Misha Bear is a talented Australia singer songwriter who is doing good things. This is what she had to say.
1.How did you get into music?
I first got into music when I auditioned for the Peter Pan
musical in primary school. My voice came out loud and strong, and
I got the part of Wendy. Before that I never knew I could sing,
although I always loved singing and dancing and most of my family
are musical. I continued to go in all the bands and musicals
throughout my schooling life, and from around 14 years old I
started writing my own songs. I’ve been in rock bands and playing
gigs pretty much ever since.
2.What inspired the EP Stories?
I was living in Perth at the time, playing in a band called Icy
Dice with Craig Cumming. We had released Mouche and Ladybug and
then began on an electronic side project, which became Stories.
Craig was inspired to produce all the songs from his studio using
Ableton, and I wrote most of the lyrics and melodies. I live in
Melbourne now and the EP was completed long-distance. The EP
takes the listener on a journey through frustrations about people
who lie (tell stories), society, technology, ex-partners, and
finally ends on a happier note in Keeper with a ‘meant-to-be’
3. Were you happy how it has been received?
Well, it hasn’t hit the charts yet! But we have had some radio
play and a few reviews written up. People seem to like the songs
when we play them at gigs. The music has been particularly well
received in South Australia!
4.How does a song start for you?
It’s always different, but I could say mainly from the lyrics. I
have notebooks of writing that I use to vent my emotions and
thoughts. Then I usually grab my guitar to write a song.
Sometimes I hear a tune in my head and so it starts with a melody
or a rhythm, and sometimes I hear a song in a dream or wake up
with a new song in my head!
5.Where do you get your inspiration from?
Mainly relationships. I always write from personal experience, my
songs are like my diary. If you put them all in chronological
order you would be able to put together the story of my life. The
inspiration comes from feeling emotional and having feelings that
need to come out, and also from the world around me, and the
sounds and sights that I experience. I try to open my ears when I
walk or ride down the street and get inspiration that I can put
into song when I get home. The more I write the more songs seem
to come to me. But I do also take breaks so I can refresh (and
work on other aspects of my music career). When I’m on a roll I
might write 3-4 songs in a week, for a few weeks at a time.
6.Has your songwriting changed from when you were starting out?
Not really, no. I still write pretty standard rock/pop songs,
with verses, a chorus and a bridge. It worked for The Beatles! If
experience has taught me anything, it’s how to be more concise
and efficient – it usually takes me around 20-30 minutes to write
7.What has been the best piece of advice you have given about your music career?
Probably to keep persisting. And that you’ll never know unless
you try. I have been working seriously towards my music career
for over 10 years now, and I know I can’t give up. It’s on that
11th year that I might reach some success, but only if I keep
trying. In a way I’m glad I’m not a perfectionist, because it is
important to me to keep moving forwards, even if I’m not 100%
happy with some of my work so far.
8.What do you love about your local scene?
Now that I’m in Melbourne there is a lot more traction. The scene
is so big and there are so many people playing music, it is
awesome to be a part of it. Within Melbourne there are smaller
scenes, for instance most musos live north of the city, whereas I
am south, which has its own thing going on.
9.Do you have set theme for your music or does it go with the flow and changes?
Well if I’m going through a break up, I write break up songs. If
I’m falling in love I write love songs, and if I’m single I write
about being lonely (or about Tinder dates gone wrong!). I think
there’s a theme in that…but it also goes with the flow. I only
write what comes naturally and easily to me, I’m not trying to be
anything to anyone. Most of my songs are just for me, and then a
few of them I record and perform.
10.Do like to write with out inspiration or distractions or do you need a bit of both?
I just need some time and some space. And sometimes a bottle of
wine and some fresh pain and frustration can help a lot!
11.How important is having a plan in place for your music?
I am currently studying a Cert 3 in Micro Business Operations,
and attempting to make my music into a viable career. So I do
have a business plan, a marketing plan and a financial plan. I
think it helps to have some direction, and to push the creative
process a little bit. I still don’t know if it’s possible for me
to make a living from music, but one way or another I will keep
making music, that’s for sure.
12.How important is your brand Misha Bear?
Over the past 10 years I’ve had so many different band names, and
each time I get a new line-up I was starting from scratch, which
I think held me back. Now I’m going under my solo persona so that
even when I have different projects on the go with various
people, I still retain some consistency with the brand name. This
way I can perform and record with Misha Bear Band, and also my
other solo electronic project, which is with Melbourne producer
David Herzog. Even though I have different styles and a variety
of music coming out, it all stems from my song-writing and it’s
all Misha Bear.