A Million Reasons To Listen

Sitting on a balcony overlooking the ocean at Rainbow Bay, the guys from Millions couldn’t seem more relaxed. Bassist Campbell is down at the shops getting fish and chips, as drummer Louis and lead guitarist Ted sit back and launch into a chat. Asking the guys how they feel about the upcoming show at The Coolangatta Hotel they seem excited. Louis says, “Yeah this is our first gig since we’ve been back from the UK. The guys played an Australia Day gig, where they had a fill in drummer, but I’m excited.” Laughing Ted chimes in, “It should be good to get the band back together!” When asked if it was strange to play with a different drummer Ted explains, “It was our old drummer, before Louie joined, so we played a lot of the songs we wrote when he was in the band. It was good.”

Having recently come back from overseas, have they got a big year planned for 2014? Ted nods, “We’re just finishing off our album at the moment, which has been a long time coming,” he laughs, “Hopefully a song from that should be out next month and then we’re touring with the Jungle Giants after that. Probably an album tour in May or June.” I ask the guys which song we can expect to hear in the coming month and Ted explains, “We’ve sort of narrowed it down to about three and we’re just waiting to hear feedback to see what we should release.”
Louis adds, “Usually we’ll just compile a few songs that we think are the best and gather what other people say about them. I think when you write and then record a song you pick out all the parts that you don’t like.” Ted nods, “Yeah you don’t have that same fresh opinion of someone who hasn’t heard it before.”
Laughing with each other Louis says, “Because you’ve heard it a hundred million times!”

They have managed to whittle down the selection of songs for the album though. Ted describes, “We recorded this in the UK in October or November last year. We went over with fifteen songs and cut it down to eleven or twelve, then cut some of them as well. We’ve been doing some more recordings since Louie’s been back.” Louis jokes, “Some late moments of magic.” However it’s not all smooth sailing when it comes to creating the songs that make audiences move. Louie reveals, “We bring an idea to the table and build upon it. If someone has an idea where they want to take it, we like to see where it goes and if we don’t like it we’re back to square one. We’ve had a few tracks where things didn’t work out.”
Ted adds, “We’ve had a couple of songs where it’s not our usual stuff. We had a kind of disco song that was almost there, and then we tried to rework it and just had to get rid of it in the end.” Louis laughs, “Yeah, too much white boy funk!” Ted smiles, shaking his head, “It just got to the point where we were all angry with it.”

With all the controversy of late surrounding Triple J, a station that supported the band when they first started, do they feel pressure to conform to a sound? Ted says, “I think it’s not necessarily something that we do, our music changes with what we listen to at the time. When Millions first started we were listening to a lot of The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, which is all fantastic simple stuff, like our earlier music. Now we listen to a bit more experimental stuff and that affects our music.” “Half our album is in three four time,” he says laughing, “If I’m going to be honest we don’t really listen to the radio these days, we usually have an iPod plugged in. Once you go down that path of being worried about what the industry wants from you, you take away your creativity.” Campbell joins the conversation, doling out the food and the guys are happy, it’s clear they are friends as well as band-mates. I ask if they had a back up plan if music hadn’t worked out, or some sort of secret talent. Ted laughs, “Campbell was Dux in Grade 8, so it’s all been downhill since then.” Campbell nods, “It really has,” he says laughing, “No, no back up plan, I should probably get one. Not having one kind of forces me to do more music though”.”

Speaking of music, the band has released a few music videos, which have played on Chanel V and are really visually great. I ask how the concepts came about. Ted answers, “Nineteen was directed by Michael Sloane who is the video genius. He just rejoined Last Dinosaurs recently. He left to go to uni and directed our music video in that time.” Campbell interjects, “Yeah they kicked him out and then they asked him back. It went full circle.” The lads laugh and Ted adds, “Yeah he’s the one who made our basic concept look good!” Campbell confesses, “We’re not very good at the video stuff. I think if we tried to direct our own video it would be a lot of footage of people just hanging out.” Louie protests, “Nothing wrong with that!” Campbell agrees and says, “I like those videos, but it’s interesting to have someone else put their spin or interpretation on our songs.”

With an album almost finished, do the guys tend to record in one place, or move around? Campbell says, “I like recording at my house, I don’t have to go anywhere. Recording anywhere is good though, getting out to record you get in the headspace of recording and it’s always nice to use different gear.” Ted adds,”I think it’s about finding the balance between cost and sound quality too. We spent a lot of money on our first album and it takes you a while to recoup that. We recorded this album in my and Louie’s dads studio which was free and awesome! Most important is getting someone good to mix it.” Finally what thought would they leave readers and fans with? The guys pause, looking at each other and Louis says ”Campbell you take this one!” Campbell shakes his head, “Why are you guys just looking at me?” Louis pokes Ted and asks, “Where’s the Tilbrook quips, where’s the jokes Teddy T?” Ted smiles and says, “Okay I have one…why did the toilet-roll roll down the hill? To get to the bottom!”
All of the guys groan and laugh at each other, but clearly it’s great to be part of Millions.

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