One year ago, Los Angeles based quintet Milo Greene were flying high. The band’s first self-titled album, which they described as cinematic pop, won them many accolades and as they geared for the follow-up, spirits were high. Though Control was vastly different, the band was confident it would be a bold step forward. Ahead of the band’s release party at Sonos Studios in Los Angeles, the collective beamed and knew while a new synth pop-laden sound was a risky proposition, they embraced it.
Less than a year later, Milo Greene’s fortunes have changed dramatically. Control was a bust, leaving critics and fans disappointed. The band collectively soul searched for what went wrong and why the unfavorable reaction was so robust. On top of having a disappointing follow up, one of the band’s four co-singers/songwriters, Andrew Heringer, left the group. The resulting time on the road before the announcement wasn’t awkward, but it was making the most of the situation.
“We learned things putting out a second record,” Graham Fink explains. “As with any band, it’s hard thing to keep everybody happy. And with a band that has four singer/songwriters, that is near impossible. I think we learned that it’s hard to keep everyone happy, creative and everyone feeling like they’re being heard. I think Andrew needed to be able to do that without having to share and compromise the way that was happening. He needed a passionate outlet for his music that wasn’t being received by the people around him, but it’s also something we all struggle with.”
Now that the band’s tumultuous 2015 is in the rearview mirror, they’re optimistic about their future. Learning the lessons from the failed experiment of pushing too much too far too soon, the band hunkered down and started moving on without Heringer.
Over the past few months since the album cycle ended, the remaining four members of the band are in the process of writing and working on new material that leans closer to their self-titled album. The stripped down, back-to-basics approach so far has served the band well by reconnecting with material that built them a fan base.
“We’ve been working from our living rooms and created most of our new record that feels genuine,” Fink says. “It feels like we’re getting back to the things that we started doing as a band naturally.”
Heringer’s departure made it easier for the three primary songwriters (Fink, Marlana Sheetz and Robbie Arnett) to dive in respectively and work on material they liked. There’s no ill will or animosity towards Heringer, but the band is looking back to move forward.
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To prove to fans that they heard their disappointment, Milo Greene posted a demo for “Dozen Times” on their Facebook page before the new year. Like Fink promised, the song, in its current form, is a return to the band’s stripped down roots. The band has approached their third album without worrying about some of the factors that went into the making of Control and will serve as a fresh start for the band.
“The last album is still something that we’re really proud of,” Fink says. “As a band, we inevitably try to do things differently and now that the stuff we’re doing is a little bit more akin to the first album in some ways, but is also a middle ground, I think we stopped thinking about what we wanted to be and just started writing and are taking it as a hopeful change for the better and rejuvenate ourselves.”
Milo Greene perform tomorrow at Off Center Festival's Arts Plaza at 6 p.m. For full details about this free show,