In For Questioning is the feature pointing readers in the direction of bands you may not have heard of yet, but in a year they’ll be playing all the right venues and on all the right tours and you’ll be left thinking “oh crap, I remember seeing that name on Underscore Part 3 but didn’t click the link.” Well, firstly we commend you for clicking the link, you’re clearly awesome! And secondly Miss June are already appearing on the right tours; their last full tour was with IDLES in Miss June’s home of New Zealand. So yeah, we don’t need to say it but everyone loves IDLES, IDLES love Miss June, you get the picture; learn a bit about Miss June here and then go check them out. Here’s what lead singer and guitarist Annabel had to tell us after the band had just finished their London shows recently…
Hey, how are you? You’ve just played shows in the UK for the first time, tell us how it went?
Playing in London completely exceeded our expectations!! Our moto is that we are always just happy to be there and happy to be doing what we love, but to see so many people in a totally new country loving what we do was truly special.
You’ve recently been tour support for UK band of the moment IDLES when they came to New Zealand; can you tell us 1 piece of advice or 1 thing you learned from touring with them?
The one piece of advice they gave us was so always turn up on time and to always be respectful of the venue and staff. We can confidently say that IDLES were the most respectful, considerate and warmest people that we have ever toured with!!
It’s great to have a New Zealand band over here in the UK; can you give us the DNA of your band, the sounds that have really shaped you?
We come from very different backgrounds. Tom, Chris and Jun all have Jazz degrees. So they know a lot about music in areas which I don’t have experience. This has been a huge factor in our sound and made us more developed sonically. For me I grew up on bands like Sonic Youth, Patti Smith, Bikini Kill etc. I think as a woman fuelled by the artistic expression of other women, there was no way I could play music and not have this influence of aggression and passion come through.
Post-punk is thriving in the UK right now, what’s going on in New Zealand right now?
Post-punk has always been a movement in New Zealand due to the foundations laid by fantastic kiwi bands in the 80’s and 90’s. For example, The Clean, Split Enz, Bailterspace. I think that pop music is really taking off in New Zealand at the moment though. The success of Lorde as a kiwi artist has no doubt influenced the market here.
You’ve just dropped your new single Best Girl, can we talk about its themes? You described Best Girl as “an anthem for anyone who has been misled from birth, into battle for a spot that doesn’t exist.” Can you elaborate on this further?
‘Best Girl’ is a song denoting my experiences as a woman growing up and feeling the weight of hostility between women in general. As I grew older and more comfortable in my skin I realised that we are told from birth that in order to be successful and “break through the glass ceiling” we needed to tear down other women. It’s a similar mentality as “there’s only room for one woman on the team”, or “one female artist on the lineup”. This mentality, often perpetuated by men, sets up an incredibly destructive competitiveness which in fact is just another form of oppression. I think young women everywhere are realising that we are stronger together. That supporting your community and advocating for others only brings everyone more opportunities. That instead of trying to “break the glass ceiling” we need to construct buildings of our own.
Your Instagram is @Ihatemissjune and the drum skin in your Best Girl video displays “MJ SUX”, why?
This started as a personal joke. Jun’s friends once came to a show we had in Auckland all wearing matching shirts with “F*CK MISS JUNE” on them as a joke. They danced at the front of our show all night in the t shirts and got stepped out almost immediately for wearing them by some of our fans. We thought it was so hilarious that the joke kind of spiralled from there. It’s also a bit of a play on the fact that we really don’t care if people don’t like us. Jun always says “you’re either team Miss June or you can f*ck off mate”.
It looked a great video to shoot, tell us about the day and what do the other characters in the video that ‘aren’t in the band’ represent?
The video was shot in a matter of hours in our friend’s backyard. It was really the vision of the director Ch’lita to have it be a one shot video. Danny the Rick Rubin looking character in the video has known me since I was 16 and actually recorded our first song Clyde. Tiger boy is a very cool friend of Ch’lita’s and the dancer is a wonderful drag performer by the name of Eva Lucian. We took two takes to get it right. We blew the fire extinguisher on the first take and only had one more drum skin! So when the extinguisher didn’t work on the second take we knew it had to be the take anyway haha.
If our UK readers missed you this time, do you have any other live plans for Europe this year? Or releases?
We have confirmed Reeperbahn festival in September and another festival in Paris, so hopefully we will be back these ways soon!! Our Debut album is out in September through French Kiss/The Orchard. We are so so excited.
How do Miss June want to sign off this interview? What else should we remember about Miss June?
“You’re either team Miss June or you can f*ck off mate” – Jun Cheul Park [of Miss June].
Words: James Wadsworth