AN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW with MISUN

Photo by Russ Ramos

Photo by Russ Ramos

I had the pleasure of chatting with Misun and Andrew from Washington, DC/Los Angeles-based “aquawave” alt-pop band Misun (pronounced ‘me•sun’); the band has adopted the nickname “aquawave” for their style of reverb-y surf-inspired pop, said Andrew, “we came about that name as a joke initially.  Our first EP was called ‘The Sea’ and the songs are a lot about nature, a lot of beachy sounds.”

The bi-coastal band formed when vocalist/keys player Misun met guitarist Andrew at a restaurant in their hometown of Washington, DC at the time, crossing paths with drummer John shortly thereafter; the pair saw John playing drums in another band.  John approached them after the show and said he wanted to join their band, which worked out perfectly for the then drummer-less duo.  John eventually moved out west to Los Angeles, and Misun and Andrew followed.  Bassist Dave, longtime friend and perennial bandmate of John’s, recently rounded out the lineup.  It’s a great mix of personalities, said Andrew: “I’m the diplomat, I coordinate things and talk to people.  John is the tour guy, he’s been touring for the last ten years and he’s an expert at it now. Dave is a thoughtful and considerate dude and brings a lot of balance to what we do.”  I asked Misun what she contributed to the mix, and she responded with “dear God.  I have no idea.  As the lead singer, I have to bring a lot of something, I’m not sure what it is.  Singing, songwriting, but outside of that..,” when Andrew chimed in and explained that “she makes it easy for the rest of when it comes to performing. I DJ’ed for many years, and being in the spotlight isn’t my natural tendency, but when I play in this band, it’s so easy when you’re backing somebody like Misun.”  Love it.

The four piece released an EP Feel Better, in May, a quick follow-up to their full-length released last November.  “Andrew writes all the time, nonstop,” says Misun.  “It just seemed natural thing to do, one of our favorite things to do is put out music.”  Andrew and Misun agree that “After Me” is their favorite track on the new EP; said Andrew, “The EP started with the song “After Me,” and that song affects me like few songs do.”

For now, the band, who recently played the Down The Rabbit Hole Festival in the Netherlands with bands like Iggy Pop, FKA Twigs, Alabama Shakes, and the swoon-worthy JD McPherson, is currently figuring out fall tour plans.  I tried my best to convince them to come to Nashville:  “We’d love to come to Nashville!” said Misun.  “Making music is the easy part for us, touring is a whole other thing.  We did a west coast tour, but we haven’t done an east coast tour yet.  It’s a priority of ours hands down, we love to play.”

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