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Pop-punk duo girlfriends prove staying power with ‘(e)motion sickness’

Pop-punk duo Travis Mills and Nick Gross made their return to the music scene this month with the debut of their sophomore album.

Released June 17, 2022, (e)motion sickness is purely post-modern pop-punk.

Citing their sound influences as Blink-182, 5 Seconds of Summer, and All Time Low, girlfriends (stylized lowercase) channels all the old-school stylings of pop-punk while adding in their own addictive flare.

“It’s the perfect description of how I’ve been feeling over the last 2 years,” says Mills of the album, “Struggling with an emotional duality that forces one to overthink, overreact and look at the world in harsh contrast. It’s poking fun at my tendency to be dramatic.”

The two found their start in the music industry in the early 2000s, before either of them were even in their 20s.

Mills, formerly known by stage name T. Mills, grew up in Riverside, California. In 2008, Mills was discovered on MySpace. The music he posted online led him to a major record deal with Uprising Records and a spot on the now-defunct Warped Tour.

In an interview with SPIN magazine, Mills said his first record deal resulted in a slight loss of his authenticity.

“I wanted so badly to be successful when I was younger, that I would say things that weren’t necessarily true,” he said, “or I would kind of embellish on things [to] create these fun, hype songs.”

Two years after signing with Uprising, Mills released his first and only solo album titled Ready, Fire, Aim! and formed an almost pop-star-like fanbase despite the music being an early iteration of emo-rap.

From there, he released three EPs titled Leaving Home EP (2012), All I Wanna Do (2014), and While You Wait (2016).

While his current work in music is found in girlfriends, Mills has also spent the last decade working on TV shows like Ridiculousness, Alone Together, Good Girls, Wild 'n Out, and the Catfish spin-off Ghosted: Love Gone Missing.

Around the same time, Gross got his start in the band Open Air Stereo who were founded in Laguna Beach, California.

His spot in the band later granted him a role in reality show Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County.

At the time, the band had stated, “It was always our main goal of getting on the show to gain more exposure for our band. We really cared about the show to be honest. It was weird how it all evolved… Whether it's the 'Real OC' or not, we knew it would be stupid to pass up an opportunity to reach out to more people and have them hear our music, and we're going to make it work."

At the age of 17, Gross had the opportunity to play music in New York’s Times Square on MTV’s TRL with the aforementioned band and signed with Epic Records.

In 2018, Gross founded the music group Big Noise alongside Jon Cohen and producer John Feldmann; he holds the position of CEO. He can also be credited for launching FYG U Music + Tech Festival.

In recent years, Gross now creates instrumentals for girlfriends, is a full-time member of the band Goldfinger, and runs the Find Your Grind education platform with his wife.

A vulnerable and honest depiction of mental health, heartbreak, and coping with it all, (e)motion sickness is an effortless genre bending work of art written in clear homage to classic pop-punk, with a twist.

(e)motion sickness and the rest of Mills & Gross’ work can be streamed on Spotify, Apple Music, and everywhere else readers get their music.

girlfriends kick off their West Coast tour this June with shows in Berkeley and Santa Cruz at the end of the month. Get tickets now.


🎧 Fave song off of (e)motion sickness: “Maniac (Feat. Lindsey Sterling)” - girlfriends

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