Old School Rock 'n' Roll Meets Female Empowerment
"With more and more female voices being promoted and represented in the industry the less and less you hear shitty comments."
Women are killing it in the music industry, and song lovers couldn't be happier! In our column, #WomenCrushWednesday, each week, we'll feature an awesome lady whose tunes are blowing up our playlists and ask them about their musical journey.
The Beaches are bound to be your best band for summertime, female-led rock music. Not only have they brought back a sound from the days of your folks that has impressed the likes of Elton John, but they are also influencing the scene with an intense new female-driven energy.
Lead singer of the band, Jordan Miller, spoke with us about how she, guitarist Kylie Miller, drummer Eliza Enman McDaniel, and guitarist Leandra Earl started making music together, the work that went into their debut record, and the surprising connection they have coming up to the great work of Avril Lavigne.
How did you guys all get interested in music and start performing together?
We all got into music when we were kids. Eliza's father was a musician so she always had a lot of cool musical instruments lying around. Leandra had an old piano at her grandparents' house and again started by just fiddling with it until she got super serious and started taking classical piano lessons. Kylie and I were always singing to each other when we were lil babies so our parents put us into guitar lessons together. We were pretty lazy kids so instead of learning how to play other people's songs we started writing our own. Kylie and I met Eliza in elementary school, and we all met Leandra in high school.
You're from Canada. What do you think about the music scene there?
I think it's dope! Especially where our band is from in Toronto, there is an excellent thriving rock 'n' roll scene here. Part of it comes from the amount of small/medium live venues that are rooted all over the city. Another part comes from a surge of young people that live here and are passionate about making real and authentic music.
You guys are described as a "retro rock quartet." What is "retro rock" to you?
To me, the term describes sixties and seventies rock 'n' roll. The good stuff. The bands and music that came from that period are the bands and music that got us interested in music in the first place. It's not flashy, the guitar, bass, and drums are simple and classic. Our lyrics are fun, spunky, and rooted in real life experiences. We don't use any tracks, everything we play we are playing ourselves.
In your music videos, I noticed you guys have the best outfits. Where do you find your clothes?
We've used stylists for most of the video shoots, so we can't take all the credit. But the outfits that we wore in those shoots are pretty in line with the clothes we wear onstage and what we buy for ourselves. We're massive thrifters, we frequent lots of vintage stores and Goodwills.
What have been your experiences as women in the music industry?
That's a loaded question. I would say I don't know what it's like to be a boy so I can't really compare it to anything else. When we started, there was definitely a negative stigma that came with being a young female rock 'n' roll musician. People would come up to us and say, "I thought you guys were going to be bad cause you're a girl band, but you were actually really good." That kind of thing, and when we started playing at some venues, security dudes would mistake us for fans when we were loading in. But with more and more female voices being promoted and represented in the industry, the less and less you hear shitty comments like that.
You released your debut album last year. What was the experience like of putting that together?
It was awesome! Late Show is a collection of songs from our first four years together. We really wanted to release a rock 'n' roll album, and everyone we worked with was down to help us accomplish that. Our label (Universal), and some of our co-writers never pushed us to go more pop. Our producers, Emily Haines and James Shaw from Metric, are Canadian Rock legends and used their skills and insight to make the record sound super authentic and fun. We had a great time and we're super proud of our baby.
When do you think we might be hearing some new music from the band?
Not for a while. Give us a year to write, haha.
You guys recently wrapped an expansive tour. What were some of the best parts of that?
It's hard to pick a favorite part of the tour because it was all so amazing and every place we visited had its own unique charm. I loved driving through Jasper, and seeing Victoria Island for the first time. My favorite gigs were probably in Halifax and Vancouver. Our last show in Toronto was pretty incredible as well, it was the biggest headlining show we've ever played - apparently someone fainted.
What's coming up next for you guys?
Lots of festivals! We have Canada Day celebrations at Major's Hill in Ottawa, Empire Rockfest in Belleville, Riverfest Elora, Osheaga, and a couple other shows here and there. We're also hosting an Avril Lavigne cover night at the Horseshoe Tavern on June 23rd with a bunch of pals from Toronto bands. Also, all proceeds from this evening benefit the Avril Lavigne Foundation! I'm so stoked that Leandra and Kylie organized such an exciting night of Avril tunes!!
Have a female or femme-identifying artist we should profile? Send a pitch email to Rachel
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