Getting real with Marlana Sheetz—her band Milo Greene is EVERYWHERE
Milo Greene, the self-proclaimed “cinematic pop” band, just released a new video on Mashable today for their song “Lie to Me,” featuring a thorough round-up of some famous lies told in our collective cultural history. The band’s collab with the website perfectly combines their original song with some eerie nostalgia. It’s captivating, thought-provoking, audibly soulful, and another perfect example of why everyone’s talking about this totally original group.
Their collaborative efforts aren’t the only thing that makes Milo Greene so unique. For starters, there is no lead vocalist in the band. Instead, all four members—Robbie Arnett, Marlana Sheetz, Andrew Heringer, and Graham Fink—sing, write songs, and play multiple instruments. The band came together in Los Angeles in 2009 and later released their debut record in 2012. Their latest album, Control, sounds as if their first self-titled record had a baby with big beat 80’s dance music. In other words: it’s awesome. (See their official music video for “Lie to Me” here.)
Also awesome? The origin story of their band name. Years ago, they used “Milo Greene” as the name of a faux booking agent/manager to get gigs. It made them look more professional already having representation and helped them get so many gigs that they decided to keep it as the actual band name.
I had the chance to catch up with Marlana Sheetz to get all the deetz on the new album Control, touring, our shared love of Parenthood, and all the things that inspire their music. Here’s the lowdown:
Hi Marlana! How are you?
Hi! I’m good! I’m actually dying my hair right now.
What a cool way to do an interview! So your new record just came out and it sounds amazing! And you’re starting a new tour. How do you feel?
Thank you! I’m so excited. I haven’t been able to sleep the last couple of nights because I’ve been stressing out a little bit. Worried that I’m going to forget something or that nobody will show up to the shows. Different things like that. . .just totally irrational fears, but I’m so excited and nervous. Not nervous to perform just like. . .how’s the weather going to be? Are we going to get stuck somewhere? Am I going to stay healthy? I don’t wanna get sick. I’m just worrying about that stuff and it does no good, you know?
I feel like it’s normal to worry. Not to make you feel more anxious, but I have heard some snow stories where bands can’t make their shows, so I REALLY hope that doesn’t happen to you guys.
Yeah, it really is the worst time of the year to travel. I was driving one time .. .it was three in the morning and we were traveling through Arizona. We slipped on black ice and the trailer came around and smacked the side of the van. Everyone woke up and I was scared. It was the worst. I was the only one willing to drive. It was so terrifying, but it was okay. I think I handled it well. I grew up in the mountains with snow and ice, so I knew what to do. In that situation, you just have to make sure you’re not hitting the brakes and just let the ice take you. Luckily, it was the middle of the night, so no one was on the road and no one got hurt.
That really is scary. On a lighter note, you guys call your music “cinematic pop” (which I love), are there any movies that inspired the new record?
I don’t know about ‘inspired’ the record, but it’s kinda interesting that after the record was done, movies came out that kind of expressed how we were feeling and it almost worked the opposite way. This album is like an homage to Los Angeles and it has a little bit of a darkness and a happiness at the same time. It was funny to see new movies and TV shows that are really showing what Los Angeles life is. Like Nightcrawler came out and Transparent—shows like that are really just showing the lifestyle of L.A. So it all worked opposite in that way. We made the album and then we saw these shows and we were like ‘wow, they’re showing the feelings we had while writing the record.’
That’s actually really cool.
Yeah! It felt like we were really with the times.
What are some TV shows or movies that you’d want to see your music in?
Actually, there’s this new show on HBO called Togetherness, which would be really cool. It’s based in L.A. and it’s just a rad show.
I actually wrote about Parenthood ending and added an older song of yours to my playlist.
Oh yeah, I love that show! I’m so sad about it ending, but I’m SO happy Julia and Joel are back together. I randomly saw both those actors one night in Hollywood and I’m such a big fan of Parenthood. I had to meet them—this was months ago when they were still broken up. So, I went up to them and was like, “Guys, I’m so upset. I can’t believe you’re not together. I’m sorry. I’m just a really big fan. I love you guys so much.” And they were just really complimentary and like, “Thank you so much!” Thank god, they’re back together. For the kids!
Thank god! I love that show so much. For your last record, you guys made the short film, Moddison, do you think you’ll do one for Control as well?
No, we just put out a new music video for the song “Lie To Me” and that was kind of our first real music video. It didn’t have a narrative. It was pretty much the first video where you’re seeing everybody’s face and getting to know us as individuals. I think this time we’ll probably do more individual music videos as opposed to the Moddison-type video. It was awesome, but I think we just want people to establish a relationship with each of us and kind of learn who we are. No mystery this time. I’m excited for that. There’s a lot of cool people out there that have a lot of great ideas. I’m excited to work with new people.
I’ve read interviews where you’ve said that Gloria Estefan was an inspiration for songs on this album. Are there any other artists (new or old) who inspired you guys while making the album?
Well, I was going through my parents’ house and I was listening to their old CDs. I was curious to see what they thought was amazing at the time. Stuff I remembered my mom listening to when I was growing up—a lot of Gloria Estefan, Céline Dion, Whitney Houston. I really love it. I’m obsessed with Whitney Houston’s I’m Your Baby Tonight album! I can sing every song off that record. A lot of really good songs on there. I love the Gloria Estefan stuff because the songs were just so rhythmic and there’s just so much percussion and energy. I just really wanted this new album to have a lot of that, so I looked back at a lot of that stuff for inspiration.
If someone hasn’t listened to Milo Greene before, what two songs would you tell him/her to listen to?
I would tell them to listen to “Lonely Eyes” and “What’s The Matter”. I think they’re the two pinnacles. Two of my favorites, but also they’re really the easiest and most clear example of the band- groovy, vocal harmonies, a softness, and just fun. You can listen to both of them and really get a good grasp of what the band is.
Great choices! Anything else you want to tell HelloGiggles’ readers?
Check out our new music video! Come out and see one the shows. And if you have some friends that like to dance, tell them to come too!
Well, thank you! It was awesome talking to you!
Thank you! See you in New York!
Milo Greene is on tour with Wardell (another awesome band). I can’t wait to see them in New York! Find a show near you and check them out!
Featured Image via Milo Greene. Other image by L Gray Photography.