It’s a lesson every musician needs to learn.
Miesha Louie just didn’t want that education to come at this particular time, the crucial period leading up to the release of her latest album Girls Girls Girls earlier this year.
“We were travelling through every snow storm in eastern Canada — it just seemed to be wherever we were,” says the local rock queen, sitting in a back booth at the Ship & Anchor Pub.
“I don’t know if we’ll do March touring again, just because it’s so unpredictable. A Canadian winter is just whenever it wants to be.”
Well, luckily spring has sprung, the album has been released and Miesha and the Spanks — the band she shares with drummer Sean Hamilton — are continuing to make their names known and rise in the ranks of the Canrock scene.
Even that aforementioned tour, despite the fact that the weather was at times an audience deterrent, produced some results for the duo.
While she admits that it’s a “small, loyal fanbase out east,” after a decade of making music and touring, it’s still building and still eager to hear what she’s been up to.
“The people who come, they’re all into it,” she says.
“Hardly anyone stumbles into our show. I feel like it’s people who are — either their friends brought them or they’re really excited about it, so they came out.”
And so they should. What she and Hamilton have been up to is crafting a pretty gnarly, sweaty, sweet and salty slab of Jett-fuelled R&R fun.
Recorded in the U.K. with Danny Farrant, from British punk legends the Buzzcocks, and his production partner Paul Rawson, Girls Girls Girls is as nasty as it needs to be, pretty as it wants to be, and perfect for starting any sundown that’s headed for a sunup.
It is, from the songs, to the sound, the finest thing Miesha and the Spanks have done in an already impressive run — a point she certainly won’t argue.
“There’s always, on a record, a few cringey moments where only I know that something didn’t go the way I wanted or I wish I could have done that take one more time — or something like that — and I’ve got none of those on this record, which is really exciting,” Louie says.
“I hope it’s the best thing I’ve ever done after 10 years of making albums. I think it’s the best.”
She’ll keep spreading the word, sharing the gospel of Girls Girls Girls throughout the summer.
Since the album release and tour there were a couple of festivals marked on their sked — they just returned from Canadian Music Week in non-snowy Toronto and, on a local level, they’ll play the new East Town Get Down event, which features more than 70 Calgary acts performing in eight venues on International Avenue this Saturday, May 26.
“And I guess in July I’ll plan a wedding,” she says with a smile. “I guess that’s what I’ll do.”
Yes, this girl, girl, girl is getting married, married, married on Aug. 25.
Her and her fiance have booked and entire campground on Lake Windermere — she grew up in Invermere — where family and friends will celebrate the royal nuptials of Calgary’s reigning rock queen.
And who will be tasked with providing the soundtrack for the merrymaking under the stars that will follow the ceremony? Who from the community in which she’s so entrenched will be her Elton John, will get the honour of saying, “Let’s go,” after she’s says, “I do.”
“We know too many people,” she says. “How do you choose?
“I think we’re just going to do soul and dance music all night versus live music.”
After that, she and her new hubby will head out for a September honeymoon.
Well, Louie certainly doesn’t intend on slowing down and settling into the mundanity of married life.
In October Miesha and the Spanks will play the Hamilton Pop Explosion and then head overseas for a European tour.
In other words, she’ll keep doing what she’s been doing, rocking hard and taking names, albeit with someone around to share the highs and lows, the wins and losses.
“I think it will be nice, a little more stability,” she says. “Maybe I won’t have as much material — I’ll have to find new things to write about.”
That, actually, might come sooner rather than later, as Louie says she’s champing at the bit to get going on a follow-up, despite having just released her finest work to date, but also, conversely, tentative about doing so for the exact same reason.
“It wouldn’t be unrealistic to start working on a new one now,” she says.
“I’m anxious and excited to surpass it with something even better. What’s that going to be? Maybe that’s the hesitation to start writing right now. What’s going to be better? We’re still just two people, how are we going to be bigger? I don’t know.”
(Photo courtesy Sebastian Buzzalino.)
Miesha and the Spanks perform at the East Town Get Down Festival Saturday, May 26. The festival features over 70 bands performing at eight venues over six blocks on International Avenue. Wristbands are available for $30 until May 25 and can be purchased from easttowngetdown.ca.
Mike Bell has been covering the Calgary music scene for the past 25 years with publications such as VOX, Fast Forward, the Calgary Sun and, most recently, the Calgary Herald. He is currently the music writer and content editor for theYYSCENE.com. Follow him on Twitter/@mrbell_23 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.