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Interview: Los Angeles Indie Band Milo Greene

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Los Angeles-based indie quintet Milo Greene has been on quite the roll lately. The multi-part harmonies on the band’s self-titled debut practically gave goosebumps to BBC and NPR music critics, while also endearing many music fans alike. The band (Robbie Arnett, Graham Fink, Andrew Heringer, Marlana Sheetz, and Curtis Marrero) actually features four lead vocalists (Marrero being the exception), and the result of this vocal arrangement is one lovely folk-tinged pop song after another.

The band’s self-described “cinematic pop” is best displayed on “1957” with its whirling melodies and enchanting string grooves. The band will mark the end of its current tour with consecutive performances in San Francisco, including a Friday show at Rickshaw Stop (August 9) and Saturday show at this year’s Outside Lands Festival in Golden Gate Park (August 10).

Graham was able to answer some questions via email about the band’s soon-to-be-ending tour, Outside Lands Festival, and their future plans.

Milo Green (photo credit: Cara Robbins/BB Gun Press)

Milo Green (photo credit: Cara Robbins/BB Gun Press)

It’s safe to say that self-titled debut album is a hit. Were you surprised by all the positive critical and fan reaction?

We put a lot if time and care into the album so we were hopeful for a warm reception, but now we want to continue our growth and make a second album that’s even stronger than the first.

The band is actually named after the fictitious book agent that it invented to help get gigs. If Robbie had a bad French accent, would the agent have been French instead of British?

He does, in fact, have a bad French accent; but, he also has bad Irish, Jamaican, and New Yorker accents — so we chose British as the best of the bunch.

The band developed over a few years. Were there any periods when it felt as if something was missing? Or did it feel like a natural fit when the band eventually became a quintet?

From the time that Andrew and Marlana moved to Los Angeles everything felt cohesive and our progress was strong. Before that, we were just friends making music without any expectations or pressure.

Outside Lands marks the end of your current tour. Will you have time to reflect and relax before starting work on your follow-up album?

We’re already working hard on material for the new record, so not exactly … BUT after two years of touring we’re all giddy that we get to be home for the rest of the year.

How much has touring, including traveling and meeting other musicians, influenced your music, especially songwriting?

Mainly, it’s provided a lot of hours in the van to write ideas on GarageBand, but writing on the road can be difficult. I think we all prefer to write at home, but we’ve definitely seen amazing places and met great people, which always informs songwriting, at least subconsciously.

What is your favorite venue to perform: bars, parks, or festivals like Outside Lands?

Parks? Sign me up, sounds recreational.

And finally, is there any particular artist or band that you’re looking forward to see at Outside Lands?

Nine Inch Nails, big time.

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