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The Creative Issue – News for Creatives | July 8, 2020

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Interview: Millions

Interview: Millions

| On 22, Aug 2014

Since crashing onto the scene in 2011, Brisbane locals Millions have been counting their victories, most recently the release of a cracking album and an international tour to Mexico.

We caught up with the four piece for beers on a quiet Monday afternoon, only a couple of days after their return from playing two shows in Mexico.

“I woke up far too early today,” confessed vocalist and guitarist Dom Haddad, with bassist Campbell Smith confirming- “I’ve definitely been getting a few bright and early starts in, just not being able to get back to sleep.”

These recent developments are the culmination of a timeline beginning around October 2013, when the boys headed to England to record their album Max Relax with guitarist Ted and drummer Louis’ father Glenn Tilbrook.

Glenn was involved in the initial stages, but as the boys discussed, conflicts of musical taste made things a little more tricky in the latter part of the process- “Dad was mixing it, but we couldn’t get it to where we wanted it to be,” said Ted.

“He was pretty strong on the things that he wanted when he was mixing, and we were strong too-there were just some things that we couldn’t meet in the middle of,” added Dom, with Ted noting that it was just a case of some “serious Dad-style.”

“There was one song that we’d tried to finish a couple of times,” said Dom of the process of selecting tracks for the album, “we just played it to him anyway, and then that song we’d kind of written off but it ended up being on the album. It used to be really slow but now it’s one of the fastest songs on the album.”

Millions are back on the scene with their album Max Relax

Millions are back on the scene with their album Max Relax

Ted agreed, “When you play and work on songs for ages, it’s good to have someone with an objective view and no emotional attachment, because you’re always just playing it.”

Campbell went further, “especially if someone is just like “no, that’s shit”, which is a shock, but isn’t offensive especially when you respect that person’s opinion.”

After returning the Australia, the boys kept writing, before finally sending tracks to be mixed in Melbourne by Andrei Eremin. With so much back and forth, it’s hard to envisage the process of creating Max Relax, but Dom explained.

““It took us two years from our last EP to release the album… We’d been playing a lot up until the end of 2012 and at the start of last year was when we realised we were going in a different direction to our old drummer (James Wright, currently of Rolls Bayce), and that’s when we started writing properly…”

Ted explained further- “Originally the timeline was that the album would be out in June last year (laughs). And then we had lots of little things like changing management kept pushing back writing and getting it done.”

After finally completing the album, Millions stayed pretty quiet on the Brisbane scene that they had previously been very active in. Following one gig on Australia Day, the boys were thrown back into performing in Mexico following an entirely out-of-the-blue email.

“We literally just got an email in our inbox so we thought, may as well respond and see what they say,” explained Ted, “and then we got emailing with them, and when they finally sent through flights we were like… this is happening.”

“They covered all our flights and accommodation so it was kinda like a little holiday,” added Campbell.

When we asked if there were any crazy Mexico tales a sheepish grin swept across each of their faces, but Dom merely divulged, “just lots of little stories…”

Campbell went further-“ We ended up accidentally bribing a cop… Also he bribed us, mainly because of the language barrier.”

Ted jumped in- “He pulled us over and started speaking Spanish at us and all we understood was “pesos”, so we just thought “give him some pesos!”, and he just walked off.”

“I reckon we gave him more money than the fine would’ve been anyway,” chimed Dom.

Following a three date album launch tour mid-August, the boys are heading on tour for 14 shows with fellow Brisbane favourites Ball Park Music.

“I’m really excited to play some of our own shows again because we’ve done so many support tours that it’s going to be rewarding to play in front of a crowd that’ve come to actually see us, rather than trying to win over someone else’s crowd.” Said Campbell.

“The Ball Park tour is probably going to be the longest tour we’ve ever done,” continued Dom.

Campbell  went on- “It’s going to be interesting… busy and full-on, I kind of don’t ever want to fly again- we just did about 50 hours in transit.”

“It actually so happened that it was too foggy when we were flying into Sydney from Mexico, so the plane had to fly up to Brisbane, but they wouldn’t let us out… So we pretty much missed our flight to Brisbane because we were in Brisbane.”

With Millions experimenting with genres on this album, Dom said “we didn’t want it to be a one-dimensional album, and we have a lot of different influences, we’re not that restricted by what we play.”

“I’d say we all listen to a lot of stuff, so there’s a lot of influences on the one album,” added Campbell.

“Writing on The Wall” is a soaring, hugely pleasant opening track to an album that continues in Millions’ typical strains of loose surf guitar and irregular rhythms. “B Chill” delves more into the world of blues and broadens Haddad’s vocal range more than usual.

Later in the album lies “Harder Than It Should Be”- a catchy, garage style ballad that undoubtedly encourages some singing (or at least, clapping) along, followed by the pleasing cheesiness of the first single from the album, “Clementine”.

Considering the extensive process and confidence that underpins Max Relax, it isn’t hard to see why Millions are making waves here and abroad.