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Exclusive Interview: Mills Takes Us Back To The 70’s With ‘On The Weekend’

Exclusive Interview: Mills Takes Us Back To The 70’s With ‘On The Weekend’

Mills is bringing sounds of a past era to modern pop music and he’s doing it “memorable moment to memorable moment” with laidback energy and a mop of unruly curls.

‘On The Weekend’ is his latest single, capturing the lingering that heartbreak can have, with a breezy melody, vocals reminiscent of a young John Mayer with a little more sunniness, and the keys of a vintage Rhodes piano.

We caught up with Mills to chat about the making of ‘On The Weekend,’ the places he’s lived, and what motifs mean to him!

Image Source: Courtesy of Mills

What was the inspiration behind the sound and lyrics of ‘On The Weekend?’ We love the lyric “I hope you thought I was happier than I am today.” This song is definitely one of our new favs right now!
The inspiration of the soundscape was the feeling I got while listening to a song by Little Feat called ‘Long Distance Love.’ I was chasing that feeling for a song of my own and at a session in New York there was an old 70’s Rhodes [piano] there so we came up with the keys part first. As far as the lyrics, I wanted to synthesize my situation at the time. I was having a hard time forgetting about someone. The thoughts I was having were the last thing I wanted to think about but I couldn’t stop them from coming in. I hadn’t heard that song yet so I decided to write it myself. Thank you so much. 🙂

When you’re writing, how does an idea start? Do music or words come first for you? 
It really depends. Sometimes I’ll have a title and a rough concept going into the studio and go from there. Other times I’ll write a whole song on the guitar. That’s how it started for me so I enjoy that the most probably.

Your music has a strong ‘70s vibe––what draws you to that era? 
I love the messages of the late 60’s early 70’s counterculture movement. It was a catalyst of a whole lotta love. People were coming together over music at a time where everything was so divided. Also the soundscapes of the Laurel Canyon movement sparked so much inspiration in me when I moved to California. It felt like home listening to those songs. 

How did the ‘On The Weekend’ music video come together? 
The ‘On The Weekend’ video came from wanting to create a unique visual that captures the mood and tone of the song. It’s open-ended of where I’m coming from and where I’m going but it’s all part of the journey that is Millsyboy.

You’ve performed at Lollapalooza, Summerfest, and more––what’s your favorite song to perform at festivals?
I really love playing ‘The Store.’ The moment I wrote that song I knew it was going to be perfect for a live show and especially festivals. By the end everyone is singing along and it feels so special.

Image Source: Mills via Instagram

Do you have any fun festival stories you could share? Any behind-the-scenes moments or a favorite set that you’ve been to?
I met a dude that was like 6’6 at a bar the night before a festival in Ohio and I asked him to walk around the fest with me as my bodyguard and it was truly a great bit.

Coming from places like Kentucky and Nashville, how have those areas influenced you musically? 
Growing up in Bowling Green was amazing. I was subconsciously introduced to so much amazing music at a young age that by the time I started making it I had developed an ear for it already. Being so close to Nashville I fell in love with the storytelling aspect of country music. Pretty much everyone comes through Nashville on tour so I got to see a lot of cool shows and I knew that I wanted to be up there.

Image Source: Mills via Instagram

In your IG bio, you say “livin motif to motif,” can you tell us what that means to you? 
A motif is a memorable melodic phrase. I have never thought about this before, but not only am I living this way in a musical sense literally, I am also living this way metaphorically. Memorable moment to memorable moment.

Who have been your biggest influences throughout your life that have shaped you into the artist you are now?
My biggest influence is my older brother. He’s a super bad*** songwriter and he inspired me to want to write good songs. I listen to so much different music but early on I was listening to a lot of John Mayer. I fell in love with the way he wrote songs and it felt like I could have wrote it because I felt that way too. More recently it’s been people like Joni Mitchell, CSN, and Little Feat. Lowell George is such a genius and I love the way he makes songs.

Image Source: Mills via Instagram

What’s one thing you’re manifesting that you want to accomplish over the next year?
A headline tour is what I’m pushing for right now. I love playing music for people and meeting them after seeing how they resonate with these songs.

See Also

Any plans for an album or EP that you can drop hints about?
I am working on my first full length album called Millsyboy and it is classic.

Stream ‘On The Weekend’ here!

What do you think of the song? Let us know on Twitter @thehoneypop, or find us on Instagram!

Want more interviews from artists you love? We gotchu.


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