Mia Riddle made a brief appearance on UK soil last month with a UK tour to promote her latest EP, ‘Tigers’. We stole some of Mia’s time, in between van-breakdowns, overnight journeys, and sleeping on the floor in order to get answers to a few questions.
Let’s start from the beginning… Where was the beginning?
I guess I’ve made music in some form or another since I was little. When I was fourteen or so I started playing guitar with another friend of mine, we did some coffeehouse gigs in a little town called Poway and sang cheesy harmonies and stuff. Then I started my first band the next year when I moved to LA.
Where do all the songs come from – and all those wonderful lyrics?
It’s actually a joke in my family, how I manage to make even happy subjects sad. I think that heartbreak is a universal theme, and most of my songs have some twinge of regret, longing, and rage in them. My mother is always saying, ‘Why can’t you write some happy songs?’
I have a new song called ‘Adventures’ that I really like at the moment. It’s incredibly cathartic to play. I try to remember the emotion behind every song when we play it, though.
I write songs in my bedroom, so I don’t annoy my housemates.
You’re gigging practically every day at the moment – do you have to cram in all these dates while you’re in the UK?
Well, the whole point of a tour is to cram in dates! Also, I do really enjoy seeing so much of the UK. We’re in the Scottish highlands at the moment, and it’s really one of the most beautiful places any of us have ever been.
I’m always inspired by the people that I meet on tour, both musically and personally. It’s interesting to get a little picture of so many people’s lives.
What’s a typical week for Mia Riddle?
At home or on the road? At home I’m not working at the moment, so I mostly spend a lot of time doing administrative things for the band, and riding my bike around Brooklyn.
On the road every day is different; we usually wake up on whatever floor we’ve slept on, have some tea, and drive to wherever we’re going. It involves a lot of long waits for things, and then a quick burst of energy and adrenaline for a half hour every evening, followed by heavy lifting and sleeping on the floor again.
The photo shoot was very posh – it was orchestrated by our friend David Stewart, a well-known magazine photographer in New York. He very generously donated his time, and the time of a wardrobe stylist, makeup artist, and 2 assistants. It was a long and grueling day, but also definitely the most glamorous experience I’ve ever had.
How do you feel when you see yourself in the press?
Very surreal! I can’t quite get used to the notion that people have listened to music I’ve made.
And in a whirl, Mia Riddle jumps back into the unreliable van and heads off to the next show. Check your local listings to catch her live near you.
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