Hot off the release of their new two-song EP, Miesha and the Spanks frontwoman Miesha Louie took some time away from the studio to answer some questions about the band’s newest member, their upcoming full-length, and the contest that’s pushing the group to its limits – in a good way.
Raz Mataz Magazine (RMM): What have you guys been up to since the release of Girls, Like Wolves?
Miesha Louie (ML): After we released Girls, Like Wolves we had a small Eastern Canadian tour, and a bunch of local shows. Stu moved on shortly after to do some real life stuff, so a lot of the year following the release was getting Emelia ready to start playing shows and rocking out with me.
RMM: How did Emelia Lovink come to join the band? And how has the dynamic changed since she joined?
ML: Em has been, since the first time I saw her perform, one of my favourite drummers to watch live. She’s also one of my closest friends. I’d been trying to snag her for a while as I knew my time with Stu was winding down – he gave me a really big heads up so I would have time to transition smoothly – but she was always really busy with her band, Divepool, very cool surf/psych band also from Calgary. Then the day when he was actually done, she piped up, “I’ll be your drummer!” [laughs]
Sometimes it has to be your own idea I guess, but I loved that moment. We have been super comfortable together since day one and I think that’s very apparent live.
RMM: How has the sound changed since she joined?
ML: The way the album Girls, Like Wolves sounds and the way we play the songs live in this arrangement isn’t shockingly different, but you can tell. That loud heavy straight rock album is totally danceable now. I’m on stage shaking my hips to ‘Somethin,’ which I consider to be the heaviest song on there, and it’s still loud and hard as hell, there’s just something else going on there now too.
RMM: How was writing this album different from previous ones? How was the recording process different?
ML: The two new songs – ‘Summer Love’ and ‘Come Undone’ – were very collaborative. The Spanks writing process has always been that I write most of a song, bring it to the drummer, and we finish it under the guidelines I showed up with. In this case, it started the same, but Em’s style was so off what I had envisioned that the songs became very different from the starting point. We finished them while in the studio, and Em even wrote the vocal melody for the bridge in ‘Come Undone’.
It’s also worth noting that we’re directly across the zodiac from each other, so we just get each other on this really awesome level. And when it’s her birthday it’s my half birthday… and vice versa. All the songs are turning out that way though, I bring a base idea and then the two of us re-mold it to something completely different. I can’t wait to have more studio time and see what other magic happens.
RMM: How did you come to get involved in the PEAK Performance Project and what was that experience like? Has your experience with PEAK informed your songwriting on this album?
ML: The PEAK Performance Project was an application process, and we lost our minds when we got Top 12. It’s pretty competitive, there are loads of amazing bands in Alberta who I feel like deserve to be there as much as us. We’re still in the beginning stages of the program – right now we’re getting our introductory video together, making a budget, designing our interesting merch idea, and writing a song with our B.C. PEAK counterpart, Van Damsel. That song gets recorded at music bootcamp which starts in two weeks and then released on a compilation of songs written between Alberta and B.C. bands. Working in this project definitely makes you more aware of your actions as a band – from how you utilize social media, to how you come across on stage both with your performance and the songs you’re playing. There is so much coming up with this project still, and it feels good to be on my toes a bit.
RMM: Why release just an EP with this new(ish) sound? Are you planning a full-length? Are you planning a tour for the album? What’s next for mats?
ML: All the songs that we’re writing now are definitely going to be part of a full-length. We released these two early because they were such obvious summer singles, and honestly I was just so excited to show off something me and Em did together – it’s our first recording together. We’re still finishing songs so I can’t give an exact timeline for the release, but I would love it in the late spring. And I’d love to head East when that happens. And I’d love to just hit the road and not come home for months when that happens. Saved By Vinyl are making flexi-vinyl for one of them and we are going to be handing those out like candy when we get them, hopefully in time for some fall festivals!
For more on Miesha and the Spanks, visit mandthespanks.com.