An interview with singer-songwriter Misty Miller
Misty Miller is releasing her second EP Next to You. The Upcoming had a chat with her backstage at the Lexington, surrounded by her band and plenty of MEATliquor burgers. This feisty Wimbledon teenager has swapped her ukulele for bluesy guitar rock, and her change of musical tack has proven to be a step in the right direction. She is set for big things in 2013.
That would have to be…Next to You. It’s one of the best songs to perform live and I really like the message behind it. I feel like it sums up a sound – kind of Crampsy [punk rock band, The Cramps]. I believe more people should feel pissed off, especially about people using you. It is a good emotion to have
You started making music at a young age. Did you have a musical upbringing?
Well, my dad is a musician and my brothers too, so it was never really a question for me. It was obvious I’d be involved with music. Their music is very guitar-based and I wouldn’t be like this without them. I feel more comfortable around boys – I have written songs with my eldest brother.
Do you get nervous performing?
Yeah. I didn’t used to, but playing with other people means that you have expectations placed on you. Playing with a band means you care more about other people and worry about f***ing up.
What are your biggest influences?
There are loads of movies that have influenced my songwriting – Natural Born Killers is one… Lots of films about couples… Everyone should watch Harold and Maude! I like obscure movies and soundtracks. I think a really good soundtrack is important, like the Hans Zimmer piece in True Romance.
You have worked with Burberry before. Are you interested in fashion?
I do care about what I wear but I am not totally into fashion. I like to wear the same thing. My best purchase was 50p at a car boot sale. I like hand-me-downs, things that have emotional meaning. It’s important to wear stuff I’ll feel good in. Today I’ve made an effort; I’ve swapped my jeans for suit trousers!
Was your musical change of direction a conscious decision?
I found it to be really gradual. As soon as my first album came out I decided I didn’t like it. I started playing with my brother, Rufus, and writing new songs, moving away from that folky sound. One of my best girl friends is a drummer so I created more funky sounds and that’s mixed with a new band. I was away from media exposure and it was a period of growing up – throwing my ukulele away! It is about doing what you enjoy.
Are your songs based on personal experiences or fiction?
Usually it’s personal, or a reflection on how I would rather have dealt with a situation. They are all real feelings; I just turn them into a better story.
You have toured with Jake Bugg. What was it like supporting him?
We did seven or eight shows with Jake. He told my drummer to calm down at an after-party! I first met him two years ago and he is really sweet.
If you could perform with another musician who would you choose?
Oh that is difficult. I couldn’t pick anyone too good or I’d feel jealous. Iggy Pop! But then, he is too good… It would be really fun, though! Or Andre Williams – the old blues singer.
Have you worked with Raiders of the Last Tube before?
No, they approached me and I’m really glad. I’ve always wanted to play at the Lexington. I have seen lots of bands here and the sound is great. It was good during sound check. I saw Dan Sartain here. Raiders of the Last Tube is a really nice idea – finishing work and still being able to catch the last tube home!
What are your plans for the future?
I definitely want to tour again. Hopefully I can get a full album done by June. I’ve been waiting for ages. If I could create an album and tour with it, I would be a very happy girl.
Photo: Jay Shaw-Baker
For further information about Misty Miller and future events visit here.
Listen to Next to You here: