It's that spooky time of year, so in an effort to thoroughly freak out Marlana and Graham from Milo Greene, we decided to plop down in Central Park, dish on the bands new album Control, and then not-so-subtly hint at the fact that they may not be in as much control as they would like. The crystals, the tarots...these might be the determining factors. In this spooktacular edition of #hangsesh, our own Aimee Curran reads the signs in the universe to predict Milo Greene's future.
- So you guys are on tour and you're getting ready to release your new album in January called control. What's something that you would like to have control over that you don't? - The Band! - My sleep schedule right now probably. - My emotions. If I could just be happy all the time that would be great. - Whether or not the LA Clippers or Dodgers win their games. I mean you can just apply it to everything really. - My weight. That would be amazing if I could just always be the perfect weight, and just eat whatever I wanted. That be probably number one in my book. Yeah. I'll take that over emotions. I'll deal with like crying every day, as long as I'm thin. Perfect. - I think more literally it applies to our ban dynamic and writing. You know like in a band of four singer songwriters that are all very passionate and different - No specific leader. - Yeah. - So it's just like chaos. - I think that one thing that bands generally have control over for the most part is their sound and I think that with your new single, "White Lies" people have been really surprised, cause you know because you're kind of from sort of this Americana dream pop and now there seems to be more like an electro-pop kind of sound coming through and curious to know what kind of propelled you guys to make the change in your sound? - Pleasantly enough or pleasantly some people it just depends. You know, you can't please everybody but were pleasing ourselves right now. - A little bit more up tempo vibe. I'm definitely dancing a lot more at the live shows, which I'm extremely happy about. - We kind of started with drums and rhythm as a foundation for the songs. Which is... I think another reason the sound has changed a little bit. - That's what we wanted. I mean, on the first record...what we are lacking was, we did not start with drums. That was the last thing we did and it was really difficult to do that. - Cool. You mentioned that you would like to be in control of your sleep schedule. So what exactly is tour life like? - Well on this tour it's been kind of raspy because where chasing a bus and we're in a Sprinter so we drive every day. The least amount of driving I feel like we have to do, has been like five hours in one day. So, it's a lot of sitting. Not a lot of exercising unfortunately. Not a lot of sleep... - We have a sports bucket in the back of our van, that we pull out at gas stations to get like a few reps of throwing a baseball around or kicking a soccer ball into semis. - Oh wait. So it's a bucket that you just have equipment in it? - Yeah just like a big red bucket that has soccer balls and tennis rackets. - Oh that's cool I thought there was actually something that maybe you could attach it and like shoot hoops or something. - That would be incredible, if we could just like attach a hoop to the back of the Sprinter that would be amazing actually. - I could probably make that happen on the next tour. - We can just play so much horse. - This is good. This is a good brainstorm. - I'm the reigning champion as of right now of horse. - I mean I definitely agree and standby the fact that you can manifest anything in your life to happen as long believe and you really put your energy into it. But I also think that the universe hands you certain things and has you do certain things for a reason. And I believe that me doing people's tarot is something that was meant to happen. So therefore it's manifesting what the universe was already going to give you no matter what. - The universe always wins. - Always wins. - So I'm going to have you guys pull a card from the deck but first you can just like put your hands on this cards - Both of us? - Yeah. Just like get your energy in there. - Just one hand or both hands? - Just one hand. If one of you can cut the deck and then make a deck again. Perfect. So we can take the pendulum and ask it a few questions. First off we can ask about like the band to get that stuff out the way. But really all the pendulum is doing is just like drawing the energy on the cards and you guys putting it in there, so that we know when we ask it, it's getting answers specifically for you two. - Is 2015 gonna be the best year year of Milo Greene's life? - I hope it's no because then... - ... Till now. - Oh it's going yes. - It's already going yes. - So our career is going to rocket the next year and then that's it, we're done. - No, I said up until now. Are we ever gonna headline Madison Square Garden? - Will Milo Greene ever headline Madison Square Garden? - This is terrifying. - Unfortunately it's kind of leaning towards no. - That's okay because we're going to play an even bigger event. - We are gonna play two nights. - Yeah. - Will Milo Greene ever play two nights in a row at Madison Square Garden? - That's not fair. It's already in a negative whirl. - Alright I'm getting it back to how it was. Now it's going yes. So you guys are on the right track. - OK cool. Thanks pendulum. - Anything else you guys want to ask it? - I think we can quit while we're ahead. - So pick a card, any card that you feel drawn to. - Pick one. You don't have to think about it too much. You got the heart chakra card, which basically means that all matters of the heart should be balanced and you need to be doing things to balance it more in your life. - That's right on. - Pretty good. - I need time to heal. - If you're holding any grudges... - It's really a good time to just like forgive and move forward. Especially with the year coming to the end. Its fresh start. Because you guys are going to have a great 2015. Obstacles and challenges. Not necessarily the worst thing however... - It's great. I like that it looks like Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. - You know when you got to take a leap of faith across all the grails. - Obstacles and challenges really just kind of comes about when there's things things that are gonna be coming your way that are going to... - Challenge me. - ...challenging you and cause a little bit of a rift. This is an excellent time to think creatively and ask yourself, "How can I make myself shine above all the rest?" - So he's going to take over for a new band. - I'm still processing all that. Thank you. - You're welcome. Tarot and you guys are going to have to keep me updated. - On the heart? - On the accuracy? - Yeah and like what happened. - I mean I can tell you right now it's already accurate. - Oh great. - Yeah. - I love it. - It was... That's freaky... Weird.
Milo Greene is not real. However, the fictitious character that is Milo Greene is very much alive.
His makers perceive him as an intellectual entrepreneur. In his poised and dignified manner, he keeps things close to the vest and lets everyone know who's boss. He is exactly the type of man you would want to represent you in any business ventureand that is exactly why he was created.
In the DIY music world, having proper representation is key. Lacking an actual manager, college classmates Andrew Heringer, Robbie Arnett, and Marlana Sheetz concocted a virtual one Milo Greene to promote their individual musical efforts. It wasn't until 2009 that the three began creating music together. While house sitting in the isolated Northern California foothills, the trio wrote and recorded a handful of songs. Seeking a name for their new venture, they thought it only natural to pay tribute to the fake manager/booking agent that had represented them throughout their college years: Milo Greene.
Eventually Heringer and Sheetz moved to Southern California, where Arnett was living. There, they added Graham Fink (formerly of 'The Outline') and Curtis Marrero (formerly of Arnett's band 'Links'). The five-piece made a habit of escaping periodically to desolate West Coast locations to continue the story they had started.
"We had no TV, no Internet, we had a fire going, and we had to hush the dogs," Arnett says, acknowledging that the environment probably accounted for their music's pastoral feel, as well as its meticulous attention to detail. Sheetz concurs: "Every place we've made music has been isolated, and it has certainly helped us focus."
Milo Greene's formal recording sessions for their self-titled debut with co-producer Ryan Hadlock (Ra Ra Riot, Blonde Redhead, The Gossip, The Lumineers) followed suit; they took place at Bear Creek Studio, a converted circa-1900 barn in the country near Seattle.
"We set out to make the album a cohesive piece, something that takes you from Point A to Point B," Arnett says, "which is maybe not the brightest thing to do in a singles world, but " Heringer finishes the thought: "Every song does stand on its own, so you never know what to expect sonically or emotionally."
Milo Greene is a collection of voices that live and breathe simultaneously with the breadth of an omniscient, collective consciousness. The melodies invoke long drives down the California coast and the feeling of leaving home. There is something meditative about it, as though it asks to be listened to alone and given one's full attention. Guitar lines swell and recede as ocean waves would. A slight dissonance can be sensed underneath a seemingly passive exterior; a tension can be found in passing tones that evoke jazz harmony and the sense of waiting for something really big to happen, a sense of growing inevitably older while grasping at the threads of youth.
The themes explored on Milo Greene's Chop Shop/Atlantic Records debut are timeless: a quest for permanence, a longing for virtue, a need for reciprocity in all that is good. "When, when, when we're older / Can I still come over?" the band asks in "Silent Way," looking hopefully into the future. It's a future less daunting when faced with the strong bond imagined in the song "Don't You Give Up on Me," with its solemn vow "I'll go wherever you go."
Those songs, along with the embraceable "Autumn Tree" and "Cutty Love" embody the simple notion that, not unlike the way the quintet makes music, we are all in this together. "We all long to be comforted and secure," Arnett says. "If our music sounds nostalgic, it's for the times in our lives we felt that way. If we sound hopeful, it's because we want to feel that way again."
Says Fink: "We're all in our 20s, but we've all had past lives. We're coming to this band from a place where we lived out other dreams. And especially at the age we had them, we didn't really see an endpoint. We saw the sky as being the limit."
Wielding four-part harmonies and indelible melodies over sprawling, percussive arrangements, there is no lead singer of Milo Greene. They work powerfully as a team, yet each member is unique and can stand on their own.
"Four of us were lead singers in our previous projects," Arnett says, "so we really have no focal point, no lead melody writer or lyricist. Everything is Milo."
Their fictitious character, Milo Greene, is British, they muse, and well versed in art and history, with eclectic tastes in music. The kind of guy who wears a three-piece suit even when it's hot, and has a record player in every room.
"I think he would be a big fan of our music " Arnett says.
Fink interjects: "But only because he's very vain."