Mira of Schmieds Puls
WITH the album Manic Acid Love out…
I have been speaking with Mira of Schmieds Puls about the record and what the story is behind the latest single, Don’t Love Me Like That – she reveals her favourite three albums and talks about how the band got together.
I was keen to discover whether there are tour dates coming and, as an Austrian band, what the music scene is like there; if she has plans before the end of the year – Mira talks about a special memory from her time in music.
Hi, Mira. How are you? How has your week been?
Hi! Thank you. I’m very tired - but it’s the kind of tired that feels good because you know you’ve given your all and now you can finally rest.
The week’s been really busy. I finished filming another music video on sunday, released my homemade one for Don’t Love Me Like That; played three shows at three very different places (the very west of Austria; the very east and Vilnius, Lithuania) and celebrated the release of the new album.
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourself, please?
My name is Mira Lu Kovacs. I am a singer, guitarist; lyricist and composer from Vienna, Austria. I like to play in various bands but Schmieds Puls is the one that is all mine. And I live for it. I like to think that my music is a new mixture of whatever you think ‘Singer Songwriter’ means; Jazz (if you must) and Grunge.
How did Schmieds Puls get together? When did you all meet?
I met Christian Grobauer (Drums) and Walter Singer (Double Bass) through a friend who asked us to play with him at his piano recital. I fell in love with their kindness and the finesse they put in every single note, so I invited them to a jam. Shortly after that we had our first gig - that was five years ago.
Don’t Love Me Like That is your latest single. Is there a story behind it?
What I tried to express was my undecidedness when it comes to relationships. Nothing is ever only one thing. I am so easily driven away, so it is a constant back and forth with me in relationships (of all sorts). I guess it is the hardest thing for me to trust somebody. I can’t have my heart broken all the time and I feel like I have to protect it constantly. I have no other protection shield than simply turning away soon enough or maybe never really letting myself fall too deep…
Manic Acid Love is your new album. What is the inspiration behind the title? Are there particular themes that inspired the music?
Yes. Although, ‘manic’ is really the main emotion on this album. I can be really obsessive over things that are important to me - like music, the language I use and create to express myself. I feel a strong need to be understood so I need to make myself really clear. But, if I’m not careful it overwhelms me and that initially positive and strong energy (1., the ‘mania’) somehow turns against me (that’s 2., 'acid’). With this album I tried to get closer to my 'zen' me (and 3., ’love’) by pushing out the bad energy and setting boundaries for people who overstep them.
I’m not there yet, obviously. I’m still easily distracted and irritated. Mostly by men who want to correct me or tell me that I am crazy.
Is there a song from the album that stands out as your favourite?
I am really happy about the whole piece, to be honest, so it’s hard to pick a favourite. But, of course, Superior (Fuck You) is very therapeutic and healing for me and it makes me laugh while performing it.
Do you remember the artists you followed growing up? Who do you rank as idols?
Blondie, Ani DiFranco; Whitney Houston; Lauryn Hill; Radiohead, Tanita Tikaram; Tom Waits and Paula Cole. All very important artists that I still adore!
Schmieds Puls are based in Austria. Is there a good music scene in Austria right now?
Yes! There is massive-good stuff happening in Austria, actually. Not only is the German-speaking field thriving but also the Hip-Hop scene is finally getting some attention. I think people started to think big again, which manifested in big ideas on and off stage…
What do you hope to achieve by the end of 2018?
To be able to breath in and out three times in a row and think of absolutely nothing. To be okay with my shortcomings and actually maybe even love them…? I know it’s a big dream. Zen for thirty-five seconds.
Have you got a favourite memory from your time in music so far – the one that sticks in the mind?
There are many. Each release so far was a big deal for me because I feel like a part of me is being set free at the same time - as if you’re sending off a message in a bottle or something…
There was a beautiful and intense performance this year I did in front of fifty-thousand people. To my surprise, I got really calm when I entered the stage. For the first time ever I wasn’t nervous at all at a gig. The crowd seemed so unreal and I just went somewhere else during these minutes.
PHOTO CREDIT: Ingo Pertramer
Which three albums mean the most to you would you say (and why)?
Paula Cole - This Fire
I got into her music when my English skills were non-existent so I didn't understand the lyrics. But, the phrasing in Paula Cole’s singing is just (so) unique. Also, I don’t know anybody who writes songs like Mississippi or Hush Hush Hush or Nietzsche’s Eyes… a masterpiece!
Radiohead - Hail to the Thief
I am picking this album because it’s the one that got me into the Radiohead madness. After that, I listened to the rest. Of course, I think all Radiohead albums are some of the best pieces of all the music that was ever made. But, Hail to the Thief understood my teenage self the best! So dark, so dee; so intense! We Suck Young Blood, I Will; 2+2=5 etc.
Ani DiFranco - Evolve
Unique style in every way. Can’t compare it to anything…plus, her guitar playing influenced me tremendously!
If you could support any musician alive today, and choose your own rider, what would that entail?
I don’t dare to dream. I’d love to play with Jack White or Feist. But honestly, they don’t need anybody!
Might we see some tour dates coming up? Where might we be able to catch you play?
October 23rd at Sebright Arms, London. I’ll perform a solo set and I’ll bring my favourite Wander guitar.
What advice would you give to new artists coming through?
Don’t rush with releasing albums. Play play play until you get to know yourself better and have a fanbase that can make an album really go places. There’s no need to rush it and your ideas will only get better!
Are there any new artists you recommend we check out?
IN THIS PHOTO: Sevdaliza
Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
No. I don’t often, especially these past months. But, I have my rituals. I need my breakfast time and, if possible, I just stay in bed and have breakfast all day. I like to be alone and get my things in order.
Finally, and for being a good sport; you can choose a song and I’ll play it here (not any of your music - I will do that).
Because a one-song/one-album kinda person - meaning I can spend months and years with only a few songs or albums that fascinate me and I won’t ask for anything else - I don’t know much music, especially the classics. I am only slowly discovering them. But, I won’t ask for Paul Simon’s Bridge Over Troubled Water - it’s too embarrassing that I haven’t known it for my whole life until last month. So, I suggest Changes by Black Sabbath. If that’s a no-go, I choose Broken Boy Soldier by The Raconteurs, pleeeease.
Thank you! - best, Mira.
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