Influenced by bands like The Coathangers, Smashing Pumpkins, Blink 182, and concurrent feminist issues, it was late 2017 when Alexandra Gray and Noely Gonzalez met and began to collaborate on music for their band called The Napkin Queens.
Following their dream to start an all-girl band, early 2018 was the year when former drummer Haleigh Stilton and finally, their current lead guitarist, Maria Flaherty joined what is now known to be, Mirage Wave; a reference to the show Sailor Moon. To complete their intoxicating energy, drummer Steve Austad joined in 2019 and the rest is history.
The melodic hues of their indie pop-rock single, “Firestarter,” carries forth a charming aura that is authentic to the nature of Mirage Wave. Blending together a resonated bassline that cements the tempo for this track, we’re also graciously greeted by animated percussion and the lush sound of the chugging guitar riffs present.
Emphasizing hues of psychedelic flair, there’s a warmth that breathes through this composition, and the layered vocal effects that hail from each alluring timbre allow it to be showcased. “Firestarter,” delves into the cynicism that is apparent in our day-to-day life as we know it. Using abstract lyrics to depict a series of thought-provoking images, each intricately crafted word hones in on how Mirage Wave weaves around the toxicity present and channels their angst into relatable music.
Actions as such show Mirage Wave’s deep-rooted connection to their fan base as they make it known that nobody out there is alone, and if you want to revolt against society’s pressure; you’re allowed to. Indulging us in the unique way that they get their message across, Mirage Wave puts out their relevant soundscapes with an illuminating purpose directed towards the greater good.
Welcome back to BuzzMusic, Mirage Wave. The energy that you serve up in “Firestarter,” truly had us lost in the music. We love the new single! With such a unique use of the words that you chose for this track, what is the inspiration behind bringing such a grand concept to life?
Noely: Thank you so much for your kind words! My favorite anime of all time is FLCL. I watched it during a transition in my life. I just graduated from college. I had no jobs lined up. With no job or money, I had to come back to my hometown. Nothing was going as planned and I just fell into a deep depression. The main character was going through a transition himself; childhood to adulthood. I can see some parallels and it made me realize, this is natural. Everything will work itself out. I wanted to encapsulate the second episode, as it is my favorite, in this song.
Could you please share a glimpse of the creative process that you embarked on when bringing this song to life?
Noely: The guitar parts evolved over time. I've had the verse riff for over 10 years. I knew I wanted to do something with it, so I kept it on the back burner. I remember introducing it to my bandmates and just played along with it. I originally thought it would be an instrumental track, but I wanted to add lyrics but they didn't fit at the time. One day, I just started watching FLCL and playing the riff and right then and there, I felt an epiphany and just started humming a melody while playing the riff over and over. I showed it to my bandmates and they loved it.
Ally: I made my bass parts up the day we recorded it, I had a couple of ideas, but nothing solid. So right before we hit record I threw something together and it ended up being the first and only take.
How does “Firestarter,” hold up to your previously released records? What is its significance to you as a band?
Noely: It still has this push and pulls feel of creativity. There are so many elements because we were so influenced by so many bands and musical ideas. This song just fits: it's fun, it's catchy, and cute, just like us. HAHA!
Ally: I definitely think this EP is our strongest yet and our best material. Firestarter is definitely the first shot and it defines how well this EP is and how far we’ve evolved as a band together.
What message do you aim to send out through the music that you create?
Ally: I would say as a band we wanna push being inclusive, being caring and kind, but also being loud and angry when it calls for it. We would rather meet you with arms open than with fists, but some people just need to be punched. Empathy for those that deserve and nothing but scorn for bigots and racists