O.T.R.

Interview with MisterWives’ Etienne Bowler : Zombies, Music, and Their New Album

 

Courtesy of Wilful Publicity
Courtesy of Wilful Publicity

Last week, MisterWives proudly debuted their album Our Own House, which is a colorful array of sounds worth checking out.  Thanks to Wilful Publicity, and of course MisterWives’ drummer, Etienne Bowler, I had an opportunity to ask Bowler questions for the indie-funk pop quintet and their sound.

Read the interview below and of course check out the album on Spotify, also available for purchase on iTunes.

 I noticed MisterWives primarily was a trio, from 2014 to now, what changed to reevaluate the line-up to a 5 piece band?

Yeah! We joke that Mandy keeps marrying too many MisterWives. But in actuality, Will, Mandy and I were playing music together for almost a year before Marc and Jesse came on board to form the 5-piece MisterWives that we are now. Without Marc and Jesse we’re just drums, bass and vocals and there’s no way we were gonna use backing tracks so we needed a guitar and keyboard player to complete our sound. They amazing dudes and it’s just one big family!

Your sound is a unique blend. Looking back at your guys’ influences, it ranges from No Doubt, The Smiths, Radiohead and Of Monsters and Men, to name a few, all who are amazing individually – how did you land on your sound from these vast array of musical artists? 

Yeah to me, that’s the beauty of being in a band!  You get the combined force of each members influences.  We don’t have any style that were going for, and we certainly don’t try to make a specific sound. Mandy just writes beautiful songs and we do our best to bring them to life… Somehow it works!

The majority of your songs have such a soulful funk, that is extremely danceable – is this something you consider when putting together a set-list in terms of performance, and what is to be expected at a live Mister Wives show?

Personally, I love dance music and if it were up to me, I’d be hitting four on the floor for every song! Just kidding, but going back to the last question, we just do what we feel is best for the song that Mandy brings in.  If she came in with 12 ballads we’d have a slower paced set and I’d be totally cool with it!

The short amount of the bands’ success is such an achievement, did you ever expect this to happen so fast?

Absolutely not! We are all in complete shock.  We’ve wanted this for so long and it’s been a collective dream of ours since we were kids. To finally see it taking off is truly a dream come true. I’m pretty sure we will never get used to it, and will forever be in shock when people know the words to the songs. We have good chemistry I guess, and ya gotta respect the chemistry!

“Oceans,” is one of my favorite songs off of the new album, and I can trace certain influences behind that track, yet it does stand out in relations to other tracks; is there a specific reason for this?

Mandy wrote Oceans when she was like 14. It’s the first song she ever wrote! before there were labels and producers and radio. I love how honest it is and it takes a turn half way through that is so awesome and beautiful. Radio stations may or may not love it, but it has a special place in all our hearts and to me is also one of my favs on the album.

Not going to lie, the artwork on the album made me laugh, and it truly visually represents the diversity in sound. I read on the bands’ Facebook that your “interests” include zombies, dinosaurs, octopi, and elephants…where are the zombies?

That’s a great question! The zombies didn’t make it cause the animals on the cover represent our spirit animals.  We love zombie movies and The Walking Dead and always imagine what we would do in a zombie apocalypse and how we would survive. We all kinda hope it happens one day! The music industry can be tough sometimes too and we have to make lots of sacrifices and fight extremely hard to stay true to who we are. Our real lives are actually not that different than a zombie apocalypse… I just blew my own mind!

Ok, going back to more meaningful questions: What is the difference from the previous EP to ‘Our Own House,’ musically?

Well first and foremost, we had the opportunity to record real drums in a legit studio! The EP was mostly recorded in my bedroom where we used a closet as a vocal booth and I programmed drums on my computer. It was awesome, but for the album we got to build the songs from the ground up and as a band, and we couldn’t be happier with how it all came out!

Was there a certain theme, or message you wanted to get across to your audience?

We always hope that people can connect with the songs.  Mandy writes about her life and it’s her free therapy.  She writes how she feels and the goal is that people can relate to it and be inspired by it. Recently she wrote “Not Your Way” which is a song about gender equality and it’s so awesome.  We also hopes it makes people dance!

What would you say is the bands’ overall purpose, musically, as well as individually?

There’s not really any grandiose purpose to the band. We just want to put out music that’s positive and hopefully the world vibes with it.  We are having too much fun out there and hope everyone can share that fun energy with us!

 

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