Petrol Girls are named after Pétroleuses, mythical women of the Paris commune who allegedly set fire to private property with Molotov cocktails made from milk bottles, and rejected traditional gender roles.
The band first played in 2012 for a house show to celebrate International Women's Day. This feminist context was essential for the bands formation as within the wider music community at the time there was very little to encourage female participation. Liepa had never played bass before and played the first show after only two practices. A good friend, innovative guitarist Joe York, saw potential in the band and joined shortly after. Petrol Girls started gigging with a variety of different drummers until meeting Zock (who also fronts Austrian punk band Astpai) and cementing their line up.