City Of Angels: Mish Way

City Of Angels: Mish Way

FOR V100, HEDI SLIMANE BRINGS TOGETHER GENERATIONS OF STORIED ROCK-AND-ROLL ARTISTS IN LOS ANGELES—WHERE THE SO-CALLED DECLINE OF WESTERN CIVILIZATION IS JUST ANOTHER REASON TO KEEP ON CREATING LIKE THERE’S NO TOMORROW. CHECK BACK DAILY FOR MORE FROM THE SERIES, OR SEE THE FULL STORY BY ORDERING THE MARCH ISSUE HERE

FOR V100, HEDI SLIMANE BRINGS TOGETHER GENERATIONS OF STORIED ROCK-AND-ROLL ARTISTS IN LOS ANGELES—WHERE THE SO-CALLED DECLINE OF WESTERN CIVILIZATION IS JUST ANOTHER REASON TO KEEP ON CREATING LIKE THERE’S NO TOMORROW. CHECK BACK DAILY FOR MORE FROM THE SERIES, OR SEE THE FULL STORY BY ORDERING THE MARCH ISSUE HERE

Photography: Hedi Slimane

Text: Natasha Stagg

With the release of their new album—and with it, a new, bolder sound—Canadian punk rock band White Lung has found a permanent home in Los Angeles. (They are in good company among the other artists in this portfolio, as one of the leading groups keeping punk rock alive in the City of Angels.) V speaks with the band's lead singer and writer Mish Way about living in and working on Paradise.

How was the shoot?   

MISH WAY I was in and out, but I met that cute girl from the band Cherry Glazer. I think she was wearing a fabulous Dior diaper?

Do you feel like a real LA resident yet?  

MW I spent this whole last year in Los Angeles. I barely toured and then we made our new record here. Whenever I fly into LAX I have this sense of being back home with my husband, which is a safe feeling.

Who are your musical heroes?  

MW Stevie Nicks.

Do you have any experience with the other subjects of this portfolio (“City of Angels,” in V100, photographed by Hedi Slimane)?  

MW I met Glenn Danzig when my husband's band was opening for him [on tour]. I was a total dork about it the first night. Barely could say a word. There was a floating sea of tits around him—I mean, it was a challenge. The next few shows, whenever he would come poke his head around to say hi, I was just trying to figure out if he and I were wearing the same Elizabeth Arden cover up. He's an excellent performer. Danzig is a legend. Donita Sparks and L7 were really important to my early years of understanding music and having fun, as well as Alice Bag, who I met years back. We stayed in touch. I admire the trajectory of her life, how she managed to come full circle back to her creative career after living a suburban life as a school teacher and having kids.

What are your thoughts on the L.A. punk scene of the ’70s, and on the New York and UK counterparts? Do you have a favorite?   

MW I read a lot of rock books and tend to romanticize the past of music. It's really easy to look back through biographies, photographs, at shows with these bands that created a genre and think it was all so much better then, but that's just rosy lens-syndrome. There was hopeless, garbage music in every era. But of all the books from those time periods, I love Alice Bag's Violence Girl for capturing her life, as well as the L.A. punk scene, and anything Richard Hell wrote about New York, especially, I Dreamed I Was A Very Clean Tramp, which has my favorite line from any book ever written.

Do you think of your music as part of, or informative to, your aesthetic?  

MW I have a real love-hate relationship to fashion that is frustrating.

Where do you usually play/go to shows in L.A.?  

MW I go wherever the good stuff is. But for the most part, I am a hermit, who, if she does go out at night, frequents the same three bars over and over and only because my friends work there.

Paradise is sort of a departure for White Lung. It sounds more anthemic, and really showcases your voice. What has changed in your life since Deep Fantasy that may have influenced your sound?

MW We decided to stay in Los Angeles to do the record, mostly because I was not legally allowed to leave the country for a while. We had a few producers talking with us but ultimately decided on Lars Stalfors [of the Mars Volta]. Kenny [William], our guitarist, had a strict idea for this album, which was to make a rock record that sounded like it could have only been made in 2016. We wanted guitars to sound like other instruments, stretch what we could do with drums, bass, guitar, and vocals using technology, pedals, and ProTools. I wanted to write fearless pop songs—that weren't riddled with cruelty, cynicism, and anger, or a pity party, because I'm not unhappy or really that pissed off anymore. I'm just contemplating things I never did before. Paradise is bright, colorful, trashy, and neon, sparkling—sparkling both in aesthetic and sound. If Paradise was a woman, she'd have a botched boob job, blonde hair and a tiny jockey boyfriend twice her age that she was over the moon for.

I see your writing everywhere—you’ve gotten some real scoops as a journalist. What are you currently working on?  

MW I've been writing all year and ready to get back on tour. Recently I interviewed Larry Flynt. We talked about his smut career and the overwhelming, annoying resurgence of PC-culture. I'm a huge admirer of his. I've been doing a lot of pieces about plastic surgery methods and new products coming out. I really like talking with doctors. Especially cosmetic surgeons. I've also been studying different psychiatric patterns in female murders. I just did a big research project on filicide (when parents murder their children) and am currently studying Munchausen syndrome by proxy, which is when a caregiver—in my study I'm looking at mothers—fabricates or induces mental or physical illness in their child to get sympathy from other people.

How is married life?  

MW It's excellent.

Paradise is out May 6, 2016 on Domino Recording Co Ltd, available for pre-order on iTunes now.

Credits: PRODUCTION KIM POLLOCK AND YANN RZEPKA DIGITAL TECHNICIAN ALEX THEMISTOCLEOUS (MILK STUDIOS)  PHOTO ASSISTANTS FRANK TERRY, MATT HARTZ, JAMES PERRY RETOUCHING DTOUCH  EQUIPMENT MILK STUDIOS  LOCATION QUIXOTE STUDIOS  CATERING FOOD LAB

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