Thursday, August 1, 2013

Millenials [Interview # 114 / Michael Negron]

When I first heard "Songs From the Drain", I knew I was going to want to interview Millenials.   As a music journalist in 2013, it's a lot easier to find contacts for bands than it once was when I first started doing this.   Helpful Hint:  Most bands emails can be found on their Band Camp pages or Facebook pages, if they don't have an official site.   Millenials has no official site, no Facebook page and no email address listed on their Band Camp page.   So I had to email them through their contact form on their Band Camp page, which for all I know could get sucked into a black hole and sent to outer Mongolia.   Luckily, I got a response and then it all went down like this.

1)     Honestly, I wanted to interview you because I don’t know a lot about you but can’t seem to find an official site or Facebook outside of your Band Camp page.  Do you have anything like that going on?
2)     You are from Michigan though, how is that working out with Detroit filing for bankruptcy and all?  (Sufjan Stevens has an album about that state though)
3)     You have a song called “Jesus Saves”, which is in a crude summary about religion being similar to a cult, or the brainwashing.   When I was a kid, up until Grade 5, I went to Catholic school (Though I was never Catholic) and could see how it was like, baptizing babies to make them one of them and it just felt very cult-like.   Is this song in some way about that?
4)     Do you believe there is a God?  Would “Jesus Saves” just be more about the annoying Jesus freaks or do you worship the Satan or take the lazy way out and be agnostic?
5)     I’ve listened to your album “Songs From the Drain” a lot and I think it’s really good.  Would you say that your sound reflects that of a band like Local H, where it’s kind of grunge but not?
6)     Do you have any plans on releasing “Songs From the Drain” on cassette or vinyl?
7)     “Songs From the Drain” is easily one of the best rock albums of 2013.   Are there plans for a follow up next year?

8)     Final thoughts, shout outs, etc.??

1.) No, not really. I was drawn to the simplicity of Bandcamp and the orientation towards putting your music out there in a multitude of ways that people can enjoy. I’m not really into self-promotion too much other than to say “here we are, take a CD/download/etc.” and let the music speak for itself.

2.) Sufjan Stevens is great, I really enjoy his work. As for the Detroit bankruptcy, I recall someone saying that “everyone saw it coming but were still surprised” or something to that effect. I think the frustration is palpable in Michigan right now. I’m about an hour from Detroit and even so, you can feel the tension. "The Drain" is a nickname for my hometown, Adrian, because everything here seems to be going down the drain. I try to be involved in the local music scene – though less so than my bandmate, Chris Francoeur – and it’s not surprising that you see this frustration bleed into the music. I can’t say I’m exempt from that either.

3.) Yeah, it’s not so much a condemnation of religion as a condemnation of indoctrination. It’s more personal than that as it’s about my own experience with it as a kid (my grandfather is an apostolic preacher) and trying to get over that, but I think it’s a pretty universal message. Let kids be kids, let them come to their own conclusions. It’s really the only straightforward “political” thing on the album, Commercial Whore is kind of tongue-in-cheek, but I don’t think it’s too radical an idea.

4.) I take the even lazier way out and say I’m apatheist. I don’t think god exists, but even if he/she/it does, you should live life according to your own set of values and morals. If people want to be religious, more power to them, but I don’t think it matters in any ethereal way and it’s not relevant to my life other than by the actions/beliefs of others.

5.) You could say that. I wouldn’t go so far as to call us “grunge.” Songs is supposed to be a representation of 3 years, over the course of which our sound has changed a lot, and I think you can see that in the variance of the work.  Grunge was definitely one of the more prominent influences: POND , Rein Sanction, and Nirvana, among others, really contributed to how I write music. I guess we can just be called whatever, I’ve never been one to be a real stickler on genres.

6.) Oh I wish. Detroit isn't the only one strapped for cash. Maybe someday.

7.) Thank you. Hopefully, we’ll be putting out a full-length later this year. We’ve been working on it since January and we’re almost done. It’s a bit of a different style, but I think it synthesizes the work we’ve done in the past. If I can ever be satisfied with it, that is.

8.) Everyone should check out Thought Industry, they're criminally unknown/underrated.

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