There are few Canadian duos that rock harder than Calgary’s Miesha & The Spanks.
The group is touring in support of their excellent new release Girls Girls Girls and is getting set for a Maritime invasion, kicking off in Fredericton on March 14 before moving onto other cities throughout the region. A complete list of shows is featured down below.
The dynamic and wonderful Miesha Louie took some time out of rocking more Westerly parts of Canada to discuss Motley Crue, the duo’s association with the legendary Buzzcocks and how serving as a mentor at Girls Rock Camp is an inspirational experience.
Could there be a more appropriate time to name an album Girls Girls Girls than today? How things have changed in the 31 years since Motley Crue released their album of the same name…
Yeah, no kidding. It wasn’t even intentional, but when I realized it was all happening it was sort of perfect. Crue’s “Girls Girls Girls” calls us “toys” and basically is one long cat-call, while I’m celebrating my local girl gang. It wasn’t written as a response, but that’s a good observation that things have sure changed.
Your upcoming tour of the Maritimes is pretty ambitiously awesome, especially considering a lot of acts avoid the region “because there’s nowhere to play.” Would you care to call bullshit on those bands that make such a claim?
I can’t justify coming all the way from Calgary to Montreal and not make that extra drive to the Maritimes. You’re so close! Being from Calgary and touring anywhere though, we’re pretty seasoned for the long drives between shows. But that’s what make the Maritimes a must-play, besides the fact that they are some of the most fun shows. If you’re in a band that does “weekend touring” then it’s probably not easy to get to the coast, but you are missing out big time if that’s the case. So yes, I call bullshit.
Tell me a bit about how Danny Farrant came to produce the record. How significant was this to you, on both a personal and professional level? Did the Buzzcocks music figure prominently in your life at any point?
I met Danny at [Calgary festival] Sled Island in 2011, and later recorded vocal session work for him and Paul Rawson. They write and pitch music for film and TV on the side. A few songs went into shows like Vampire Diaries and Shameless, which was pretty cool. Two years ago, I asked if they wanted to do a full album together and we started working towards it! I love the Buzzcocks. I listened to them a lot in my formative years. The notoriety of making a record with their drummer was exciting for sure, but it was more based on these hired gun recordings that made me want to work with them further. Danny and Paul are a tight unit, and the stuff they pumped out sounded different from my other recordings. I wanted to see what they would do with my songs.
Given the relatively short time frame in which the new album was recorded, how strict was Danny when it came to nailing the perfect take with these songs? There’s always a balance between getting a good take but still having a semblance of energy running through the song.
There were lots of takes! Danny and Paul really challenged us on our instruments. They helped us expand on the music we’d written to keep it interesting – because there’s only the two of us. The first three or four days were spent flushing out songs and re-arranging- we attempted and recorded every idea. So by the time we did the official tracking, it all happened pretty fast. I think we shot for energy over technicality – the song as a whole was the most important part, and to me at least a song is all feeling.
You’re an active contributor at Girls Rock Camp Calgary and have been since 2013. What would you consider to be the most gratifying aspect of being involved with such a program?
I love watching these girls, in like a week, overcome their insecurities, stop second guessing themselves, get over their biggest fears, and get on stage. So brave! Also, I love when they find a passion for some other aspect of music, like maybe they realize they love just writing the songs and watching someone else perform them, or they start nerding out over sound engineering, stage or recording, or even just drawing logos and making merch. They’re falling in love with something, with themselves, and that is just the coolest thing to be a part of.
The fact such a program exists is critical because I hate thinking about how many truly talented girls have dropped out of the music business because of a lack of guidance, or worse, being taken advantage of in such a way that they just assumed there was no way they could make it…
Yeah totally. It’s better than it’s ever been, there’s more women in music to look up to, who are tangible real people you can see in person not just in magazines or on TV. But at that age finding a group of girls with similar interests can be tough. It builds a lot of confidence, putting them all in a room together.
March 14 — Fredericton, NB — Read’s Newstand
March 15 — Halifax, NS — Gus’ Pub
March 16 — Sackville, NB — Thunder & Lightning
March 17 — Moncton, NB — The Caveau
March 19 — Halifax, NS — Seahorse Tavern Rockin’ For Dollars