It has been a few months since MIEARS released her debut EP, Who Will Save You?. The synth-driven, electro-pop singer/songwriter gives us an update on what has been going on since we last had a chat, which includes a status check on her new EP on the horizon, how her community of Houston has been doing since the landfall of Hurricane Harvey and her future plans with her other project BLSHS and more. It is our pleasure to present the lovely Michelle Miears.
Lemonade Magazine: Hey Michelle! Last time we chatted you had just released your EP, “Who Will Save You?”. How is everything going?
Michelle Miears: I cannot believe how quickly time has passed since our last chat! After I released my EP, I began playing what became an endless string of local and regional shows. It has been amazing! I’ve been able to make my way to multiple cities in Texas, and even to Louisiana. I also took a trip to Manchester, England to shoot a commercial for Singapore Airlines.
All of the traveling that I have done has been amazing, but the months and days have blurred together as a result of the pace that I have kept. I have had less time to focus in the studio than I had previously imagined, but I have been very happy to be so active with shows. At the same time, I’m pretty antsy to get back into studio mode to finish my next EP! I’m really at a point where I am trying to find a way to balance my day job, live gigs, and studio time. I wish I could clone myself sometimes!
LM: Haha! We all need a clone! Being from Houston, things have been a little rough down there since Hurricane Harvey. What is the mood like in Houston after the storm?
MM: Houston’s sense of community truly came to the forefront after Hurricane Harvey. It felt like everyone jumped in to help and volunteer without hesitation. There was a sense of urgency across the city to get out there and begin rebuilding. Since the majority of my social media feed is occupied by local artists and musicians within our community, I was able to see everyone’s efforts to help those in need. The Houston music and arts community really came together and spent countless hours of their time and efforts volunteering and raising money for hurricane relief efforts. Many of us curated and played multiple benefit shows and raised a ton of money and awareness for the cause. The city is slowly rebuilding, but many people are still without their homes and belongings. There is still work to be done. Luckily, there are more benefit shows and other opportunities to help scheduled through the end of the year. We are all proud of our city and I hope that our sense of community continues to thrive.
LM: We are proud of how your community came together in such a crisis. You are a part of an electro-pop band, BLSHS (pronounced Blushes). How did being in a band influence you as a solo artist?
MM: I can honestly say that, had I not been in BLSHS, I would not be where I am today. My bandmates introduced me to new music and sounds and influenced my trajectory as an artist. Together, my bandmates and I formed a sound that I think represented us as individuals and as a group really well. We all brought our own unique perspective and influence to the table, but it was also really awesome to observe and learn from heir techniques and perspectives while we were writing and producing our music.
I had very little technical knowledge of working within a DAW when I started with BLSHS, so by pure observation, I was able to learn a ton. My bandmate, Chris [Gore], has been one of the more influential people in my musical career. He has been so encouraging and he is one of my go-to people for technical advice (along with my brother, Michael). Any time I hit a big speed bump on the technical learning curve, Chris is always willing to lend an open ear and provide me with advice. He, and being in BLSHS, also taught me a ton about how to navigate the landscape of a local music scene and how to conduct myself as an artist and as a business. From marketing and promotion to show etiquette, I learned more than I can even quantify through my experiences with BLSHS.
Chris and I are currently still together as BLSHS, and we recently played a show opening for MIEARS, which was fun. We just go about things more casually as BLSHS now and understand that we are two people who really love music, we enjoy making music together, and we do it anytime we can fit it into our busy schedules. We might play a unique/special show here and there, and we definitely still have plans to work on music together over the course of time. Chris is super supportive of my solo project, MIEARS, and he realizes that it takes up a ton of my time. I’m really thankful for my experiences, past and present, with BLSHS. Also, I should mention that Chris and his wife have been the team responsible for all of my rad show posters over the last several months – I would highly recommend all my artist friends check their work out – their handle on Facebook and Instagram is @spctgr.
LM: Speaking of music, how is your follow up to Who Will Save You? coming along and when do we get to preview it?
MM: My next EP is about mid-way through production/recording. All of the songs are written, titled, and the EP itself is titled as well. As with Who Will Save You?, this EP is written about real life experiences and emotions, and I want to convey those emotions as best as I can. I have an aesthetic, mood, and emotion in mind that I want to convey and I’m in the process of discussing the artwork with a photographer as we speak! I am really excited to re-focus my energy on the studio and finalizing another body of work. I really hope to have mixed audio ready by end of year or the January time-frame. I will absolutely send you a preview!
LM: As a musician, how do you balance work, producing music and performing? When do you sleep?
MM: This has been one of my biggest challenges lately! There are definitely nights where 3 or so hours of sleep is the best I can do. If I am on a tour where I’m playing nearby cities, lately I’ve been driving home the night of the show, getting in bed around 3:00 am or so, and waking up at 6:30am for work the next day, then doing it again the next evening! The day job is necessary to pay the bills and fund my passion, music, so I ultimately have to show up, every day, even if I am exhausted.
My biggest struggle with scheduling recently has been finding time for the studio. I have a plan in mind to schedule and discipline myself in the coming months in order to finish my EP. Plus, my show schedule is slowing down a bit through the end of the year and the holidays, which will free up some time for the studio as well. It’s honestly a daily learning experience for me, finding time for the things that are important to me.
Sometimes I have to make sacrifices, which tend to be social activities and relaxation time (like watching t.v., etc). I have just learned to push myself pretty hard, which I realize eventually might catch up with me. I just love what I do so much that being tired isn’t usually a factor for me. I do all the things I can do, even when I’m exhausted, or as my mom likes to tell me, I “burn the candle at both ends” pretty often.
LM: We also hear that you have a show coming up this weekend, November 4th. We totally need the details!
MM: Yes! I have a fun night of pop music planned at White Oak Music Hall (upstairs) on November 4th. I am bringing together some of Houston’s pop musical forces for a fun show as 2017 starts to come to a close. I really just want to provide a dreamy, synthy, danceable space for everyone to enjoy!! The lineup includes me, Tee Vee, John Allen Stephens (formerly of Houston-based New York City Queens – he is performing his solo music for the second time ever and it is truly spectacular), and Camera Cult.
I love synth-based sub-genre-type pop music (music is so hard to classify these days) and each of these acts are truly amazing at bringing their own vision and perspective to their craft. As the year comes to a close, I am really excited to throw a fun show with some of the artists/friends I’ve been lucky to work with or share stages with over this past year! Tickets can be purchased: HERE!
LM: Also heard that there might be a tour some point in 2018. Is that true?
MM: This is definitely the plan! What I would really love to do is hit both the west coast and the east coast. For the west coast, Seattle is definitely on my radar along with Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Portland. On the east coast, there is no doubt that I want to play in NYC. The last time I played there was with my band BLSHS, and it was unforgettable. I’ve got some ideas brewing for these mini-tours and my goal is to bring them to life next year. With new music on the horizon, I’ll be really excited to get out there and play to new audiences!
LM: Thanks again, Michelle! We really appreciate your time!
MM: Thank YOU! I am so appreciative of your time as well.
You can pick up the debut EP, Who Will Save You?, by MIEARS on iTunes now or you can stream it on Spotify below!