NXNE Interviews: Miesha & the Spanks (Calgary, AB)

NXNE, 2013, Toronto, indie

As the days have passed since a fast-paced NXNE festival drew to a close, it’s time to revisit some of the bands that helped make the festival experience as good as it was. I had the chance to sit down with several groups from all over the country, and even one from Wales, U.K., to talk a bit about who they are and what they’re all about. It was my own little NXNE Interactive, where I huddled close to the band members (which isn’t easy for a 6’4″ dude) on a small bench at the Hyatt Regency hotel downtown Toronto. The first artist I spoke to was Miesha Louie of the 2-piece garage-rock outfit Miesha & the Spanks, of Calgary, AB.


NXNE, Toronto, Miesha spanks, Bovine
Miesha & the Spanks. PHOTO: Ryan Kostel, FFWD Weekly.


Interview by Matìas Muñoz

Transcribed by Joseph Mathieu

Miesha & the Spanks

Matìas Muñoz: Hello! So, tell me a little about yourself.

Miesha Louie: We’re called Miesha & the Spanks, we’re a two-piece garagerock band from Calgary and we have a new record coming out this month. We like to tour a lot and though we didn’t get to much in 2012 hopefully with the new record we’ll be doing more in the fall and spring. We’re pretty much just kids who like to play rock and roll.

MM: How long have you been around for?

ML: I’ve been playing for about 15 years in you count crappy high school punk bands. I’ve had this project for about five years and before that I usually just sang, fronting different rock and punk bands. It’s a huge difference from when we started five years ago—I was writing for my acoustic guitar more, a much more country feel.

MM: You mentioned that you like touring a lot and you guys have been on the road, where have you toured and what’s your favourite stop been so far?

ML: We’ve done coast to coast. Pretty frequently we’ll fly to Toronto a lot, being just the two of us it’s pretty easy. We’ll rent a van and do Halifax and back, or even just Ontario. I think my favourite is Halifax though. That is such a great place. It’s got a real small town scene, like Calgary does. Everybody knows everybody, they all go out to the shows and all want to party. We were there for Halifax Pop in October and it was amazing.

MM: What got you into this and what keeps you going?

ML: I think my parents bought me a guitar to keep me out of trouble when I was 13, and I kinda just fell into music. We started doing punk shows in our community hall, and my exposure to music was Calgary bands that came down to our small town to play, like Knucklehead and Belvedere. Even now, I’m more influenced by bands I meet on tour than by any big records. I just see people doing what I want to do, and it makes me want to do it even more!

MM: Have you had any opportunities to get to know these bands you meet on tour, or is it fleeting?

ML: Usually it’s common that we tour at the same time as the same bands and so cross paths on a three-week tour. Any given bill’s got like three bands on it, so you usually end up meeting them often. It’s really cool, that community of bands, especially in Canada and we always make contacts from different cities than the one we’re actually in.

MM: Please describe Calgary’s music scene for us.

ML: Everybody knows each other. There are really five main venues in town, everyone bikes around to show, drinks beer by the river—it’s totally a small town feel. And you wouldn’t know it, when you first move to Calgary! You just gotta go to the right show and then you know everybody. It’s just fun: beers, rock shows, bikes, sunshine.

MM: Tell us about your album coming out soon.

ML: It’s called Girls, Like Wolves. We recorded it in October, actually right before we went to Halifax Pop. We packed up the studio, which was in a cabin in the Kananaskis, and flew right to Halifax. So pretty much in the Rockies on a lake for six nights. And we could because our engineer has this big CBC studio truck that powered everything we needed. We devoted all our time to make a track, then slept or made some chili or something, and went back to recording. It was really cool. (the end)

miesha spanks, audio blood, nxne, 2013, toronto, indie
Miesha & the Spanks playing at the Audio Blood Plegendary Summer Rager party on Friday, June 14, 2013. PHOTO: Sebastian Buzzalino, beatroute.ca