The Beaches is an energetic four-piece from Toronto. Comprised of Jordan Miller, Kylie Miller, Eliza Enman McDaniel, and Leandra Earl, the young band has been making major waves and released their EP Heights in May. They’ve played with the likes of Kings of Leon, Mother Mother USS, The Arkells, July Talk, and have appeared at SXSW, M For Montreal, Osheaga, Riotfest, and this year’s Supercrawl.
I chatted with the band as they get set to hit the road.
I Heart Hamilton: Let’s start with the beginning – can you give a quick recap of when you met and how the band came together?
Kylie: Jordan and I started playing together when we were 6 and 7 years old. Soon after, we started writing songs and decided to form a band with a friend from our music school. We had grown up with Eliza and asked her to join after hearing her play. The four of us were a punk-pop band called Done With Dolls for a couple of years. When we reached high school we decided to change our sound and became The Beaches. Our guitar player left the band and Leandra joined the next day. We started rehearsing daily and playing shows almost twice a week to enhance our sound.
The bio on your Facebook page says you’re “Good girls gone great” – I love that! I’m always inspired by female musicians. It bugs me sometimes to hear bands put into the category of “Female-fronted” and things like that, like it’s its own genre. Have you run into any struggles with that, or felt like you had to work that much harder to prove yourselves as musicians?
Jordan: We hope that people see us as a cool band, rather than a girl band. I mean you don’t call a doctor that’s also female, “a female doctor,” you just refer to her as a doctor. On the other hand there’s definitely a stigma for female musicians that they won’t be as good as male musicians. So early on it we figured out that we had to be as good and better than male musicians that were older than us, and as a result we got really tight.
Speaking of girl power, I love your video for “Absolutely Nothing”! Your style in the video is the coolest. How did that collaboration with Hunger TV come about?
Jordan: The head of the marketing department for FCUK heard one of our songs on a streaming site and thought it would be cool for their fall ad campaign. So they flew us out to London for a few days and got us to film some music videos and play at their party. Rankin, the guy who created Hunger, was the creative head behind the fall ad campaign. That’s how we got connected with those guys.
Who are some of your musical influences?
Leandra: As a group we’re really inspired by Jack White, St.Vincent, Metric, David Bowie, T-Rex, and Iggy Pop.
It must be amazing getting to plays shows overseas and in the U.S. as well as here – what have been your favourite cities so far?
Eliza: We had so much fun touring the UK in April and May! We got to play in so many awesome places like Glasgow, London, Manchester etc. And of course our home town Toronto will always have a special place in our hearts.
You played Hamilton’s Supercrawl this year – how was your experience at the festival? It’s always such an exciting time in the city.
Eliza: Supercrawl was so awesome! We had no idea how many people would turn out at our show, especially in the cold weather, but everyone really came through and we had such a blast performing.
You’re back in town on November 19th at Mills Hardware during “The 401 Road Trip” tour with BESTiE. What are some road trip essentials to bring with you on the road?
Leandra: Lots and lots of snacks, styrofoam golf club, poster of Miranda Cosgrove, blanket with Kylie’s boyfriend’s face on it, In N Out hats, Summer Heights High DVD, our suitcase named Tina, and lots of CDs for the car (Mother Mother is always on repeat).
What’s next for you? Have you been working on new material?
Kylie: We’ve been working really hard on growing as musicians and improving our song writing skills. The goal for us is to release a full length album soon.
Favourite place to eat in Hamilton:
Jordan: Jack & Lois
Leandra: Anywhere David Buss recommends
Kylie: Jack & Lois
Eliza: Jack & Lois
Favourite breakfast food:
J: Chai tea latte
L: Breakfast sandwich
K: Eggs benny
E: Cold pizza
If you were a drink, what would you be?
J: A. Scotch.
L: Whiskas cat milk
K: a tom collins
E: Carbonated water with a gentle touch of lemon
Your go-to karaoke song:
J: “Sweet Dreams” – Marilyn Manson
L: “Landslide” – Dixie Chicks
K: “Wannabe” – Spice Girls
E: “Closing Time” – Semisonic
If you could speak flawlessly with any other accent, what would it be?
Favourite concert/live performance you’ve seen:
J: Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds
L: Paul McCartney
E: Jack White
What is on your playlist right now:
J: Fatboy Slim
E: St. Vincent
If you could take a detour to anywhere in the world right now, where would you go?
J: Tel Aviv, Israel
L: Calabria, Italy
K: London, England
E: Sydney, Australia (to meet Chris Lilley)
Favourite mode of transportation:
J: Anybody’s clean car
K: Uber taxi
E: Anybody’s warm, crisp arms
What’s one thing on your bucket list:
J: Swim with great white sharks in South Africa
L: Skydiving on a llama’s back.
K: Tour the World
E: Share the stage with City and Colour
Thanks to The Beaches for taking the time to answer some questions! Don’t miss them in Hamilton next Wednesday!