Four years in the making, “The Electric Barbarellas” premiered on MTV last Wednesday (May 4).
Getting the show to air was a personal accomplishment for all five girls, but was especially sweet for ringleader Heather, who handpicked each girl and fronted her entire life savings to push the show forward.
“I met with a lot of producers and I started writing music and I
realized that it was really fun and I liked doing it,” she explains of
the projects early stages. “I wanted to start pursuing it in a
television sense because the whole record label thing was kind of dying…
I just realized that if I was gonna do this and if we were ever gonna
get signed, I had to do it and basically hand it over to a record
company on a silver platter.
“Then the whole plan kind of changed and I just started thinking ‘Ok, I
want to do this and I want to do it setting up for a show,'” she
Through an excruciatingly long audition process, followed by one-on-one
meetings in Starbucks, Heather eventually found four girls to join her
on the journey. Enter Raven, Gynger, Chelsea and Missy.
Zap2it spoke with Raven and Missy as well, who told us what we can expect to see from the remainder of the season.
“The way that we set up the episodes was that each episode focuses
primarily on one girl,” Raven explains. “I don’t want to give away too
much, but some people have it out really good in this episode.” Episode 2
(May 11) focuses on Chelsea, “the princess.”
“It’s really cool because it kind of gives you a chance to see each
persons struggle in the group and decide if they’re a friend or foe,”
Missy chimes in. “It kind of gives the audience a chance to decide,
because everyone gets to tell their side of the story.”
When it comes to Missy and Raven, their struggles center around a
conflict of interest. Raven needs to balance an active modeling career
while Missy, a classically trained rocker, battles to balance the
Barbarellas with a very different type of band which she also fronts. To say
Missy’s old friends aren’t thrilled about her new musical venture might
be an understatement.
“A lot of my struggle has been losing a lot of friends and kind of going
through a huge identity crisis with joining a girl group,” she
explains. “It’s just not something anyone expected me to do.”
Missy’s friends weren’t the only nay-sayers when it came to the
development of the project. Viacom chairman Sumner Redstone reportedly
pushed the show forward despite objections by the network.
The reports that followed were often nasty, dubbing the girls
talentless and unworthy. Heather tells Zap2it that they made a
connection with the exec through his grandson Brandon, who was dating
the friend of a former group member.
“He’s been a fan of the group and a friend to us. We’re so humble and grateful that he’s been through this with us,” Heather gushes. Raven adds, “I know that Mr. Redstone is an amazing man. He’s been a big fan of ours and we really appreciate it.”
“It’s always hard because people are saying negative things,” Heather admits of the negative comments in the media. “We’re strong girls, we’ve been through a
lot. I’m from LA, so I have thick skin but it’s tough — you feel like
you never leave high school.”
“It’s always hurtful because people said that we weren’t talented, and
we know that we are,” Raven continues. “But I do appreciate the fact
that there are people that believed in us enough to fight for us. And
here we are.”
“The fact of the matter is that this group has talent, regardless of
what they say,” Heather adds. “Missy’s a classically trained
pianist… With me it’s totally hurtful because I spent so much time
learning how to play electric guitar that my fingers would bleed. I
literally went through bloody fingers on my Fret board and adamantly
trying to get good at something because I wanted to be more than just a
singer. I wanted to be a musician and I wanted to write my own songs.”
Which she did — The Barbarellas have writing credits on each and every one of the tracks on their upcoming album.
If you missed the first episode, you can watch it in full on MTV.com.
Tune in on Wednesdays at 11 PM ET/PT to see how the Barbarellas’
adventure continues to pan out.