MisterWives - Interview
Mandy Lee (vocals), William Hehir (Bass), Etienne Bowler (Drums), Marc Campbell (Guitar), and Jesse Blum (Trumpet, Keys) come together to form MisterWives, a Dance, Pop, and Folk infused band that will soon blow you away.
The quintet first performed as MisterWives in February of 2013 in New York City (where they currently reside), having only just formed a couple months before that. The day following their debut performance, the band signed with Photo Finish Records, a subsidiary of Republic Records. That year they went on tour with Half Moon Run, The Royal Concept, and American Authors, and also wrote their debut EP, Reflections.
Now a year after Reflections was released, they have announced that their debut album, Our Own House, will be released February 24th 2015. Do these guys ever stop working!? It seems they’re either on tour or writing music, and that’s perfectly fine with me. I am so excited for next month's release; if it’s anything like their previous work, the album is sure to be brilliant. Just yesterday we got a preview with the release of the album's title track, "Our Own House". It blew me away (I haven't stopped dancing since I heard it), and raised my excitement to the next level. Make sure you listen to it!
Last month we had the opportunity to talk with Will about the upcoming album, touring, Wayne Coyne, and much more. See what he had to say in More Than The Melody’s latest interview!
MTTM: You guys have been off from touring for a while now. What have you guys been up to?
Will Hehir: We finished up touring with Twenty One Pilots in October. When we got back we went right into studio to finish the upcoming album. Currently we are coming to conclusion with the recording process and working on fine tuning and mastering. We hope to release the album in mid-February.
You’re playing a few shows later this month, excited to get back on stage?
Hell yeah man. I go through a tour withdrawal after a few days. I’m usually home relaxing for a day or so, but then I’m ready to get back out there. I can’t compare being on the stage to anything else. I can’t wait to play these last shows of the year and bring in 2015.
How excited are you to be playing the Coastline Festival with the Flaming Lips and others in February? Is anyone on the bill of particular interest to you?
I am so pumped. In October we played at the Life Is Beautiful Festival on the same day they did as well. We had interviews and errands to run all day but we made a point to see the Flaming Lips and they were on a completely different planet. Wayne Coyne is pretty out of control when it comes to productions. I’m also pretty excited to be in Florida, it’s winter here now so can’t wait to be warm.
What do you think is unique about your performance style? What makes your show special and why should someone come and see MisterWives live?
We all love being on stage, playing music, and playing that music with each other. We also never want to play a set and have it sound exactly like the recording. If we do that you might as well go home and play the EP really loud. We always try to mix those things up and create a high-energy show. We travel so much on tour so you really have to make every second on stage count. The chemistry between all of us helps build the fun and energy, and it creates an awesome time.
Being a relatively new band (only formed in 2012), how does it feel to be gaining so much recognition early on?
It’s pretty incredible. We feel pretty lucky to play with each other because everyone in the band is one of my best friends, and are also the best musicians I have ever played with. Putting those two things together, for me, is heaven on Earth. Then to have this recognized by others, it’s pretty overwhelming. When we played our first show outside of New York City, we were pretty blown away. We didn’t think we could fill the venue, but the show ended up selling out days in advance of the show, and it was such a mind-blowing experience. Seeing the crowd sing along to every word was incredible.
How does your songwriting process work? As a group, do you share some of the same major influences when it comes to writing your music? Or do you piece together a few different ones to create your sound?
Mandy has written all of the songs. She’ll come up with the skeleton and whatever the chord progression is as well as the melody and bring it to all of us. Then we’ll start putting on our individual pieces. We never put in a lot of predisposed thought, it all comes about pretty naturally and organically; she’ll have a melody or an idea in her head and we go from there. The tone of the song comes about pretty naturally depending on the content or rhythm of the song.
How would you characterize your sound?
Colorful. That’s probably the only thing I could think of. That’s kind of the way we try to captivate it. It’s obviously very poppy, there’s some folk to it, a bit of dance, and some funk; all these different parts because we’re so inspired by so many different artists. It’s colorful music, something you want to dance to.
Where do you draw your influences?
No Doubt has definitely been an inspiration in a lot of ways. From their aesthetics to their music, collectively as a group they are huge. We also had the luxury of touring with some awesome bands like Half Moon Run, Twenty One Pilots, and The Royal Concepts; they are all bands that have influenced us. Radiohead has had some impact on us too.
If you could collaborate with any artist right now, who would it be and why?
Michael Jackson, because he’s the goddamn man, and Daft Punk. I want to see what the hell is going on beneath those robot masks. Random Access Memories meant a lot to us because it’s fundamentally what we are all about. They wanted to take dance music and move away from being just a laptop. It’s something we don’t see in this day and age but it definitely resonates a lot with us.
If you could cover one song right now, what would it be?
We throw around a lot of days. We did “Like A Prayer” by Madonna once, that was a lot of fun. I would like to take a stab at some Michael Jackson songs too. We also do “Girls Just Want To Have Fun” a lot and that’s always a ton of fun to play live.
Who do you think we should be listening to at the moment? Is there anyone out there similar to you guys that you really enjoy?
Half Moon Run. Their album Dark Eyes is awesome, take a listen if you haven’t and watch out for another album soon. Same is to be said about The Royal Concepts. They are working on their newest album and we’re definitely excited about that. The Mowgli’s also have a new album coming out, and being on tour with them was some of the most fun I’ve had.
Finally, as 2015 rolls around, do you have any New Years Resolutions?
We’re looking to keep doing exactly what were doing. 2014 was incredibly good to us; there isn’t anything I think we would have done differently. We’re excited to get the album done and getting that out there. We’ve never been a band to really plan things too far into the future; we kind of take things one day at a time, for better or for worse.
There it is! Will and MisterWives are down to earth, and ready to take on the upcoming year. Their debut album is now available for preorder here, and keep an eye out for big things to come from a great up and coming group.