Millington - Sound In The Signals Interview

We recently had the chance to interview Millington about their origins, their new EP, and more. Read it below. 

First, thanks for the interview.

You got it!

Can you tell us how you got together and formed the band for those who are not familiar with your music? How did you initially get interested in music? 

Sure, I’ve been really into the Pop-punk sound ever since I was 12. That’s when I first heard American Idiot by Green Day and decided that’s what I wanted to do with my life. Fast-forward to 2016. I’m in LA working for Blink-182 as a studio assistant/intern. I had an amazing time there, but I got homesick fast. I knew that if I went home, I had to keep the momentum of everything I was learning. That’s why I started this band!

Your new EP ‘Beatdown Generation’ just came out. Tell us a little about the writing and recording process for the EP? How long did you work on it?

We started working on this record directly after our last single “University” came out. (so around September of 2019). Some of our newer fans may not know this, but I engineer/produce all of our records at my studio. So not only do I get to write the records, but I get to craft them sonically as well which I am thrilled about. 

The process would usually go something like: I write the skeleton of a song, I have our drummer (Brandon Rutski) come in and lay down the drums, Our trombone player (Jon Bintz) would come over to the studio 2 days consecutively per song (One day to write the song and one day to track horns), and our guitar player (Alex Maloy) would come over and lay down his parts.

The entire record took from September to mid-March to complete. 

I really like the artwork for the EP. How did you come up with the concept for it? What’s the meaning behind it? Who designed it?

Thank you so much! The idea was a 3-part effort between our album supervisor (Nick Cavin), our graphic artist (Kt Bierman), and myself. It was close to the due date for album submission and we had a bunch of ideas that weren’t sticking until Kt showed us some last minute sketches from her book. I’m pretty sure she was riffing on the lyric from the EP’s titular track “did you lose all the feeling when you fell through the ceiling”. As soon as I saw it, I knew it was the one. The biggest thing that I wanted was for it to have really cool colors and I think Kt nailed that.

I’m seeing a big return of horns in punk music and some resurgence of the ska scene. What do you think has caused the genre and horns to make a return? What made you want to have horns in your band?

The ska purist side of me wants to say that ska and horns never left… But I’d be lying if I had said that I didn’t notice this too! I think there was a big drop off of people wanting to start bands and take them seriously around the mid 2010’s. As a result, there hasn’t been a lot of new “Rock Genres”. I don’t want to say that people are taking steps backward now or anything, but the lack of new rock influences make people rely on nostalgia a little bit more in my opinion. 

I wanted horns because they are super dynamic and they can do things that standard rock band setups cannot do. They can be triumphant, solemn, punchy, and even for funny effects.

I see you guys get compared to Less Than Jake a lot. For me, you sound more like classic All Time Low with horns. How would you describe your sound and what are some of your biggest influences?

That’s so funny you asked this because I have very frequently received messages and comments that say: “you guys sound just like Goldfinger had a baby with New Found Glory” or “Less Than Jake meets Blink-182”

I have simplified our sound to this basic formula:
Well-known 90’s Ska Band + 2000’s Pop Punk Band = Millington

All jokes aside, the big thing for me was whether or not to call our sound “Ska”. Ska purists would probably say that we are not a ska band and I would see the point they are making when they point to some of the OG ska groups in comparison.

On the flip side, people who don’t know the genre super well would call us a ska band whether or not we labeled ourself as a ska band. For that reason, and because I love bands like Less Than Jake and Reel Big Fish I’ve chosen to embrace it. 

One of my favorite songs you’ve released is “J45”. Can you tell me a little about writing that song and also a little about filming the video?

J45 was the last song I wrote for our first EP. Before I wrote it, every other song was basically about being forgotten or the fear of being forgotten. For J45, I wanted to take a story tellers approach and make it a 3rd person perspective. If you listen to The Beach Boys (My favorite band), they sometimes sang about a random model of car that you’ve probably never heard of. That was my inspiration behind picking a model of guitar that some people would know and many others wouldn’t. 

Filming the video pretty much had 2 locations. One was in and around my house (My messy room is pictured early on in the video). The other was at my father’s steel fabrication shop. Something funny you might notice about the video is that most of the members are different now. We weren’t really a band back then. In fact, that was the day our drummer joined! 

You just released a cover of Dashboard Confessional’s “Vindicated”. What made you pick that song to cover and can we expect more covers in the near future?

I have loved that song ever since I heard it in the credit sequence of Spider Man in 2004. I picked that song because I think it suits my vocal range well. I had recently done a podcast with On The Upbeat before I did the Vindicated cover and they told me my voice and lyrical style was similar to Dashboard Confessional. I think that probably subconsciously guided my decision to choose that song.

I think so! A big part of why I did it was because the quarantine situation has made it so I can’t be with my band. Luckily, I play all the “ska” instruments necessary to do covers. I will likely do more especially if the quarantine is not lifted soon!

Thanks for taking the time to answer the questions. Do you have anything else that you would like to add?

Thank you for your interest and asking me these excellent questions! 

All I have to add now is that our new record “Beatdown Generation” is available now on all platforms and that we really appreciate anyone who gives it a listen! 

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