‘I wrote it about an ex who borrowed my car to take out another girl’: Voice of the Beehive on Don’t Call Me Baby

Tracey Bryn and Melissa Brooke Belland in fake-fur coats (pink and green) and wide-brimmed hats

Sister act … Tracey Bryn and Melissa Brooke Belland of Voice of the Beehive, photographed in the late 1980s. Photograph: AJ Barratt/Avalon/Getty Images

‘We wanted a Phil Spector kind of feeling. The studio we recorded it in was so hi-tech we couldn’t even work the salt shakers.’

When we were teenagers in Santa Barbara, my sister Missy and I had an idea for a band that would make fun of how serious rock’n’roll could be. But we didn’t actually have a group. Then I left California and went travelling around Europe with my boyfriend. London seemed familiar and comfortable and, on the flight home, I felt I was heading in the wrong direction. Two weeks later, I had sold everything and was back in London, squatting and making demos of my songs with Mike Jones, a guy who lived down the street and had recording equipment. I loved his crunchy but melodic guitar playing, which reminded me of the Pretenders. I called Missy and said: “Why don’t you join us?”

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