Interview: Upbringing: Hundred Waters

Upbringing: Hundred Waters

From Chopin to, erm, swaddling clothes, the band’s Nicole Miglis​​ talks us through her musical upbringing.

Over the years, Florida’s Hundred Waters have been the champions of surprising pairings; signing to Skrillex’s label OWSLA  before touring with everyone from Interpol to Julia Holter. It’s quite the varied repertoire.

It shouldn’t really come as much of a shock, then, to hear that a wide range of early musicial obsessions led the trio to new album ‘Communicating’. An intense, multi-layered offering, where vocals sound like possessed androids whispering to each other, and synthesised melodies feel alive, it’s a record dwelling in isolation, always shooting for the open dialogue and connection its title suggests.

We caught up with Hundred Waters vocalist Nicole Miglis, to talk early musical obsessions.

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What was the first gig you ever went to?

Probably my brother’s violin recital, as a baby, grooving in my swaddling clothes

Were there a good supply of venues in your hometown?

Not a lot, I grew up in a small town in Florida. There weren’t a lot of proper venues or things to do, but there were a lot of great DIY spaces. Like old churches converted into show spaces or community centres our friends would throw shows at occasionally. And a lot of house shows.

What was the first song you developed an obsession for?

My earliest musical obsession was probably a Chopin piece. Maybe a Chopin Nocturne. I grew up playing piano and I really loved playing Chopin. It really resonated with my melancholy childhood self.

What’s the first song you ever bought with your own money, and why?

I grew up in the era of Napster, so I probably torrented it! The first CD I ever bought was maybe Nirvana ‘Nevermind’? Or ‘Surfer Rosa’ by the Pixies.

What’s the story behind your first instrument?

I started playing piano when I was about 5 or 6. My mom had all of us in lessons as kids. I was the only one who made a ‘career’ out of it, but my brother and sister are really talented musicians too. But I was always in recitals or competitions as a kid. My dream was to be a concert pianist, like Vladimir Horowitz or Martha Argerich. I thought she was the coolest growing up

What’s your worst musical habit?

Overthinking.

What inspirations outside of music have an impact on your songwriting?

People I know. All of my friends.

Tell us the best advice you’ve ever been given as a musician…

Take your time. Don’t rush.

And if you could be in a band from the last two decades, which would you pick, and why?

Probably Radiohead. Or PJ Harvey’s band. Or anything where I’d be in the presence of Lauryn Hill. I can’t pick just one! There are too many amazing humans out there.

Hundred Waters’ new album ‘Communicating’ is out now.