Miesha & The Spanks offer a dynamic mixture of punk, garage, and hard rock embellished with straightforward lyrics, gritty production and hard-hitting performances. Inspired by proto punk classics like The Runaways, MC5 and The Stooges, and 90s riot grrrl/grunge-like L7 and The Gits, M&TS conjure an energy that hits you in the face, throwing you into a world of killer riffs and sweaty gig venues.
Originally a punk rock kid from the East Kootenays, Miesha Louie started this project a decade ago after moving to Calgary’s big city. She toured and released like crazy, building momentum and a reputation for her DIY approach, with any drummer up for the challenge. Joined by Sean Hamilton five years ago, he brought a big Bonham style that’s intuitive like John Freese, always creating the right feel for the song.
The band from Calgary release the powerful new single “Mixed Blood Girls”, the fourth single from their upcoming Singles EP, which will be released on 16 April 2021.
“It’s (some of) my story as a mixed Secwépemc girl from the East Kootenays,” Miesha informs. “My dark skin and white features left me open to compliments on my ‘beautiful tan’, and when they found out it wasn’t, I was ‘too pretty to be an Indian.’ From ballet moms to dudes in bars, I’ve heard it all.” Sean points to the balance of musicianship and storytelling. “The drums and guitar open up the song with full force and ferocity, slamming the hook that makes you pay attention.”
Miesha continues, “But it isn’t all skin deep. Being mixed isn’t just about appearances and everyone’s entitled opinion about them. My story follows where I came from and where I currently stand, distanced from family and culture and often pretty isolated because of it.
I was inspired to write this song after attending my friend Smokii Sumac’s book launch. Before them, Rain Prud’homme, read their poem “Mixedblood Girls” relating their experience as mixed Creole-Indigenous. I loved it. I wanted to be that brave and say my words, but it wasn’t an easy thing to do. I had to dig deeper than my own story. The trauma suffered by my grandmother at residential school would influence the rest of—and in many cases, the end of— my immediate Indigenous family.
Not every residential school survivor was resilient. The only family reunions I can remember were funerals. What a fucked up feeling. We haven’t written a song with explicit language in years. We don’t usually need to or want to. But these are the best words for what I feel when I hear shit like ‘too pretty to be an Indian,’ or when someone compares their tan to my skin, or when I think about what my grandmother went through in residential school, how it affected her children, and their children, but by keeping me separated from all of them my dad created a subjectively healthier life for me, and that because of that I don’t really know my Indigenous family. And these are the best words for when I think about how most of them are gone now, and I can’t find who’s left.
Aunties, Uncles, all dead. I can’t find my cousins anywhere… What a fucked up feeling. In my search for community, I think I wrote an anthem. Our full force behind M-M-M-M-Mixed Blood Girls, I call them hard from the start – anyone who’s been living in between or felt left behind. Anyone who can’t catch up to their culture. Women and girls fetishized for being dark, exotic, interesting (NDN, you weren’t expecting.) For those girls who are brown in the sun, and brown in the shade.”