Milow Talks "Born in the Eighties"
Tue, 02 Oct 2012 08:50:20
Everybody comes back to the eighties at some point in time.
It seems like the decade had something for everyone whether it was First Blood and Metallica or Madonna and Dirty Dancing. Though it may have been maligned during the much hipper Reality-bitten '90s, the '80s has made a comeback.
Milow found a big amount of inspiration in the era, going so far as to name his new EP, Born in the Eighties. However, it's decidedly placed in this decade sonically. Born in the Eighties exudes a real warmth that's immediately infectious and infinitely intriguing. It's the best way to meet Milow.
In this exclusive interview with ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino, Milow talks Born in the Eighties, movies, and more.
Did you have one vision in mind for Born in the Eighties?
Yeah, I had all of these songs I'd written and recorded over the years. I started thinking, "If I have to start the timeline in the U.S., how do I start? Let me go back to the beginning". When I wrote "Born in the Eighties", I found what I wanted to do and write about. It's a really important song. I connected all of the tracks to it. These are songs I was still playing live. They're still vital. I have a full album ready that I hope to release next year. The EP is the perfect introduction to me and my musical universe though.
What's the story behind "Dreamers and Renegades"?
I was a student, and I was playing music. It wasn't going great though so I had to make a little money on the side. I was a working as a bartender a few nights a week. These were long shifts. By the time, you were putting chairs on the table at the end of the night, you were really happy it was over. I wanted to write a song with that line, "Tired of working all day. Let's leave this behind us". I was dreaming about making it as a musician, and I was tired of doing the temp jobs. I was ready to leave it behind me. I remember being really into Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band. Before that song, my music was more introspective and acoustic with fingerpicking. With "Dreamers and Renegades", I started to experiment more with energy and dynamics. It was definitely the start for more songs. In general, my music is mellower on the recordings than it is live. It's good fans get something else when they see me live. People are surprised there's so much energy.
Was "Born in the Eighties" the catalyst for the EP?
Not just for the EP, but for my career in general. When you start making music in high school, you play covers or music you like. You copy all of this other stuff. At some point, you need to find your own place. What's your angle? It took me a few years after high school. I wrote "Born in the Eighties" for some of my friends. We were in our twenties and had lots of dreams and expectations for what would come. I wrote it for the generation about born in the eighties. I knew this is what I could do. The theme of coming-of-age is something that keeps coming back in my lyrics.
Is it important for you to tell stories?
Absolutely! I love good storytelling in general—whether it's a movie, a book, or a song. For me, the last verse is often the most important. It allows me to zoom out or give a twist. I've always been fascinated by movies. I went to film school for a while. I thought it was something I wanted to pursue. I decided to focus on music instead. The great thing about being a musician is I can do something in that visual fashion with my songs. I'm part of a generation obsessed with visuals. We're listening to music on YouTube in this day and age.
If you were to compare Born in the Eighties to a movie or a combination of movies, what would you compare it to?
[Laughs] That's a good question. It's a movie that hasn't been made yet, obviously. I'm a big fan of someone like Paul Thomas Anderson. Magnolia was a big influence. The way he uses music in his movies is amazing. Do you know Michel Gondry? He made a lot of music videos and then he made Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. I dig the dreamlike universe he came up with. Whenever I write a song, I know exactly what the images should be like. Most of the time, it stays in my head. Sometimes, we can make a video, and I get those images out.
Have you heard Milow yet?