INTERVIEW: The Mysterines; For Now They are Just That, A Mystery But Soon They Will Be A Household Name

After The Mysterines exploded through our speakers on their recent Steve Lamacq BBC Radio 6 Music drive time session we immediately had to get in contact to speak to the power behind the feminine graveled voice. For those unfamiliar to Steve Lamacq’s sessions these do not come about easy, if Steve gives you his seal of approval (a view we wholeheartely agree with) you are on your way to big places.

To the shock of listeners The Mysterines finished their session with unannounced (and immediately released after the session) single Bet Your Pretty Face. This is your warning readers; it’s been two years since the last Royal Blood album, The Mysterines have swooped in and will take their hold on you filling the void Royal Blood and other contemporaries left.  They Mysterines are currently supporting Psychedelic Porn Crumpets, we’re heading to their Brighton date tonight, get your tickets wherever they’re still available; with 2 mighty bands enjoy the ride! Here’s what Lia (guitar and Vocals) had to say to us.

Hi, how are you? You’ve just done a BBC introducing session and will be off on tour with Psychedelic Porn Crumpets in February; how does life feel as a band right now?

‘All the new opportunities coming up are all very exciting.’

It’s funny because a lot of our friends or family ask us this question a lot, they can view the growing success somewhat clearer and more literally than I can I guess . But for me, I suppose ‘life as a band’ feels almost like it always has , just learning and working very hard trying to remain consistent with that.. it’s not often we stop to evaluate where we are – I think sometimes that can be unhealthy, you could get too comfortable with where you are and forget about progressing. However without being too negative, all the new opportunities coming up are all very exciting.

Everyone says how hard it is to come up with a name for your band, Psychedelic Porn Crumpets is quite a phenomenal name; how long did it take to come up with the name The Mysterines and what other names were floating around as alternatives?

‘Ours came quite quickly really…the process is quite tedious but has to be done!’

Yeah..phenomenal is definitely a correct word used to describe that name haha. Ours came quite quickly really , I don’t know whether that was through laziness of not wanting to think up anymore, as you said the process is quite tedious but has to be done! We were in a practise when ours got mentioned, James Skelly was telling us how they conjured up the name “The Coral” from an old mouthwash called Oracle and then joking about in reply we were saying stuff like  “The Listerines” and then someone in the room said ‘The Mysterines’… just kinda stuck from that really.

It’s fantastic to see some powerful young women like you and Beth Lowen’s LION making their mark on the next generation of female songwriters; when you were growing up listening to music who did you look up to male or female and why?

Writing in general has always been a great interest of mine and a part of who I am from a really early age..probably before I actually identified with music- although both have always been simultaneously surrounding me. My dad is a writer and a musician so, growing up all the music and artists who were played to me were mainly creatives known predominantly for their writing or melodies rather than technical ability or impressive solos or whatever. John Lennon/The Beatles, Simon and Garfunkel, Otis Redding, Jim Morrison/The Doors, Bob Dylan were probably the earliest influential people that I looked up to when I started.

For the last few decades we’ve had a series of guitar slinging female frontwomen, some more well revered than others, we love your sound as do your fans flooding to your ballsy rock sound; how do you feel The Mysterines take is different than your predecessors?

I think that when some bands start out they try so hard to almost be like their favourite musicians or bands; you know learning the same chords or even covering their songs or whatever, which is completely fine but when I started out because I was so young and definitely too young to be in a band, I just kinda did what felt right as I wasn’t really aware about the things you have to do to be different from our predecessors with so many influences as well I’d have no idea what would’ve come out if I tried to be like all of them! So I guess that might make us different, as I found what worked for me and what I was best at at such an early age. Difference in regards to music though, I suppose that’s not really for me to decide, everything eventually gets recycled and translated in a different way that’s relevant to the time …I think pinpointing ‘different’ is more about the magic a band brings. 

In your first highly successful single ‘Hormone’ you sing ‘youth isn’t [your] excuse’ what is your most commonly used excuse? Do you have a trait lateness or something else that you’re always having to give an excuse for?

My punctuality is horrific.  I can’t even use the old ‘I’m fashionably late’ cause sometimes it’s like 5 hours, it’s a bit much that isn’t it haha.

‘Hormone’ seems to have a fairly clear topic, as a young musician is your feeling around it’s topic changing as you grow up? Could you predict there being a time it will feel out of place for you to sing it?

‘[Hormone is] probably already outdated for me to sing even though I’m still 18, being in a band ages you a lot – it’s a deathwish.’

Yeah when I’m like 60 haha! No I mean I suppose writing a song like that – although it was so specific to me at the time you almost have to take the responsibility for writing it and accept that even though it may be outdated for you to honestly deliver, there will always be someone in the audience of whom it’s relevant. It’s probably already outdated for me to sing even though I’m still 18, being in a band ages you a lot – it’s a deathwish.

In your recent BBC session you played your track Good Conditions; what makes for good conditions for you as a musician playing a gig?

‘Lots of crisps… lots of crisps… and more crisps.’

Lots of drugs, lots of crisps, lots of girls, lots of crisps, lots of money and more crisps

We’re trying to give readers a window into the world of The Mysterines; what is the song actually about?

‘[Good Conditions] was inspired after binge watching many documentaries about serial killers… It kinda appealed to me to create something musically similar.’

Good Conditions is more of a physical representation of a feeling rather than it being written about something specific. It’s an erratic song and in my head it kinda switches between two personalities .The verses are played very tame and quiet with no overall melody and the chorus is so instant and intense – it was consciously crafted like that for that contrasting personality idea that I mentioned before…It was inspired after binge watching many documentaries about serial killers, i just observed the way that sometimes they can appear to be so contained and almost as innocent as someone you’d just walk passed on the street but also hold this extremely violent rage inside of them. It kinda appealed to me to create something musically similar, and I threw in a few lyrics that sort of relate back to the attitude of the killers in the documentaries – “I won’t make a point of thinking, what it is I want to try” is sorta bringing in that unnerving spontaneity they all seem to have in common.

Can we learn some more? Your track resistance you sing ‘I don’t just don’t know’; can you tell us something about The Mysterines that readers won’t know yet?

What they don’t know won’t kill them.

The new single ‘Bet Your Pretty Face’ has been on repeat in the office but has left us desperate to know how long we’ll be waiting for more?

I couldn’t imagine Bet Your Pretty Face being in an office! I’m glad you’re desperate, we’ll keep it like that for now.

Until that time will The Mysterines be touring and playing festivals this year, what can you tell us about your plans?

We’ve obviously got the one with Psychedelic Porn Crumpets in February that we’re all looking forward to! Then we have a headline tour planned for April/May, and lots of festivals are booked – Truck Festival is one we’re really looking forward to.

Musicians first hand get to see the next generation of acts often sharing stages with them; what upcoming artists are you loving right now?

I love Jade Bird, think she is really talented and a great songwriter – although unfortunately haven’t been able to share a stage with her … yet!