An Interview With the LA-Based Duo, MYJA On Their Latest Windmark Recordings Debut Self-Titled Album!
Posted On 31 Jan 2018
MYJA is the Los Angeles, CA-based side project of A Bad Think mastermind Michael Marquart, and Jacob Bunton (Lynam, Adler). On January 12th, they released their debut self-titled album via Windmark Recordings.
“Flood” was the name of their debut single. Check out it out here: https://youtu.be/Gu9PRJ1rDo8.
Formed in 2016, Myja has crafted a somber sound reflective of the personal experiences that define the band’s core. With roots firmly planted in all things traditional rock, Myja’s self-titled debut album, is a carefully constructed, innovative mix of rock and modern pop sensibilities
Produced, engineered and mixed by Jason Elgin (Maylene & The Sons Of Disaster, Collective Soul), at The Barn, Marquart’s studio in Malibu, CA, the 10 songs that make up Myja’s debut album encompass the sound of a band that is not afraid to take chances yet display a remarkable consistency in the storytelling.
Connect With MYJA Here:
Learn more about MYJA in the following All Access interview:
Happy New Year! Thanks for your time for this All Access interview! Where does this interview you today? What is one song that you are loving right now? What is a song that you all disagree about loving right now?
Hello! We’re in Los Angeles today. Michael is working on the new A Bad Think record and I’m working on a movie score. Life is good. I’m loving the song “Live In The Moment” by Portugal. The Man. I don’t really disagree with loving any songs, everyone has different tastes, that’s what makes life interesting.
So first things first, what all are you most excited about for this year? Did any of you make New Year Resolutions? Care to share any of them with us?
I’m excited about a ton of things this year from movies, to tours, to interesting work. I don’t really make New Years resolutions as much as goals in general. Every year in December, I write down all of my goals. Some are realistic, some are impossible. It’s crazy how the power of writing down your goals and looking at them everyday helps. It’s a lot easier to stay focussed and achieve the goals that are impossible if you look at them everyday.
How did this group first come to be? Can you recall the moment when you all thought you could be in a band together? Was it hard to come up with a name that you all thought fit your sound and who you are?
Michael and I were introduced by a mutual friend and hit it off immediately. After hanging out a few times we realized it was inevitable that we would do a project together. Names are always hard to come up with. We tossed around names longer than it took to write and record the album. We originally decided on MiJa, the first two letters of our names, but it was already taken (the artist that has the name pronounces it Mee-Ha). We changed the I to a Y and it actually works out better for pronunciation (My – Ja).
How do you think this band has been influenced by the city you are all from? How does that particular music scene affect you all?
We’re both from different places. The music doesn’t necessarily have a Los Angeles, Alabama, or Virginia Beach influence, it’s influenced from life and experiences. I don’t go out a lot, so I really don’t know what the local music scene is like. I discover music mostly through friends recommendations, Spotify playlists, and radio.
Let’s talk about your about to be released debut self-titled album. What was it like putting this collection together? Did anything surprise you about the overall process? Were there any unexpected challenges? How long did it take?
It was a very easy, organic process. We didn’t put a time line on anything, we just did what felt natural. We had so much fun recording this record. We basically did a song a day in the studio. The only unexpected challenge was trying to find the right name for the project lol. Our producer, Jason Elgin made the process incredibly easy.
How do you think your already released single “Flood” prepares listeners for the rest of the album? What was the inspiration for that song? What other songs on the album are you excited to share with people?
I think “Flood” is a great example of what the band is about. I really love the songs that Michael sings. His delivery and interpretation is absolutely amazing. The inspiration behind that song is just trying to stay positive in a world where negativity is everywhere. Both of us are excited to share the entire record. I’m really proud of the song “Mourning The death Of An Imaginary Lover” It was the last song that we wrote for the record and I loved how it turned out.
Who would you love to work with in the future? Who are some of your favorite artists right now? What would be a dream collaboration for this group?
Michael and I are in the fortunate position of getting to work with everyone that we want to work with. I work in the pop world as well as the film and television world, so I get to work with a ton of amazing songwriters and producers every day. Some of my favorite artists right now are The Fame Riot, Panama Wedding, Bob Moses, Lovely The Band, The Wrecks, and The Unlikely Candidates.
While this may be difficult to answer, where do you think you are all happiest- on stage performing, in the studio recording music or elsewhere?
I think we’re both happiest in the studio creating. That’s the thing that we both bonded over, the love of constantly creating. Michael has toured extensively over the years with Flock Of Seagulls, Tokyo Rose and others, and I’ve been touring since I was a kid with Lynam, Adler, etc. I love playing live, but right now in life, I enjoy being in the studio. I know it sounds cliche, but everyday is an adventure. One day I’ll be writing a song with a rock band like Pop Evil or Starset, and the next day I’m writing the next Akon single or working on a Mariah Carey song or playing guitar on a Steven Tyler record. The day after that, I’m scoring a movie. I just love to create:)
What shows will you be starting the year with? Where can people see you perform live next?
We don’t have any plans to play shows at the moment. I’m sure we will eventually play live, but the objective of this project was just to have fun and create cool songs.
We are living in a crazy and at times rough world right now so I am curious how you think being in this band gives you the most joy in life today? Do you think that new music being created today is going to reflect these difficult times?
I think we are living in exciting times right now as far as art and music are concerned. I don’t think it’s all doom and gloom. I feel bad for the people that I know that stay glued to the news and their Facebook feeds. They’re so busy being consumed by negativity that they forget how blessed they are to be alive. I’m not saying that it’s not good to be aware and informed, but try to not let it consume you. The plus side is, all of the things in life that people are bitching about right now is creating some amazing art and music.
What do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope people continue to take away from your songs?
The message of the music is positive, but with a dark undertone. It’s real life. I hope people take away the fact that no matter what’s going on in life, there is hope.
Is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers?
Thank you for supporting Myja. This record was a lot of fun to make and we hope that everyone gets joy from it.