Interview: Robbie Arnett (from Milo Greene)

Milo Greene is a band blessed with four lead singers and songwriters – Robbie Arnett, Graham Fink, Andrew Heringer, and Marlana Sheetz. Their self-titled debut album came out in 2012, and featured folk-pop songs with plenty of beautiful harmonies. Their second album, Control, expands their sound into a brighter, more rhythmic (and danceable) direction.

This interview with Robbie Arnett was for a preview article for the Milo Greene concert at SOhO in Santa Barbara on 2/10/15. It was done by email, with answers received on 2/6/15.

Jeff Moehlis: Milo Greene has performed in Santa Barbara several times now. Have you enjoyed your previous visits to our town?

Robbie Arnett: Santa Barbara is a beautiful town with some of the best Mexican food and sunsets California has to offer. So romantic. Enjoy the visit every time.

JM: What can we look forward to at the upcoming show?

RA: The new album! Most of Control will be in the mix as well as some first record gems. Working on a few tricks as well, one might rhyme with Trill Pollens. Fresh haircuts too. Mod!

JM: How did the band’s approach to the album Control differ from the approach to the first album?

RA: We experimented with new tones, instruments and sounds. Control is rooted in drum grooves. Along with our drummer, we had the true pleasure of working with Joey Warnoker (Beck, Atoms For Peace) on a lot of the drum beats. We started there and worked our way up, focusing on individual vocals and sonic duality.

JM: The word “Control” has many possible meanings, some positive and some negative. In reference to the album title, what does it mean to you?

RA: It’s a word that can take on so many emotions and meanings. That in itself is so exciting. Always morphing.

JM: How did producer Jesse Shatkin influence the music on Control?

RA: With four songwriters who share equal duties, sometimes you need someone to balance the energy. Jesse was incredible at being a calming force. He also adds the “ass” in bass.

JM: What, to you, do the different bandmembers bring to the band?

RA: Everyone comes from different backgrounds, grew up listening to different genres, influenced by different mediums. The ideas are never lacking.

JM: What advice would you give to an aspiring musician?

RA: Do work. Be persistent. Own the craft. Surround yourself by people who are better than you. As soon as you’re the best in the room, find a new room.

JM: I know that the new album just came out, but have you given any thought to the timing and direction of the next album?

RA: Early stages. Thinking about how many new instruments we can get our hands on. It gets boring doing the same thing twice. Always have to be evolving.


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