I really have gotten into this band from Spotify making me daily playlists & the one they keep choosing for me is Mipso so I had to find out more about them..
Q: In 2011, the band formed at UNC & started as a trio, when did you decide to bring a Libby in & solidify the group as a quartet?
Jacob: Libby was deep in Mipso world from the very beginning. Even our first EP, technically a trio record, featured her on fiddle. We were all in school and the band was very much a weekend passion – a place to learn and escape and express ourselves. None of us knew it was what we were going to be doing after we wrapped up our degrees. Joseph, Wood and I graduated a year ahead of Libby and decided we wanted to see what was possible when we devoted all of ourselves to the music. We started touring nationally (and in Japan), recorded an album, and liked what our lives were becoming. Libby was on that album, played shows whenever she could and thought she might like this life too. So to us it doesn’t really feel like she ever wasn’t solidly a part of the group. But I guess 2024 was when she started being in the van as much as the rest of us.
Q: There are a few stories floating around out there how Mipso got its name…Set the record straight & tell me the true story behind the band’s name.
Libby: Yes, this has been a matter of confusion for far too long now, not just in the public consciousness but also in my own. Seeing I wasn’t there when the secret meeting occurred, I can’t shed any light on the subject matter whatsoever. After all these years, it’s the one thing those three boys have remained tight lipped about.
Jacob: That’s right.
Q: Mipso’s style is a mesh of bluegrass, indie and alt-country w/superb blended harmonies (reminding me of Ghost of Paul Revere & Birdtalker)….do you feel like your sound is evolving with each album?
Libby: I think it’s very natural as you go on living, whatever it is that make evolves in roughly parallel way, responding to the way your experiences have shaped your perspective. I imagine it would actually take more effort to keep churning out the same kind of music as you yourself inevitably change. We started doing this when we were 19 or 20, and for most of us it was the first real band we’d been in, so we were figuring out how to play music, and we leaned into one genre or another as a part of that learning process. In the early days, we were getting into old string band music and trying out those roles, which seemed natural given our instrumentation. I’m really nostalgic about that phase, that tentativeness and curiosity, those little forays out from your little home base of musical knowledge. But it’s also been very fulfilling both to expand the scope of thst home base and to feel more comfortable venturing afield. Now when we arrange a song by our arranging vocabulary is much bigger than it used to be. We lean into sounds or concepts that are feeling good to us at a given time, and I think we’re less concerned than we used to be about whether or not they’ll feel that way to us forever.
Q: With COVID quarantine, I’m assuming you had more time to work on your self-titled album released this October…Some of my fave tracks are Your Body, Hourglass and Just Want To Be Loved…Did you intend for the album to be released this year? How did the extra time spent together keep the creative process flowing.
Jacob: Actually we had less ability to create together this year than any other year. We toured in January and then went to our respective homes around the country for a two-month breather before kicking into high gear with a record release planned. With COVID hit we holed up at home, pushed the release date back a few months, and collaborated from afar on a deeper dive into the final production stages of the record. We were much more involved with the mixing and mastering of this record, albeit from afar, than previous records. And I think that finishing the production of the album in quarantine was a good preparation for releasing it in this strange new pandemic world. As we put the final touches on it we were aware it would be released devoid of the context we had known on previous albums, but that the emotional ground we covered in the music needed to come out this year no matter how strange the surrounding circumstances.
Q: You guys are really into skateboarding. How fun was it to make that video? Was that shot all in one day? How long did it take?
Libby: Ha! No, we are not really into skateboarding. Joseph and Wood can remember their middle school moves decently well, but Jacob and I are truly hopeless. The concept of the video was for us to be bad at skateboarding but have fun anyway. It was relatively fun to make, mostly just because we enlisted some actual good skateboarders and got to watch them. We shot it over a couple of very warm summer afternoons.
Jacob: Yeah, I don’t like to skateboard at all! But I admire those who do – and to me the most fun aspect of this video was learning about the diverse and super cool skate scene in Durham.
Q: On 10/29, you live streamed a concert, The Mipso Show Vol 1 & on 11/28 Vol 2.. What can fans expect to see? Any surprises? Where can fans watch the show?
Jacob: A highlight of this wild ride of a year was getting the band back together safely to be able to create. We tested, quarantined and bubbled up for two different 2 weeks chunks. It was like band camp.. The Mipso Show was the result of the second, along with a cover of the song “Arthur McBride” that was just released. They aired already, but we’ll be making the performances available again in the new year so keep an eye out.
Q: Where is the best place fans can stream, watch and buy merch from Mipso?
Jacob: All of our music is streamable on all of the places music streams – and you can find merch and some fun updates from the band at our website or Instagram/Facebook. http://www.mipsomusic.com or @mipsomusic
Thanks to Jacob and Libby for answering my questions… up next for interviews are Van Hunt, Jenna Rae, Alex Simmons and many more…
Until next time, I’m Your Music Stylist – Linda Dias.