Blogger Profile: Mikala of BackstageRider

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I decided to create a “Blogger Profile” category in 2006 and five years later, albeit infrequently, I still love to profile some of my favourite bloggers who make the local online scene just that much more interesting. I recently sent off the staple questions to Mikala, who I met for the first time in person last summer at a backyard birthday party in Lynn Valley. By following @backstagerider on Twitter you can tag along as she goes on one musical adventure after the next and seems to have a whole lot of fun in the process.
Photo: BackstageRider on Flickr

What is your website?

How long has it been around?
Since January 2010, so it’s still a baby. A baby that prefers to drink filthy gin martinis.

What is your role or involvement?
I pretty much AM the BackstageRider. With the exception of the collaborations I do with photographers and my amazing designer, I do everything else myself: write, edit, photograph, upload, set up interviews and features. It kinda helps that I’m a degree-carrying journalist/editor.

What does your site do, what is it about?
BackstageRider is a music website about a life in love with music. Your life, my life, our lives. It’s a website for music nerds and people who love going to gigs, or living vicariously through those of us who do. There’s plenty of “trendy” and “cool” music news and MP3 sites out there churning out daily info, so I’ll leave them to it.

BSR is about late nights, live gigs, amazing albums, going backstage, hanging out with bands and musicians, plus diaries and memories from my 20+ years in and around musicians and the industry. BSR has cheeky, really personal features and reviews that explore the whole experience of music. It’s mostly about indie rock, alternative, post-punk, new wave and electronica – but I’ll write about whatever excites me or piques my curiosity.

What can people see, read, and do when visiting your blog?
Features and gig reviews, amazing photos and galleries by some of Vancouver’s best photographers…and a few of my own shots. We’ve also done some exclusive photo shoots (including Scissor Sisters, Diamond Rings and Yeasayer) and really cool interviews. The articles are quirky and unique and I swear too much.

Oh and you’ll also get a lot of “rockhands”. Otherwise known as “throwing the goats” or the “devil’s horns”, rockhands represent to me that feeling you get at an amazing gig, when you can’t help but throw your arms into the air or scream loud. I’ve got a gallery with nearly 200 of ‘em. Including you, Miss604!

What is the ultimate goal for your site, how would you like to see it grow?
I do for the pure love and passion for music and the people who make it.

Mikala/BackstageRider and Jake Shears from the Scissor Sisters
Photo: BackstageRider on Flickr

But I’d love to get better behind-the-scenes access to bigger events and gigs, so I can continue telling my stories. I’d love to see BSR syndicated regularly or as columns. My BSR stuff has so far been published in The Georgia Straight, on and will soon be on, and my photos have been in the Vancouver Sun and in various US newspapers, but I’d like to have a regular paying gig doing what I do best – blathering about music. Or a radio show. I’m good at talking. I also enjoy teaching musicians how to use social media – they kind of need the help. (Oh, and I also handle the promo/media for US indie rockers Sebadoh, which is also very cool, and am on the production team for the LA-based music documentary of Just Gimme Indie Rock. So I’d consider doing more of that.

Why do you blog?
A writer needs to be read. And my words are finally connecting with people. has allowed me to do what I’ve done since I was 12 – write about music, hang out with bands and connect with folks who are passionate about music. And between my Twitter account and Facebook page and the site itself, it’s helped me make friends and meet some pretty remarkable people. I’m kinda in love with BackstageRider. She’s cooler than I am. \m/

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