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Sweep The Leg Johnny
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Mia Park
Interview By: Bradley Adita 2004

Bradley: Hi I'm here with Mia.

Mia: Hi!

Bradley: Is that your name? Mia?

Mia: My stage name is Miss Mia if it's Chic A Go Go! and my other name is Mia Park, my birth given name.

Bradley: You are in the band Early Risers from Chicago.

Mia: Yeah, Early Risers, it's fantastic. We have a banjo player who also plays the guitar. We have a fabulous woman on Rhodes keyboards. We have an alto sax player and me on drums. Three vocalist, it's a very weird and interesting mix. What did you think?

Bradley: (caught off guard) I thought it was a lot of fun! I thought it was good. You kinda surprised me... I'm doing the interview!

Mia: Sorry! I know I'm used to interviewing people!

Bradley: You do interviews too?

Mia: Oh, I interview bands all the time on Chic A Go Go!

Bradley: How long has Chic A Go Go! been around?

Mia: Chic A Go Go! has been on for 7 and a half years, I've been hosting for 5 and a half years. It's the longest thing I've ever done in my life. I've never lived in the same place, had the same job, dated the same guy, or done anything the same except for 5 and a half years of Chic A Go Go!

Bradley: So you're going to continue...

Mia: You know it's a full force momentum, there's no reason to stop, it's one of the most favorite things I've ever done in my life. I love it.

Bradley: I really want to check it out sometime. I've haven't been down there yet!

Mia: Oh My God!, Oh My God! You have to go!

Bradley: Tell me, is it every Saturday, or every other Saturday?

Mia: Actually, we tape once a month at Cable Access Studios. We tape about two to three shows a taping. And our next taping is March 13th 2004 from 3-6pm. And the website for Chic A Go Go! is ( And the website for Early Risers is (

Bradley: What is the relationship between the magazine Roctober and the TV show Chic A Go Go!.

Mia: Well, there's Jake Austen, who I call the underground media emperor of Chicago, he is a fantastic individual. He has been publishing Roctober magazine for over 10 years. He also has a radio show at WHBK [88.5 FM] in Hyde Park. He also has a band called The Goblins. Althought that's a secret so don't publish that... ...but you can publish that.

Bradley: I think it says that on ( it lists Roctober, Chic A Go Go!, and The Goblins.

Mia: Oh Damn!, I Know!, but it's supposed to be a secret. His name is The Creeper, it's a masked band, so it's supposed to be a secret, but everyone knows... anyway Jake Austen is The Creeper in The Goblins, and he is the producer and script writer and main force behind Chic A Go Go!. Also behind Chic A Go Go! is his wife, Jackie Stewart, she is the un-seen force. The way I've always described Chic A Go Go! is Jackie is the spine, the skeletal system of the show, Jake is the flesh of the show, and I'm the facial expression of the show, I am the smile of the show. That sounds totally gay but, that's what it is. Basically without her we'd be spineless, without Jake there'd be no flesh. And I'd like to think without me there wouldn't be a smile.

Bradley: And without you we wouldn't have smiles, we need smiles to make us smile.

Mia: Yeah I guess so!?!?! It's interesting, I was a dancer on the first Chic A Go Go! show 7 and a half years ago. A guy I was dating at the time was in a band called The Three Blue Teardrops, a rock-a-billy band, they were the very first band on the very first Chic A Go Go!, and I went on as a dancer, and then two years after that I became the host, because Jake and I were friends, and now I am very close with them, we have a great working relationship, so it's funny how life works, especially in a wonderful town like Chicago.

Bradley: So lets talk more about Early Risers...

Mia: Oh yeah! ... well, I sing and I play drums. There's Janet Emmert who plays Rhodes Keyboards and she's in a band called The Afflictions with Joe Cannon. Joe Cannon plays banjo and guitar and sings lead. Joe Cannon was in a band called Check Engine with Steve Sostak, who also plays saxophone and he sings, and Steve was in a band called Sweep The Leg Johnny. So our rock flow chart is definitely a little bit of nepotism, there's definitely a little bit of an insestuous overlaping. But it's wonderful. It's a big family.

Bradley: A nice mix. How do you describe the sound?

Mia: I would say we sound like an indie-groovie Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds. I think our music is a little dark but it's definitely very groovie. We don't have a bass player, but we have a very danceable rhythm, it's a very interesting band. Oh, on a personal note, this is the third band I've been in without a bassist, unintentionally, so as a drummer its been fun and challenging. But this band is really unique. It's very concentrated on vocals, it's just got a great groove. There's kinda that undefinable feeling that comes when playing with a really good band. In the collaberative and the creative sense we work really well together. By the way, I am in another band called Kim and our website is (

Bradley: You are very connected, very involved.

Mia: I am. I know. Is that bad? I spread myself as thin as butter, man. I'm all over the place, I am. Yeah, I am a deputy registrar, I register people to vote. I teach cardio-kickboxing. I'm a union actor with SAG and AFTRA, I bar tend at Schubas. I book sunday nights at the Beat Kitchen, I'm booking a Variety Show there in March, I am really excited about that. I play in two bands Kim and Early Risers is my main band. I play with a mime once in a while ( Starting to pick up with a honky-tonk band Gin Palace Jesters (.com). So yeah I am all over. The secret is that I have a lot of energy and I exercise, I try to get 8 hours a night of sleep, I don't smoke pot, and I don't watch TV. Not watching TV is my secret, honestly. Man, so many people watch TV, if you don't watch TV you can get a lot done.

Bradley: How do you get information about the world?

Mia: I listen to NPR everyday. I am an NPR junky, I read Newsweek, and osmosis. If I could afford it, I'd get the Utne Reader. I would rather hear someone tell me a news report, or telling me their favorite story, or favorite TV show, than actually watching the news or watching the TV show. I have my own website too, my website is (

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