By Chloe Saavedra of (Chaos Chaos) for Tom Tom Magazine
Miro Justad, drummer of Seattle band Tangerine is riding on the high of their well-received EP ‘Radical Blossom’ (which is currently in heavy rotation on my favorite radio station, KEXP). Miro and I go way back to our glorious pre-teen years. I’ve always been a big fan of Miro, and now of her new band Tangerine.
Tom Tom: I’d just like to confess how much I LOVE THE EP ‘Radical Blossom’. It has such a beautiful, sweet, nostalgic feel it literally gave me goosebumps.
What is the ideal setting to listen to ‘Radical Blossom’? Miro Justad: Driving down the west coast on highway 1 at dusk… the magic hour.
How is it playing in a band with your sister? Do you always get along? Playing music with my sister makes the process a lot easier when it comes to writing songs because we have been raised on the same musical influences our entire lives. We have the same brain and it can freak people out sometimes. It’s like we share an unspoken language. As far as getting along, we can get testy since we’re so comfortable with each other. I’m always telling her to hurry up and to remember picks… she’s usually telling me to calm down.
What made you start playing drums? Originally I played the piano, but my uncle had an old wooden Ludwig drum kit in his basement and when I was seven I would go down there during family dinners (oops) and bang on the heads as hard as I could. Years later after trying out guitar for two years my uncle gave me that old kit and the rest was history.
In three words how would you describe your drumming style? Groove over everything.
Who’s your favorite girl drummer? Sheila E. She was the first female drummer that I watched on youtube standing up on a raised epic drum podium for a huge crowd going off on a solo forever. Before that all my drum teachers made me watch men like Neil Peart.
Who/what inspires you to play drums? When I was in elementary school one of our classes was to play the djembe in a drum circle. I fell in love with African percussion from that day on, and found that I had a knack for remembering rhythm instinctively. This led eventually to the full drum kit, but my passion for hand drums has never waned.
What’s your favorite drum beat/pattern? Bossa Nova. Probably my all-time favorite CD is “The Composer of Desafinado Plays” by Antonio Carlos Jobim. The drummer grooves with the quick light Bossa Nova throughout the entire album along with Samba and other Latin beats. That drum beat makes me nostalgic for my childhood driving around with my dad.
Is there anything else you’d like to share about yourself or Tangerine or politics or food or life? I think that everyone needs to be a part of a drum circle at least once in their life… to truly feel uninhibited and find their fire voice with their percussion instrument. Even a simple ding of a bell can sway the entire flow. An all women’s drum circle would be sweet… one day I will have a zone where that can happen all the time.