"Welcome to Dykechella!" MUNA frontman Katie Gavin screams at the crowd of girls, gays, and theys (and even a few straights) during their set at the 2023 Coachella Valley Music and Art Festival. The atmosphere feels like a queer safe haven in the Indio, California heat. Rainbow flags wave at the front of the Coachella crowd as the greatest band ever sings "Silk Chiffon," and the audience absolutely loses their mind when Phoebe Bridgers rushes on stage. But that was nothing compared to when the two started dancing on each other.
"We've been coaxing Phoebe to do dance moves since we started performing," Katie laughs to Out. "It was cute to have that little moment like going around on Lesbian Visibility Day."
It's their biggest tour so far, with their biggest crowds so far, and the band is eternally grateful for all the love – even when it comes to newer fans not knowing their old music. "It's been a little bit vulnerable at times because we want to play these old songs because we know some fans like it's giving them life to hear them but a lot of people don't know them," member Josette Maskin says. "It's like, are people gonna, you know, like this?"
MUNA just dropped their new song, "One That Got Away", a kiss-off to all their exes who are missing out on the person they are now. "But they'll have to go hungry for a while until we do what we do next."
Outcaught up with Katie, Josette, and Naomi McPherson just before their Atlanta tour date and two days before they played their second opening act show for Taylor Swift's The Eras Tour. The legends chat about Coachella, their tour evolution, band incest, their new song, and the possibility of a new album (don't hold your breath).
What's this tour been like? How has it been different than the ones before?
Josette: To be honest, it's kind of just been cuckoo bananas. You could put that as the main quote. MUNA finds the tour to be cuckoo bananas. This whole record cycle has been pretty insane for us, but this tour in particular, I feel like it has a very dream come true kind of feeling to it. We're just playing bigger shows and people know the songs. People know some of the older songs too. It's just been really, really cool to be able to commune with that many people who identify as MUNA fans. And we just feel so grateful. We were just so grateful to play Coachella. It's just been really, really cool to actually be able to connect with fans in this way. To be able to play the shows that we've always wanted to play.
What did your first Coachella performances mean to you?
Naomi: It was just nice to see so many wonderful, beautiful queer people in the tent with us for that. It means a lot, as always, that our communities choose to rally around us in our shows and just makes us feel like we're fulfilling our purpose to whatever extent we're capable of doing. It was awesome. It was hotter than the devil's ass crack. But it was fun.
Katie: This tour and playing Coachella, we've had these just like, really, really fun special experiences where we also recognize that we are kind of moving in a bit of a bubble where it's safe for us to be grinding on stage. And it was cool to have that moment. I finally got Phoebe to dance with me. It was very cute. I was very moved by it honestly. We've been coaxing Phoebe to do dance moves since we started performing. It was cute to have that little moment like going around on Lesbian Visibility Day. But I also recognize that this is just such a fucking crazy time to be in the spotlight as a visibly queer band. So we were also thinking about the people that weren't at Coachella but were watching on the live stream and are in different environments dealing with different things. We're just happy that we have the opportunity to be publicly out and safe. We also have the obligation to do that.
"One That Got Away" is your new single, and when it came out y'all shared on TikTok that Katie and Naomi used to date. Fans were shocked!
Naomi: We thought that everybody already knew this. Maybe because it genders the person as female, people assume that maybe it was Josette and not me. I've been out as genderqueer or whatever for a couple of years. So maybe they're surprised by who it was. I don't know. Maybe no one's listened to that album and that's why they don't know.
You mentioned it on "It's Gonna Be Okay, Baby," right? I love that song, but I personally never really took it seriously. Or I guess I never put the pieces together and tried to figure out who it was.
Naomi. The sort of emergence of healthy queer friendships even if they're a little bit messy in the past. We're happy to be a part of visibility for that.
Katie: Our podcast is coming back. In an upcoming episode, we talk about how for our group of queers, it seems to be a rule that your ex just becomes your sibling and it's not weird.
Josette: It's very lesbian.
Naomi: Particularly lesbian vibes for sure.
I would love to experience that with my exes, but both of mine don't talk to me anymore.
Naomi: Listen, we've all been blocked. It's a rite of passage to be blocked.
What's your favorite lyric from "One That Got Away?"
Katie: I had a good feeling in my body when I wrote, "put it on the line." I was like, I'm a clever little bitch.
Naomi: If you never put it on the line, how am I gonna sign for it? I was like, "Oh, spicy."
Josette: The kiss you never tasted.
Naomi: That's what Jo likes. We like the long chorus. The verses are very clever too. It's hard to pick a favorite moment, it's all so fire.
As always. Is it just a fun little single or a taste of a new body of work?
Naomi: I hate to break it to everyone, but speaking on behalf of the band, it's just a one-off little ditty to feed everyone because everyone was very hungry. So we fed them and then now they'll have to go hungry for a while until we do what we're gonna do next.
We've just been on tour so much. We really only wanted to put out a song before the spring tour and before all the Taylor shows that we're doing and we just got lucky, to be honest. That's how that shook out. We just had the one and it very much feels like a continuation of the current album.
How are you all feeling about the Taylor Swift era of your tour?
We're in our Eras era. We play the second show tomorrow and we're really excited. The first one was a lot of fun. The stage was so big that it confused us. And we were having fun running around doing that.
Her and her team have been nothing but incredibly kind and accommodating and gracious to us. So we're happy to play the night. We're happy and excited to play the next show tomorrow.
Katie: It is funny with having them being so stretched out, I'm kind of wondering if I'm gonna get equally nervous before everyone because like when you're on tour, you get in the flow of it. Our dates with her are sporadic. Once we do a few more, if we get used to it, but it's just like, so fucking fun. The first one, I managed to convert enough of my anxiety to just excitement. You feel like a kid in a candy store and it's really fun to watch her show. I've pretty much been solely listening to Folklore after that show because I was more of an OG Swiftie, like Speak Now, Fearless era, and I hadn't listened very much to Folklore and Evermore. But it's converted me.
Do y'all have any funny Taylor Swift stories?
Katie: She's nice. She's really, really nice. And the first time we met her, I, for some reason, decided to get to make her homemade bath salts. We weren't on tour and I was at home being a green witch, growing stuff in my garden and making bath salts. I got too excited about it and I was like, "I'm gonna bring some to Taylor's Grammy's party." But she was very nice about it. She liked them.
I went to the tour in LA and y'all performed "Everything" from your first 2016 album. It was my first time hearing that song and now I'm obsessed. Why was that the song that y'all wanted to give a new life? What does it mean to y'all for this to be the showstopping moment?
Josette: It's kind of a cult favorite of ours. To be honest, I kind of refuse to play it too often because my body can't take it anymore. To headbang that much, it wears on the soul a little bit. On the neck, more realistically. But we kind of wanted to give the OGs a little bit more of About U. We've been trying to do that with this tour more and it's been an interesting experience to see a lot of people just don't know that record. It's been a little bit vulnerable at times because we want to play these old songs because we know some fans, it's giving them life to hear them, but a lot of people don't know them. So it's like, are people gonna like this? But it's been really fun to play those old songs. We're not playing "Everything" on this tour, but "Everything" is always fun to play. It does put me out of commission for a week to two weeks.
Have y'all watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer? That song makes me feel like I'm at The Bronze. Sad, gothic, angsty vibes. Buffy's yearning for Angel in the corner.
Naomi: We hope to get booked at The Bronze soon. The guy who made Buffy was an asshole, right? Shout out to all the cast who had to deal with that fucking dick hole of a man. But we would play The Bronze.
Y'all are so good at magically knowing what stage of life I personally am in and writing songs about it.
Naomi: That's the goal, always. The next time we write, we're gonna have to ask you what you're going through. Then we'll have some stuff to write about.
What's next? I'm in love now, so...
Katie: Are they gays ready for a straight-up love album, or is that kind of boring?
It could be like Ariana Grande's positions. She's singing about her fears of falling in a love and letting someone new in, sharing her anxieties.
Naomi: The mortifying idea of being perceived and known.
Katie: Whenever someone talks about how great it is to fall in love, I'm like, I don't necessarily relate. I have trauma.