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Nearly two years ago, After Miles singer/guitarist Isaiah Milner left South Dakota to bring his distinctly Midwestern music to Orange County.
OC Weekly:What's your band's story?
Isaiah Milner:In August it'll be two years since me and Joe Khoroosi, the violin player, moved out here from Sioux Falls, South Dakota, to make the music thing our profession. We'd been playing since eighth grade. We met up with the rest of our band—Chad [Clark] and David [Bartle]—about a year ago. It just went from there. When we were in South Dakota, we were doing a duo thing and it was Isaiah and Joe, or I & J, I & J music—we had a couple of different names that people knew us by.
When you decided to move to Southern California, why did you choose Orange County?
It was in the middle of Southern California, so we could go to LA, Hollywood and the beach cities. So we chose Anaheim because it was in the middle and it was the only place we could get an apartment.
You've got a pretty unique sound with the violin in a rock band.
It's coming from two very different points of view—classical and jazz violin to rock guitar. It's just being able to be a genuine mix of those two worlds. As far as the sound, it's two different things coming together to make one.
Do people ever think you'll be a country band when they see the violin?
Yeah. But it's usually corrected in the first couple of seconds.
Did people react differently to your music in the Midwest than they do in Orange County?
When we first moved out here, I thought that it was going to be a lot more than what it is. But I think there's a big difference between somebody that has lived in that environment, the Dakotas specifically. We've run into a lot of acoustic music out here.
Is there anything in your sound that reflects Orange County?
A lot of the stuff we do has a lot of energy. That relates specifically well to Orange County. I think that people around here like to see something different because there's a lot of standard rock around here. So people really latch onto a different-sounding rock.
Is Orange County a hard place for a band like yours?
It is because the biggest scene here is that standard rock kind of music. Because the rock side of things is bigger here, it can be harder.
Do you have any favorite local bands?
Shane Gooding, we like him. And Whitton.
Is there anything you miss about South Dakota that you haven't been able to find out here?
Yeah. I'd say the space and the pace. It gives you a lot more time to think. That's something I miss.
Was there anything you missed about South Dakota that you were surprised to find out here?
Just the beauty. The beauty out here is incredible, with the beach and the mountains.
You mentioned the lack of space. Do you ever get a claustrophobic feeling out here?
You can, especially where we are, where the majority of the time is spent going to work and back. On occasion, it can get to you a little bit.
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