Fucked Up & star-struck

Band’s bassist talks about being the only girl in a group of wild guys

Fucked Up bassist Sandy Miranda says of all the musicians the band has collaborated with in the past, she felt a connection with Jennifer Castle because of her “female energy.”
Fucked Up bassist Sandy Miranda says of all the musicians the band has collaborated with in the past, she felt a connection with Jennifer Castle because of her “female energy.”

Lightning only struck once for Fucked Up, but it’s not something they dwell on.

The hard core punk band from Toronto was the recipient of the 2009 Polaris Prize, a $30,000 reward for their album The Chemistry of Common Life. Although they were nominated again last year for David Comes to Life, it’s clear that bassist Sandy Miranda isn’t bitter about losing to folk musician Feist.

The Polaris Prize is traditionally awarded to a lesser known Canadian musical act, and this year’s short list for the prize was met with criticism due to popular artists like Drake and Feist being included.

“A prize like that cannot go to the same band twice unless they are insanely talented,” she said.

“I adore Feist and I have a lot of respect for her. She’s been doing it for a long time, but people may have reacted cynically regarding her winning. The fact is, she’s really good at what she does,” Miranda said.

Fucked Up took a break last year after the success of their latest album, but is now back on tour. Miranda said the band is slowly starting to work on a new record.

“You can’t play too much because the record will take longer to finish. So we’re playing a few shows now after the break to make sure we don’t get sloppy,” she said.

The group is doing a set of southern Ontario dates before heading to Australia and southeast Asia. Miranda said she can’t believe she’s still playing in a band in her thirties, on the cusp of celebrating Fucked Up’s 12-year anniversary.

“I’m in my perpetual state of adolescence,” she said. “You never know when the current state of your life is going to change or move on so I try to make the most of it.”

After being in the band for so long, touring has become very routine, but being the only girl in the group while touring has its own problems, Miranda said.

“It’s fine. My issue is I am very sensitive and I can’t put up with as much teasing as the guys can,” she said. “I’ve been known to cry on tour — I have to stop doing that.” Over the years, Fucked Up has had the chance to work with several artists, including Ezra Koenig from indie band Vampire Weekend and rapper Moby.

“[Jennifer] Castle is one of my favourites, but maybe I just gravitate towards her because of her female energy. I yearn for a softer person to be with because I’m made of the same stuff,” Miranda said.

The bassist didn’t seem fazed by the talented musicians she’s gotten to work with, but when Fucked Up was touring with the Foo Fighters last year, Miranda said she got a little star struck.

“Dave Grohl came to my hotel room after one of the shows and said, ‘Hey, there’s an after party in my room.’ All I could think was, ‘Dave Grohl’s in my room.’”

Fucked Up plays the Mansion on Sunday at 10 p.m.

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