KSPC DJ Salty and DJ Mad Decent interviewed KSPC fave Mitski after her show at Chain Reaction in Anaheim. If you like what you read, you can also check out their interview with Elvis Depressedly here
Your album’s been making those charts on KSPC every week!
Thank you, thank you.
Is this your first big tour?
Yeah, first headlining tour actually.
Oh wow, congrats! How do you like it?
It’s okay. I mean when I’m on tour, I feel like I’m finally okay. When I’m not on tour, I feel like I get in my head too much, but when I get on tour there’s a certain purpose where you get on stage, you do a job, and you go to the next place and I kind of really like that aspect of it.
Do you have a special routine you do before shows?
I wish I did, because it would make my performances more consistent. But I do like to go for a walk for like five minutes just to clear my head, especially because when you’re in a show you’re around so many people and it tends to get really loud and cluttered. But that’s the only real routine I have.
With this new album, what changes has it brought upon in your life? With relationships, family, or your goals?
That’s a good question. Before, I used to just know a lot of different people and hang out with a lot of different people and be more outgoing, but this is a really specific kind of lifestyle. I don’t know if this is good or not, but the close friends I have and the relationships I already have have become so much more important. I stopped trying to be a social butterfly and make everybody happy. There are these few people that are truly important and I try to stick with them.
My mom always tells me if you can count as many friends as you have on one hand, you’re set. The maximum you need is just five good friends.
Yeah, exactly. I really appreciate that.
Do you ever feel uncertain about your future as a musician? Do you have any driving motivational forces in moments of uncertainty?
Well, this job keeps me very busy where it’s hard to even think about the week ahead or the month ahead. It’s kind of like a day-to-day thing, which is really healthy for me because I tend to plan too much, and you just can’t plan with music. You can’t make a five year plan, but I think that’s healthier for me that I keep it day to day and I don’t have the capacity to think of future things. I don’t know if that answered your question.
Oh no, it definitely did. Do you have any advice for people who want to be musicians but are maybe afraid to take that next step? Maybe they make music but are afraid to put it out there?
I think it’s important to have the big picture in mind, but also they shouldn’t get ahead of themselves and think of themselves on big stages just yet. The first step is to show your friends, and then play an open mic or do smaller shows, and then expand and build little by little at your own pace. Because when you’re thinking that you want to be Rihanna, that’s wonderful and it’s good to have that as a beacon, but you can’t even visualize how to be that because it’s so far away, so you have to think of small baby steps to bring you closer to that.
Totally. So you had a few albums before Bury Me came out, so how was it making those albums and putting a lot of work into those but with this album, it seems you got a lot of popularity really fast. How was that transition?
Well, the thing is that the first two albums were recorded and made while I was in school. They were my junior and senior projects, so I didn’t really put them out. This third one was the only one I did work for and played shows for.
How has that change felt or progressed?
Mostly, I’ve just realized that I don’t have to take it so seriously, which is probably not what I should say. My first two albums I worked really hard on the details and had all these different instruments and it was very heady and academic. I realized with this third one I could just be in a band and play songs and they could still communicate something, and they could still be good. I guess I’ve just stopped being so uptight about it.
When you’re not on tour, what do you do with your free time besides making music? Do you have other interests?
No, I don’t have a life outside of this. I don’t know who I am outside of this. And I don’t have any free time so I don’t have to think about who I am.
How do you see yourself changing throughout your music changing? Have you changed alongside your music?
Yeah. I mean it’s one of those, does life imitate art or art imitate life questions where like I am changing and my music is changing and I don’t know which is the chicken or the egg. I do find myself, changing but then again even if I weren’t making music, I’d probably be changing.
And you’ve said you’ve wanted to be a musician or artist your entire life, do you still feel that way?
I mean, at this point, I don’t know how to do anything else.
How have you enjoyed tour with Eskimeaux and Elvis and seeing them every night?
Oh, it’s really great. I really lucked out. It’s really hard to get a good group of people to tour with, honestly, and this is a really good one. So, hashtag blessed.
Yeah definitely. And just to wrap it up, is there a certain impact or change you’d like to see your music make on the world? Would you be able to identify that?
I’m not sure. This will probably change in a month or a year or something, but right now I want to make sure that people are comfortable with not being beautiful. Or not being pretty. Once you take that pressure off of yourself that you put on yourself, even unconsciously, every day, it’s like a weight just gets lifted and I want to give that feeling to people as well.