Interview With MIP Power Trio
Tune in Fest in Milton, Ontario on Sunday the 5th of September, was the first festival and music event I attended this year. I was waiting for this festival for weeks, hoping every day that it wouldn’t be cancelled, due to the rising numbers of Covid. Guess what, it wasn’t.
On that sunny and warm day 18 bands were booked to perform, not just 18 bands but 18 very talented bands, that I would have no hesitation to see again. A full list of the bands can be viewed via the link below. My main role for the day was to photograph the bands and musicians for Dropout Entertainment with the intention to interview the bands, unfortunately my co-worker Bobby couldn’t make it, so I decided just to interview one band. The band I chose was a trio that goes by the name of Mip Power Trio, a scrappy Rock n’ Roll band consisting of Mip (vocals/guitar/song writing), Greg Kowalczyk (bass/vocals) and Shane MacPherson (drums/vocals). Why did I choose this band? Well quite simply because of their type of music, and the fun and energy they displayed on stage, I wanted to know more about them!
Interview & Photo by Baz Foye
Baz: How long have you been playing/performing together?
Mip: “We have been playing now for 10 years.”
Greg: “10 years with Shane.”
Mip and Greg: “11 or 12 years without Shane.”
Mip: “The point is, we have been around, we have been playing the same circuits for a while. “, she laughed.
Baz: “So Mip, you have an unusual name, so I take it it’s not your real name? I’m curious, how did you get the name Mip, and what’s your real name?
Mip: “It’s an acronym.”
Baz: “An acronym of what?”
Greg: “If we tell you what it is, no one will ever see you again.” (Secret squirrel stuff)
Joking aside Mip did go on to tell me, “You don’t have to work that hard to find out my real name. So, with that information I did find out. Let play a game now, I will give you 2 clues. 1st clue, A Santana song. 2nd Clue, Katy …. Can you work out her name?”
Baz: “What name do you prefer to go by, your real name, or Mip?
Mip: “Mip, it works.” Side note, apparently, I did guess her 1st name, ha-ha.
Baz: How were you effected by covid?
Mip: “We were supposed to have an album release at The Dakota Tavern and our 10-year birthday party, unfortunately that got squashed, so during lockdown we did live streams a bit on Twitch. I still do live streams occasionally. We had a mini tour that we had to cancel when the major lockdown happened.” ( https://www.twitch.tv/mipsmusic )
Baz: Are you a Toronto band?
Greg and Mip: “Yes, but originally from BC.”
Greg: “Members from Smithers BC, but the band was formed in Toronto”.
Baz: “Will you release a Vinal record?” (As I would buy one)
Mip: “One day”
Greg: “If we had a label behind us, it would be easier, manufacturing cost is a main factor, but one day we would like to.”
Baz: “Do you write all your own songs?”
Mip: “Yes, everything we performed today was original.”
Greg: “Mip writes all the songs. However, Mip is very generous on what we can do to the songs artistically, so I feel very lucky that I can ruin the songs. Just kidding. For a bass player I get a lot of creative input–and I appreciate that.”
Mip: “We played an arrangement of new and old songs, some of which hadn’t been played before today”.
Baz: Mip, what is your inspiration when writing songs?
Mip: “Me, oh man everything. Life.”
Mip: “Not only do I write the lyrics, I also want to try and make the arrangements and have the dynamics. I want to try new things. I really like composing the songs too. To kind of suit what the meaning of the song is. It’s a multi facet kind of thing.”
Baz: A question for both for you. What got you into music?
Mip: “Oh man, umm, I grew up with a dad that was a singer/song writer in my hometown, I guess that would be one of my first exposure to music. I took piano and I was kind of artsy as a kid. It wasn’t until I picked up a guitar that I wanted to write my own songs. I had my 1st rock band in high school when I said, yah, I want to keep doing this! Loving music.”
Greg: “I have 2 reasons,
- When I first moved to Canada with my family, I remember being seven years old, and we got a phone call from the Ontario Conservatory of music asking which instrument I wanted to play. My parents handed me the phone and told me to tell them what instrument I wanted to play. I said piano.
- The 2nd thing was, my mom had these cassette tapes of classical music set to a disco beat, they were call Hooked on Classics. I had a Walkman when I was in grade 2 listening to them. This was my 1st experience, listing to classic disco and playing the piano, this is what got me into music.”
Baz: “Greg, then you went to bass guitar?”
Greg: “Then I went to guitar, Mip needed a Bass player, so about 12 years ago I learnt bass”.
Thank you Mip and Greg for your time, unfortunately Shane wasn’t available to chat with us. I loved seeing you perform; you were one of my favourites. There was lots of laughter during the interview which isn’t shown here.
All the best with the band’s future!
And thank you to all the sponsors & organizers who made Tune In Fest possible!
-Heritage Country Park
-Save Toronto Music Venues
-Craft Brand Co.
-Nickel 9 Distillery