MisterWives is a New York-based band. Their debut album, Our Own House, is out now. Drummer Etienne
Bowler recently discussed the formation of MisterWives, how he became
interested in music and his love of juggling. For more info on
MisterWives, check out http://misterwives.com/
Did you come from a musical family? Were your parents musical?
I came from a very musical family. My dad used to play drums in his
band Marbles and now still jams every Friday night with his brothers
and its pretty awesome. He taught me drums and has supported the band
in so many ways. He lets us park our van “Ginger” in his driveway,
rehearse in his basement and drink his wine! My mom has no musical
background but loves to sing all the wrong lyrics to every MisterWives
song. So that’s good…
What was your earliest musical memory?
My earliest memory of music was listening to “Chatty Chatty” by Toots
& the Maytals in the car to grandma’s house. Then my dad would
immediately run to my grandma’s basement to play rock grooves. Playing
the drumset at a young age was the coolest musical memory. Oh and
drums are the most fun instrument to play live. Sorry, but its true.
What was the first album you bought?
I grew up when record stores were transforming to iTunes so I only
actually bought 5 records from a store but I remember them: Aqua,
Sugar Ray, Blink 182, Alanis Morrisette, the “Macarena” single.
Clearly I was the coolest 10 year old ever. But I don’t know why I had
no friends.. Hmm..
How did MisterWives get started?
I’ll never forget the first time Mandy asked me to play drums for her
at Pianos. She blew me away in the rehearsals (where I met Will) and
instantly was like ok let’s grab the bull by the horns and ride this
$@&#*! I invited Marc and Jesse to play with us and we landed a record
deal after our first show all together. Not bad!
How do you go about creating songs?
Mandy writes all her own songs – which is incredible, by the way, I
don’t know many artists that write all their own stuff. She comes with
a skeleton of the chords/lyrics etc. and we will workshop it as a
band. Sometimes Mandy and I produce some demos together and they’re
all fleshed out and ready to go. She’s a genius. Now I lock her in the
studio and say you can’t come out ‘til there’s a song. Not for any
other reason than I’m just her biggest fan and need to hear her next
What inspires you lyrically?
I like to think that I’m her inspiration lol. Before we started dating
a lot of her songs were about the bullshit life hands you i.e “Twisted
Tongue,” “Coffins,” “Vagabond,” “Reflections” etc.. Now she writes
songs about how life is amazing “we built our own house with our hands
over our hearts and we swore on that day that it’ll never fall apart”
is from a recent track… I must be doing a good job teehee
How did the song “Reflections” come together?
Mandy wrote this on her keyboard probably around 3am one night. She
demoed it and I immediately fell in love with it. She wrote this gem
just around the same time I joined the band. We have about 4 demos of
“Reflections.” It deserved the perfect production in my eyes but It
wasn’t ‘til we worked with Frequency (who is currently producing our
whole album) that it came together.
What are your hobbies outside of music?
I’m a professional juggler (see my Instagram videos). I think Mandy
will agree that cooking is our 2nd biggest hobby next to music. Mandy
is an incredible cook. I would take a Mandy cooked dinner over any
restaurant in New York every night. Now if only someone’s hobby was
What have been the biggest challenges you’ve had to overcome in your career?
The biggest challenge is fighting for us to be us. We don’t ever want
to put out something that isn’t what we believe in. Solely playing
music with no strings attached can get kinda tricky in 2014 but we’re
figuring it out one step at a time with our supah dream team working
What advice would you give to artists just starting out?
Only listen to yourself…….. And me! No seriously, don’t ever do
something for someone else, don’t change who you are to fit a mold. Be
yourself and people will eventually just want to see you be you.