Sure to be providing a very animated live show later on full of operatic vocals, ska-enthused grooves, and lots of jumping around, MisterWives are currently kicking back in Islington. London is in for a treat, as they support their debut album Our Own House with one of their bucket-list-worthy live shows.
RAW MEAT: So that the readers can get to know you in the band, a few questions: if you were each a character from Friends, who would you be?
Mandy Lee: Marc loves that show.
Marc Campbell: I feel like New Yorkers do not like Friends… but I love Friends.
ML: Marc watches it every night. Who would we all be? Will is Phoebe.
Will Hehir: I’d be Kramer from Seinfeld.
MC: I think Jesse would be Phoebe for sure.
ML: (sings) Smelly Caaat…
Jesse Blum: I was gonna say Marcel the Monkey. He always seems upbeat.
ML (to Will): You’d be Joey.
Etienne Bowler: I’d be Chandler?
ML: You are totally Chandler. This is making me want to go watch Friends. Who would I be?
WH: I think you’d be Monica.
ML: She does like to cook. But she’s like, crazy!
MC: And Monica… is married to Chandler (gestures towards Etienne)
ML: Alright. Well there you have it.
WH: So I’m going with Kramer from Seinfeld.
What are your favourite albums each?
WH: Random Access Memories by Daft Punk.
ML: Tragic Kingdom, No Doubt.
EB: The Police, Synchronicity.
JB: I like the first Weezer album a lot.
MC: I love Biffy Clyro… I’d say Radiohead - OK Computer.
What is one band people would be surprised to hear that you listen to?
WH: Primus. No one else listens to Primus.
JB: Tony Bennett isn’t a band.
ML: Surprised? I dunno, we listen to everything. It’s interesting that I write a bunch of upbeat, happy pop music and I really listen to a bunch of sad, Damien Rice stuff.
How has your welcome to London been?
WH: I’ve had an absolute blast. We went out yesterday and randomly met up with these kids sitting on the street and we ended up all going to a bar together.
ML: Driving was scary. We thought, oh, maybe we won’t make it to our show… Almost crashed five times… Over here there’s all these amazing cafes and food, and we went in the exact opposite direction, to this Indian restaurant…
EB: The samosas were still frozen!
ML: And first of all they weren’t even legitimate samosas. It took an hour to get frozen food. It’s funny how we took one wrong turn and had a totally different experience!
What excites you most about starting to have a presence in the UK?
EB: Uh, starting to have a presence in the UK!
WH: It’s surreal to all of us, we’re still wrapping our minds around having a presence in New York. So the idea of coming 3,000 miles away and having a sold-out show doesn’t make any sense.
ML: We’re just so thankful. Our dreams have actually come true. We couldn’t do this without all the people supporting our music and the power of the internet for even bringing it over here, it’s pretty amazing what Spotify can do for an artist, and we’re in awe.
What do you think about Tidal?
ML: Is this just like the illuminati Spotify?
WH: Noel Gallagher said it best; “What the fuck do they think, they’re the Avengers of the music industry? You’re not saving the fucking music industry, just write a fucking good chorus!”
ML: Let’s not make enemies here…
WH: But any way, shape or form in which music can be delivered to people is how we sustain ourselves as artists.
My favourite lyric from the album has to be from 'Not Your Way': “But look how very far we have come / cast a vote, wear pants and prop up a gun” What was the inspiration behind this song? Some kind of industry sexism?
WH: That’s also my favourite lyric.
ML: Thank you.
EB: Wait what was the lyric?
ML: It’s “twirl bubblegum” actually.
I thought it was referring to how women can get higher up in the army now.
ML: Interesting! I just feel like women are always oversexed and, “I’m flirty and twirling bubblegum”. And it’s this interesting thing where we’re equal, but no we’re not, because in the media, all it is, is women half-naked being rammed down your throat. It’s so oversexualised, and I love sex, I’m not some turtleneck-wearing Christian, it’s just very bizarre to me that if they wanna sell a car or beer they stick a girl in a bikini on the advert. I don’t believe in the army! We’ve come a long way but there’s so much longer of a journey ahead for us to actually be equal.
EB: Well said.
ML: I hope you still like those lyrics!
I do! Is there a specific event that inspired the lyric?
ML: Just being a woman, and especially in the music industry. I’m not knocking any female artist, I just think there’s a lot more to you than having to wear a bra and panties and ridiculous things to sell tickets and get your music out there. I’ve been put in that situation where I was told, “oh you’re not thin enough”, or “you have to be more sexy” and I just thought, go fuck yourself, I’m gonna write music and play what I want.
JB: It’s good because Will wants to wear all of those things on stage!
WH: Yeah that’s right, I end up with a bra on stage more so than anyone!
ML: There’s nothing wrong with those things, I just think it’s not the focal point.
You’ve supported acts that range from T-Pain to Ke$ha, who has been the most fun to tour with?
ML: Sugar Ray.
JB: I would agree with that!
ML: We grew up on Sugar Ray, and then we played some college shows, same thing with T-Pain and Ke$ha. It was amazing, he just made fun of himself the whole time. “Remember when I had frosted tips and was good-looking? Oh, still am!” Nobody knew who he was, and Sugar Ray were huge.
MC: They had that song…
MC and ML: (sings Sugar Ray’s ‘Every Morning’).
ML: We would play rock n roll trivia where he’d ask us questions like, “Who was the drummer of… Garbage?” and if you got it right he’d give you $100. And then he offered me the money and when I said no, I’m okay, he said, “You really don’t want it?” and he ripped the money up!
EB: I’m like, catching the pieces and taped them together. Bought beer.
Album one has been out a little while now, you must be thinking about album two. How long do you think it’ll take, and what do you think you’ll do differently?
ML: Well the turnaround for the last album was like, a month, so I’m hoping it’ll be a little more time! I have started thinking about new songs and I haven’t been able to write anything. But there’s the power of phones and I can make voice memos and remember all the little things that I wanna flesh out into songs. I don’t know what’ll be different, we’ll see where I am mentally and emotionally, but I think it’ll be a continuation if not better than the first album. I hope we can grow.
WH: Personally, I’m excited!
In preparation for what is sure to be an excellent sophomore set, check out MisterWives’ debut Our Own House, out now on Republic Records.