Calgary-based duo Miesha & the Spanks have continued on their journey to musical domination since our last chat in 2019, climbing charts and blowing away live audiences with their anthemic garage rock style. They’ve just released the latest single from their upcoming album, so we caught up with Miesha Louie to chat about “It’s My Year”, how the duo captures a full band sound, and their superhero alter egos.
From The Strait: Tell us about the new single, “It’s My Year”.
Miesha: I started writing It’s My Year when I was participating in an online songwriting workshop in Calgary called Pre-Death Pro-Fame. I needed to bring something new to show and discuss with guest songwriter Steve Bays of Mounties/Hot Hot Heat and the other participants, and was inspired by my niece having some problems in her home town with girls her age, so I threw together the bones of the song that day. She’s in a very small town, an hour away from the very small town I grew up in, and as I wrote something for her it took a bit of a turn and I was remembering what it was like for me too. I wanted to help her brush it off and show her – it gets better! But that doesn’t mean anything when you’re a kid and your problems feel like the biggest things in the world. So I went with optimism and shook it off, adding the dynamic of yeah this sucks right now, but guess what? It’s my year.
FTS: How did the band get started?
Miesha: I wanted a project I could do what I liked with, and basically say yes to everything without dealing with other peoples hesitations or schedules – I’d been burned in a couple bands already. So for the first I don’t know how many years, I went through drummers every couple of year because it was hard for people to commit to touring and not making any money. When Sean joined it was a dream because he’d already been doing that for years and loved it as much as I did. It was a total bonus that we had such great chemistry and pushed each other into making this the best version of Miesha and The Spanks.
FTS: I know you get asked a lot about the lack of bass in the band (and I won’t be asking about that!), but you manage to create such a full rock sound with two people. How do you achieve that?
Miesha: We are always working on ways to make our sound bigger, and personally I have been really enjoying the challenge. I play through two guitar amps and a bass amp with an ABC switch pedal to move between them. My songs are all performed in drop D now, and I have drop D optimized strings on my guitars. Sean uses a vocal pedal and his voice to fill in for some of the instrumentation we add in the studio. But there’s still more to be done to prepare for playing our new album live!
FTS: What can fans expect from the upcoming album, Unconditional Love In Hi-Fi?
Miesha: We are so proud of this record. We got to work in some very cool studios while making this record – Brighton Electric in the UK, National Music Centre in Calgary, and OCL Studios just outside of Calgary. There’s some punk, garage, straight rock, and experimental music on here, with ranging topics from Indigenous identity, to motherhood, to mental health and the weight of expectations. It’s all very well produced and well written thanks to our team-up with our old UK producers Danny Farrant (The Buzzcocks) and Paul Rawson. It sounds very big!
FTS: If both of you were superheroes, what would be your names and superpowers?
Miesha: Maybe we would be something like the super-twins from Alpha Flight – Aurora and Northstar, whose powers are amped up when combined. They both have flight, super speed, and put-on a crazy light show. Or maybe we’re like Wolvie and X-23 with some SNIKT SNIKT! We are pretty ferocious live.
Check out “It’s My Year”, the latest single from Miesha & the Spanks!