The last time that we caught Brooklyn rockers Milagres was an opening set at The Middle East Upstairs supporting Peter Wolf Crier. Following an extremely busy summer, the band returns to the Hub this week to support former Smashing Pumpkins guitarist James Iha at Church on Thursday October 4th. I had the chance to catch up with Milagres frontman Kyle Wilson and we talked about the band’s time in Boston, their take on festivals, and their hilarious new video for “Glowing Mouth.” Read on below for the full interview and a look at the “Glowing Mouth” video.
Maimed & Tamed: The last time that you guys were in Boston was when you were supporting Peter Wolf Crier, what was your favorite memory from that tour? Anything particular stick out about the Boston gig?
Kyle Wilson: I remember distinctly how friendly, awesome and sexy the Wolf Crier boys were. I think that was our first show with them on that tour, which ended up being one of our funnest tours of the US.
I also remember that my voice gave out during our set, which had never happened to me before and hasn’t happened since. I think I just decided to roll with it and take an early 90′s approach.
M&T: We recently interviewed Belgian duo Black Box Revelation before they came through Boston and asked them what the biggest difference was between European and US festivals that they had performed at and they claimed that US festivals are more wild. With you guys being from the US and having played festivals over in Europe, what would be the biggest differences from your perspective?
KW: Every festival we’ve played so far has been different. Europe definitely has more of a festival culture, so they have a lot more festivals than we do here in the US and many of the festivals are really well organized and tastefully curated. Many of them are quite small, actually, which I think tends to make them a better experience for consumers. This year we played Primavera Sound in Spain and Electric Picnic in Ireland, which were both really excellent bigger festivals. Walk the Line is a small festival in Netherlands that is really cool, and the UK’s version of SXSW, The Great Escape is a lot of fun as well. Its also less overrun than SXSW or even CMJ.
I am under the impression that the US tends to have fewer festivals, but the ones we do have are absolutely enormous, and maybe a bit overpriced or overhyped. Its hard to imagine that watching your favorite band from half a mile away with a $9 dixie cup of beer in your hand and a really bad sunburn would be that much fun, but the world is full of surprises! I would actually love to go to one of those big festivals in the US sometime, just as a consumer, but its hard to find the time.
M&T: Your new video for “Glowing Mouth” has a hilariously retro feel to it, who came up with the idea for the video and how did it come about?
KW: Our guitar player Eric sent us all a link to the Hall and Oates video for “I Can’t Go For That,” and suggested we use it as a starting point. I watched the video, then muted it and put the track “Glowing Mouth” against it. I thought it had the right darkness and the right look to compliment the song, but I also knew it could be really funny. Our music is serious and hopefully beautiful, so we like to insert a bit of the other side of our personality into what we do whenever we can. Humor is a pretty big part of our relationship as a band, and although it rarely surfaces in our music, its always there.
The Piranha Brothers directed the video for us. They are friends of mine and I knew that working with them would push our limits as performers a bit which is always a good thing for a music video. We all find performance style music videos to be a bit cliched and boring, so we wanted to make sure we were poking fun at that idea, rather than just making another one of those videos. During the first few takes I was really nervous and The Piranha Brothers did an amazing job of getting me to come out of my shell, which partially involved getting me drunk.
The shoot took place in a donated space and a lot of people came together and worked really hard to make it happen in one weekend. Among them was Jillaine Gill, our leading lady, who really makes the video work, in my opinion. Some of the shots were filmed at 4am and we were all sort of at the ends of our ropes, but everyone just pulled through and made it work. It was definitely a creative young people teamwork kind of thing and it felt good.
M&T: Your Boston show marks the first of a few dates with James Iha, how did you guys get hooked up with him?
KW: We haven’t met James Iha yet, but some of us are really big fans, so we’re extremely pleased to have been invited on the road with him. I think its going to be a lot of fun.
M&T: What is your favorite Smashing Pumpkins song?
KW: My favorite Pumpkins song is “Hummer.” My bandmate, Eric, however, is really one of the biggest Pumpkins fans, so I just chatted him up and this is what he said: ”‘Hummer’ is the song that currently resonates the most with me. ‘Soma’ is a lifelong favorite. ‘Obscured’, ‘Pennies’, ‘Set the Ray to Jerry’ and ‘Drown’ are some stand-out b-sides/deep cuts.”
M&T: What’s next for Milagres after these October support dates?
KW: Its been a long year of touring and we are really excited to settle down in Brooklyn and spend the winter writing and recording another album which is going to be even better than the one before it.