What happens when you mix what is - arguably - the world's most interesting record company, with an anarchist manic-depressive rock music historian polymath, and a method of dissemination which means that a daily rock-music magazine can be almost instantaneous?

Most of this blog is related in some way to the music, books and films produced by Gonzo Multimedia, but the editor has a grasshopper mind and so also writes about all sorts of cultural issues which interest him, and which he hopes will interest you as well.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

EXCLUSIVE: Mimi Page Interview (Part One)

Back in October, Mimi Page signed to Gonzo Multimedia, and the Big Cheese wrote to me saying words to the effect of: "Dude, you have to hear this girl!". Well I have known the Big Cheese for a quarter of a century (man and boy) and I trust his judgement, and when he says that something is worth listening to it usually is. He nailed his colours to the mast on the original press release, which included his quote:

"I am excited, she is true artist, stunningly original and breath takingly creative. We are looking forward to a long and creative relatonship with Mimi"

The Press Release went on to say:

Mimi Page is a singer/songwriter living in Los Angeles, CA. Her unique style blends ethereal, dreamy soundscapes with melodic, thought provoking vocals. Mimi’s songs have been widely received by the electronic music community and has charted #1 on Amazon.com and #11 on iTunes for her single “This Fire.” Both singles “New” and “Gravity” have charted Top 10 on radio stations Sirius/XM Chill and Soma.FM Lush.

Mimi has also collaborated and performed with some of the top rising producers of the electronic music community including Goldrush, Gladkill, Elfkowitz, ill-Gates, Phrenik and Shotgun Radio. Mimi is actively scoring independent films along with licensing original songs to film and television.

You can find out more about Mimi Page by checking her website


Now, I am a cynical old sod, (memo to Rob: is it ok to use that level of profanity on these hallowed pages?) and I gave up believing anything that record company press releases had to say round about the time that Steve Harley taught me to write them. However, when her album Breathe Me In arrived on my doormat a few weeks ago, I was completely entranced. She is a peculiar mix of 21st Century electronical and dance beats with the more tradittional arty singer-songstrel. The effect is magickal, and so I was particularly pleased when Mimi agreed to an interview.

This next bit is what happens when you have a music journalist who is also a Natural History writer and Cryptozoologist: I was actually late talking to her, because I had been our with my colleague Richard Freeman and Prudence the dog, planting a trail camera in one of the locations in local woodland where a mysterious big cat-like creature had been seen.

So our interview began with me apologising for being late, and we almost immediately started talking about dogs (and anyone who talks about dogs before musioc is OK by me)

Mimi: I have dogs too so I actually just took them out as well, so it’s OK.

Jon: What sort of dogs do you have?

Mimi: We have two. A German shepherd and akita mix, that’s the bigger one, named Rosemary and the smaller one is part dachshund, she’s a mutt but she’s really small. She’s very cute. Her name is Mimi actually. Her name was Mimi before I adopted her so it was a weird coincidence.

Jon: That is strange. I have a half bulldog/half boxer, and she’s very silly and her name’s Prudence.

Mimi: Ah Prudence, that’s so cute.

Jon: You are so busy at the moment, you have got all these side projects going on. It seems that every time I go on line I find you’ve done another collaboration.
Mimi: That’s right. I think I did 25 in 2011 and then some of those weren’t released yet, so now they are starting to be released. But I am working on at least four new ones at the moment. It’s pretty crazy. A lot of the electronic dubstep producers are hearing about me, and I guess they like my voice so they are all approaching me and their labels are approaching me trying to get me to sing. Especially with this Bassnectar thing and the fact that it is becoming so successful, so it’s really an exciting time right now.

Jon: Well I am a big fan of the Bassnectar track, I think that is fantastic.
Mimi: Oh thank you. You know, it took us three months to do. We wrote at least four or five songs and then wound up back with that and he’s known for more of an aggressive sound, because his concerts are high, high energy, but he said ‘I want to do something different, and I know you play piano and your music is very melodic, so I want to create something that is not a club banger. I want to do something that is beautiful, that will make people cry, that will be emotional’, so we wrote that and I was a little nervous because he has never written anything like that before, so I got to be able to put my style on such an influential producer.

As everyone knows, he is one of the top producers in the US right now, so it is really exciting. I am glad it is doing so well, because I didn’t know what would happen with it.

Jon: I think it is a great track, but I love your own album as well. I think that is wonderful

Mimi: Oh thank you. I appreciate that.

Jon: Yeah, we have been playing it a lot here in my office. How long did it take you to get the songs together for that – the ones you wrote yourself?

Mimi: Erm...it was a journey actually. I released an EP at the very beginning - I think - of January 2011 with ‘New’ and ‘Come What May’ on it, and it was so successful it got added to a bunch of radio stations, and I was like, God I really should make a full-length record with this. So I needed to write the rest of the songs, so it took me probably six months to finish the record.

I just took my two best off my first EP and then started releasing singles on line and I wrote all this in my studio apartment in Los Angeles, so it was a very small space, and I wrote everything on my iMac and my mini keyboard. I didn’t have anything professionally done, and when one of my songs, ‘This Fire’, got licensed to MTV on the Real World, and it did well on there, I though I need to make all the tracks sound really professional and put them out on a legitimate album so I could potentially get signed ‘cos I want to do this for a living.

At the time, I was delivering groceries for a small grocery store and I was very, very poor and so I would finish writing all my songs in my delivery truck late at night, pulled over on the side of the road, just looping my music in the car and then writing full lyrics on my iPhone, and then I’d go home after I’d finished at like 1:00am and finish the track and working on it. And so I rarely got any sleep and I finally contacted Warren Huart, he’s the co-producer on my record – he’s working on the new Aerosmith record right now – and he like understood my sound and knew where to take it.

So he just had me re-record my vocals and that took like a week, so I basically did the record myself and then it took a week for Warren to just, you know, tweak all my vocals and remix it and stuff and then it was finished.

Jon: Well I think it is a really good album. I am really impressed by it.

Tomorrow I will post the second part of the interview, in which Mimi describes why she wants to be an Edward Scissorhandsesque character living in a castle full of technology. (Honest) I bet you can't wait...

You can buy Mimi's new album at the Gonzo site...

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