I was once told that out gay people are the most honest because they have nothing more to hide. Micki Maverick is one of those people who isn’t going to hide anything. When she is hurting, you know it, when she is scared, you know it, when she wants to deliver feelings of intense love, you can expect exactly that from her.
She is a fun sassy, trippy soul sounding voice, with RAW feeling that could fool you into thinking she is a DIVA in the club of Beyonce (only more real). In our talk, we covered her mental health, unconditional love, being a terrified Catholic girl, bad TV shows, and some of this was even in Greek.
Her new mini album called Intrusive/Exclusive is going to give you some deep ideas to think about, with a great voice.
Jeremy Hinks: So, Micki, listening to the new release “Intrusive” I have to say, it really impressed me. I don’t know if you know this band out of Montreal, they are called BranVan 3000, and hearing your work, it was the best of BranVan gone deep soul, and I LOVED IT.
Micki Maverick: WOW, I have never heard of them.
Well, they are a bit obscure. I went to University in Montreal and I heard them there, but you really NAILED IT with what I loved about them, with your own sound to it as well. THEN, I’m not sure if you have ever heard of the Cocteau Twins, another obscure esoteric darkwave band, but, your opening song “Fine” had the guitar work with the Cocteau Twins in it, then on top of the BranVan-esque, two sounds I NEVER would have thought of putting together, and … well, you did it, and it was wonderful. So, I think I was about 38 seconds into it, and I’m telling your publicist “38 seconds in, and I’m in love, I need to talk to this girl.”
MM: Oh, I love that, I’m going to have to go check both of those bands out.
So, that song “Fine,” you said is a love letter to your girlfriend, who has been with you for 5 years, but also a statement of empowerment to people everywhere … which I think is cool, but, then there is the line “These Bitches Don’t Want Me”… Can you explain that line in the context of the song?
Ok, well, yes, “Fine” was a love letter to my girlfriend, coming up on 5 years in 2020. And that line is saying “Listen, not that I want those girls, and they just don’t want me, but, that I AM A LOT TO HANDLE.” And with my mental health, some days I have are not great and I have some days that are AMAZING, but it fluctuates, and she has been there with me through THICK and THIN, and trust me there have been some THICK, times, and some THIN times. So, that was me telling her, “Trust me, these bitches don’t want me, and I don’t want them, I just want you.”
So, you are okay talking about your mental health issues?
Absolutely, I think that it needs to be something that has more light shed on it, because so many people suffer from mental health issues in one form or another, and let people know, it’s ok to talk about it. I struggle with manic depression, I’ll have manic episodes, where I can’t control myself, I can’t control my body. And to just know that you have someone there at your side, to help you hold it together, actually that is what has kept me going. With Alexis, my girlfriend, she was the first person to tell me that it’s important first of all to take care of myself, and to love myself.
Well, that fantastic to be able to say that, really it is. I covered a “Weird and Wild” queer CIRCUS club in Brooklyn called “The House of Yes,” it is run by two wonderful gay women. In a little documentary I watched on YouTube about the club and the experience, the put in a segment about one of these women, going into a deep crippling depression, and that she was able to get out of it. They felt it was that important to put that there for everyone to know that it’s ok to have that happen to you, and it’s even more important to ask for help, and that NOTHING IS WRONG or shameful about being depressed or asking for help.
I completely agree with that. I was one of those people who was terrified to ask for help. I never wanted to do any sort of therapy, because I was raised my whole life to think that IF you reach out for help, IF you go to therapy, then you are crazy, and that there is something wrong with you. And I think that idea is SO off base, and is something that needs to be shouted from the mountain tops that “IT IS OK TO ASK FOR HELP” and my girlfriend was the one who found a therapist and said “You should go to her, she is LOVELY” and that’s when my recovery really started, because until then, I had no clue what even…. mental health was. I didn’t know where to begin, and so that was all very helpful for me.
Right, so you learned that there is NOTHING morally wrong with any of it, it’s just a chemical imbalance in your brain. It sounds like you are getting back on your feet. That’s what I get from your album, and what you have written about, you seem to have really found “Unconditional Love.” You know, the idea that I think is how God loves everyone. That you would base the degree of your love for someone based on a list of criteria someone else comes up with is absolutely absurd. I am a father of 3 girls, and that is how a parent should love their own children, and there you are, you seem to have found it in your girlfriend, that one person who can love you completely. Can I ask, when did you realize that it was actually unconditional love with her?
Actually it was very early on, when we met I was still in the closet, and completely lost, and very distraught, and she was the one who encouraged me, and said “Whenever you are ready, it is ok to come out, and you should do it how YOU want to do it.” So, she had asked me to prom, and I came out by posting the “Prom Ask” picture as teenage kids do, and there was backlash. I lost all of my friends at school, and I was kind of ostracized for a bit. And she was my rock, I didn’t have my family to support me or my friends to support me, but I had her. I had grown up a strict Catholic all my life, and had gone to an all girls Catholic school my whole life. So, you can understand that NONE of this was OK. But through coming out, and it being REALLY shitty, and I still have a lot of trauma from it, I have grown so much from it, and I have been able to let all of that stuff go from my past. Some days are better than others, but I feel that through making this “Intrusive / Exclusive” I’ve been able to forgive everybody for what happened. That was something invaluable for me.
I consider anyone to be able to come out, regardless of the circumstances around it, family, church, whatever, I consider that to be very brave. So, congratulations on that. I’ll explain there is another artist on your roster that I interviewed, his name is Bob Mould, and he is fifty-eight right now. And his band Husker Du was the first punk band signed to a major label back in the ‘80s. Bob came out in 2000, which was much different then, than it is now. But, back in the ‘80s when I was listening to him, the social stigma was so fierce for anyone to come out. It’s no less frightening or difficult on a personal level for people to come out today, and I do recognize and acknowledge that kind of bravery. Ok, so, that tells you how old I am if I’m talking about listening to Bob Mould in the ‘80s. He is still rocking it and strong now, at fifty-eight, by the way.
Hey, that’s ok, NOBODY’S keeping track of time here. (laughing)
So, in your bio that I read, you talked about being really shy, how you felt like coming out as gay, also being able to climb out of your shell?
The funny thing is, I feel like, a chameleon, where I would change myself for whatever social situation I happened to be in, and needed to fit, so that was my beard throughout my whole life. That was my life until I came out, I would say to myself “I’ll just be whatever I need to be” and I’ll have friends, and it will be all good. But once I came out, I’ve really started to be, my real authentic self, and at times it gets kind of crazy, cause I get caught up in “Who am I?” or “What am I doing?” but every day I get more comfortable in myself, because at first I was not comfortable in BEING gay. I STILL felt like there was a problem with it, but I’ve since been able to grow into my own skin finally, and it just feels amazing.
That is fantastic, really it is, that you have been able to make it this far in your journey (I have tears in my eyes right now, call me a sap I dare you). You said you consider Kahlani as a role model in even though you didn’t actually know her. Did you have any other real role models as a teenager, when you knew you were gay, anyone to look up to that you knew were gay?
Well, that’s kind of funny, because I didn’t know what being gay actually meant until I was in 6th grade. And then in high school, at that age, well, there has not been the big shift in LGBTQIA acceptance until the last five to ten years. So, there weren’t many role models to look up to, and be like “Oh, that person is gay” and look at them and be able to feel comfortable with that. Then “Orange is the New Black” and that was kind of a quirk thing, like, “WHOA, THERE ARE GAY PEOPLE ON THIS EARTH” and I was witnessing it!!! I mean, even though it was “Orange is the New Black” and it was a prison show… (laughing), but it was the first thing I had ever seen it, these are gay women.
So, now the next question, do you want to be a role model to the next generation, something you didn’t have, but to provide that to the younger kids who are where you were… before Prom… Show yourself as someone who’s shoulders they can stand on?
That is my goal, honestly, because for me, Kehlani was that light at the end of the tunnel, when I felt like everything was completely hopeless. I want to be that for people out there, because there are SO MANY kids out there that feel totally alone, and they feel lost, and that there is NOBODY out there who is like them. If I can reach just one kid, or a handful of kids and let them know “HEY I’M OUT HERE!!! And I’m doing good, and I’m surviving happily, and you can too.” Then I would be completely content.
So, is this what drove you to start writing the music that you have? What got you onto the musical trail here?
That’s kind of funny, I’ve always wanted to get into music, but I never felt good about myself enough to actually try and do it. I said I was looking for someone to produce with on Soundcloud, and I met this guy, and we started to work together, then I ghosted him, thinking he just wasn’t good, whatever. Then it’s been four, maybe five years, and I posted a random cover with an awful mic on my Soundcloud, and he reached out to me and said “Hey, glad to know you’re still alive. Do you wanna pick up where we left off?”
This is that Braddock guy?
Yes, also goes by C.M.Scott. I have to give him credit where credit is due, we are doing great work together now.
Now, lemme move on to your song “Demons4friends”, a pretty intriguing title there. I listened to it, but I want your explanation of it, before I tell you what I got from it.
“Demons4friends” is the most difficult one for me to talk about, because it’s about all the friends that I lost when coming out in high school. And since then I have developed a social anxiety where I get scared to be around new people, or just people at all. Honestly at the root of it, I feel like I am going to be left again. I hate the feeling of people leaving in my life and “Demons4friends” are the daemons in my head. They are not physical, but mental, and just tearing me down. When I wrote that song, I was not in a very good head space, it’s about being in my own kind of… nightmare.
Well it certainly was dark, but this is what it made me think of, I hope you know who Jim Morrison was (really, we have all failed if she doesn’t know who he was). When I lived in Paris, I went to his grave, it’s like a tourist attraction, and on his headstone its written in Greek, “He was true unto his own demons” and it was showing how he acknowledged them, and respected them, not that he obeyed them, but he acknowledged them, and was able to navigate a very intense and crazy life of things none of us could imagine, because he KNEW what they were and he KNEW they were there. That was a very profound statement, that I think every human being should understand. To acknowledge them, and respect them, you don’t have to like them, invite them in and be friends, but if you are not true to them, they will end up killing you. AND, clearly, you understand that, and it’s keeping you on your feet, and alive. So, congratulations, and, anyway, that’s what I got from that song.
Honestly, that is so close to what I wanted to say with that song, but, now that you say that, I don’t have complete respect for my demons, but I grapple with them constantly. But, that really just hit me, I actually just wrote that down.
ΚΑΤΑ ΤΟΝ ΔΑΙΜΟΝΑ ΕΑΥΤΟΥ is how it is written, so, there you have it in Greek.
Thank you, yes, in Greek as well.
Something else I’ve read about you, you talked about the body image issues that your girlfriend is having. You are hitting all the sensitive issues for young people, gay, straight, male, female, I know … believe it or not, so many young gay men, they have horrible body issues too, it’s not a gender or identity specific problem. You want to talk about that?
I feel like what’s the point of sugar-coating things. It started out for her (my girlfriend), her body is amazing, I’m not the only person who says this. I let people check her out when we walk down the street, and I let it happen. “Look that person checked you out, you are so beautiful” and I’m thinking “THAT’S MINE I SCORED!” Especially right now with social media, we are all looking at this standard of what people think we should be. And it’s not real, its unattainable, but we are trained to think “If I’m not that, I’m not worth it” and I think we all just need to look at everything without that filter, and just be our own beautiful, normal, and maintain that as healthy.
So, what’s next, an album, a tour, a goat farm? (we have been laughing this whole conversation)
Well, I have 30 unreleased songs that are stockpiled, and needing to get put together for release. We are doing a double sided “mix tape” for early next year.
Well then, share the love, I want that before anyone else does, I’m greedy and I love this part of my job.
Ok, I’ll make sure you get them. But a tour, yes there are a few things we need to firm up, but I am planning on it, and I will be letting the world know once things get to that point.
Ok looking forward to all of that. Here is the part when I ask the last question, and it’s the same to each person I interview, and every answer is different. What would you say to the young kid, the person who you were not too long ago, the young kid in the closet, who is afraid, ashamed, who is unable to come out, who is in a vulnerable state, what would you tell that kid?
I would tell that person that, the people who don’t love you for who you are, you don’t need them anyway. And the people you DO want in your life, they are going to love you anyway, and they will stick with you through the thick and thin. So, remember that all of those people you leave behind, they changed you and were in your life for a reason, and they left your life for a reason, and you’re better for it.
That is fantastic Micki, thank you for your time, good luck.
About the Author: Jeremy Hinks
An indie GONZO music journalist in Salt Lake City, and an Anarchist behind the Zion Curtain. Jeremy Hinks is an obnoxious Type-A Male, who is embarrassingly straight and a staunch LGBTQ Ally with little tact, and a big heart. He has supported his LGBTQ friends since he was a teenager.
He has photographed on multiple tours U2, The English Beat, Peter Hook & The Light, and is somehow making a name for himself photographing Pink Floyd Tribute bands, The Australian Pink Floyd Show, Britfloyd, Dead Floyd. He is one of the photographers for the LOVELOUD Foundation in Utah, an organization to bring awareness and support for the young LGBT community in Utah, and to bring an end to the epidemic of suicides there.
He also drives a Vespa, and wears kilts, is rarely seen wearing pants, should be considered armed and dangerous, so do not approach without extreme