THE MRS Prove Moms Rock Too

Women often feel like they have to choose between a career and a family, especially if their chosen path in life is creative.

Well, The MRS is here to tell you that’s BS.

These ladies are serious #goals as they have both music careers and families, and they happen to write catchy songs about female empowerment.

In fact, having a daughter is the very thing that inspired the beginnings of THE MRS, since founding member Andra Liemandt was inspired to study drumming after taking her daughter to music lessons. Way to combine being a cool mom and a rock star, right?

Another focus of their music? Female empowerment. Their songs have been said to uplift women and help them deflect any negative self-talk that may occur when they look in the mirror. Sounds like a total musical #win to me.

Just when the world seems to be pressing down on women, THE MRS is here to remind us to live that YOLO life; to be sexy, modern, liberated, unapologetic wives, mothers, daughters, sisters, etc. who also f*cking rock.

Their 11 track album is out Friday, March 10th and they will perform in Austin at SXSW this weekend. Take a peek at our Q&A with drummer and founding member, Andra Liemandt, then download the album!

How did you ladies decide to be a band? How did you meet? Did any of you have dreams of pursuing music when you were younger, and then were side-tracked by other things like being a mom?

Like many things, it starts with a close buddy. Jenny Mason, our bass guitarist, has been my best friend for over 15 years. I fell in love with playing the drums after taking my daughter to music lessons, and after getting deeper into music, I was inspired to start something. Jenny, naturally, was my first call, and she tried a few instruments out, but really connected with bass in the end. When we decided to pursue this dream, we held auditions, kind of like our own little version of “The Voice.”

When we met Larissa (Ness, keyboard/vocals) and Mandy (Prater, on guitar and vocals), we knew that not only did they have the talent we were looking for, but they had the passion for our message of empowerment. Larissa and Mandy have had music in their lives since they were young, and were both actively pursuing their passion when they joined The Mrs. Larissa still teaches piano and flute to my girls, and gives vocal lessons here in Austin. Mandy was playing in a band in New Orleans when Katrina hit; that’s when she relocated to Austin. I  feel so grateful to share this journey with these amazing women!

As far as being a mom in a band goes (and that’s a question we get a lot!) I have to say that being a mom has not been a distraction. Rather, it’s become a major strength of our songwriting, since we pull from those real-life emotional experiences. It also helps us stay motivated, because we want to succeed — not just for ourselves, but our kids too.

What kind of music fans do you think would like your tunes?

We refer to our sound as a sonic blend of modern pop and retro rock with soulful harmonies and a powerful, positive lyrical groove. Our music spans generations, from teens listening to The Weeknd to moms who grew up with The Go Go’s. While we generally fall in the pop-rock genre, our new album includes 11 songs with a variety of sounds.

Do you believe that women can have it all, meaning a career and a family?

Absolutely! Never underestimate the strength and perseverance of a passionate, determined, motivated woman. That message is something we try to model in our music.

Are there any specific songs on the album that are specifically about empowerment or inspired by an event where empowerment was a key element?

“Dare Me” is about taking risks in life, and following your passion without hesitation. It’s never too late to go for it, and do something that scares you. Exhibit A: us! We want our listeners to have the courage to believe in themselves, so we wrote this song about taking the leap and starting this band after we were moms and wives — even when the industry told us it was too late. Interestingly enough, we wrote this song as an answer to “Enough,” a previously released song about finding our own inner strength…and then jumping in on this crazy ride together. We took a risk on each other, with each other, and “Dare Me” speaks to that journey.

In the current political times, do you think it’s important for young women to fight to make sure our female rights stay intact and that we don’t lose them?

It’s hard to sit here and say what is right for any one person to do, but if you listen to our songs “Enough,” “The Beast,” and “Most Likely to Be Me,” you’ll hear the message that every woman, and everyone, is enough, just the way they are. Empowerment for us isn’t just about fighting for your rights, but keeping a kind heart as you follow your passions.

Do you have any favorite songs on the album? Or any songs that you are excited for people to hear for the first time?

All of them! No really, they all have a special place in my heart. I tell people that it is like asking me to choose a favorite child. You love them all, there are no favorites.

You are playing SXSW — what can people expect to hear/see from that performance?

With the album launch just a few days before, on March 10th, we are so excited to be performing all of our new original music this SXSW! We will be playing the Be Found Party at The Belmont on March 12th, a free event with RSVP, and hosted by Mario Lopez. Then the following weekend you can catch us at the Texas Rockfest stage at 7th and Neches. We will be rocking out at 8 p.m. on the 18th.

What would be your biggest advice for any females who want to follow their dreams as an artist, but also have a family?

Balance can certainly be challenging, and I’m not even sure if I know what that word means! Just remember that you aren’t an island, and you don’t have to do it all alone. Lean on your friends, family, or whatever support system you have around you because it really does take a village. From there, follow your heart, network with everyone you can, and don’t let little roadblocks stop your momentum. When we started a lot of people in the industry said we would never make it because we were too late to the game. If we all stopped pursuing our dreams the first time someone said no, we would never achieve them. It’s as much about perseverance as it is passion.

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