Melbourne’s Totally Mild released their new album Her on Friday.With themes of failure and victory, new desire, stale romance, queer domesticity and what comes when the party is over, Her is a gorgeous lush pop album that bristles with personal messages. It follows on from their 2015 debut Down Time. Their front lady Elizabeth Mitchell has kindly fielded our 20 Questions, read them below:
Hi, how are you today and what’s the weather like?
I am a little hungover and watching my wife get her hair bleached. The weather is overcast, a nice break from the heat.
Where did the name Totally Mild come from?
A friend said it as a joke and it stuck.
How did you form?
Zach and I met in our high school choir. We have been playing each other’s songs for over a decade. We met Lehmann through MySpace because it was the late 2000s and we liked his band. We have gathered and lost members over the years, our newest member is Dylan who is our beautiful drummer.
How do most of your songs start life? A lyric? A chord? Or melody?
They usually start with a feeling, an impulse to express something about my life. The musical bits tend to all come together at once.
If you weren’t doing this, what would you like to be?
I’m always looking for an alternative tbh. In the last 2 years I’ve considered becoming a doctor, a make up artist, a caterer, teacher, uber driver, midwife etc etc etc. I can’t really stick to anything else though.
What’s your favourite book?
A toss up between Female Masculinity by Jack Halberstam and the Hunger Games trilogy
What were you like at school?
I was very well behaved. I played the trumpet and was very competitive.
What’s the music scene like back home?
Melbourne has the most amazing music scene. It’s a real community; not really one unified genre community but lots of little pockets of people doing exciting things and supporting each other. There’s been a huge wave of more women/femmes/queer people being visible and playing music, you can really feel the change happening in Melbourne. You can go out any night of the week and see great music.
What are your favourite Australian acts currently?
Hexdebt, RVG, Two Steps on the Water, Cyanide, Pikelet
Best gig you’ve played so far?
Last year we played in a huge church in Austin to a big crowd and it was really ethereal. Or the time Kesha came to our show, that was a good one.
What’s your favourite song?
Very hard question. My current new fave is 2000 n Somethin by Kaiit. The song I always go back to is Feel It by Kate Bush.
What do you listen to in your tour van?
We are all incessant chatters so sometimes nothing but we do love the Fleetwood Mac album Tango in the Night.
What were your favourite artists growing up?
Mostly things my dad listened to; The Beatles, Steely Dan, Peter Gabriel, Cat Stevens. Later, The Velvet Underground and Stevie Wonder.
Vinyl, CD, Download or stream?
My record player has been broken for 3 years… I love records as actual object though, the size of the artwork. I mostly use Spotify for listening, or YouTube.
What’s the best cover version you have ever heard?
Wicked Game covered by Pipilotti Rist or the Tom Jones/Cardigans version of Burning Down the House
Tell us about your new album?
It’s called Her. It’s more lush than anything we have done before. It’s about the duality of being alive in this time; happy and angry, independent and dependent.
Will you be touring the UK?
We are playing in London on the 23rd and 24th of March, at the Finsbury and the Shacklewell Arms respectively.
Any hopes for 2018?
Enjoy the release of our album, tour lots, drink less.