by Danielle Holian
For our readers, please describe your musical background?
Marty: Music was an obsession for me long before I could channel it. Even when I was a rugrat I was listening to music religiously and keeping an ear open for new songs. I was itching to write, but I didn’t have an instrument! Then when I was 15 I got a guitar as a present for either my birthday or Christmas. After about two days I was hooked. I had lessons for six months, but found teaching myself more rewarding.
Ben: I started playing jazz bass guitar and double bass, I was really into jazz for a long time. I then played classical double bass and have just finished masters in composition.
Wilson: I began playing guitar at the age of 11 and took up the bass a couple of years ago. For me, music was a way of getting out of playing football in the playground! Ever since I’ve known I’ve wanted to be a musician.
Who or what are your influences?
M: Anything. My subconscious is always on the prowl for musical/lyrical ideas and those don’t have to come from music by any means. There are rhythm and melody in everything from birdsong to the sound of traffic.
B: It’s hard to pin down to a straight answer. I’m influenced by most things in one way or another. You can’t be real.
W: I listen to a wide range of music which all influences me. I also follow several session musicians. I’m a huge fan of Pino Palladino and Mateus Asato.
Tell us a bit about the background of the making of your debut EP ‘Do You Feel Electric?’
B: We made it over quite a spread of time and also learned a lot about recording as we went along. It was very organic. I’m proud that it was our first release. We were beginning to sculpt our sound.
Who or what inspired each track? And what was the songwriting process like?
M: They were all autobiographical although creative liberties were taken. I’ll give you a track-by-track in a nutshell. Smokescreen is essentially a chat-up line – it’s a prologue to fucking someone you shouldn’t be fucking. Phantom Pain is about losing someone at a Halloween party. Shelter is about breaking up with somebody, but wanting to get high and go to bed once more before going your separate ways. And Ant vs Elephant is about an emotionally sadomasochistic relationship.
In terms of the songwriting process, we’d tend to jam out ideas, then I’d go away and write/draft the songs and then take them back to Ben. He’d work his magic and make them sound like MISS songs.
When making music, what makes it interesting for you?
M: That’s a good question. I don’t really make music because it interests me, it’s more a matter of dependence. There are tonnes of things that I find fascinating about music itself, but in terms of making music, it’s just something I need to do. I’m always working on several songs. When we finished the EP I’d already started writing a bunch of the album, and we’ve not even finished the album and I’ve started compiling a bunch of ideas for the second album. If I’m not doing it one way or another I just feel like I’m wasting time.
Actually, what I do find interesting and exciting about making music is Ben’s production. Sometimes I’ll think I know a song like the back of my hand and then when he’s done mixing it he’s given it a whole new energy that I hadn’t imagined for it and in doing so made it an infinitely better track.
B: I think just watching a song develop is interesting. It never ends up sounding anything like either of our initial impressions.
W: As a bassist that has come into MISS to help take the band live, I find that I enjoy listening to a track and figuring what it is that I can bring to the table. Each track on ‘Do You Feel Electric?’ presented a new challenge for me in terms of creating a bass part that was suitable to the track and brought the best out of the low end.
How has your music evolved since the band began?
B: I think we began as we meant to go on. It was decidedly varied. We’re trying to push more grooves into the sound now.
M: I think it’s becoming even harder to categorise! People seem to struggle when trying to assign our music to a genre or saying which other bands we sound like. We take that as a massive compliment. If you’re releasing music that sounds like something that already exists then there’s no point releasing it.
What has been the biggest challenge for the band so far?
B: I think being seen is very difficult these days, there’s a such a vast quantity of music that is at everyone’s fingertips with the internet a lot of great music gets lost in there.
M: Because we’re starting out and don’t have a label, it means that all the admin, promo, social media, etc. has to be done by the three of us. We’re musicians, not marketing specialists, but because of how congested technology has made the industry if you don’t have a choice but to do your best to try and keep on top of all that shit.
Do you have any advice for fellow writers?
M: Think outside the box, without thinking about thinking outside the box.
What are your plans for the future?
B: We’re recording an album and we’re hoping to venture out on tour soon too so watch this space!
Any last words?
M: Have a nice Christmas.
B: Thanks for having us!
W: As a music fan who’s come into working with these guys I’d say check MISS out! The writing is refreshing and original. It’s well thought out and genuinely from the heart.