Filed under: Interview
Since his first release a seven inch double A-side “Destroy Rock and Roll / Sun Worshipper” in April 2003 the young man from the Isle of Skye has been on a steady rise to the heady heights of music stardom, bringing his own version of funky dance rock to the forefront of this recently reinvigorated, redefined, area of dance music.
Far from being a technophobe Mylo possess pure techno joy, embracing ‘the studio in a computer’ ilk, indeed beginning life as ‘Mylo the producer’ in his own room with his trusted G4, with Reason and Pro Tools softwares respectively.However if there are any you left who still scorn the rise of all those creating sounds from that little box on ones desk, you will be pleased to learn that Mylo himself is a dab hand on the keyboard and is far from shy about picking up the guitar for jams during his own live shows.
These days seeing Mylo live you may be surprised to find that it is rather Mylo the band,including his younger brother on guitar, a drummer and a bass player who conspire to give the crowd a dose of bouncy seminal funky dance with rock rifts thrown in for good measure.
With natural comparisons to Royksopp, and along with a lot of artists coming on to the scene of late, Mylo can count a wealth of influences providing him with the inspiration to do what he does. It’s not just a question of ‘fingers in pies’ but rather ‘feet in camps’,unashamedly taking from various sounds, count – Prince, Daft Punk, Stevie Nicks and The Scissor Sisters to name but a few. Hopefully Mylo can build on the superb success of his debut album ‘Destroy Rock and Roll’ and take his label ‘Breatsfed’ even further, embracing and making the current trend of musical ecclecticism the way forward for a long time to come, not just a short lived attempt at being different.
Read what he had to say in our recent email interview with him.
Interview by Kei Tajima (HigherFrequency)
HigherFrequency (HRFQ) : You are from Isle of Skye, in Scotland. Can you tell us what it’s like there?
Mylo : Cold, wet and dark most of the time, but when the sun shines it is the most beautiful place in the world. It’s a slow, quiet place,especially in the winter.
HRFQ : We heard there’s only one radio station in Isle of Skye, what kind of music do they play?
Mylo : That’s not exactly true any more, but it’s true that there was only one station with a good signal when I was a kid. It was called Atlantic 252 and it played mainly what I guess you’d call “Soft Rock”!
HRFQ : What kind of music would you say has had the biggest influence on your music?
Mylo : It’s difficult to say because I have always listened to everything. I don’t think there is one style which is “my music” but it’s true that for this particular album I wanted to make a cool homemade electronic pop record so to that extent I was particularly influenced by Les Rhythmes Digitales, Jollymusic, Daft Punk, Metro Area, Royksopp.
HRFQ : Your major at University was philosophy right? Do you think it has had an affect on your musical style?
Mylo : No. I don’t see how the two are related. Sorry.
HRFQ : Were you interested in producing from the beginning or were you more interested in DJing?
Mylo : I was never interested in DJing until last year. I just wanted to produce. But people kept on asking me to DJ and eventually I thought I’d try it. I am now completely addicted to DJing, I love it. I was terrible at first, of course, but I’m getting better.
HRFQ : What kind of equipment do you use to make your sound?
Mylo : My studio is just a Mac G4 with some software in it and a midi keyboard to play the notes in. The two programs I always use are Reason and Protools.
HRFQ : About your label…Breastfed Recordings. Are you planning to release other artists from there in the future or is it simply a label for you?
Mylo : It is not just a label for me but we have been a bit busier that we expected with my album in the last year so we haven’t had time to concentrate on very much else. We have signed a few other things – we are about to release an electronic cover version of “Sweet Child of Mine” by Guns’n’Roses which is brilliant and we are trying to sign Philippe Zdar (from Cassius).
HRFQ : You’ve been appearing in lots of festivals this summer, what have been the highlights so far?
Mylo : Difficult… I would have to say the scottish festivals have been the best for us so far, we played at the Isle of Skye music festival, and two days ago we headlined the Slam tent at T in the Park, which is the biggest Scottish festival. Twelve thousand people in a huge dark tent, it was insane.
HRFQ : You played at Isle of Skye festival in June, how was it? How did you feel to be back there?
Mylo : You’re one step ahead of me there … it was great, the crowd were amazing despite the fact that Skye was the only place in the UK where it was raining that day! I was totally exhausted because we had to stay up all night rehearsing with a stand-in drummer (who we had never met before) because our drummer hurt his back. The night of the festival I got two hours sleep and then had to leave at 7am to fly to a rave in the south of France. So basically I didn’t really get to relax at home at all! Life’s too crazy at the moment.
HRFQ : How do you usually play sets on stage? DJ or Live? Can you tell us about your live set-ups?
Mylo : The priority at the moment is to play live. There are now four people in the live band – my brother Hector on electronic drums, my friends Lewis and William on Bass Guitar and Guitar / keyboards/machines – and I play guitar and keyboard as well.
HRFQ : Your Album “Destroy Rock & Roll”, how long have you been working on this album all in all?
Mylo : It’s more a collection of tracks from the first two or three years of my life as a producer. I got my first computer in summer 2001, and the first tracks I made which ended up on the album were “Sunworshipper” and “Destroy Rock & Roll” about six months later. The last tracks for the album were made in summer 2003 but the record didn’t come out until summer 2004 in the UK and summer 2005 in most of the rest of the world! Things seem to take a long time in pop music…
HRFQ : When you first made the tracks like “Destroy Rock & Roll” and “Drop The Pressure”, did you think they were going to sell this much?
Mylo : No. The concept of album/single sales didn’t really cross my mind until after the album was finished.
HRFQ : Has your life changed in a big way since you became ‘big’?
Mylo : It has changed in the sense that I have been constantly travelling for the past year, doing live shows, DJing, doing promo activity of various kinds… Before that my life was very quiet and studio-based, so that has been a big change. But when I go home to London I still stay in the same horrible warehouse where I have been living for the last two years, so that part hasn’t changed. I probably won’t have the opportunity to make any more permanent changes for another few months, when things quieten down – then I’ll … get a flat, get a suit, get a haircut etc…
HRFQ : How did you come up with the idea of stencil art design(for artwork)?
Mylo : You would need to ask the Phantom about that, he’s our graphic designer.
HRFQ : You are mixing quite big stuffs, such as Elton John and Kylie Minogue, How did you approach them in the first place?
I don’t have a fixed approach to remixes. Normally I just drink some coffee and mess about until I have an idea, then I try it, throw it away, start again & repeat the process until the deadline comes.
HRFQ : Do you enjoy remixing as much as producing?
Mylo : Sometimes. But if I had to choose I would choose my own productions because they are mine, all mine! (laughs maniacally).
HRFQ : Can you tell us your plan for the rest of 2005?
Mylo : Crazy for the next three months with festivals all over the world from Benecassim in Spain to Fortdance in St. Petersburg and Fuji Rock too! DJing a few times in Ibiza, and somehow remixing a track for Royksopp in the middle of all that. Then in September we’ll do a tour in the US, and a European concert tour in November, and then maybe take a break.
HRFQ : Have you heard anything about the scene in Japan before?
Mylo : I am a big fan of Japanese bands like the Yellow Magic Orchestra but I don’t know that much about the scene there. Everyone who knows it tells me that Fuji Rock is amazing, though.
HRFQ : Any message for your fans in Japan?
Mylo : I didn’t know i had any! … My message is love… awwww
End of the interview
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