This weekend Milo Greene will be in Chicago supporting Stars on their national tour with a sold out show at Metro. I had the opportunity to do a short interview with multi-instrumentalist Andrew Heringer about some of the highlights after releasing their debut full-length and what’s coming next.
When you first started Milo Greene, everyone had to leave the bands they were in to focus attention to this project. In the beginning, what were the goals that you set for yourselves?
AH: We wanted to start over and make sure there was a certain quality attached to everything we put out into the world. From being in other bands for so many years, we had all made our far share of mistakes and this was our chance to wipe the slate clean and start from scratch. The ultimate goal is making a career out of making music – it’s the most dedicated and focused group of musicians I know and I think that’s what brought us all together.
Your debut album came out last July. I know most musicians are their own harshest critics-is there anything you hear on the record now that you wish you’d done differently?
AH: We spent two and a half years on this record. A lot of it we recorded ourselves with our own recording gear. Some of the micing and eqing could have been a bit more polished perhaps but it has a rough around the edges feel to it that contributes to the overall emotionality for me.
Your band has been self-described as Cinematic-Pop and you’ve said that film scoring is something you really enjoy. Have you been approached at all by filmmakers looking for a group to score their movie?
AH: We’ve talked with a few. It’s something we are really interested in doing in the future. We love touring but it’d be nice to be home more and working on music in the studio.
You’re currently on tour with Stars, who I think also approach music in a cinematic way. Who are some of the bands or composers who have influenced your sound?
AH: So so many influences. That’s what is great about this group of people. We all come from completely different backgrounds and love for music. From Rock to Folk to Hip Hop to Hardcore to Jazz to Classical. We pull influences from all sorts of places genre-wise.
Last year you played here in Chicago at Lollapalooza. How do you approach shows of such a large scale compared to regular club shows? And what goes through your head when something goes wrong, like Graham’s guitar not working in front of a huge audience?
AH: You can’t think of a festival show differently then any other show or you will stress yourself out too much. I just try to go onstage and enjoy myself every day. Things going wrong is all part of the live show experience. When it happens to you – you have to get into fix it mode while also trying to figure out how to play all the necessary parts at the same time.
Since you guys do all the songwriting together, what’s the go-to conflict diffuser?
AH: The songwriting is not all together all the time. I think that’s what keeps us sane. Songs can come from any direction with this band. Any person or combination of people working on all the various aspects of a song. We like to record a song and sit with it for a while before we make any big decisions about it’s future. Usually we all feel if a song is worth keeping around or not.
Everyone in the band is a multi-instrumentalist. Have there been times when you try something and it just doesn’t work for some reason?
AH: That’s exactly why we switch instruments during the live show. We wrote and recorded the album without ever playing any of it live. So when it came time to rehearse the songs – there would be times where songs wouldn’t feel right at first. We’d all start switching around instruments and even though we weren’t changing the parts we were playing – for some reason the groove would just lock in better.
2012 provided a lot of firsts for the band: First major festival, national television debut, and of course the release of your first album. Going forward, how do you maintain a high level enthusiasm for writing and performing?
We’ve been touring for a while now so i am super eager to get back into writing/recording mode. The great thing about this lifestyle is the fact that you have these two completely different processes, touring and writing/recording. Once you tired of one – its about time where you are eager to do the other.
I know you probably don’t get a lot of time off when you’re touring, but what kinds of things do you like to check out from place to place?
AH: I grew up in the mountains of Northern California. We’ve been touring a lot this winter and every time we have an off day in a snowy location I look for the nearest ski resort.
How much progress has been made on the next record?
AH: We have started writing and playing around with drum beats. We will have a few weeks here and there over the next couple of months to start making more progress on album #2.
You can pick up a copy of Milo Greene’s self-titled debut on iTunes and check them out live in your city-find out when that will be by taking a look at their tour dates.
I’ll have a full report from their show at Metro with Stars and Said The Whale next week.