The self-titled ‘Swedish bombshell’ Mia Klose, having released her debut album ‘London’, not only rocks out, but she’s a big supporter of animal rights with her veg*n diet. We catch up with her about why she believes all musicians should be able to study economics and business, why she loves living in London and the differences she has found eating a plant-based diet in London compared to in Sweden.
By Emily Clarkson
Emily Clarkson: You've described the guys in your band as your 'brothers'. How does the dynamic work with you being the front woman and the guys being your band? Do you think it's important that you are all as close as you are in the band?
Mia Klose: I think it's necessary! If you are going to play well together, you are going to need a good connection, plus when you are spending so much time on the road in a small car/bus/hotel room, you can't do it without getting on and having laughs! Last tour we did, we were all packed in one small car squashed together and all of us slept in the same small hotel room, I slept under a bench. Haha.
EC: You've said that being in a band is 'a lot more work then anyone would ever think. These days it’s not only enough to make great music and play well, you also have to be your own entrepreneur.' What skills do you need in order to be successful in that right?
MK: You are self employed as a musician and therefore you are your own entrepreneur. Ideally every musician should do a course in economics and business before they learn to play an instrument! If you don't know what you are doing, then it’s very easy to get screwed over. A lot of bands are waiting for someone (a manager or record label) to step in and do the job for them but that is not how it works in reality! You need to do all the dirty work yourself!
EC: Do you think just being talented isn't enough in the music industry anymore? Can anyone just make it on talent anymore?
MK: If you have very good luck, I'm sure you can but I would not jinx it!
EC: Your album is called 'London'. Why?
MK: It ties together the tracks nicely as they are all about people I meet In London, places I have been to in London or feelings I have had in London!
EC: What's your favourite thing about London? Have you visited any good vegetarian/vegan places?
MK: I love London due to the fact that you can be whoever you want to be without anyone judging you! London is filled with odd and creative people so for a musician and artist it’s a great city to let your creativity get lots of room! Sadly I never have money to go out and eat, so I haven't had a chance yet to really explore the vegan restaurant here! I'm hoping that will change very soon!
EC: There's a song on 'London' called 'Never Too Late', with inspirational lyrics such as 'You got the power' and 'It's never too late to change who you are'. You have said in an interview that your lyrics are often inspired by your own life, was that the case there? MK: I think it's a very powerful song in the way that it can remind you to do exactly what you want and if you think about it there is nothing that stops you if you really want it. If there is a will there is a way.
EC: Have you ever made a big life change that you needed a 'push' to make?
MK: I'm always pushing myself to follow my dreams. My family and close friends are there to support me, always.
EC: You have a song called 'You Drive Me Crazy.' What things drive you crazy (musically and non-musically)?
MK: I hate when people let you down and I can’t stand people who can never keep a promise. Luckily for me, I don’t have any of those kind of people around in my life.
EC: Is there anything about the music industry that drives you crazy? What's the one thing you would change about that?
MK: I would definitely make sure that everyone got paid properly for their work if I could change something! Most times when bands get paid, it barely covers the expenses, neither does it cover all the rehearsal costs or all the hours of work in songwriting, artwork, planning, administration, promoting etc etc etc!
EC: You have a song called 'Open Your Eyes'. What is one animal welfare issue that you wish people would open their eyes to? MK: I’d like people to open their eyes for the fact that all animals deserve to be treated with respect just like you and me and have a good life! Their life is just as important to them as your life is to you. If everybody try to do something that will help towards making animals life easier then we have came a long way!
EC: Can you tell us about going vegan? How, when and why?
MK: Vegan is a very strong word for a lot of people and if you say you are a vegan some people expect you to do everything right. I’m not doing everything right at all so I think I'm going to call myself a person with a plant based diet to cover my back, although it feels more natural for me to say I'm vegan when explaining to people what I eat and don't! I was brought up on a vegan diet so for me it's very natural to eat plant based! I'm not mega strict as I have recently decided to go from a vegetarian diet to a vegan/plant-based one so I'm taking one step at a time! I think it’s important not to rush with a change of diet as then you have a higher risk of failing.
EC: You have posted a couple of anti-fur pictures on your Instagram page – one was a ‘Who Wore It Better?’ – showing a cute fluffy bunny and then a horrible female in a fur coat. Why do you think some females wear real fur and why do designers use real fur, when it’s so barbaric? Why do you think when you see someone in a fur coat?
MK: I don't think people think about the horrible process of making it! Most people close their eyes when they don't want to know about something.
EC: How easy do you find it finding fashionable clothing items that are cruelty free? Where do you like to shop to find them?
MK: I don't buy a lot of clothes, I get things from people that they don't want or I find things that someone threw away and make it into something new. Sometimes I buy things cheap from charity shops or on eBay too! I make most if my stage wear myself, I like recycling and remaking when it comes to clothes!
EC: We love your make up. Do you have any favourite vegetarian or vegan make up items and have you ever found it hard to source beauty items that are animal–friendly/vegan?
MK: Yes it's hard to know about make up! But I'm so glad to have heard about the ban of animal testing on make up in the eu! A big great step forward! I think Body Shop has great products in general.
EC: When we go in high street stores over here most of the makeup are by companies that tested on animals – or at least until more recently when stores like Superdrug brought out their own range of cosmetics that are suitable for vegans, and now LUSH also sell cosmetics (we personally don' buy from the Body Shop as they are owned by L'Oreal, who test on animals). Do you think high street stores care about animal testing and selling products that are cruelty free? Should people in general be more educated in which products are tested on animals?
MK: It's such a jungle! I think the retailers should be more clear about what it is that they are selling because most people don't have a clue about what they buy. People don't have time to do research about the things they buy for hours, it should be clearly labelled!
EC: PETA recently reported that Gwyneth Paltrow, Nicole Richie and Gwen Stefani had a vegan 'girl's night' at a restaurant. How do you think celebrities help to further the vegetarian/vegan cause by publicly doing things like that?
MK: I think that is great! Every little helps and it's better to do something then do nothing! I’m definitely not perfect myself, I don't do everything right! It's hard to change the world as an individual but if we all do something to stop suffering for animals it will be a big step forward! Making people aware that vegan food is super tasty, healthy and trendy is superb!
EC: You're Swedish, how does the vegetarian and vegan scene compare in Sweden to the scene here? Is it easier or harder to live a vegan/veggie lifestyle?
MK: Food in general is cheaper in England compared to Sweden and especially vegan alternatives that I use on a daily basis like soy milk and soy yoghurt and at my local Tesco I can buy bulks of nuts and beans and soy mince etc so I'd say it is an easier life for a vegan in day to day life over here. But it was no problem to do it Sweden either, I worked at a vegetarian restaurant in Stockholm to earn money for my rent for a few months before I moved to London!