Music that falls more towards the pop end is something I usually avoid. It’s just something I never got fully into until now. That all changed when I heard our Artist of the Week, I first saw The Millenium play live at my college campus during our Wisco! festival and man was it intense. The crowd they drew was pretty big and everyone was into it, I mean everyone. Even those people who are adamant against dancing at shows and stand sulking in the back were swaying back and forth a bit. The amount of fun the guys in The Millenium have on stage while playing is infectious. The same can be said of their show at Warped Tour in Milwaukee, where ever they go they are sure to draw a crowd and get them moving. They recently just wrapped up their It’s So Much Friendlier With Tour and sat down to talk with us here.
You guys come from the remnants of other popular local acts, is it fair to call you guys a super group of local talent?
I think “supergroup” might be a stretch, considering this town’s (Eau Claire) vast array of talent in a multitude of genres. We have Grammy winners, bands that are seeing crowds of 10-40,000, on the festival circuit. Getting A-list press. We’re just humbled to be a part of this burgeoning scene, but we’re still just a bunch of friends who write songs together. And play N64.
The Millenium is a newer band, correct? What’s it like having such quick success and popularity?
With any band, the success on the surface is usually the result of a lot of work underground and under the radar, before anyone even hears the songs. It’s very cool to see people responding from around the country since our inception in May of 2014. The coolest part is our Aunts and Uncles and Grandmas realizing we’re not just a garage band. Hi Mom.
How much of said popularity do you credit to your cover of ‘Toxic’ by Britney Spears, which was also featured on MTV’s best covers?
Hm, it’s tough to say. Since that was pretty recent, hopefully we’ll see more in the future. I would say relentlessly touring and returning to see our friends around the country has helped us tremendously. So I think the tour grind has been more beneficial than that I suppose.
Warped is obviously a fun time, but did you guys have more fun playing the show or doing the little acoustic songs as people waited in line?
Playing in the lines is a grueling process. Oof. It’s early in the morning, people are anxious to get in, in most cases sweating their ass off, and in a lot of cases don’t exactly want us shoving our “sales pitch” down their throat. A lot of people are incredibly receptive to us, but to be denied is a really disheartening thing.
Soon you’ll be heading out on your first ever headlining tour, what is that feeling like?
Matt actually says this one best. I’ll copy and paste it from his Tumblr blog.
“Well the time has finally come, and things are getting hectic before tour. You’ve probably noticed, and that’s part of why I’m writing this today. A headlining tour is the most daunting task we have ever taken on, and it is also one of the hardest. It has had to make some of us into ruthless businessmen. Feather and i talk on the phone almost nightly using verbiage that rivals the kind of conversations you would hear in “The Wolf of Wall Street”. You may now ask yourself “why is he telling me this, and why is this important enough to stick into a blog post?”
Here is the reason. WE STILL NEED so much help from your end. If you have ever supported The Millenium, we thank you so much, but we still have so far to go. The attendance from this tour completely dictates how our next year will go; including the tours we will be able to do, and how we are able to push a new record. The music industry is a fickle friend, and regardless of what the music sounds like, the industry as a whole still relies on proof that you are worth something to them more than a decent song.
This is why you see us promoting everything to death. We know were being a little annoying, but every time we do that, we reach someone new who didn’t know about the tour, and that is worth the bit of annoyance for us. We’re trying to add incentives to buying pre-sale tickets, so we can show strong numbers to a venue before we even get through the door. This music thing is so important to everyone in The Millenium, and everyone else on the whole tour, so we are willing to do whatever it takes to continue making music, and playing shows. We also understand that money is a constraint that everyone has. As musicians we understand the broke life so well. The work we put in usually results a declined card while trying to buy a full throttle at the gas station. So again, if you’ve ever thought about coming to a show from The Millenium now is the time, it singlehandedly affects the tours we get in the future, and we want to come and play for you guys as much as possible.
This affects our guest list as well. I wish so badly I could guest list every friend I have made to our shows, and it could be one big Millenium fest, but the time just isn’t right yet. Those guest list spots are great for promotion, and for giving to industry professionals who may be coming out to the show to check us out. We just aren’t at a level yet where we have unlimited guest list spots, and if we ever are, I can’t wait to use them, and have a wonderful reunion every night with all the people I hold closest.
I’m sorry if this comes off as a vent, but I felt there was a need for explanation. The amount of promotion I have had to do lately has made me feel a little uncomfortable, and has made me feel like I’m selling my soul sometimes. I hope someday all I will have to worry about is playing the show, but that’s just not the reality of the situation yet, and I pride myself on being aware of the reality of a situation; good or bad. There are also ways you can help even if you don’t have money. You can re-tweet ticket links, and share things on Facebook. Like I said before, no matter how many times we tweet the ticket links, I always see at least one person find out for the first time.
I am so excited to share this experience with all of you. I never thought I would tour, and now I’m about to go on a headliner, and the biggest catalyst for that has been you guys. We are working hard to make sure we make this show special, and we will be playing new music that we wrote specifically for this tour.”
What’s the one thing you would say to other kids wanting to start a band?
When starting out, it’s quantity over quality. The things you make when you are a beginner, in most circumstances, aren’t going to be great. Continue to push through and make music, even if it doesn’t reach the caliber of your favorite bands. The success will come. There’s an equilibrium point where the quantity becomes quality. That’s the hardest thing to persevere through. Play every day.
Describe your best experience on stage because you guys look to have a lot of fun up there, giving it your all.
Kyle Culver: The Sounds Like Summer Concert Series in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. It was the culmination of so much hard work being put into our local scene, and the fruits of our efforts finally evident. The crowd, upwards of 2,000 of Eau Claire’s cultural inhabitants, were immensely receptive to us. A tearful show for me for sure.
Matt: Pittsburgh, last day of Imaginary Heart tour. The crowd that night was intense, and when they screamed back the ending of ghost town I have never felt more into anything
Kyle Featherstone: Davies welcome party. (UWEC Back to School Initiative) The crowd was out of control. It felt like a huge rooftop party where everyone was cutting loose and didn’t care about what people thought of them. They did everything.
Lastly, just anything else you’d like to add?
We’ve been writing, relentlessly. Some new tours coming up. Lots of work to be done. Incredibly excited.