Aural Reports

Debutante Squall: Millionaires' naughty intentions and catchy electro pay dividends

Huntington Beach Millionaires Melissa Marie Green, Allison Green and Dani Artaud don't take themselves too seriously. They also talk shit. Just don't tell mom.

What's the Millionaires' story?

Melissa: We started in August . . .

Millionaires: Giving M.I.A. a run for her money?
James Watts
Millionaires: Giving M.I.A. a run for her money?

Dani: . . . kinda just for fun.

Melissa: Allison is my sister. We live together. We were playing around on our Mac computer and threw together our first song. Dani came over later that day, and she was into it. We saw how big of a reaction it caused the first day, and the next day, we recorded another song, and it just blew up. We were on top unsigned artists on MySpace the first week, and we haven't been off since.

How did it circulate so quickly?

Melissa: Dani and I both had large MySpace accounts with a lot of friends, so it was easy to promote off our friends' lists. After that, we don't know what happened.

Dani: We don't to this day.

So you made all the backing music on your computer?

Melissa: Yeah, it was off GarageBand. We had never touched it before. We'd got our Mac computer for Christmas, and we didn't realize what GarageBand was. We were just playing around with it and jokingly made a song. After our first three songs, music producers and DJs started contacting us, and they started helping us make real music. All of our songs but two we produced ourselves.

Dani: But we're working on recording our old songs with our new producer.

Melissa: No more GarageBand. The weird thing we did that no one does is that we recorded our vocals by yelling at the computer. We didn't have a microphone. We only had the microphone on our Mac, so we would stand around and yell at it. We had no clue.

Had you done much musically before that?

Dani: I took piano classes.

Melissa: My sister and I took piano classes. We can count phrases because we've all danced since we were 3 years old. We're musically inclined.

How do you describe your music to people who haven't heard it?

Melissa: That's hard for us still.

Dani: We're still not really sure ourselves. There's not a lot of music that's close to ours.

Melissa: M.I.A. is the closest. We say it's club/electro/electronica because we don't use guitars. We're not rock. And we're not hip-hop. We rap; we don't sing—but we can't categorize ourselves as a hip-hop group.

Dani: It's uncharted territory.

Melissa: We're "other."

Would it be fair to call your band "accidental"?

Melissa: We never expected for anyone to call us a band.

Dani: At first, it was a big joke to us. We're doing it basically for fun. Right now, we're trying to put some effort and time into it to see where it takes us.

Melissa: Yeah. My sister and I are always together, and Dani is our best friend, so we're always together. We don't have to take time out of our day to have band practice because we're always together anyway.

A lot of the songs glorify partying and bad behavior.

Melissa: We noticed that people responded to the bad lyrics better.

Dani: Younger people are like, "My mom would hate that I'm listening to this!" A lot of the stuff we say is really exaggerated and stuff we would never do, but we think it's funny. We wouldn't do half the stuff we say.

Melissa: But if you meet us, we're not like normal children walking down the street. And people think we're going to be mean when they meet us.

Does anyone ever respond negatively to what you sing about?

Melissa: We have some haters. And musicians don't like us because anyone can get ahold of GarageBand.

Dani: We didn't expect people to take us seriously. . . . We don't take ourselves seriously.

The band name seems to fit well with what you do.

Melissa: We chose the name after we posted the first song because we needed a band name on MySpace. We didn't think it was going to stick. Once people liked it, we couldn't change the name. But now it fits perfectly with our band. If you hear the name, you're going to think that we're going to talk about alcohol and partying and talking bad about people.

Dani: We have a song called "Talk Shit." But don't put that in there. My mom will probably get mad.

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