All words and photography by Jo Moolenschot
As a gig photographer I get to watch an incredible range of talented artists perform live, from obscure gigs by emerging bands to metal giants packing out large venues such as London Brixton Academy. I especially love this kind of photography because I am passionate about music, and one of the aspects I enjoy the most about it is when I get to know a particular outstanding band, follow their progress as they climb the music industry ladder and document their gradual success through my imagery.
One of these is Swedish rock artist Mia Klose whom I’ve now come to know and have followed closely for over a year. I recently made a quick trip up to Manchester Apollo to shoot her and her band support Steel Panther for the 3rd and final night of their slot on the tour. What a great chance to photograph them showing what they are truly made of to venues filled to the brim with punters hungry for a rock ‘n roll show.
It was absolutely thrilling to see them fill an enormous stage, play to sold out venues as well as witness a crowd be won over by their professional performance, catchy rock songs and Mia’s charisma over the course of her electrifying 45 minute set.
Mia and her band did not get here without a tremendous amount of hard work, talent, commitment, passion and writing a collection of damn good songs. All of this combined has lead her down an incredibly eventful road over the last year that has seen her playing her 80’s inspired rock metal to sizeable audiences and some of Europes biggest festivals.
I watched Mia Klose live for the first time at Camden Barfly in February 2013 along with 2 other bands. Already at that stage she drew a substantial crowd to the venue and one could already feel it was an act that was in the process of growing even bigger and bigger. From that point onwards it’s been nothing but a steep progressive rise for this artist and I’ve been around to see it happen (and photograph it).
Over the past year, leading up to her mini tour supporting Steel Panther I watched Mia and her band fine tune their performance and perfect their songs to become a truly tight and professional act. The line up also changed with the recruitment of two new, talented members resulting in the band developing a strong chemistry which is now more apparent than ever. By the time Mia set foot on stage at Manchester Apollo, her live act was a hundred times what it was that night I first saw her perform.
I love seeing hardworking emerging bands experience this sort of success! Too often I witness bands declaring their greatness with a sense of entitlement but their average material, mediocre performance, unnecessary focus on image before music and lack of commitment means they never quite live up to their own hype. This is deeply disappointing to those of us true music lovers who value integrity and great original music. Anybody can adorn ripped jeans, walk with a swagger and wear a bandana. But how good is their music and how do they deliver it? What do they stand for? Arguably even more heartbreaking is at times I see the inverse of this in the form of immensely talented bands that tread sheepishly along the edge of success. But they lack focus, drive and the ability to shed the blood, sweat and whatever other bodily fluids necessary to finally move to the next level. I enjoy watching deserving bands shine above the rest in an already exceptionally difficult industry. It’s just not good enough to fake it. You’ve got to make it.
On the train up to Manchester I thought back to the Barfly gig and remembered Mia played the first support slot. But out of those 3 bands that played that night Mia Klose is the one that has gone on to experience the most success culminating in her sharing a stage with a massive international rock band on tour and performing in some of the UK’s largest venues. That’s right, only 13 months later I am en route to photograph her support Steel Panther.
Following the mini-tour supporting Steel Panther Mia and the guys have had an immensely positive response to her live act, with their social media pages being set ablaze with enthusiasm from newly made fans stating how much they enjoyed their set, not to mention glowing reviews from a variety of publications. This really is a “reap what you sow” story.
As for the future, Mia Klose is set to keep gigging around the country and new material is already being written for the second album. There have been murmurs of a new single being recorded and an accompanying video being released very soon as well as some exciting announcements to be made regarding summer 2014.
To conclude, there’s 2 main points I’d like readers to take away from this post:
1) Keep a watchful eye on Mia Klose. She and her band are on the up and beginning to set the rock scene alight. If you blink you’ll miss them on their way up to the top, and later you’ll wish you hadn’t.
2) Pay attention to these incredible, genuinely talented and hardworking acts who are securing important slots to support our favourite successful artists. They are next in line to take the lead in the scene you love. Pitch up early, watch them, follow them on social media, buy the shirt and the CD because one day you will be able to tell your friends you saw them live before they were really big. Seriously.
I am certain that Mia Klose and the guys will be playing sold out shows in the country’s largest venues in the not-too-distant future and the smartest and most smug of the fans in the audience on that night will be saying to their friends “I remember watching her support Steel Panther!”
Official Site http://www.miaklose.com/
Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/MiaKlose
Online Shop http://store.miaklose.com
Reverbnation Profile http://www.reverbnation.com/miaklose
Mia Klose Biography (courtesy of the artists Reverbnation page):
Think of a young Lita Ford, Debbie Harry or Pat Benatar treading the hard rock boards of Guns n’ Roses, Skid Row and Bon Jovi, with a wardrobe that would impress Cindy Lauper and the sex appeal of Madonna! The origins of Mia’s sound come from the golden era of 80’s metal and rock. Her voice is powerful, her performance captivating and her songs memorably laced with heavy guitar riffs and catchy hooks. But that’s where the 80s ends! This is truly Rock for the 21st Century.
• Mia was born into a life of music and performance, first taking to the stage at the age of 3. By 5 she was playing violin and went on to master many other instruments including drums and guitar. At 13 she was having singing lessons and started her own band, gaining entrance to Stockholm’s prestigious ‘Rytmus Musikkonservatorium’ at the age of 15 where she studied alongside members of bands like H.E.A.T, Dynazty and Icona Pop. She moved to London straight after college where she enrolled at ‘The British Academy of New Music’ together with more of today’s big artists such as Ed Sheran and Rita Ora.
• Mia Klose’s debut album “London” was released to critical acclaim† in August 2012 and a track from the album featured in the cover-mount CD of the December 2012 edition of ‘Classic Rock AOR’ together with a full page interview. “London” was written, recorded and performed by Mia, Melly and Danny Drama and was produced, mixed and mastered by Danny Drama with Mia and Melly at Dramageddon Studios, London.
• Mia Klose has established strong fan-base through regular gigging and boasts thousands of followers online. 2013 has seen her playing on the bill of the inaugural HRH-AOR festival in April, the prestigious Sweden Rock festival in June, the UK’s largest metal festival, Bloodstock in August and a packed out venue at HRH Wales in Dec 2013. Mia is joining Steel Panther as special guest on three of their U.K shows in March 2014. More high profile festival bookings will be announced as soon as permitted.
• Mia’s smoking-hot stage performance is complemented by four masters of rock:- C-Rexx (bass), Jonny Nonsense (guitar), Kalle Arheden (guitar) and Henry Rogers (drums), who recently got voted 7th best drummer of 2013 in PROG Magazine. Mia has previously been joined on stage by guitarist Jonny Scaramanga who also played for Europe’s ‘Kee Marcello’.