Article from Undercover (17 June 2003) - Michala says TV came first

By Paul Cashmere

Always Greener star Michala Banas can honestly say she was an actor before she was a singer. "If we are going to be technical then the television came first. I did my first commercial when I was 1 ½." she tells Undercover News.

Michala has just launched her singing professional career but does concede she has been singing for a long time. "The first singing thing I did was when I was 5. They kind of both happened together" she says.

As for an acting gig for a 1 ½ year old "It was in New Zealand" she says. "I was dressed up as a Kiwi as in the bird. It was a New Zealand commercial for a political thing".

As a musical performer Michala paid her dues fronting the Melbourne bands Pass The Peas and Cosmo. "I have been doing music privately for years and it is only recently that it became a public thing releasing the song. I had two bands in Melbourne when I was there for 5 years" she says.

Why would anyone call their band Pass The Peas? "It was a great song Pass The Peas. It was by Maceo Parker and he used to play with James Brown. 'Pass The Peas' was one of his instrumental tracks. It was a very funky song so we named the band after it. We were a 7 piece funk band playing the old school stuff".

And Cosmo … surely they weren't named after the famous Seinfield character. "It was. We were going through a Seinfeld stage" she says. "It was just a casual trio. We went together down to the pub and asked if we could play and when they said yes we had to come up with a name. We just went "Cosmo". I think that night it was the episode we discovered Kramer's first name was Cosmo and that was it".

There wasn't a lot of debate needed to choose a Seinfeld character to name a band after. "George had been done, but Elaine might have been funny" she says. "It was just one of those random kind of things that was done. You never plan those kinds of things".

And now to the present, Michala's new song "Kissing The Wind" was written Shelley Pieken. "Shelly has won eight or nine Grammy's. She co-write this song with Meredith Brooks. Meridith has been writing for 20 years. I couldn't really go wrong with this song".

As for juggling both careers, Michala says that for now that is exactly what she has planned. She says she will be back on Always Greener next year and hopefully will have an album released around that same time.