The Beaches, the all-female Canadian band known for their guitar sound, has had a busy few years. The Beaches unveiled their debut album, Late Show in October 2017 after two self-released EPs. The album’s first single “Money” secured #1 for three consecutive weeks and follow-up “T-Shirt” held the top spot for nine weeks on the Billboard Rock Chart. After winning a Juno for Breakthrough Group of the year in 2018 and being nominated for an MMVA, they toured with the Foo Fighters. Now, on tour again, they just released an EP, “The Professional”, with Universal Music Canada. The band, features Jordan Miller on lead vocals and bass, Kylie Miller on lead guitar, Leandra Earl on keys and guitar and Eliza Enman McDaniel on drums. We had a chance to speak with Jordan Miller to get the scoop on the new release and what’s next for the band in between tour stops.
You have developed a sound that comes from many different influences and is really unique in music right now. How do you stay true to this sound at a time when you may feel pressured to conform to more of a pop sound?
There certainly is a bit of pressure to conform, but we got some advice from [producer & performer] Emily Haines that I use as my mantra. She said if you don’t feel comfortable releasing something or if someone is pressuring you to release it and promising you more money or fame, you should never do it because at the end of the day, you are the one who has to play the song to a crowd. Whenever I am writing a song, I always think to myself am I going to feel comfortable performing this or posting it on my social media account?
How do you hope to influence other bands, especially all female bands, to develop their own sound?
Hopefully if they like our stuff, they will come to the same conclusions that we did. It is more fun to create your own sort of art, not to just do what everyone else is doing. Regardless of what your gender is, just listen to what you like, create the sound that you like and write what feels right to you.
You got to work with the legendary Jacknife Lee who has worked with the likes of U2, Weezer and The Killers, just to name a few, on “The Professional”. How did that come about?
We have had a working relationship with him for a few years now. We first started working with Jacknife when we were in a development deal with an American label. He was one of the only rock producers that we got to work with so he was a standout. Obviously, the fact that he’s a GRAMMY winner and worked with some of our favourite bands is pretty awesome. The first song that we ever wrote together was one of the first singles that we ever released and was called “Give it Up”. We always had it in mind to work with him as a producer when we got a bit bigger. We had the opportunity to with this album and we took it.
Tell us what inspired each of the songs on the EP
- “Desdemona” is about a really cool girl that you could see at a bar.
- “Fascination” is about a boy I met when I was gallivanting around Berlin with my sister.
- “Snake Tongue” is about a call to arms against cat-callers and other unsolicited male attention.
- “Want What You Got” is about jealousy, specifically over what you see through social media.
- “Lame” is about a dumb guy with a guitar.
What was it to like to meet and get accolades from Elton John?
It was so insane. I can’t even express how unreal that whole experience was. He is such a phenomenal person and such a talented man. For his radio show [Elton John’s Rocket Hour on Spotify], he picks the music himself. He literally goes through boxes of music and curates it. I asked him why he was helping us. He said when he got started, he had a lot of help from people with power and that he tries to pass along the favour to young musicians that are coming up to give them a platform to show what they can do. Hopefully if we do well, we’ll be able to do that for someone too.
You have a lot of momentum now between the release of “The Professional” on May 16, your upcoming tour, being recognized by other artists, winning a Juno and being nominated for other awards. What’s keeping you going and inspiring your music?
I go out and party a lot (laughs). It’s important to write about your life so I like to try new things, have new experiences. When you are on the road and you are going to all of these new places, that can be really inspiring. I don’t want to make it sound like a chore, but you just have to do it everyday. Whenever you have an idea, whether it be an idea for a melody or a lyric for a new song, you just have to write it down or record it, then revisit it later when you have the time. You have to put the work in too, that’s how you stay inspired. It takes discipline, but it’s fun and one of my favourite parts of the job.
What else is coming up for you this year?
We just announced that we are playing with the Rolling Stones on June 29. Then we are going to England to play a few shows. We are playing some festivals. When the tour ends, we are going to be getting back into the studio to work on our next album. It’s going to be busy.
Favourite venue to perform at? Danforth Music Hall – we love the sound and the staff is so lovely. There are so many great venues in Toronto though.
Favourite city? Berlin
Favourite food? Indian food, specifically Banjara
Artist that inspires you the most? David Bowie – I’m always going back to songs thinking I don’t know how he wrote this. He was so talented and such an incredible performer. I love the risks that he took throughout his career.