. But for all believers, they are beautiful examples that the Spirit is still cranking it up to 11.
I am always on the lookout for new bands to listen to. Sometimes it feels like an eternity passes between finding one new band and the next, but then again, that could also be because I can be a little picky about my music. In those rare instances when I DO manage to find a new band, I’m just happy or excited I found something new to add to my music library. Still, there are those even rarer instances yet, where I’m every bit as eager and excited to let others know about these bands as well because I think they’ve really got something special and I’m eager to see how God uses them in the future. I’ve been fortunate enough to have come across one such band recently and have every expectation of seeing them blow up in the near future. Indie Vision Music readers, I introduce to you, Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh.
Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh is an all female band based out of St. John’s, FL. The band is made up of 3 sisters, CJ (17, plays lead guitar and does lead vocals), Maggie (15, on bass and keys, also on lead vocals), and Lulu (12, on drums). The girls have dubbed themselves “Beautycore”, which is a mix of hard rock and metalcore, played exclusively by women. Now, if you know me at all, you know how I just can’t deal with all the new “core”s popping up everyday, but after giving their album a solid listen, I guess I’ll let it slide…but just this once!
From all indications, the band isn’t at all about remaining confined to the four walls of the church, but to actually go out and perform wherever opportunity to do so may arise and this is a theme that is reflected in the lyrics; they’re honest and relatable regardless of where you find yourself, whether you’re a believer, unbeliever, seeker, doubter, or whatever…there is something there for everyone. Musically, the deeper I’d dig, the more and more impressed I became. The girls have a very hard rock sound that, in my honest opinion, can easily go toe to toe with just about any of the other artists/bands out there today. After a good listen through, there’s no question, these girls got serious skill and I don’t mean “for their age”, but in the overall scheme of things. Yes, they are obviously a younger band, no question, but if they’re at this level writing/recording/performing now, I can’t wait to see what the future holds for them.
Vocally, I’m reminded of Paramore at times, sometimes a little Flyleaf, but that’s only at times; CJ and Maggie really have their own sound and quite often throw in cutting screams that are very well executed and placed. As for the music, it’s heavy. There’s some guitar runs going on from time to time, but not out of balance with the solid, heavy guitar chords; the two compliment each other beautifully. Lulu’s drumming is especially impressive; hard hitting and throughout their recorded material there is a skill and style to her playing that shows her to be way ahead of her years.
The band is off to an impressive start, boasting the #15 spot on the Christian Rock Billboard charts for their new single, “Beneath the Skin”, which is also the name of an organization they work with. Beneath the Skin (the organization) is geared towards mentoring youth who deal with anxiety, depression, isolation, and endeavors to make a positive impact on the culture around them, improving their sense of self-worth and overall mental health. You can check the organization’s site out at Beneath the Skin.
Oddly enough, I still don’t recall what it was that initially brought this band to my attention, but I’m especially glad to have found them. This is a band you are going to want to keep your eye on for sure, I have little doubt there are big things in store for them. I know it sounds cliché, but if you only check out one band this year, make it Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh. You just can’t go wrong here. Go get it!
Get connected with Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh at any (or all) of their social sites listed below and be on the lookout this summer as they join the Summer Rockfest Tour with Seventh Day Slumber, Random Hero, Scarlet White, and the Protest; dates TBA.
Get their music at:
Beautycore Beneath The Skin GFM Gold Frankincense and Myrrh hard rock identity crisis
GOLD, FRANKINCENSE & MYRRH - Identity Crisis
1. Beneath the Skin
2. Graveyard of Identities
3. Stuck in My Suicide
4. Twisted Humanity
5. Judas Kiss
7. Chatter in the Room Ft. Jonathan Chu and Andrew Piland
8. Evil Lies
9. Death of Giants
The Mission is the Music.
Gold, Frankincense, & Myrrh is an all-female Christian Beautycore band composed of a trio of sisters hailing from St. Johns, Florida, commonly referred to as GFM that infuses positive, youthful energy into traditional rock styling. They have introduced a new genre to the music world by the name of Beautycore which is a mix of hard rock and metalcore played exclusively by women. The group’s family ties inherently developed a tight musical bond, and began touring in 2014. Since then, GFM has been sought out for both Christian and general market events, playing festivals such as Rock the Tarmac, community events, traditional venues and the Axes and Anchors Cruise.
Seventeen-year-old CJ shines as the band’s lead guitarist and shares vocals with fifteen-year-old Maggie, who rocks dual instruments on bass and keys. The youngest of the group, twelve-year-old Lulu, anchors the band with an intensity on drums that is way beyond her years.
GFM’s edgy sound resonates in the familiar dark corners of its rock genre; but with influences like Skillet, Red, Memphis May Fire and Disciple, GFM’s lyrics shine with a universal light. Through their individual journeys, GFM manages to blur the lines of the Christian sub-culture, reaching both conservatives and listeners beyond the devout. Drawing its name from the original gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh, GFM proves that while the guitar’s distorted, the message is clear – the mission is the music.
Gold, Frankincense & Myrrh
'They gave me a few names of incredible bands.'
I first reviewed their concert a few months back at a venue they did in Sanford Florida, USA. I had no clue going in that they would even be good, let alone as good as they actually are. I am glad to have seen them live or due to their ages I honestly would have figured it was doctored up really well in the studio. But, they are actually that young and now on my Spotify playlists along with KoRn, Slipknot, Ozzy, and many others. My faith does not dictate my taste in music nor make me bias about this band simply because they are a Christian band. (The review of their Sanford, Florida show and an interview with the band is also on Gryphon and a link to Maggie’s interview with Metal Resource can be found in our FB feed.) When Gryphon asked about their influence I was thrilled to hear them say “Five Finger Death Punch” they gave me a few names of incredible bands both Christian and secular. Though they do maintain a sound that is unique to them their influences certainly give you an idea of their style.
'On a new level.'
Though I liked their first cd and the handful of YouTube video’s they had out at the time “IDENTITY CRISIS” cd hit October 3rd and the “Dimensions” of it is on a new level. They address issues that plague many of us today. Graveyard of Identities is by far my favorite track. The few songs on this disk that where on the first on where taken’ back to the studio with even some lyrical changes that certainly made for more depth. Identity Crisis means a period of uncertainty and confusion in which a person’s sense of identity becomes insecure, typically due to a change in their expected aims or roles in society.
“IDENTITY CRISIS” Can be found on iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, and Spotify. Or you can order a hardcopy from their site directly www.thegfmband.com and they will send you an autographed copy. They do ship world wide. The cd is $10 with a $5 dollar shipping fee inside the US and $7 for anywhere outside the US. (Orders go though a PayPal link from their site.)
'The Whosoevers Movement.'
The GFM band are also proud supporters of The Whosoever Movement. A Movement founded by Brian “Head” Welch from KoRn, Anne Lobert, Sonny Sandoval from POD, Ryan Ries, and Ronnie Faisst. A Movement, “Hellbent on Empowering the Youth.” GMF was also on with Tank Thornbridgeton from our hometown alternative station and actually considered “TOO HARD” for their format. They did have a blast doing the show with Tank though. Photo’s where done by Adrienne Beacco www.adriennebeacco.com She has done photo’s for many of my favorite bands including “Stitched up heart” and many others.
Along with the many shows that they have preformed they also often play The Murray Hill Theatre here in Jacksonville, USA. A venue that has recently had many legendary bands such as Stryper, Wage War, For Today’s farewell tour and also Lacey Sturm’s solo cd from former platinum reaching band Flyleaf. Lacey Sturm also being a huge supporter of “The Whosoever Movement!”
review by Stephanie McKenzie
Gold, Frankincense & Myrrh at X102.9 Jacksonville's New Alternative
An Interview with ‘Maggie English’ of Hardrock Band ‘Gold, Frankincense & Myrrh’ (GFM)
Posted by thrashboy on September 2, 2016 at 21:25 Add comments
GFMGFM is the new generation of bands in the Christian rock/metal scene. Hailing from St. Johns, Florida. Comprised of a trio of sisters, GFM infuses positive, youthful energy into traditional rock styling. The group’s family ties inherently developed a tight musical bond, though GFM didn’t officially begin touring until 2014. Since then, GFM has been sought out for both religious and secular events throughout the Southeast, playing festivals, community events, traditional venues and the Axes and Anchors Cruise (Feb. 2016)
In the interview below, Maggie English (Bass/keys/vocals) speaks about the debut EP “Death Of Giants” the upcoming full-lenght album “Identity Crisis” and much more.
TMR: Hello Maggie this is The Metal Resource from Holland, how are things going there in Jacksonville, FL ?
Things are going great here in Jacksonville, FL! We have some super exciting things coming up.
TMR: A rock/metal band consisting of 3 young women, wow: Tell us the brief history of GFM.
GFM got its start as a cover band in 2011. We then got a taste of writing original music and haven’t turned back. We started work on our EP “Death of Giants,” and hit the road as an official original band in 2014. And haven’t stopped since.
GFM-2016TMR: Will you Introduce yourself and the band please ! [name and instrument]
Maggie English – Bass/keys/vocals (15)
CJ English – guitars/vocals (17)
LuLu English – drums/vocals (12)
TMR: How did you get into metal?
Our dad raised us on 80s rock, bands like Poison, ACDC, Guns and Roses, and we just kept wanting heavier and heavier music. I kind of led the pack into heavy music by discovering bands like Bring Me The Horizon, Memphis May Fire, Motionless in White, Disciple, Of Mice and Men, Asking Alexandria, RED. We are constantly on the lookout for more bands like them.
TMR: What is your musical background ?
Our parents had a rule that we had to try music for two years once we turned 5. After those two years, if we didn’t like it, we could quit. We all fell in love with music so naturally we kept it up. We were all supposed to play piano, but CJ wouldn’t practice because she wanted to play the guitar, so she learned how to play guitar. LuLu didn’t even try piano, she went straight to the drums and wouldn’t take no for an answer. I (Maggie) was the only one who stayed with piano, but we needed a bass player, so naturally I was the one who got double instruments.
TMR: Why the name GFM ? Is there a story behind it ?
Our actual name is Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh; our fans call us GFM. Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh were the first three gifts given to God, and there are three of us, so we are three gifts to give back to God.
TMR: Who writes the music/lyrics in GFM? … how do you get in the mood for writing music? And which bands/situations have influenced you for writing music and lyrics ?
There are multiple people involved with the writing in GFM. All three of us write, our dad pitches in with some lyrics, and we collaborate with our music teachers. Every once in a while, we get together with some local people to collaborate as well. As for getting in the mood, a lot of it is spur of the moment ideas. We have writing sessions almost every Monday with the music aspect, but lyrics are a whole other story. Being as young as we are, we might not have had the same experiences as other band members so some lyrics are us empathizing with people we know, as well.
TMR: What are some key principles or phylosophies that you hold onto as foundational stones as who you are as a person?
As an individual, I am a follower of Christ and I live by His commandments.
TMR: Is there a highlight you will always remember, since the beginning of GFM?
I will always remember when we got contacted by Jake Jones.(formerly of We As Human, currently of As We Ascend) He wanted to work with us in the studio and that was a huge deal seeing as we were big We As Human fans and wanted to play concerts like them.
Another thing I will never forget is when we were invited to play the Axes and Anchors cruise. We got to share the stage with bands like Motionless in White, Thousand Foot Krutch, Demon Hunter, Breaking Benjamin and many others. It was the experience of a lifetime.
TMR: And the worst thing were ? (if there is one)
We haven’t really had any hard times as GFM. We are extremely grateful for the situation we are in as of now and can’t wait for what’s instore.
TMR: What is your favorite drink and food ?
Favorite drink: lemonade. I don’t know why, it just tastes really good
Favorite food: I have a huge sweet tooth, so anything sweet.
TMR: So what makes you laugh?
My sister CJ can usually make me laugh no matter what is going on. She can always find something funny and put her twist on it, so it is ten times funnier.
TMR: What is your biggest fear ?
My biggest fear would be losing my family. They mean so much to me, and I couldn’t live without them.
TMR: What is the last album that you bought?
The last album I bought was Asking Alexandria’s “The Black.”
TMR: What are some of the things you like to do away from the band?
I’m really into reading. I like science fiction, fantasy, pretty much anything that makes up an entirely different universe. I like going to other bands concerts as well. There is so much energy and it gives me a chance to see new things to try on stage.
TMR: Speaking of recording, your debut ep “Death of Giants” has been released in Dec. 2015 what can you tell us about the album [such as the recording process, the songs/lyrics, record label etc.]
Recording our EP “Death of Giants” was a very cool experience. It was the first time being in a real studio and we made a lot of memories during that time. The recording process was pretty easy. A lot of jokes were made and we still laugh about them today. We recorded one song at a time because we were still in a traditional school setting, and could only go to the studio on our holidays, so it took about a year to finish the whole thing.
Death of GiantsTMR: About the cover artwork. Do you think it is as important as your music? Does it visualize the lyrics of your songs or what’s the actual story behind its concept?
The cover artwork for our EP is important because it was a means to introduce Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh (GFM) to our listening audience. It visualizes our lyrics in the sense that we were fiercely dressed in order to fight our “giants” which is expressed in the songs on the EP.
TMR: You guys are working on a full-length album. Can you tell us something about it? When can we expect it?
Yes, we are working on a full length album. It will be titled “Identity Crisis” and will have 10 songs on it. We will be dropping its first single in September 2016, with an accompanying video to follow shortly. The album will drop in the Fall of 2016.
TMR: How do you promote your band (and shows) ?
We are on all social media outlets…..except for MySpace. (haha) You can find us on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Periscope, YouTube etc. as @thegfmband. We’re also on iTunes and Spotify and Google Music etc. as Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh.
TMR: Tell us about the hardrock/metal scene in your area please?
North Florida is going through a transition, and the heavy rock/metal scene is getting stronger and stronger up and down the coast. Florida even has its own hard rock/metal support group called the Rockvillains, who support all the local hard rock/ metal bands.
TMR: How do you prepare for a show?
We always pray before a show. We do the usual vocal warm ups and guitar warm ups.
TMR: What is your favorite concert that you saw and what made it so good?
Maggie: My favorite concert was when I went to Welcome to Rockville 2016 and saw Asking Alexandria and Bring Me The Horizon. What made it a good concert was 1. I got to see two of my favorite bands live and 2. their crowd control. I’d never seen a crowd react that way, and I knew in that moment, that was how I wanted a crowd to react to my music.
CJ: My favorite concert was when we were on the Axes and Anchors Cruise and we got to watch Motionless in White. What made it so good was all the energy: both on stage and in the crowd.
LuLu: My favorite concert is the same as CJ’s: Motionless in White on the Axes and Anchors Cruise. I loved the energy everyone had.
TMR: What is the most embarrassing music on your phone or in your collection and how do you justify it to others?
Maggie: The most embarrassing song would have to be “We Don’t Have to Dance” by Andy Black. I mean come on, it’s a fun pop song….
CJ: Anything Justin Bieber. I don’t feel like I have to justify Justin Bieber. LOL
LuLu: It would have to be “Daddy” by PSY. Because I got it from my daddy… literally.
TMR: If you could pick a band to tour with, who would it be? And where would the tour go?
Well, you can’t just tour with one band so I’ll give you a lineup.
GETTING TO KNOW MAGGIE ENGLISH
by Jacqueline Jax host of A.V.A Live Radio
Indie Band: Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh – GFM
Networking, being wise with money, surrounding yourself with the right people, being willing to listen and take advice. It’s a great marketing tool. Social media is a perfect modern way to get yourself out to the fans and connect with them. The only challenge is that you do have to stay current with your social media, so your fans feel involved and like they are a part of your life.
Singles vs Albums…
I feel both play and important role in marketing your music. We’re such a young band that we felt like we needed to release our first single, “Darkness,” to let everyone get a feel of our style, and our first EP will only have 6 songs on it. As we grow, and our fan base grows, we’ll be able to provide them with a larger album. We feel by producing smaller projects, more frequently will give our audience a better chance of getting to know us.
can be scary at times, but with the right support team around you, it’s a fun experience.
1) It’s so fun to be on stage, playing music, spreading hope and passion to our fans.
2) You get the right contacts and meet really amazing people.
3) You make some famous friends.
4) People who tell you how much they like your song or how much it has helped them through their hardships, helps to validate why we do
5) I get to do what I love.
1) Lack of sleep
2) You have to have the right contacts to get anything done
3) The cost of doing business
My definition of success is…
being able to make a living doing what I love which is making music. We actually got to go to Nashville and record with major producers by practicing for many hours, not giving up, reaching out through social media, and having the confidence to follow through on our dreams. Now we have a body of work that can be released to the public where the positive message can be used to empower people.
My overall goal for my life and career is… to reach my fullest potential singing and playing worldwide.
Three Ways I Push Myself Forward…
1) Rehearsal 37 nights a week when we don’t have a concert. This moves me toward my goal because I’m only going to get better by practicing.
2) Research and study the bands that I admire, so I can imitate their business decisions i.e. touring placing, merchandise items, concert behavior, interview criteria.
3) Write new music, learn new music. Writing new songs, so that none of our songs will sound the same or be boring.
My sisters and I…
were required to take two years of music lessons when we were five years old. If we weren’t into it, we were allowed to quit, but our parents wanted us to be exposed to the world of music. After the two years, I found my love for music was real; it wasn’t something that was forced.
The world is such a dark state now and if you give into that darkness, it will pin you down and hold you hostage.
It was actually the first real recording studio we’d been to. We were being told to expect all kinds of stuff, and “this was gonna happen” or “this was gonna happen.” We pulled to the studio with a huge bag full of food, and so much stuff to do, and we didn’t even use or eat half of the stuff we brought.
The funniest part of the whole experience was the last day in the studio. It was super late, and we were trying to finish all the rest of the mixing before we left, so we could leave with the finished song. My dad had the idea of putting this 80s style scream in the intro. We decided LuLu (drummer) was going to do it. She went into the vocal booth and when the producer hit the tracking button, she threw out this crazy, off-key scream. She did this about 20 times and still couldn’t figure out how to do it, so my mom suggested just doing it quietly and having the producer make it louder. So she gets back in the vocal booth, and she gives out this whisper. We were laughing so hard, and with it being so late, it made it one hundred times funnier. She finally go it right though, so it makes for a good story that we tell everybody.
Our EP that is coming out March…
of this year is entitled “Death of Giants,” and is all about overcoming and defeating the “giants” or struggles that we all face in life. It is our hope that when our fans listen to our songs that they will find direction, hope, encouragement, strength to keep fighting for what’s right, and a reason to live.
Our songs are universal; they speak to the young and the old, and apply to any situation that you’re going through. Our “giants” can be be as small as taking a test, or as big as an addiction; it doesn’t really matter as each individual struggles in a different way. Our songs will always spread a positive message and be relatable and empowering to our listeners. Our EP, when released, will be on iTunes and available for purchase at all our concerts.
Our music scene is starting to amp up with hotspots on the beaches, our downtown venues, and all the festivals along the river. There’s always some place to go, and it is all genres.
One of the most fun things to do in Jacksonville is go to the beach. Whether you wanna hang out in the sun, surf, grab some food at one of the cool beach-side restaurants, or listen to a concert, it’s a great place to hang out with friends.
I’d want to hang out with Lacey Sturm…
because I feel like our style of music falls in line, and she is a person I look up to as a role model in the music industry in our genre of music. As a woman, fronting her old band, Flyleaf, she kind of shocked people. Even now, there aren’t many woman led metal bands, especially one who has a voice like hers,and can scream. That’s actually how I discovered my own screaming abilities. A lot of people compared our band to Flyleaf, so I went and listened to some of their music, and I instantly wanted to control my voice like she does.
I haven’t really paid too much attention to the trends. My band and I stay true to who we are, and write songs the way we feel sounds the best. And I think that’s because we don’t go and try to follow a certain trend pattern because people are always looking something new. If you’re not 100% sure that you’re gonna make it in the music industry, why not play what you love?
My greatest fear… would be losing my family.