Mise en Scene Photo: Jesse DeFlorio
Mise en Scene Photo: Jesse DeFlorio

Five Questions With… Stefanie Blondal Johnson of Mise en Scene

On their sophomore album, Winnipeg rock outfit Mise en Scene embraced the reality that change is often slow and steady, but well worth the wait. However, since the June 30 release of Still Life On Fire (Light Organ Records), the band’s core duo of singer/guitarist Stefanie Blondal Johnson and drummer Jodi Dunlop are ready to put their foot on the gas once again.

After Mise en Scene’s 2012 debut, Desire’s Despair, established the band as a sonic force in the vein of The Raveonettes and The Jesus and Mary Chain, Johnson had to overcome a case of writer’s block. Fortunately, a residency at the Banff Arts Centre during the winter of 2014 supplied the remedy, and Still Life On Fire gradually took shape over the next two years, with bassist Corey Hykawy joining the line-up.

Mise en Scene was recently in Toronto to shoot a new video and will be playing at the Dakota Tavern on Saturday, July 22. Johnson was able to shed some more light on the new album for us, and for more details on their upcoming schedule, go to miseensceneband.com.

How has your sound evolved on Still Life On Fire compared to your debut album?

Our sound is still centered around big drums, reverb and lyrics, but we have added more pieces to the puzzle since Corey joined the band. Now our bass lines are way more tied into the rest of our songs. There is more gain, more rock ‘n roll, on this album.

What are the major themes on this record?

Lyrically, a lot of the songs are about questioning yourself, and asking if you're awake in your happiness. In another way, the question is, do you exist in the world honestly and genuinely?

You're shooting a new video this week. What can you say about it?

I can say we are so excited about it! It's similar to “Closer” in that it's commenting on the world we live in and how we move throughout it. However, this one has more satire and comedy. We are super excited to be working with Emma Higgins and her team at The Field.

How would you describe the past year for you and the band?

It's been a year of preparation to release this new album consisting of developing lots of content for our fans and planning tours in Canada and Europe. Now that it's out, we’re finally starting to execute these big plans, which is exciting.

If you could change anything about the music business, what would it be?

Man, that's tough. I’d probably do something about the misogyny and abuse of power.

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