Interview: Kylie Miller – The Beaches

Hailing from Toronto Canada, The Beaches (named after the little area of Toronto were they live) have had a whirlwind two years since “officially” forming in 2012. From touring with Brody Dalle in the UK, to fronting an FCUK campaign this four piece girl band is here to try and knock your fucking socks off with their unique brand of synthesised rock that you can really sing along to. We caught up with lead guitarist Kylie, to discuss touring with a punk rock legend, the new bands new EP and of course the now customary Speed Round.

You’ve just come off a pretty impressive few dates supporting Brody Dalle, how was it? How did that come about? And how was Brody?

Touring with Brody was amazing. She is such an inspiring female figure to us, she’s the ultimate rock goddess. She is one of the nicest and most welcoming people we’ve ever toured with. We would always have late night chats after the shows. Opening up for her was one of the coolest things we’ve done as a band. Our agent Adele (William Morris) got us the gigs.

This isn’t your first time in the UK, are you fans of it over here? Are there any things that you have to do whilst in the UK?

We absolutely LOVE the UK! Touring there is a literally a dream. Every time we go to the UK we try to explore as many places as possible. Oh and also we always need to shop!

Can you introduce yourselves a little to us Brits who might not know who The Beaches are?

We’re a female synth rock band from Toronto! We love what we’re doing right now and are extremely passionate about music. We’re all a little bit quirky and weird and we love to have a good time.

Going back to the formation of the band, how did that happen? Were you all friends before?

Jordan and I started playing music together when we were just little kids. We eventually formed a band called Done With Dolls when we were about 9 and 10. We asked Eliza (drummer) to join in then because she was a friend from school. In 2012 we evolved into The Beaches, by changing our sound and band name. Around this time our previous band member Megan decided to leave the band. We called up our good friend Leandra (keys) the next day and asked her to join the band. The rest is history.

Was it always the plan to be an all girl band?

Not always. Before we formed Done With Dolls, Jordan and I were in a band called SOB (sisters, others and brothers) with two boys. The boys ended up leaving the band and at that moment we decided we strictly wanted to be an all female band.

What bands and artists would you say are your biggest influences?

We all have our own individual influences. For example Jordan is obsessed with David Bowie and Eliza likes Frank Ocean and Led Zeppelin while Leandra’s really into Metric. As a band our main influences are Jack White, Muse, Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Garbage.

How was it to be a part of something as big as a French Connection campaign?

It was a really cool experience. We had never been apart of anything that big before so the entire thing was quite overwhelming. My friend who lives in Shanghai called me screaming “Kylie!! Your song is playing in an FCUK ad in the back of cab!”. That really freaked me out (in a good way).

Is fashion and style something that you feel is a big part of your the band?

For us, its all about the music but it is definitely still important. I think its most important when you are on stage. Wearing clothes that work well on stage just makes your performance that much better.

On stage you bring a heck of a lot of energy, did that performance evolve naturally? Is being on stage where you are most comfortable as a band?

Being on stage is definitely where we feel most comfortable as a band. We love feeding off the energy from the crowd. When we first started we played every Wednesday night at 12 o’clock at this dingy bar in Toronto. That’s when we really got comfortable on stage. We worked new things out every show, and made a whole lot of mistakes. The experience really helped us because we learned how to be comfortable and just how to rock the f*** out.

Your new E.P. Heights (which is brilliant) just came out, is it everything you were hoping for? Can we expect a full length album anytime soon?

Why thank you! We’re really proud of the EP. It was our first time writing with Leandra and she has really helped shaped the sound of the band. I think that the synth element just creates a much fuller sounding EP. Hopefully we’ll be releasing an album soon. We’re gonna write a ton of songs this summer so stay tuned.

How does your writing process work?

Everybody is involved in the process. Someone will usually come up with a catchy little idea and then we will just work it out. Sometimes we’ll jam on the idea and edit them all together. This eventually forms into a song. Jordan usually takes care of the lyrical stuff.

When can we expect you back on our shores?

We are hoping to be back in the fall, fingers crossed!

What’s next from The Beaches?

We’re going to be writing a lot this summer as well as playing some Canadian festivals like Osheaga and Riot Fest. We’re super excited to see what happens next.

Anything you want to add?

(A little harmless self promotion) make sure to check out our new EP Heights available on iTunes!

Speed Round

What would you like to be remembered for?

Probably our live performances or Leandra’s crazy cat leggings.

What person (dead or alive) would you most love to have dinner with?
Hmmm this is a toughie. For me, I’m gonna say Kurt Cobain. He’s a huge inspiration of mine and he just seemed like one of the most amazing human beings. I would LOVE to have dinner with him.

How long do you spend in front of the mirror?

This is probably different for each person in the band. I spend a fair bit of time in front of the mirror because my hair has a mind of its own! I’m constantly trying to control it.

Favourite swear word?
Oh god I have such a potty mouth so this is tricky. Probably “Bitchass” because it sounds hilarious.

Shoe size?

I have huge feet, I’m a size 9 (Canadian).

Best excuse you’ve ever used to break up with someone?

Well while I was 13 I was an extra in the Disney movie Camp Rock 2. I said I couldn’t handle having a boyfriend and being in Camp Rock! Best excuse! Ha!

Best day of your life?

There’s been a lot of great days, it’s hard to pick just one. I think one of the nicest days i’ve ever had was when I visited my great grandfathers abandoned old house in Northern Ireland. I was with my Mom and my Grandpa at the time and it was such a wonderful experience. We walked in the front door and the place was filled with sheep.

Religious, spiritualist, humanist or none?

I guess I’d have to pick humanist.

Worst thing you’ve every put in your mouth?

A bee! At summer camp when I was a kid a bee flew into my mouth and stung my tongue. I had a lisp for a week after that.

Chocolate or Vanilla?

Chocolate all the way.

Last band you paid to see live?

I haven’t been to a concert in ages. Last one I remember was seeing Muse with Jordan. That was the best concert I have ever seen.

Band you’d love to see before you die?

Oh there’s so many! Queens Of The Stone Age or Gorillaz maybe?

As a child what did you want to be when you grew up?

I’ve always wanted to be a musician.

What would you say if you met the Queen?

“Can we take a selfie?” just kidding. I would probably not even be able to speak because I would be so starstruck!

Biggest turn on?

Broad shoulders or being polite.

Best childhood memory?

Swimming in my grandparents pool in the suburbs, drinking so much lemonade and running around in the grass.

DC or Marvel?

Ooh I’m afraid I’m not a comic book kinda girl. I’m gonna say Marvel just cause it sounds cool.

Rock, Paper or Scissors?

Rock!

Star Trek or Star Wars?

Star Wars.

Last time you were starstruck?

I saw Jude Law walking in Notting Hill! I almost died!

Heights the latest E.P from The Beaches is available now on iTunes (https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/heights-ep/id859887622?ign-mpt=uo%3D4) and you can also watch the video for the lead single Little Pieces here (http://youtu.be/ACOYFsDZ7-U)

 

Photo: Kimberley Bayliss