May 31st, 2007 | Interviews

dan monick

Mika Miko sound like the first Red Cross EP and LiLiPUT and use a telephone as a microphone. Their LP C.Y.S.L.A.B.F. is out now on Kill Rock Stars. They meet in the weird sculpture garden in Elysian Park while people play croquet in the dying grass behind them.

Did you choreograph this interview?
Jenna Tho-hill (vocals / sax): Not really, but why not?
All (in harmony): ‘A whole new world! A new fantastic point of view! / Now that I’m here, it’s crystal clear / that now I’m / now I’m in / a whole new world! Unbelievable sights! Indescribable feelings! Soaring! Tumbling! On a magic carpet ride! A whole new world—don’t you dare close your eyes!’ [Etc. – ed.]
JT: Sister harmonies, man. Just put in like a tilde to indicate harmony.
Did you see the review that called you ‘dorks du jour’?
JT: I’m pretty sure we all look really cool all the time.
Michelle Suarez (guitar / keys): I’m a dork.
JT: I know the first four words of every Disney song, and after that I look at them and try and anticipate their mouth movements. And Jessica is really good at all musicals and Jennifer is a close second.
Jessie Clavin (bass): I was Sandy in Grease when I was in junior high. And Sarah Brown in Guys And Dolls.
Jennifer Clavin (vocals / guitar): I was in Beauty And The Beast and they had to make up a character for me. I was a music box.
Kate Hall (drums): I did weird group theater things. I have a weird Shakespeare background.
Give me a quote.
KH: [quotes Shakespeare too quickly to transcribe]
JT: Ewwwww! Kate Hall! Ewwww!
ALL: Dork! Dork! Dork! Dork! Dork!
Did you see the other review where they said you were ‘unkempt and not too smelly to be chic’?
JT: It sounds like you’re making this up.
No, you’re totally kempt right now.
JT: Today I had to make sure to really not get whiskey on me because I’m wearing nice things. My roommate has dolphin squirt guns filled with whiskey and I was like, ‘No, let me do it—I’m wearing nice things!’
So you don’t accidentally get whiskey on you?
KH: It looks like a cum shot.
JT: It’s like a genuine cum shot, and this is where in the interview you need to add ‘editor colon did she just say cum shot question mark end of italics opening greater-than/less-than symbol greater-than space—‘
Are you dictating me HTML code?
ALL: Dork! Dork! Dork! Dork! Dork! Dork! Dork!
What was the most unsettling thing that happened while recording the 666 EP?
JES: We did record it in a basement that was haunted.
JEN: It used to be my bedroom, and what happened is the family that lived there before had a lady in a wheelchair with some allergy problem and she couldn’t go outside, so she sat in the basement and looked at the fake garden. Then she died there. I think I used to see Xenu in the room. I think the Scientologists getting angry at me—that would be the spookiest thing.
JT: If I pissed on myself, wouldn’t that be perfect for the fucking magazine?
Who is too cute to puke?
JT: That’s a dumb question.
Because I was going to puke.
JT: Really? You’re not too cute. Seriously, puke. I’m not gonna tell you you’re too cute. Whoever needs to puke should do it.
MS: Jenna had nothing to do with that song.
How many people are in your songs that don’t know it?
JEN: Someone in Santa Clarita.
JT: Some fucking guy in New Jersey.
JEN: ‘Chron Liar,’ ‘Teen Magazine,’ ‘White Truck,’ ‘Too Cute To Puke.’ ‘Zombies’ is about a lady calling us for a job—we used to be extras, basically just for TV shows like Cold Case. They made us totally ridiculous.
What are you spitting out of your mouths in your video?
MS: Squid ink and molasses. Who cares?
Your dentist?
JEN: It wasn’t even squid ink—it was cake dye and molasses.
What does the rest of the world ask you about L.A.?
KH: We went to Sweden and that was weird—they’re obsessed with American culture. They’re like, ‘How do you feel about the president?’ But they all speak perfect English and look perfect and are obsessed with MTV. We asked how they learned English and they said, ‘We watch TV.’ And this one girl started telling me about her whole life—‘I was cutting myself a lot and I started dancing and dancing saved me.’
JT: Hey, make sure that I’m always funny.
Why did you start a tick blog?
JT: It’s Tick Dent and it’s all about dents in ticks.
Have you had a tick?
KH: I lived in the south, so I had a lot of ticks.
JEN: I had one in my head.
JT: Everything you’re writing looks like nonsense!
MS: The blog is just videos and stuff from bands I see or we play with.
What’s the longest streak of local shows you’ve played?
JT: I’d say three—I’d say four but one of the shows was two shows in one day.
How long does it take to write a new song?
JT: We’ve had a song called ‘New Song’ for like seven or eight months.
JEN: Either like a half hour, or like eight practices.
JT: Can I talk to you about the real tick dent? The tick I experienced got dented—not Denton, Texas. My dog Chance—when I went and visited him and I was rubbing him, he had a giant white sort of pustule that looked like an actual tumor, and after I removed it, I thought it was disgusting, and we looked it up immediately on the Internet and it was a tick.
JEN: How did you get rid of it?
JT: We took it to the vet to see if the head was still in it. I put it in a Mason jar. And I started feeling really country because I had that Mason jar in my garage. So me and my mom brought it to the vet, and they were like, ‘Well, the head’s still on him.’
And this is not a song.
KH: It was made into a blog.
JT: I’d been pulling it so roughly it caused an actual dent in the tick.
You invented the tick dent.
JT: And then I told her my rap: ‘My dick raise yo tent / your tick gets straight bent / all that shit leaves a dent / cuz my dick is so big I left a dent in your tent…’ because the thing is you have to give me a boner all night for me to raise the tent all night so you can sleep.
From ticks to boners.
JT: Because rap is always about my dick. Or what it’s kind of about or at least was. All my musical shit is like 1995.
Do you still use the same telephone?
JEN: It used to be tan, and then it was a hairdryer and then a phone. I wanna make a yellow one.
Is it hard to preserve them?
KH: This one’s done really well.
What’s the nicest thing your fans have done for you?
KH: Once someone sent us a hat that had belonged to their grandfather. And written on an index card it said, ‘I thought you guys would like this. It’s a Titanic survivor’s hat.’ I wore it one day and felt weird—like it was haunted. Every time I put it on I thought the grandpa was in my head.
JEN: That should be a song—‘Grandpa In Your Head.’
Who is the most dedicated Mika Miko fan?
KH: We kind of get new fans every month—they’re superfan for a month and then they get over it. Or they become good friends. We get to know them. And we make up funny names for them.
What’s the most important thing about Mika Miko that no one has figured out?
JEN: The meaning of our album name, and I’m still not gonna tell you. Maybe when I’m like 70. We like to tell people the funniest things: ‘Can You Stay Longer And Butt Fuck?’
JT: Put ‘buttfuck’ in bold with underlines.
KH: I got shot in the face.
How do you rate Los Angeles’ gunshot-care apparatus?
KH: You know what sucked? I had to pee really bad and no one would help me. I overflowed the pee tank. I was thinking I should go talk to people who got shot. Like, ‘You were shot. It’s OK.’ But I won’t.
Do you have more scars in the band than you have band members?
JT: I only have work scars. I worked at Subway with stupid drugged-up high schoolers. I was like the honest one there, and I got a burning pan of bread slammed against my arm.
KH: To relate me getting shot into what I wanted to say—someone on YouTube wrote a comment that said, ‘Mika Miko suck! Anyone who likes this band should shoot themselves in the face!’ And I wrote back and said, ‘I am in the band and I was shot in the face. So I guess I’m fucked!’
JEN: Did you read that Vice thing?
JT: Someone commented on that article that we were too fat. It’s because we’re girls—everyone’s ready to say we’re ugly sluts.
JEN: Oh God, the feminist thing.
JT: Sorry! Bye, you fucking dick! I’m gonna delete whatever you wrote!