Based in Treaty 7 Territory, Miesha & The Spanks have been making a name for themselves as Calgary’s louder-than-you-might-think, non-stop touring machines. Miesha created The Spanks back in 2008 as a means to control her destiny— a specific brand of rock grown from her punkrock roots and nurtured by her own experiences and story-telling, and a career heavy in touring and vinyl. No more band break-ups and lost songs — Miesha & The Spanks would do what it wanted as long as Miesha had the fever.
Their new single “The Girls Are O.K.” is an anthemic rock track about the progress that’s been made with gender division among younger generations, while recognizing there’s still work to be done. Listen to the new single below and read our conversation!
Can you talk to us about the inspiration behind “The Girls Are O.K.”?
After we got home from the UK last May, I was on about as close to maternity leave as a touring musician can get. I was benched and meant to be writing like crazy, but pregnancy brain is very real and I was struggling. I had some cool music, but words just weren’t coming. I took a break from my writing break when Girls Rock Camp Calgary rolled around, and finally – inspiration! To be clear, these girls inspire me every year, but something about watching these tough teens rock n roll, overcome their own struggles, combined with my soon to be born twins – gender unknown at that point, turns out they’re little boys – lit a fire in me and The Girls Are O.K. was born. I started thinking about what I felt as a kid, what these girls are up to, and what the generation after them might have in store.
How has your community contributed to your success?
I’ve lived in Calgary for half of my lifetime now. I came here from my super small mountain hometown right after high school. It was meant to be a pit stop on the way to somewhere better, bigger, but I could never bring myself to leave. Our community here is super supportive. We have a tendency to lift each other up. I could not have achieved everything I have in this city and beyond without the support of the community – which includes fellow artists, venues, local radio and magazine, festivals, photographers, filmmakers, everyone really. We really work together to put this city on the map.
What advice would you give other musicians?
It’s such a fast paced industry, but try to slow down and enjoy yourself along the way. Don’t be afraid to grow and succeed, but remember where you came from and stay true to who you are. Don’t let the hustle get the best of you!
Describe to our audience your music-making process.
I write more collaboratively than I ever have before, thanks to my amazing band partner Sean Hamilton. I still get things going on my own, putting together a half-song, with enough bits and pieces that we have something to work on together. Together we flush out the music and structure, but lyrics are all still all me. I have a tendency to write personal! And then in the studio with the right producer, the song could get shuffled around even more. Because I write so personal, I’ve had to learn how to pull myself back and collaborate in the best interest of the song.
So happy to have something new! As I said before, writing wasn’t coming so easy to me this summer, and I’m really happy this song came together! And I loved having the Girls Rock Camp campers add to the final chorus. It really tied the whole thing together for me, it makes me super happy every time I hear it.
If you could collaborate with any musician/band, who would it be? And why?
While we were in the UK we played a show in London with Snotty Nose Rez Kids, who kicked butt. I’ve been listening to their new album Trapline so much since then. There’s a tonne of collabs on it, I would love to be in a future collab. Rock and rap mixed together is such a gamble but I bet we could do something cool. I’m just a big fan!
Music was all around me when I was a kid. My dad was heavy into Springsteen, and my mom into Motown. I love to sing along to all of it. My dad said when I could make his shitty old guitar sound good, we would get me my own. Eventually, I did!
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