Vancouver punk rock singer Mish Way of White Lung talks touring, journalism

David Sackllah

White Lung has recently emerged as a talented and powerful punk act. Led by vocalist Mish Way, the band brings a sharp edge to its mesmerizing and forceful songs. The band plays at Fun Fun Fun Fest this weekend, and The Daily Texan asked Mish some questions over email. 

The Daily Texan: You’ve gotten a lot more exposure and attention over the last year or two based off of Sorry. What has been the best and worst part about the past year?

Mish Way: After the North American spring tour, we came home, and I was losing my voice, so I was depressed and getting high and drunk before our sets during the summer because I was terrified of my lack of voice, and I was in deep denial of how severe the problem actually was. I went to see a throat specialist who I had seen once before when I was 20 and had vocal surgery for nodes, and it turned out I had them again. In the last two months, I have been on vocal rest and basically relearning how to talk and sing. I was like, “Fuck this, I’m not going to be an idiot. I have to take this seriously.” And I have. And it’s worked. At Pitchfork [Music] Festival and 4Knots and all some festivals, my voice was a bag of gravel rocks. So being completely reckless and touring so much with no rest ruined me. However, it made me smarten up. We are all very happy right now, and I feel like it’s a new start. 

DT: I know you do a lot of writing for various websites like Noisey in addition to your music. What’s it like to be both a musician and a music journalist at the same time? Do you get somewhat of a different perspective of both sides?

MW: I have empathy for both sides. That being said, when journalists are lazy and ask boring, obvious questions they can find with a simple Google search, it makes me want to throw a lamp at their head. 

DT: Who do you think are the best/most important artists making music right now?

MW: Danny Brown. And I hate saying that because, believe me, he doesn’t need the ego boost, but it’s true. 

DT: What advice do you have for young people trying to pursue careers as either musicians or journalists?

MW: A writer I once interviewed said, “To be successful by the age of 25, you have to live like you do not have parents.” That’s the best advice I ever heard. It goes beyond the honesty of your life in your written work, music or anything (though I do think self-awareness and deconstruction are imperative), but also separating, being totally independent. You have to take care of yourself. No one is going to do anything for you. Ever. And if you think they will, you will fail. All you have is yourself.