Even after two years together and Lord knows how many interviews about the same tired topic, the members of Milo Greene still get asked about the phantom booking agent that inspired their band name. For the last time, there's nobody named Milo Greene in the goddamn band. Recently, one radio station went so far as to actually dig up a caller by the name of Milo Greene to talk to the band during an interview. Aside from being a hilarious surprise segment, member Robbie Arnett says it was remarkable how little the man and the band had in common.
"He went off about how he only listens to bluegrass and country and pretty much hates listening to everything else," says Arnett. "He turned out to be a real character so it was fun."
These days, the band--who is appearing this weekend at Doheny Days--have learned a thing or two about characters. Having finished their first-ever feature film, Moddison--a shimmering slice of cinematic narrative to accompany their long-awaited eponymous album--the band members learned how to make a film from the ground up with little-to-no experience other than countless hours watching movies in their tour van.
Between Arnett and members Marlana Sheetz and Andrew Heringer, the three even started their own alter-ego production company called the Cymbal Hands which took on the task of producing the film after the band finished their debut record. "We were bored and had nothing to do for about a month, so instead of hanging out with friends and family we just kind of decided to tackle something crazy," Arnett says. The film took about three days to write and a little less than a week to film.
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They tapped their longtime friend, Long Beach resident Chad Huff to direct the film and the group headed up to Shaver Lake, Calif. Heringer's grandfather had a cabin in this quiet, Fresno County town (population 634) that served as the backdrop and features Heringer's real life roommate Spencer Williams and friend/co-star Sophie Moore.
While we can't gather a lot from the trailer in the way of plot, the look and feel of it suggests the kind of complex, contemplative and, haunting sounds that band squeezed into their record. From the beginning, every aspect of the film felt personal, which helped tell the story of the album's concept, felt personal--right down to the title. "Moddison is actually the name of the street Andrew lived on in Sacramento," Arnett said. "He and Marlana were doing music as a duo beforehand and that was a street they created a lot of music on." Since finishing the film, the band also plans to release music video-sized portions of it--not necessarily in the right order--to coincide with certain tracks of the album.
Despite all the work that went into it, it's probably the most calm and stable their lives have been considering they've been on the road for about eight months on the road--including an upcoming tour with the Walkmen. But this weekend, OC fans can get a beach-side taste of Milo Greene's rustic, indie pop mosaic when the band rolls into Dana Point for Doheny Days hitting the Dohney Stage at 2p.m.