The Beaches are sisters Jordan Miller (bass and vocals) and Kylie Miller (guitar), Eliza Enman-McDaniel (drums) and Leandra Earl (keys). Straight out of Toronto, these barely-old-enough-to-be-in-a-bar ladies not only have incredible talent, but dedication and breathtaking professionalism that makes them seem like the types of artists who have been playing for decades. Naked Underground had the pleasure to talk with The Beaches‘ Kylie and Leandra about their upcoming EP, their love for their hometown and what they have their eyes set on next.
NU: First of all, congrats on the new EP “Heights”, which comes out April 28th! How does this one differ from your previous one, The Beaches?
Kylie: Thanks! We didn’t have Leandra in the band for the first one. Obviously that has added quite a lot of attitude towards our sound: it rounds it out and I think it really adds a nice element to it. I really like the way this new EP is sounding!
Leandra: Yeah I just jumped into the band! But we didn’t really change our sound too much, I mean it’s still rock, it’s just now we are a bit more of the keyboard stand.
NU: Our Lady Peace frontman and renown writer Raine Maida is your manager. How has that helped you with your band and recently, your EP?
Kylie: Well for the EP we actually decided to do it ourselves. We decided to work with our guitar teacher/other mentor James Quinn and we decided to take the writing process into our own hands. Raine is still an investor in the band and has definitely helped us a lot. He is incredibly supportive and we are glad that we have him on our side.
NU: When you are writing a song, how collaborative is it?
Leandra: The process is very collaborative. I mean one person will come up with an idea, a part, or even a full song. Jordan writes most of the lyrics, if not all the lyrics, with some help from Kylie. Then all of us throw our ideas out there and we come up with the whole song. We always make sure everyone is happy with it. It’s actually really fun!
NU: Your music is pretty rockin’…not something that immediately comes to mind with a name like The Beaches. Where does the name come from?
Kylie: All of us except for Leandra live in a neighborhood called The Beaches and it’s where we started learning about music and taking lessons. It’s home and we just decided to name the band after where we are from because we are very proud of it.
NU: What is your favorite thing about it?
Kylie: My favorite thing about my neighbourhood is that it’s kind of a little escape from the rest of Toronto. There’s a really nice waterfront and it’s a lot cooler in the summer. It becomes a nice little escape from downtown Toronto, yet it is so close. But I also love Toronto. It’s so diverse and there are so many different neighbourhoods. Every day I find something new and interesting to love about it.
NU: What would you say you miss most about the city when you go on tour?
Leandra: I’m not sure. I miss the city in general and it being familiar: that I know where I am all the time! And also little Italy and all the Italians there. I just love Little Italy.
NU: How do you manage it all? You play shows all over, you have an EP coming out, how do you do the rest of the stuff a normal teenager needs to deal with like school and homework?
Kylie: It’s definitely not easy. It’s something that we love to do and for us, it’s music first and we work around it with school. Luckily everyone is really supportive with what we are doing. At school, I sometimes get extensions. I’m really organized and I plan out what I have to do. I can’t really wait to do an assignment a night before it’s due. I have to plan on doing it a week before because I know I have a show.
Leandra: I graduated but when I was in school and I was doing this, I found it very difficult. You can’t procrastinate… even though I enjoy doing that!
Kylie: Yeah I have no idea how I manage it! But I do!
NU: You’ve just played tons of festival including SXSW. When you look at an upcoming festival like Osheaga, how do you prepare yourselves?
Kylie: We’ve played big festivals but the venues were always small and so we were comfortable with the size. But Osheaga, there’s going to be so many people! It hasn’t really hit me yet, I haven’t really thought about it. But I don’t even know how to prepare for something like that. It’s huge!
NU: What is the oddest comment you’ve had from a fan up to now?
Kylie: Oh God I have one. The Speedo shorts one. (Leandra: (laughing) Yeah, say that one!) This guy, who was wearing short Adidas shorts, and I mean they were really short, came up to me and was like: the entire time I was watching you play, I was trying to control my erection. I didn’t really know how to respond. He was saying it not in a way of my looks, but more in the way that I was playing. It was so odd and uncomfortable. That was probably the number one weirdest one that I got.
NU: By now, you must have a little pre-show ritual, no?
Kylie: Warm ups. We all do vocal warm-ups together. And sometimes handshakes…but not really! We have started to play pool now before shows because sometimes our dressing room has a pool table, and Leandra is really good but I’m terrible. I can’t even hit the ball so I don’t play. Pool is one of the ways we found to calm our nerves.
NU: What can we expect from The Beaches in the near future?
Leandra: We are always writing new music so hopefully a new album, and lots of shows! We’ve recently signed with William Morris, the agency in the UK, so we’re hoping they can book us some cool European tour.
Kylie: The EP is coming out so right now we are focused on that. But maybe, hopefully, an album next fall? It’s very up in the air at this moment but that is something we would love to do.
Leandra: Yeah, and right now we are focused on England, which we are leaving for in two days.
NU: Where in England are you playing?
Kylie: We are playing all over. For some shows, we’ll be opening for The Spinnerette singer Brody Dalle! So we’ll be touring all over England.
NU: Other than England, where would you like to go to?
Kylie: Asia and South Korea.. oh and Japan.
Leandra: Italy. That’s where all my family is from and so I have always wanted to go there!
NU: Any last words from the Beaches to the world?
Kylie: (Laughing) Come to our shows!
Leandra: Get ready for a Beachy takeover.
You heard the girls. Get ready.
About Caroline Royer
NUMTL Founder and Editor-in-chief, Caroline is an Ottawa-born Montrealer who has spent the better part of her life playing and listening to music. Otherwise, she is a diehard Sens fan, freakishly into architecture and industrial design and terrible at staying put for more than 5 minutes.