Q&A with band Milo Gore

Credit:Josh Collins    

UK band Milo Gore have released their single ‘Green Eyes’, off of their debut album ‘How Do You Cope While Grieving For The Living?’(20 August 2020).   Music blog Relish Rock comments on the track, “You can hear the sincerity in lead singer  Milo’s vocals and lyrics, and you feel emotionally connected to the world of the song…”. The band consists of university pals including founder Milo the lead singer. Credits on the album include producer Pete Prokopiw (Mumford & Sons, Florence & The Machine), Mixing Engineer Andy Savours (Sigur Ros, The Horrors, Arctic Monkeys) and Mastering Engineer Guy Davie (Jamie T, The Streets, King Krule).   We find out more about the promising band in the interview below.   

The lyrics of ‘Green Eyes’ made me feel sympathy for the singer as they were bold and beautifully bitter. Who writes the lyrics of the songs in the band?   

Our lead singer Milo writes most of the lyrics. This song, in particular, is about a broken relationship with an ex-girlfriend. It’s all about learning to dance on your own again, learning to love yourself again, and ultimately learning to be content on your own. He’s never shied away from putting everything on the table, he’s very honest and open with his lyrics.   

Looking back, what were some of your earliest entries into music appreciation? And music production?  

That’s a hard question to answer as a band, I feel like it certainly differs for everyone. But, what I can say, is that music is well and truly ingrained in all of us. We are a bunch of creatives, from day one we’ve all loved music. I don’t think any of us would know what to do without it.   

Take us through your songwriting process. Are there any particular steps you take when putting music together?  

This album was predominately written on an acoustic guitar. Initially, the songs were written solo, on an acoustic, in more of a singer-songwriter style. Then, the songs would be brought to the band, and we’d jam out and see what came to us. It was all very natural and organic. Nothing was forced, which is the nicest thing about the whole album. As a band, I feel we really have a skill of just being able to play something and put something together, with no talking at all. We let our instruments do the talking. However, I think for album 2 we’re definitely going to play around a lot more with concepts. We’ll make the actual song-writing section of the process a lot more collaborative too.  

What gets your creative juices flowing?  

Experiences. Our upcoming album is all about experiences. It’s about love, loss, drug addiction, mental health, and more. I think going through experiences is really important when it comes to creating music, or any kind of art for that matter. It really brings what you’re trying to create to life, it makes it real. I think that has been vital to our creative process, especially with this album.  

As a musician, it becomes apparent that there is a huge difference between the art and the business. Is there anything about the music scene that you would personally change?  

It’s weirdly coincidental that we’ve been given this question…! Just today, as we’re answering these questions, new stats have been released about streaming platforms, and the payments they give to their artists.. and it’s actually quite sickening. For instance, with Spotify, probably one of, if not THE most used streaming platform by artists and listeners, their average payout per stream amounts to £0.0028. This means the number of streams you need to earn one pound comes to 357. Therefore, the number of streams to earn one hour’s UK Minimum Wage is 3114. Now, to put this into even more perspective, we’re a band of 5. So we need 15,570 streams to earn one hour’s UK Minimum Wage for everyone.   To be honest, it’s just heartbreaking. As an unsigned band, we put all our own money into making our records, and we get absolutely nothing back for it. It’s really sad. A world without music would be horrible, but I often feel bands, musicians and their art, are simply taken for granted. I think streaming, streaming platforms, and the way they treat artists, seriously needs to be addressed. Especially with no live music on at the moment, which is the biggest form of income for a lot of bands, artists really need support.  

Studio work and music creation or performing and interacting with a live audience, which do you prefer?  

Ooh that’s a really hard question! I feel at the moment we haven’t had enough studio work to fully appreciate it properly just yet. Whereas we’ve always kind of see ourselves as a live band! Don’t get me wrong, we absolutely loved the 3 weeks we spent recording the album, that was a truly amazing experience. However, I don’t think anything can beat that feeling of playing something you’ve created to a whole room of fans and music lovers. There is nothing better than the high you get from people connecting with your music, and from people dancing with you. Being on stage is everything.  

What is the most memorable response you have had to your music?  

I think it has got to be when we were recording the album. Pete Prokopiw, who recorded and produced our record, would often do, what he liked to call, ‘the goosebump’ test. We wouldn’t move on from recording a particular song, or section, until he felt we had nailed it.. Or until he got goosebumps. It was actually an awesome way to work, it made sure we were putting real feeling into our work. The most memorable response was when he actually cried after we finished a take in recording.. From that moment, as a band, I think we knew we were creating something truly special. It was a beautiful moment, that really confirmed what we were doing, and really solidified everything.  

What’s on your current playlist?  

Oooh we’re listening to some awesome music at the moment! We love Penelope Isles, Wolf, Kid Kapichi, Lola Young, Junodream, VC Pines, Bamily & The Velvet Hands. They’re all in our current playlist on Spotify. As a band, we find we listen to a lot of the up and coming artists. Definitely check this lot out if you have the time!  

Breakdown the news for us: what can we expect from you in the near future?  

Sadly our recent tour, which was meant to be starting at the end of April, has been cancelled! However, we are at least trying to rearrange some of the dates for later this year. It’s just a really hard time for a band like us. We really relied on live music to bring in some money for us. It’s how we were able to function! BUT! We can’t really complain! We’re all safe and healthy, with roofs over our heads. So what more could we ask for at this time!    For now, we’re just trying to stay creative and innovative. Even more now, the world is based online, so we are working on our online presence as much as we can. You can expect live streams, more Q&As, and fun stuff like that, to keep our fans entertained.    I think the biggest thing we have upcoming at the moment though, is our debut album How Do You Cope While Grieving For The Living? Coming out on the 20th August! We are SO PUMPED to release this project into the world. It’s been super fun working on it. It’s a really precious piece of work to us, so we really hope people like it. In the meantime, we have a few more singles on the way!  

Does ‘Green Eyes’ set the tone for your upcoming album?   

I think in many ways it does…  But in others, it doesn’t. The album has a lot of variety on it, it’s one of the reasons we’re so excited to get it out. Musically we have a lot of variety, and I guess that’s where ‘Green Eyes’ maybe differs from other songs. However, talking in terms of theme, this song then definitely sets the tone. This album is about love, loss, Milo’s battle with mental health, drug addiction and much more. ‘Green Eyes’ and one of his many broken relationships, whether that be with friends, family, or loved ones, is just the tip of the iceberg on this album. It really does delve deep into Milo’s life, and the pain he has felt during his early 20s.  

Famous last words?  

How do you cope while grieving for the living?    

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