Last time we talked with Miss June, they were just about to visit Hamilton as part of Future City Fest 2018. It's been too long, so we weren't going to let their MLE Single Release tour pass through town on Saturday 23rd without another conversation.
We had a lot to cover from, yes, the pandemic - singer/guitarist Annabel Liddell leads a second life as a doctor - to a recent support slot with My Chemical Romance. Here's what Annabel sent back when Max emailed a stack of questions her way...
You’re on the MLE Single Release Tour, but MLE isn’t streaming yet. What can you tell us about it?
So! MLE is our first single off the sophomore album. We've been working on the record for 4 years. This tour was supposed to be for it's release however the powers that be are holding it for a little longer before release.. we don't want to cancel the tour so we are doing it anyway! There will be some sneaky streaming links available at each show for attendees to have a listen to the single pre-release ;)
Your first album, Bad Luck Party, came out four years ago. That sounds like a long time, but they’ve been some pretty shitty years for Planet Earth. Is MLE a sign to get our hopes up for album #2? Or would that be expecting too much?
Get your hopes sky high baby.
You supported My Chemical Romance at Western Springs a few months ago! What was that show like?
This was one of the best experiences we ever had as a band. I personally grew up listening to MCR non-stop, so to play alongside some of your idols.. man it was fucking incredible. We went out into the crowd for their set and absolutely raged. It really felt like this gig was a turning point for us and for audiences. Everyone was dressed up to the nines in their elite emo kits. I wore my archival Vivienne Westwood dress (which is different for me as I don't usually play in dresses haha). Everyones spirits were up. It was beautiful.
Can you help me solve a problem? On one hand you're a band that works perfectly in slots alongside bands like MCR or the Foo Fighters or The Datsuns (at 2018's Future City Fest, fuck yeah). But on the other hand you earn comparisons to rising rock heroes like Amyl & the Sniffers, and your sound has no nostalgia or throwback angles. How does that work?
To be honest I think we are potentially riddled with nostalgia. Guitar bands alone are inescapably nostalgic because of all of the advances in music tech recently! We enjoy ourselves and we love what we do. I am honoured by any comparisons to my queen Amy [Taylor], and gassed at any opportunity to support our idols.
Somehow it's been about 10 years since Miss June first emerged. That's a long time for any human endeavour. Music aside, how have the four of you maintained the energy and kept the group together?
It sounds cheesy but we are a little family the four of us. We've been through so much together! I met the boys when they were still in Jazz school and I was in pre-med! A few years later we drove across America together in a van just the four of us. We don't tour with a massive party, we are self-sustaining, self-motivating and none of us are assholes or addicts so it works well.
What do you hope the next few years will look like for the band?
Pick up where we left off pre-covid.
Rewinding to 2019, it felt like a big liftoff was happening. You supported IDLES here in NZ (Joe Talbot opened Great with “Listen to more Miss June!”), released Bad Luck Party, and then it seemed like you were gonna tour the hell out of the album internationally. That's my inexpert recollection, anyway. As we all know, 2020-2022 was a shit time for pretty much anything, especially if it involved lots of people jumping around in a room together. How much time did you spend overseas? Does a pandemic hit different when one of your bandmates is literally a doctor?
We had another UK/EU and US tour booked for 2020, along with tones of kiwi festivals. It was a really hard decision to step back from that all. To be honest I worked 2 and a half years non-stop in the hospital as a surgical house officer during the pandemic. It was the right decision, our country and healthcare system were in crisis. As well as working in music for over a decade, I've also been in medicine almost a decade now and I knew that my ethical code dictated that I work and help where I can. I didn't travel at all during that time, but we recorded and rehearsed non stop. I just happy now that we can share some of that music and hard work again with our audiences.
For anyone reading this who hasn’t seen you play yet, what should they expect?
Expect to feel liberated.
For anyone who hasn’t seen you play since 2019, should they expect anything different?
New set list!! New songs!! And I brought a 1968 Fender Mustang which I will be playing on this NZ leg of the tour hahaha.