Mika Miko: Stupid-Simple Noise Punks
- Words: Josiah Hughes
Known for rowdy live shows and a sloppy approach to punk rock that owes as much to Reagan Youth as X-Ray Spex, L.A.’s Mika Miko is having a blast. In 2007 alone, the all-girl combo released the 666 EP (PPM), toured the U.S. twice, and went to Europe for the first time with their buds No Age. But for five close friends who would sooner quote Space Jam than take themselves seriously, that much work couldn’t have been easier.
“When we started the band, it was all just playing house parties, hanging out in a basement, and writing music,” says drummer Kate Hall, phoning it in from an East Coast Target store where she and guitarist Michelle Suarez are eating popcorn and playing with little kids. “It’s just for fun, and it’s much better having that attitude.”
Suarez adds that the group, which formed in 2003, was essentially the catalyst for how they learned to play. “I vaguely remember our first practice, which wasn’t a practice,” she recalls. “We were like, ‘Hey, I know one chord!’ Eventually, my friend asked me if we wanted to play a show. We didn’t even know how to tune our guitars, and we had four songs that weren’t even really songs.”
Though they now have hundreds of shows under their belts, they’re still just hanging out. “It’s literally just one big chill party in the van,” Suarez offers. “We just sing along to Wipers and Misfits and Black Flag, or we make up songs, new dumb inside jokes, and read gossip magazines, Scientific American, and National Geographic.”
That’s not to say that their road escapades haven’t produced their share of debauchery. Take, for example, Kate’s drunken birthday mishap with a broken toilet in Minneapolis. “We opened it up to try and fix it, and the whole toilet exploded, covering the whole fucking bathroom in water! We were soaking wet,” she explains through gasps of laughter. “We went up to this attic where we were sleeping, and I passed out on this pillow. Then I woke up and looked down and the pillow was covered–I mean end-to-end–in the nastiest hair! Because my face was wet, I had all this hair on my face. That was the worst morning ever, but it was totally worth it, because I woke up half-wolverine.”
Though finishing another tour is the first thing on their minds, they’re also fantasizing about the future. “We haven’t really had time to sit down, smoke tons of weed, and write some psychedelic, 10-minute anthems,” Hall says. “What we really want is to go home, reset our lives, and just start writing new songs and playing really sweet L.A. parties and warehouses.”
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