Resistance Rocks Southern Wisconsin
Michelle “Mimi” Johnson – Lead Vocals
Michael Ellington – Guitar
Josh Lisiecki – Bass, Vocals
Scott Bednar – Drums, Vocals
Resistance is a high energy, original rock band out of Racine, Wisconsin. For their CD release, they shared the stage with other local bands DayRollers, Mixed Company, and Electric Revolution at Route 20 Outhouse in Sturtevant, WI.
I caught up with Mimi, vocalist and exquisite confectioner, for an interview prior to the show.
RL: Tell us about the band…beyond the bio. What does it mean to you?
Mimi: In short? Everything. These guys are my best friends and we’ve been through so much growth and good times together. Some low points as well, which has made us an even closer-knit group. Resistance, as a definition for me at least, is about realizing your potential and doing your best to resist all the bullshit you encounter on your way to living up to it. It’s about working through your struggles and finding what makes you feel purpose.
RL: What was the journey like to make the EP? Writing, recording…ups & downs.
Mimi: It was quite the journey indeed. It was recorded over two years and there are two separate guitarists recorded on it. We did one song (Resist) at Cherry Pit Studios with Eric LaBrosse and the rest with Nick Rad at Wire and Vice and Steven Servi at Eisley Studios. Needless to say, it’s a little eclectic stylistically. It’s such a cool accomplishment for us though. We’re really proud of what we’ve done here and what we’ve overcome to finish this project. We are just so excited to FINALLY share it with the masses! Another cool thing is the photos in the album jacket are by two local/WI photographers (David Daniewicz and David Konieczko and the album art is by our very own multi-talented, Scott Bednar!
RL: Is there a particular song that stands out as meaning more to you? If so, why?
Mimi:That’s a tough one. I think it would be something different for all of us and probably even different still depending on what point in the recording process you asked. After it’s all said and done, I think “Resist” has become our signature song. Not just for its namesake, but for its universally relatable message. Nearly everyone responds to it. There’s just something about yelling profanities and flipping the bird with a bunch of fellow rock fans that releases endorphins like you wouldn’t believe. Everyone’s resisting something in their life that’s holding them back. When you get together with a group of people and just connect over music, it sometimes makes us put our differences aside and just enjoy each other in that moment.
RL: Why does make me question my heterosexuality?
Mimi: I defer to Josh on that one, but I think it’s the hair envy.
RL: Who is the funniest person in the band?
Mimi: If we were all together answering this, we would look at each other, laugh and roll our eyes, and begrudgingly admit it’s probably Josh. Josh would automatically scoff and say it’s him, of course.
RL: Share a crazy/funny show story. It can be either at the show or on the trip there…or any other crazy incident you want to share.
Mimi: On the way to our first time playing at The Red Zone in Madison, we blew a tire on our trailer 20 miles outside of the city. It was so hot that day. Our spare didn’t fit on our trailer. We decided to detach the trailer and go to the nearest Menards to get new tires. We didn’t want to abandon the trailer on the side of the road alone, so Josh stayed, but insisted we leave the merch table which he then fashioned into a make-shift umbrella on a hillside by the road. The rest of us went to Menards clad in show gear and sticking out like dark, broody goth kids at Sunday school. It was quite entertaining AND we still made it with one minute to spare for our assigned load-in time at the venue! Pro-status.
RL: What’s in store for Resistance in 2019?
Mimi: We’ve been lying low working on tons of stuff for the album release and kind of building anticipation for the whole event, so I think we’re all excited to start playing out more often again. Summer is always a fun time for performers and patrons alike. We’ve been putting together some pretty killer lineups that we’ve never had on bills before for upcoming shows in Fort Atkinson and Milwaukee. Festival season is also one of our favorite times of year!
RL: If you could resurrect one rockstar to perform with, who would it be and why?
Mimi:I feel like I’m very predictable on this question, but I have to stick with my answer of Chris Cornell. When I was thirteen, I received my first rock n’ roll album for my birthday. It was Out of Exile by Audioslave and it hit me with feelings I’d never felt from music before. It really steered my influences for music. Ever since then, they’ve been one of my favorite bands and “Show Me How to Live” one of my favorite songs.
RL: Any hobbies/passions outside music?
Mimi:Scott is quite the talented graphic designer and artist. He designs all kinds of nifty posters and art for us, and he’s been spearheading our first music video! In the short time I’ve known Michael, I’ve noticed he’s both extremely hard working and a shredder through and through. It’s like he’s always got music swirling around his head and it’s so cool to watch. Not only can he play a killer lead guitar, but he’s a really good drummer too. He graces Scott’s kit with blast beats on the regular. I realize that’s not outside of music, but music is what he aims to do with his life, and it shows. Josh has turned out to be quite the DIY king in the past few years. He’s made everything from my Halloween costume to a bunch of snazzy, custom screen printed and stenciled shirts for our merch table. I’m the baker/cook of the group. I love cooking for people and being creative with new flavor palates for whatever boozy baked goods I’m concocting. It just makes me so happy to see the smile on someone’s face when you unexpectedly ask them if they want a cupcake. Seeing their reaction to the flavor is even better!
RL: Anything else you’d like to share?
Mimi: Only that we think Steve Porter rules and he did NOT pay us to say that.
(I actually did pay them…in hugs. Lots of hugs)