IN the ever-increasing sea of musicians…
PHOTO CREDIT: Matt Bramston
one struggles to get their head above the water. Every example proffers their goods like an opportunistic stallholder at a foreign market – seeing a tourist approach from afar. I always love it because, in this line of work, it is good to be as busy as possible. There is something almost off-the-radar and elusive about Milo Gore. I talk to the talented songwriter about his lo-fi, D.I.Y. sound and some exposition regarding the new E.P., Watch the Tide.
He talks to me about the band members and producers that help put the music together; his influences and what role music played during childhood; how the rest of his year is shaping up and the kind of themes addressed through his music.
Hi, Milo. How are you? How has your week been?
Hello, hello. I’m good, thanks.
It’s been a mad week actually. Me and my drummer, Luke Parkinson, just got back from a week-long busking tour of Cornwall. We stayed in my little red Piaggio Porter for the week - staying on cliff-tops and beaches. Then (just) hitting-up cool locations like St. Ives and Porthleven to do some music.
It’s been sweet-A.-F. - but we are knackered now.
For those new to your work, can you introduce yourself, please?
I’m twenty-one; a student living in Falmouth, Cornwall - and I’ve just released my first E.P., Watch the Tide.
I’ll throw in that I’m a Chelsea fan, too.
Watch the Tide is your debut E.P. What can you reveal about the kind of stories and ideas represented in E.P.?
That’s a question I like.
I think, in today’s music industry, there is too much, as Trump would say, ‘fake’ music. I (just) don’t think enough artists back up their music with a thought, an idea or concept that would enhance their message.
Justin Vernon is a massive influence on me and, if you’ve listened to his latest album, you’d understand why. The thought that has gone into, not only the music but the album cover, artwork and music videos of Bon Iver, are so clever.
It allows the music to draw you in further as it adds the important visuals. For Watch The Tide, I tried to do the same. The record is a very personal one: each song explores a significant point in my life.
A big thing I write about is mental health and depression. The title of the E.P. and the artwork of the faces that represent the moon phases are meant to represent the ups and downs of a mind/mood. For me, depression is something that needs to be voiced a lot more – so I hope, through my music, I am doing that in some way.
I have a bunch of symbols on the back artwork that all have a relevant meaning - and each definitely has its own underlying message.
Max Waymark produced Watch the Tide. How did you come to meet him and what did he bring to the recordings?
I had already met Max in the first year of university - as he lived next-door to our guitarist, Jay Beale. Then, in the second year, I put a message out of Facebook as we needed a bassist - and Max was the first to respond.
That’s it I guess. We just all clicked with him, and even better: he is a dope bassist!
There is a range of sounds and instruments played on the E.P. It has a rough-around-the-edges charm. Did all the music come together quite quickly or do you like to experiment with sound/genres?
I think we already knew the sound we wanted so there wasn’t much experimenting.
We first set out to get the foundation down for all the songs, i.e. Bass, Drums; Guitars and then, from there, we started to add in the little bits of magic.
Next time, I think I will definitely take more time during the writing period to think about new ways to evolve our sound. It’s certainly rough-around-the-edges as it was recorded in my small shoebox of a room (haha).
I think it adds that something to our D.I.Y. sound - written and recorded in its natural location.
Tell me about the musicians you play with. How did you come to meet and perform alongside them?
The band is made up of all my musical friends I have made at uni. They are such awesome people and, without them, my music would not be the same - so much love for them I can’t explain.
- Luke Parkinson: a rad guy; is my unbelievable drummer.
- Max Waymark: a glorious bassist and the producer of the E.P.
- Jay Beale: sexy guitarist (who also has his own stuff up Spotify - and all and it’s so sick.)
- Kieran Clark: another sexy guitarist (who will have his own stuff up online soon - he goes by the name, Luke Moss.)
- Christina Smith and her lovely vocals (she is recording her E.P. at moment under the name of FARE).
Your band mantra, ‘Forever Whatever’ seems very apt in these times. What does it represent and symbolise to you?
Luke and I actually (just) got matching ‘Forever Whatever’ tattoos while on tour recently!
I can’t really remember when it came about, to be honest: it just happened naturally. It’s not meant to portray a meaning of ‘do whatever you want’ but more a kinda-saying to help let go of the past and bad things you may be holding on to.
Take whatever feels right from it – forever, whatever!
Who are the artists you (and the band) grew up listening to – give me an insight into your idols and influences.
Straight-up, I have to say, Ben Howard as my biggest influence. Without him, I just wouldn’t be songwriting at all.
Listening to his music taught me a lot and I really connected with his lyrics. Justin Vernon is a genius, too. I also listen to a lot of Catfish (and the Bottlemen), The 1975 and another favourite, Bears Den.
I guess they all really pushed me to the sound we have now. I wanted to create records that were anthemic, climactic sing-alongs - as well as being intricate, meaningful and delicate. I think I’ve done that in places?
Music seems like an industry where it is becoming harder to make money and endure. Do you ever worry you have to gig harder to get recognition or does the passion and drive for music overcome all of that?
Definitely not in it for any of the money.
I mean, money is great - I would absolutely love to earn a decent living off my music but, as you said in this industry, it is harder to make a good wage.
I am happy as long as I get to keep making music and keep making records. Gigging, in my opinion, is also the best part - the band and I love it; no better experience.
What does the rest of the year hold in terms of material? Are you working on more songs?
I’ve actually just finished a song that Luke and I were writing on tour. It’s my fave so far.
We’re gonna release that alongside another single and a tour vid. -so stay tuned!
Do you have any tour dates approaching? Where can we come and see you play?
We are playing on the 5th August at Langaland Festival - as well as playing the Hurly Burly Stage at Boardmasters this year.
I’m also putting on the music every day from 12-3 P.M. at the Hurly Burly – so, if you're around, come on down and see some mad artists from Red Van Records.
IN THIS PHOTO: A Blaze of Feathers
If you had to select the three albums that mean most to you; which would they be and why?
I Forgot Where We Were – Ben Howard
Taught me a lot about myself.
Islands – Bears Den
Writing-style; the way they build each track with layers and harmonies.
How to Save a Life – The Fray
Golden Oldie. A bit more Pop-y but I just think they are bangers from when I was younger - I still know every word!
What advice would you give to artists coming through right now?
Get confident; understand your band and practise…then gig, gig, gig.
Just write as much as you can - you develop further every time.
Finally, and for being a good sport, you can name a song and I’ll play it here (not one of yours as I’ll do that).
Urm...Jay Beale – Retiro
(Jay is my housemate and guitarist - and he is making some unbelievable music right now).
Cheers, thanks very much.
Milo Gore x
Follow Milo Gore