The last time PHILTHY MAG caught up with Los Angeles’ Milo Greene was just last fall. The band; who have characterized themselves as “cinematic pop,” with the ultimate goal of scoring film and television; and who have all four members sharing lead vocal duties; were presently on the road with London, fellow indie folk rockers, Bombay Bicycle Club, with an upcoming date at our very own Union Transfer; and preparing for the release of their sophomore LP, Control, which dropped this January. For our fall chat I spoke with Robbie Arnett, who told me that Control showcased a new process for the band, a process which had them each writing separately, in their own home studios, before bringing their work to the band, giving their sophomore effort a somewhat more diverse and eclectic aesthetic than their 2012, self-titled debut.
Milo Greene are currently on a headlining tour behind Control, which began in early February and which nearly wraps at Johnny Brenda’s next Saturday, March 14th. Late this January I got to speak to Milo Greene’s Andrew Heringer, right after Control dropped and before their latest headlining trek began. I ask Andrew how he felt the tour with Bombay Bicycle Club went and he tells me that it was a great experience and that he really admired the London outfit: “It was great. They were a really great crew. They’re just such incredible musicians who are able to cover such a range of genres.” But when I ask him about how he felt Milo Greene’s set, comprised of mainly new material, went over, he remains humble and hesitant to jump to conclusions: “It’s always hard to tell when you’re playing as someone else’s support. You can’t really judge by how people react the first time they hear a song. They’re just taking it in.”
Andrew also tells me that, while the songwriting process evolved between their first two albums, it wasn’t actually such a leap, as it was something they’d always hoped for.
“It was a little different, but not that different. It was the process we would have done on the first record but, for the first album, our producer really wanted us to record live, which isn’t necessarily what we wanted. The process we love is almost like Hip-Hop, bringing in tracks one at a time and building upon what everyone has brought to the table. This record, in a lot of ways, is a reaction to our first record and how it was received. For the first record, drums would be the last thing we did and we wanted to flip that on its head and for this one we laid down beats first and it was very percussive.”
Control was produced by Jesse Shatkin, best known for his work as an engineer for the likes of Kimbra, Ellie Goulding, Sia, Katy Perry, and Tegan and Sara, and someone that Andrew explains was the perfect addition for harnessing the creativity of the members of Milo Greene: “He’s a great guy. He was perfect for that job. I mean, four’s a hard number in terms of writers because you can get stuck if two people think this and two people think that, so he was like the fifth member of the band.” Milo Greene also enlisted drummer Joey Waronker, known for his studio work with Beck and R.E.M., in addition to being a member of Atoms for Peace and Ultraista. Andrew cites Waronker as an equally significant contributor to Control: “He’s the man; I love Joey. He’s been doing it for so long, from being so young to be working with R.E.M. and then things like his work with Atoms for Peace. He’s got such an insane resume.”
I ask Andrew about Milo Greene’s legacy as a band hoping to be forever entwined with cinema and the moving picture (When I spoke to Robbie last October he told me that they would love, ‘to team up with someone like the Coen Brothers’ and that he really admired the work that filmmakers like David Lynch and Fincher had produced in collaboration with Trent Reznor.) and he admits that this is something that is certainly on his mind: “I’ve been watching a lot of TV recently, like The Wire and House of Cards, and I think we’re in a special age of television, which is potentially as great as cinema. But, as far as movie stuff, I do love the stuff that Trent Reznor has done and Jonny Greenwood’s work with Paul Thomas Anderson and the way they are able to connect their music with the world of cinema. And I’ve done a lot of live scoring and some free form soundscapes that I find very inspiring.”
Finally, I ask Andrew what can be expected of their upcoming headlining date in Philadelphia, their first in a while, and he tells me that the band are quite excited to have their own bill, but also that he feels as though the set will tie both of Milo Greene’s albums together for fans.
“We’re doing a mix of old songs and new songs. People tend to say that the two albums are so different but, I think, live it becomes much more cohesive. The tone and pace of this record matches the live representation of the first record. And the road’s really exciting for us, and reconnecting with our fans, the opportunity to reestablish relationships with fans that we haven’t seen in a while. In recording the latest record we really dropped off after the first album cycle.”