15 Minutes With Mise en Scene

Winnipeg’s Stefanie Blondal Johnson and Jodi Dunlop make up Mise en Scene. The rock outfit recently signed with Light Organ Records for their new album, Still Life On Fire, due out June 30th. Recorded in Winnipeg and produced by Montréal-based mastermind Mike Nash (The Dears, Blue Rodeo and Ladies of the Canyon), the album is a full, sonic delight.

We chatted with them this week.

SDTC: What should we be paying more attention to?

Stef: Lyrics.
Jodi: The quiet ones.

What was the last Netflix series you binged on?

Stef: Arrested Development.
Jodi: Forensic Files.

One new thing you learned this year?

Stef: Patience.
Jodi: I’ve learned that when painting a person’s buttcrack, it’s all about the shadow. I was pretty partial to just drawing a line there but my painting prof helped me out. Thanks Sharon Alward! That’s a skill I’ll have for life now.

What memory brings a smile to your face?

Stef: Travelling with my band around the world.
Jodi: A schnitzel dinner in Germany with Stef. Later that night, we bought friendship rings that were way overpriced but totally worth it.

Photo: Jesse DeFlorio

What book/song/lyric/etc is resonating with you right now?

Stef: “Pretty Pimpin” – Kurt Vile
Jodi: “It’s a luscious mix of words and tricks that let us bet when we know we should fold” (The Shins – “Caring is Creepy”)

Describe the funniest thing you’ve experienced in recent memory.

Stef: A bulldog.
Jodi: Stef and I indulged in a few margaritas on Venice Beach and then decided we were brave enough to go boogie boarding. Just two grown ass women hitting the open water and hoping for some good waves. In our heads we were totally cool and badass, but to an outsider we probably looked like a couple of beached whales.

Stef & Jodi. Photo: Annelie Rosencrantz (via fb)

Best advice you’ve been given?

Stef: Reach for the top – there’s lots of room.
Jodi: The people who make it are the ones who quit last.

What is the best part of being your current age?

Stef: Perspective.
Jodi: I no longer experience FOMO.

What word or phrase should we use more often?

Stef: “Excuse me.”
Jodi: “Thank you.”

What’s on your night stand?

Stef: Candles, books, old pictures and picture frames, sketchbook and tarot cards.
Jodi: I keep my favourite books there. East of Eden by John Steinbeck, Just Kids by Patti Smith, and The Secret History by Donna Tartt.

What one item would you be lost without (besides your phone)?

Stef: My agenda. Must be able to write down my schedule and must be red.
Jodi: My sketchbook or kindle.

What bothers you most about people?

Stef: Arrogance.
Jodi: People who think cultural appropriation isn’t a real thing and that everyone should be allowed to “pay tribute”…like what?

What trends are you loving right now?

Stef: Pantsuits.
Jodi: Vinyl!

Who was your celebrity crush when you were a kid?

Stef: Leo, obviously. Also JTT.
Jodi: Tom Delonge from Blink 182.

Describe your ideal Saturday.

Stef: Take my dog, Joey, to the beach for a big swim, coffee with Tom, jamming with the band, wine and dine with my parents, good night’s sleep.
Jodi: A day filled with brunch, sangria, reading, painting, friends, family, and my lil cat Peanut.

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