Friday, December 04, 2009

Interview: Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson

Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson's excellent sophomore album, Summer Of Fear was released in October on Saddle Creek Records and he has just returned from a tour with Castanets. He took the time for an interview about the tour and the plans for his next album, which he is already working on and says is less bitter and more hopeful than the last album.

Atlas and the Anchor: It has been written that you have been influenced by a lot of great bands but who do you say your influences are?

Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson: Pavement, Tom Petty, Jay-Z, Lou Reed, Thomas Pynchon, New Order, Fleetwood Mac, Will Oldham, and The Cars.

AA: My favorite songs on Summer of Fear are "Hard Row" and “The Sound”. What is your favorite song on the record and why?

Miles: I tend to like individual moments of songs more than the songs themselves...I am fond of the middle eight on "100th of March", the coda of "Summer of Fear pt. 1", and the guitar solo on "Boat". Also, anywhere the strings come in.

AA: What were you listening to in the tour van?

Miles: Today we listened to... DMX "It's Dark and Hell is Hot", Jay Reatard "Matador Singles" ZZ Top "Tres Hombres", Dire Straits "Money For Nothing" and Neu "Neu 2"

AA: How did you plan to reproduce the sound of the album in a live setting and who helped you play live?

Miles: This tour is kind of the opposite of my first one for the first album a year and a half ago. That album was recorded with very "good" players but by the time I toured I was leading what was essentially a roaming under-acheiving bar band because that's what I felt comfortable with. We played crazy covers and re-interpreted my own songs to the point where they might as well have been covers, it was a lot of fun but also kind of defensive and unnecessarily off-putting on my part...there was a certain element of the audience that was disappointed and/or alienated by that experience. An earlier, even less functional version of that band had made Summer of Fear, somehow, nine-months earlier. We went in for a week or so and then Kyp and I spent another 40 days or so finishing it over the next 18 months. One member of that band still plays with me. The others I met when they were supporting when they were supporting my friend Holly Miranda. They are very good. I think we are a more satisfying experience now. All that being said, I think the goal now is not to reproduce the album live exactly, but provide a recognizable performance of the songs that is engaging enough to stand there and watch. I also quit getting drunk before shows which, perhaps unsurprisingly, makes a huge difference.

AA: You have already collaborated with some great artists and bands such as Kyp from TV on the Radio and Grizzly Bear. Who would you like to work with next and/or who would your "dream" backing band be?

Miles: I would like to make a record with either Jeff Lynne or Lindsay Buckingham.

AA: It looks like you are aware and ready for a big crash of waves (impending doom?) on the album cover. What was the inspiration for the artwork to the album?

Miles: A neighborhood bar and September's a long story.

AA: Are there any other projects that you are working on that we should know about?

Miles: My memoirs. Also, a screenplay.

AA: I know the album has just been released, but are you working on ideas for a new album and what can we expect?

Miles: I have written more than enough songs for a third album over the last year. I have a tendency to become over-invested in new material when I am doing new stuff so I'm trying to hold off finishing that stuff until it's time to record. I toured the first album right after mixing Summer of Fear the first time and I was somewhat less than eager to get up and play buriedfed every night. We'll probably play a couple songs from the 'next' record on this tour though. It's called "Purple Rain, Purple Rain" and it will be much much better than anything I've done so far. Summer of Fear was written by a very bitter person who had given up on anyone besides his friends and a portion of Williamsburgh ever hearing his music. The songs I have lined up for "Purple Rain, Purple Rain" were all written in a flush of relative success and hopefulness.

AA: What one older and one current song do you wish you would’ve written yourself?

Miles: Hypothetically, "Ambulance Blues" by Neil Young and "Live Your Life" by T.I.. But really, I've found I don't enjoy things I've written the way I enjoy the songs of others so nothing really. Maybe the Eagles catalogue...for the money.

AA: Miles, I really appreciate you taking the time to answer my questions. Thanks again!

Miles: No prob, good luck!

Download "The Sound":

Read the Atlas and the Anchor review of Summer Of Fear here:

For more info click here: and


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home