Q&A with Mice Parade

Photo Credit: Oleg Pulemjotov

Photo Credit: Oleg Pulemjotov

Hello Adam!  It’s great to hear back from you and to find out more about your new album Candela and your plans for 2013.  What’s next on your To Do list?

Do you mean the Mice Parade to do list?  Rest for a bit and then hit Japan, Hawaii, & USA west coast in May / June. Find a replacement singer for our last two shows as I just found out today that our singer can’t make them.  Then record an album with this fantastic acoustic trio experiment we’ve been trying, and loving…

You’re just finishing up an East Coast tour.  How did Candela go over with the crowds?  Are you also playing songs from your deep repertoire?

Yes, we are playing songs from 2004 and songs from the new album and a bunch in between.  We had a lot of fun on the tour, met some folks who saw us for the first time and enjoyed it, and met others who had seen MP shows with the ‘big band’ and enjoyed the difference in the new sound.

Candela is your 9th studio album, which is quite an accomplishment in these days of short attention spans and The Next Big Thing.  I feel that the key to your longevity is that your sound keeps evolving.  What spurs this continual change?

Good question. We sort of have different eras, starting with the instrumental beats era, then the Chinese harp era, then the guitars + double drumkits era, and now onto something simpler, yet more challenging to us… Hard to pin down what spurs change, it’s certainly a broad question and a lot of factors are at play…

Speaking of change, your roster of collaborative artists is always in flux.  At this moment in time, who is part of Mice Parade?

We’re still sneaking in foreigners without proper work visas, so I can’t really say yet. Some day that will change. I can certainly credit guitarist Dan Lippel with pulling out some amazing stuff on these recent tours…

You foray into various ‘world music’ styles on each of your albums, but it’s not a pure interpretation.  On Candela especially, you incorporate ‘world music’ elements into a post-rock atmosphere.  How did you first hit upon the notion of merging these disparate musical genres?

Never thought about it. Just listened to music, wrote music, played music, and that’s what came out. I don’t think Candela has much worldliness about it really, at least it’s not trying to.

I guess it’s a descriptive concoction the music critics came up with in order to label your style.  Going back to your musical past, you were originally a drummer for the much-loved indie band Swirlies, which you joined in 1996.  Is it true that the band is still going?  Will there be any new material in the future from Swirlies?

We have just been talking about what to do, maybe play some shows this year and get a few home recordings out… but Damon lives in Sweden these days so it’s tough… He would say the band is still together and never broke up, while others had fun with calling the few shows we did some years ago a “reunion.” The band certainly isn’t doing much…

Candela is named after a bar in Madrid and you have a song named “Spain” on another album.  Does Spain hold a special place in your memory more so than other countries?


You’ve traveled the world via the styles of your music, but I’m wondering how much globe-trotting you’ve done as Mice Parade and as a tourist.  Are there countries or cities or regions that you haven’t visited yet, but would like to?  I’m open to London, Sydney/Bondi Beach, the Maldives, Italy’s Tuscany region, Reykjavik, Iceland, and certain islands of the Bahamas.

Well at least I’ve been to those you listed and managed to spend considerable time in all of them. Of course there are places I haven’t been that I would very much like to go to: Sardinia, Okinawa, New Zealand, The Azors…

In a similar vein, are there certain musical styles that you want to explore that you haven’t yet?

Always. But more than exploring new styles I wish I had some of the opportunities available to me that were available back in college, like being the drummer in a great big-band era jazz group, or Latin salsa group… I gotta find some of that stuff to play again…

There are some sweet arpeggios on “This River Has A Tide” and the mellow, retro “Look See Dream Me”.  What instrument is being played to get that sound?

A Fender Jaguar electric guitar.

Speaking of the indie pop/rock side, since that’s what I’m more familiar with, who is gracing several album tracks with her airy, babydoll vocals?  I’m having a Blonde Redhead moment with “Currents”, but I don’t think you’ve got Kazu Makino in the fold…

 Caroline Lufkin. She is great, has toured with us for years, lives in Tokyo, and releases her own records under the name Caroline, on the Temporary Residence label.

I know you said your music isn’t exactly ‘world music, but I did think “samba” when “Las Gentes Interesantes” came on, and on the title track I thought “gypsy wailing”… It’s difficult for me to pinpoint the international facets of your songs.  What are the specific styles that you are exploring on this album?

For those of us who aren’t fans of the term “world music,” sometimes it can be replaced with simply “folk music.” Perhaps not always, but that usually works for me. Anyway, I don’t consciously explore anything. Creating music is a time to avoid as much conscious thought as possible, and have fun, though the story behind “Candela” is indeed one of flamenco.

Please forgive me for asking the following potentially silly questions, but why did you name your 7th album Mice Parade instead of your debut?

Because after the Portuguese-titled sister albums, which I thought were my first great titles ever, I had no way to follow them up with any good titles.

Mice Parade is an anagram of your name, Adam Pierce.  Did you ever think of going with Da Cream Pie (if you’re a foodie) instead, or maybe Dream Ace Pi (if you’re a math genius), or Me Ice Prada (if you’re fashion-forward)…?

Come on – A Mad Recipe.

Lastly, can you please list your official site(s)?

Don’t really have one, but thanks to a good friend, we are on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/miceparade and on Bandcamp: http://miceparade.bandcamp.com/.  We are also listed at Fatcat: http://fat-cat.co.uk/site/artists/mice-parade.