Milo Talks New Side Project, Last Day On Earth, And Being A Part Of Hellfyre Club
'scallops hotel' is his next project, starting with the EP, 'poplar grove (or how to rap with a hammer).'
Milo, the philosophy nerd and self-conscious rapper, is about to take his game down a different path. Touching on topics such as touring and his favorite music of all-time, you can read about his life, his label, and his last day on earth here - but most importantly, see where Milo's headed next.
So far, 2013 has been a massive year for you. You've got a lot of notoriety by fans, blogs, and critics through your New Year's Day EP's (Things That Happen At Day / Night) and your concisely succinct mixtape, Cavalcade. You also moved to Chicago. How has your life changed in these past few months?
My life, I think, is on the upward momentum portion of a swan dive. After school ended this year I felt a tremendous urge to prove myself, that I was doing, in my free time, what a lot of folks do with their full time. And with the summer in front of me it felt like I now had to demonstrate what I could do with my full time. So there was Cavalcade, there were several tours, several trips to LA, quite a bit of egg fried rice eating, a good amount of skateboarding, a new library card, etc.
A few days before I set out for the sprawling Geordi La Forgery Tour I decided I needed to leave school. It was too much pressure, it felt like the stakes were Willis Tower sized and I'm a well known and documented quitter so I did just that. And it feels wonderful.
Now I live in Chicago and work at a movie theater.
You've just released a track ("Manchester") that's going to be featured on the Hellfyre Club mixtape, Dorner Vs. Tookie, along with your fan-favorite "Ecclesiastes," as well as "Snake Lake remix" with Busdriver. How is it being a part of Hellfyre? And how was it collaborating with them?
Those are my brothers. Hellfyre Club is a lot more than a record label, it's also a sort of title or guild or brand in a lot of ways. That type of inclusion has been, I think, very good for me. It feels good to belong, to be a part of a group you believe in, to know there are guys who have my best interests at heart. I trust them immensely which makes collaborating instinctual and fun.
You seem like a very busy dude. What's next for you?
I have been working on a side project under the name, "scallops hotel." It's looking like 5 songs but maybe 4 of which I produced 4 under the tutelage of Riley Lake, Alwayz Prolific, and WC Tank. The EP is called, "poplar grove (or how to rap with a hammer)" I'm going to release it November 19th on my bandcamp.
What makes this different than your previous work? Where does the name for your next project derive from?
Prima facie, that I produced it. That's the easiest thing to note. But more than that, there's a decidedly poetic turn inward. With Cavalcade, I was very angry and more than that I wanted to demonstrate that if I was interested in rapping precisely on beat to loud, boisterous themes-- I could. So while this Scallops Hotel project is non-canonical in the sense of I am not flying under the Milo banner for it, there is a canonical aspect of poetry-centric writing. I think, too, the idea of making a proper collage. So I went around, like all self absorbed millennials, and used the voice recorder on my phone to sample this or that thing in the city. And also my girlfriend is doing a couple of guesting bits here and there.
The name is very stupid. When I first started rapping, I was talking to my best friend Braden (who incidentally tour manages for me on occasion) and sort of in this bold, shit-talking mindset was like, "if I ever make beats it'll be as Scallops Hotel." Because we were all infatuated with Clams Casino but I thought what a ridiculous and annoying name he had (I was ignorant of the seafood dish).
So now I'm here, with a self-produced EP and I said I would use this name and, well, it seems important to keep your word.
Is there a clear-cut theme or concept with this new EP?
There is. Poplar grove is a phrase that I have been attached to for some time now for absolutely no reason. Any place I could catch my breath became "poplar grove" to me and often that was the feeling I needed to start making instrumentals. The alternate title "how to rap with a hammer" is my attempt at thumbing-my-nose at the bravado of rap and the vernacular use of the word hammer as well as evoking Nietzschean imagery, right, so his famous "how to philosophize with a hammer" Twilight of the Idols bit. It's all probably way too self absorbed.
What does this mean for your rapping? Is Scallops Hotel purely a side-step or do you see yourself diving more into your personal work?
I write a lot and I didn't want to necessarily inundate whoever listens to my stuff with only one narrative stream. This is my attempt at diversifying that. Scallops Hotel stuff isn't entirely other from my Milo projects it's just different. I see myself creating a tremendous amount more in the future (hoping) and I think of it all as equally personal. In short-- I am not solely Milo projects, I guess.
Who are your top five artists of all-time?
2. Open Mike Eagle
3. Bill Callahan
4. Jose Gonzalez
5. Phil Cook
Top five tracks?
1. Bending Light - Busdriver
2. Dishes - Open Mike Eagle
3. Nothing Rises to Meet Me - Bill Callahan
4. Rope & Summit - Junip
5. The Fade - Megafaun
Top five albums?
1. Fear of a Black Tangent
2. Rappers Will Die of Natural Causes
3. To The East Blackwards
4. Fleet Foxes self titled LP
5. Megafaun self titled LP
Bonus round! Are you anymore certain that you're not LeVar Burton?
Not a lick, sir.
Did you ever figure out which word to use - patina or verdigris?
Enough of that. How did the Geordi La Forgery Tour go? Plan to do another tour anytime soon?
The tour was cathartic. Taking Riley Lake, Safari Al, and my boy Braden Morgan (Nedarb Nagrom) on the road was always a dream of mine, always something that I wanted to do, to have a sort of Lost Boys-esque road trip and have it pay for itself. And that's exactly what we did, you know? Lighting roman candles speeding down the highway at 3 AM en route to Dallas, TX or skating through Memphis at 7AM and being late to sound check in Knoxville because of it, really taking the time to make a litany of foolish, boyish decisions for no other reason than to hear your buds laughing is a place I don't often let myself go to. So it was a really great time for me.
If you had one last day on Earth, how would you spend it?
I would watch Twin Peaks in bed with my girlfriend. I would eat 3 cartons of Noodles Party indonesian fried rice. I would not put pants on.
Are you afraid of death? What are you afraid of?
I'm afraid of being the type of person who can't really understand others and I already sort of am that person. So I'm very afraid of that getting worse.
Any last words/comments?
Thanks Dylan, Prefix Magazine always seemed like a big fucking deal to me when I was in high school or college and clicking around aimlessly trying to find new things to download and lord over my friends. It's a real honor to have your attention, thank you.