Los Angeles pop-rock quintet Milo Greene released their sophomore album, Control, in January. Since its release the group has been selling out shows all over the country, and will hit the road with Foster the People on a string of tour dates later this year.
I caught up with Marlana Sheetz, Robbie Arnett, and touring member Curtis Marrero to share a bottle of Paumanok Sauvignon Blanc before their March 12th show at the Bowery Ballroom and talk about recording their first album in wine country, their upcoming set at SXSW, where to drink in L.A. and the band’s predilection for Moscow mules, Irish coffee and tequila.
The official music video for “Lie To Me” can be seen here:
I heard you recorded your first album, Milo Greene, in wine country. What was that like?
Marlana: We did a couple weeks of sessions in Santa Ynez, near Santa Barbara, and that is definitely wine country right there. We had so much fun, roaming around. I turned 21 there. That’s so crazy it was already five years ago. While we were up there recording we all went out and got a little silly.
Did you learn more about wine being there than you did before?
Robbie: Probably due to my dad, I have a little wine knowledge. My dad’s a big wino; he’s been collecting bottles forever and keeps them in the wine cellar in our basement. I remember a task of mine one summer, years ago, was to classify all the wines and write down their years and build him a notebook. But my palate isn’t too expansive.
One of my best friends is also making wine, and he sends us wine frequently. He’s from San Francisco, so shout out Best Coast Wines! When we played in San Fran, he brought a bunch of wines—including bottles with labels that had our faces on them.
I know you didn’t record the whole Milo Greene album in wine country, but just thinking about environment, how it plays a role in change, and your growth as a band, how was the recording process of Control different?
Marlana: It was a lot different. We recorded the whole thing in LA; it was more working out of our own home studios and then coming together and taking bits and pieces from everyone. It was very different than everybody just getting in a room and jamming out.
Robbie: Recording in LA lent the sound more of an urban type feel, versus out in the woods, giving it more of a rootsy vibe. The atmosphere, the location, all played a role in the sound for sure.
You guys are going out for drinks. What do you guess both will order?
Robbie: Marlana would probably order a Moscow mule.
Curtis: No…White Russian, dude!
Robbie: Marlana, when’s the last time you ordered a White Russian?
Marlana: This is why I never get a White Russian, because we play in bars that never have cream.
Robbie: Yeah, you’ve been on a Moscow mule kick.
Marlana: Yeah, or Irish coffee. And Robbie will probably do an Irish coffee or a margarita, maybe a gin and tonic.
Speaking of going out, where are some of your favorite spots to grab drinks in LA?
All these places are in our neighborhood—we live in East LA—the Silver Lake, Los Feliz area, and we’re pretty loyal to the hood.
The band is well traveled. But can you recall a city or country you’ve visited that you had the best, self-indulgent day?
Curtis: As far as drinking, one of the best days we had was a day off in Belgium. We just walked around the city and did beer tastings. Also while recording in Santa Ynez we took a short ride down to Bridlewood which was pretty awesome as well.
Robbie: This past week we were in Montreal and we had really good food. We’ve had a few times where we’ve had days off in Montreal and had some good Irish coffees.
Marlana: Any place that can make a really nice Irish coffee is the dream.
If you were to order a glass of wine at a bar, what would you order?
Mayana: There was a wine that I had at the Magic Castle that was one of the best wines I ever tasted; it was a sweet, white wine, but I can’t remember what it was called.
Robbie: I usually go for Pinot Noir or Chianti. I like blends a lot.
What about shots?
Marlana: Probably tequila just because it’s the easiest thing that goes down.
Robbie: Not Fireball.
Marlana: I don’t mind Fireball shots! They’re sweet. It doesn’t bother me. A shot of whiskey immediately makes me think of the worst hangovers I’ve ever had.
Robbie: I’ll take a shot of whiskey, anything but a shot of vodka. But most often I like chilled tequila with lime.
Marlana: I really want to play shows in Mexico so we can go to tequila factories.
Curtis: Let’s go to Dolce Vita when we’re in Austin! (Dolce Vita is known for their Gelato Cocktails.)
Speaking of Austin, you’re going to SXSW, right? Tell me a bit about that.
Marlana: Every band that knows about SXSW knows it’s a crazy, shit show nightmare that every band has to do at some point or several times. We’ve done it one other time. It’s a lot of craziness. There’s so much going on on this one strip, and the stuff that’s not even technically SXSW is also mixed in. You show up to your show on the fly, and there’s no sound check, so the sound is usually bad. You have to go in knowing it’s not going to be a very good show, and you hope the audience has been drinking. But it’s big for brand partnerships and meeting people.
Robbie: Yeah, it’s all about networking.
Jillian Scheinfeld is a writer and interviewer living in Brooklyn. By day she’s a publicist for a nonprofit and by night you can catch her at a concert or practicing yoga. See past work here and follow her tweets @jillianschein