Mice Parade - Micing Around
Author: Justin Levy
Thursday, 10 January 2008
Pierce still calls himself an indie rocker and a drummer, but these are the least of his musical titles. He began in the indie rock scene in the early 1990s as a drummer and dabbled in an instrumental band here and there. He now plays guitar, sings and keeps up the occasional drum for Mice Parade, his electronic-folk outfit. He has distributed labels, started and meddled with his own label Bubblecorp, and has a keen interest in music teaching. The musical tiger lives for sound.
“I’m involved with various aspects of music - it sort of consumes me, actually,” says Pierce. “I’m thinking about changing shit up at some point. I definitely do miss the drums, and we don’t like to keep things too constant, so maybe for the next record we’ll surprise people with a completely different line up.”
2007 was a busy year for album making and touring. It’s been eight or so years since Pierce got his postmodern groove on and decided to make the most of the recording gear he had lying around. 2007’s self-titled seventh album was a logical step, he says.
“The first Mice Parade album was written on a Chinese harp and they were kind of long improvise-y things, but we don’t have the harp anymore and now we have guitar-oriented pop songs, so it’s a different band. The people are the same, who have been playing in Mice Parade since day one, and the availability and schedules determine the various spots and who can’t make it.
“The past three albums are the first to be written on guitar, but they all sound kind of different from each other. The first of the three, Obrigado Saudade, was recorded in my basement and had a warm and personal feel. The next one, Bem-Vinda Vontade sounds completely different, a lot more developed and recorded at a buddy of mine’s studio [the album title, together with the previous title, is Portuguese for something like ‘thank you nostalgia, welcome willpower’, a concept Pierce was well acquainted with at the time of recording but is baffled by now]. The new one’s sort of a mixture of both home-recording, the studio and the middle ground of the brother and sister albums.”
The Sydney Festival performance will mark the end of Mice Parade’s touring schedule until the next album is completed, complementing a series of shows in the USA, Canada, Asia and the UK. It’s the first time Pierce has come to Australia in his long history of making music.
“It’s mostly because of the way our band works. We’re not a band that lives for being our band, not a band that does a year schedule and tries to be hugely successful,” he explains. “We’re basically a conglomerate of people doing a lot of shit that really look forward to getting together and playing music.”
“We’ve been offered to come to Australia before, just as a straight up band not sponsored by a festival, and while it could have been a lot of fun for a band like us, it could also be financially risky. In this situation, we’re very thankful that - and I’m not sure how they’re doing it - the festival itself has a bit of extra muscle to put things together to help out with flights and such,” he says appreciatively. “I’m always into the idea that local governments actually start supporting the arts and actually put money into it.”
WHO: Mice Parade
WHAT: Plays the Famous Spiegeltent
WHEN: Sunday 20 – Tuesday 22 January