Melbourne folkster Millington has been making waves of late with the release of his catchy debut single, ‘Being’ (accompanied by an equally watchable video that you can see here). Fans of the song will be happy to learn that he has now released his debut E.P, and after giving it a couple of (hundred) listens, we sat down with him to find out his take on the tracks, recording process and everything in between…
It seems that I’m not the only one who loves the opening track, ‘Being’. What do you think it is about this song that has made it a big hit with listeners?
I’ve had so many people leaving beautiful comments about the track. It seems to resonate with most people because of its nature. I think most people have had those feelings about someone to whatever level of degree, so they can relate to what the song is saying. It’s trying to capture our purest essence in that we are one conscience, I hope this comes across.
In your own words, exactly what is happening during that video?!
Ha! Well on one level the video juxtaposes the concept of the song, exploring the human condition in a relationship context, a relationship being more give than take. The song itself is about birth, euphoria, love, life, and hope. The video portrays lust, debauchery, fear, and death.
On another level, there’s some serious shit going down. Oh Yeah Wow pitched me the concept with a male prognostic, however, I had to turn to them and say, that’s not going to work. As brilliant as the overall concept was, ladies understand symbiotics and nuance on a deeper level than guys do. So if the lead character had been a male, there would have been a high probability that I would have had many feminist groups hunting me down as it would insinuate the female being the ‘parasite’. You can poke fun like that at guys and its not really a problem.
What was the inspiration behind the song ‘Tweet’? At first, it seems a bit playful, did you intend it to be synonymous with the life of a human?
I started writing it around 8 years ago in Brighton, England. I was sitting on my balcony and I watched a blackbird singing in a tree. I saw it fly to the roof across the street and it seemed to just look out to sea, as if it were contemplating. It then turned and looked to the grassy area below where I was sitting, flew down and starting pecking at the ground. It looked as though it was having a go at uprooting a worm. Then a colony of seagulls (they were big fuckers too) nearby saw the exchange between the bird and worm and wanted in on the action. The bird then flew off with the worm hanging out of its mouth, with the ‘Gulls’ in hot pursuit. And I just thought to myself…that’s the rat race. It’s hard to get ahead in this world without the system holding you back. If you catch ‘the worm’, give ‘the man’ the finger, and hold on. Although we dream and strive for what we desire, the reality is there is never any real lasting happiness in it. It’s always…What’s next?? Rather than just enjoying what we have and just being.
The song ‘Love Handles’ seems to be a swipe at the superficial side of modern culture. Is this something that often inspires you musically?
This is very much a swipe at the superficial side of modern culture, I feel generally this is an area where we have de-evolved culturally and forgotten what real beauty is. This kind of fuel is always good for the inspiration. I find if ever I feel mildly angst towards something, the rhythm and words come through punchier, which gives me more to say – which I like to express efficiently.
‘Sleep Tight’ offers nice change of pace from your other more upbeat tracks on the E.P. What style of song do you feel more comfortable with writing?
I feel this track gives some balance to the EP. To be honest, I never think about ‘style of song’. They are like downloads from the universe and I try and allow them to evolve naturally. Its like…my guitar was once a tree, grown on this Earth, which is then crafted into an instrument, which I use to write songs. In the same way I was grown on this Earth and the universe uses me to process conscience thoughts and transcendental ideas into pieces of Art. Ya dig?
Could you tell us how the E.P was recorded, and whether there any specific methods you use when recording?
The EP was recorded mainly at Pots and Pans recording studio in Abbottsford with Joe Hammond, except for ‘Being’. That was recorded mostly at Meliodora Studios in Northcote with Aria Awarding winning producer, Pip Norman aka Countbounce. I try to be as spontaneous as possible when recording and not have too many pre-conserved ideas as to how a song should sound; I find this works really well for me. I call it the ‘pure flow’.
Could you briefly take us through your writing process?
Usually, the concept or the melody arrives in my mind and I begin to build the instrumentation and lyrics around them. If I have to think about an idea for too long I move onto another, this helps me to avoid stagnating in the creative zone. Sometimes I’ve had songs written and recording in the same day, others can take weeks, months and even years.
Did you like poetry in school?
I really did enjoy poetry at school, not the stuff they taught but the rhymes and rhythms I would ‘spit’ with my pals on the schoolyard. Street poetry and slams at open mics were very common where I grew up in Stoke. If you come to the EP launch on Saturday 21 January at Bella Union, I’ll be sure to verbally wrestle out a few rhymes.
It’s funny because whilst listening, I did think that there was a British element to your music, and then I found out that you were actually British. Would you say that stylistically, this comes across in your music?
I agree with you that stylistically the ‘British’ element does come across in the music as I spent 26 years of my life over there being inspired by local and international British artists. The 7 years I’ve spent in Australia, listening and being inspired my local and international Aussie acts I feel has had just as big of an impact on the music. For the record, I don’t feel that I belong to any nationality. I’m a child of the cosmos, part of the human race, one nation, one conscience.
Why did you come over to Australia to try and launch your musical career?
I met my wife, Beth Ramsay, who also crafts all the amazing art and design you see for the music, in the UK. She was working and travelling around the UK on an ancestral visa. We fell in love, and that was the gateway to a new life in Australia (that is the short version of the story). Its been such a nurturing environment here, and I feel blessed to be here.
Thanks so much for your support and love around the EP. Your questions were superb and a pleasure to answer.