Interview with [mila]
"What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
Wren: When I was younger I heard bands like Panic and Fall Out Boy on the radio. I thought it was the coolest thing ever. Then in like 8th grade, I discovered some kids that went to my highschool’s band on Myspace. “Beyond City Lights”, I didn't realize until then that bands could exist at that local level you know? It was really eye opening, and was a gateway into discovering new genres of music. Everything changed when I was 14 though, I heard Boneyards by Parkway Drive. The second I heard that breakdown my life was literally over. All I cared about was metal and hardcore. Then when I was 15, my childhood friend just walked up to me one day like “Hey, we’re starting a band. You’re gonna play guitar.” and he put a guitar in my hand. Music has been my life ever since. I’m not sure what I would be doing otherwise, I didn’t go to college or anything. I like helping people, and I’m currently a behavioral therapist for kids with autism. Maybe I would’ve found my way to this line of work regardless?
CJ: My dad’s a drummer, and he’d always take me to his shows and I’d be around while he played his records. So I was always exposed to it. Then my sister started listening to alternative music while I was in middle school, and it became my entire personality. I spent all my time watching videos of bands playing live on Youtube, I wanted to be just like them. I started learning how to play my dads guitar, but in highschool I gravitated towards drums and I just never looked back. I went to school for industrial design, so I’d probably be working in a woodshop if I wasn't chasing the dream. I love creating and using my hands, I’m always going to do it one way or another.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
Wren: We’re together basically 24/7, so we do almost all of the same stuff. We spend a lot of time at the gym, we’re pretty involved in our local music scene, we play video games, and I watch a TON of movies and shows.
CJ: We also go out and try new restaurants a lot, we still watch live videos of bands like all the time. We also just got into rock climbing, I think it’s something we’re gonna spend a lot of time doing. I’m not sure I can say it really influences me creatively, but I know Wren takes a lot of inspiration from the movies and games he watches and plays.
How long has your band been around? Also, please tell me about the dynamic of the band of what brought you all together.
Wren: The idea of [mila] has existed for like, 2 years? But as like a fully realized concept it’s been about a year. I’d been writing a bunch of demos with my friend that got me into music and I was just like “Wow this is something really special.”
CJ: Wren and I met while working at Vans. The first day we worked together he just kept awkwardly walking up to me asking “So… Do you like *insert thing here?*” We were friendly for sure, but we only really started getting close when I introduced him to my sister before he left for a tour with his old band. They started seeing each other and so he and I were just around each other a lot. We had a lot of the same interests, and the same personality. We just clicked. Then the pandemic happened and like, I don’t know. We’re family.
Where are you based and how did that influence your music?
Wren: We’re a Boston based band. It’s definitely an influence on us lyrically. Boston can be a pretty gloomy place, especially in the winter. Our music is pretty happy sonically, but for the most part our lyrics are sad sad sad.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
CJ: Wren put on Forgetting Sarah Marshall one day and we saw Mila Kunis on screen. That’s kinda it.
Tell me about your most memorable shows.
CJ: We haven’t played any shows yet, but we’ll make sure to talk with you again when we do!
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
Wren: Middle East and Sonia in Cambridge MA, and The Vera Project in Seattle.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
Wren: Oooooh that’s tough… I’d have to say [mila] as the opener, with Bring Me The Horizon and The 1975. BTS as a headliner would really put it over the top.
CJ: It’s a pipe dream, but opening for Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift and Paramore is all I want.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
Wren: To anyone starting a band, or anyone who WANTS to start a band? Do it. Write music. Even if you think it’s bad, just do it. Be true to yourself and things will work out one way or another. To my younger self? Keep moving forward.
CJ: I would tell my younger self, and anyone who wants to start a band really, just go out and meet more people that play music. Put yourself out there. If you don’t, you won’t learn and things will never get done. Stop overthinking.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
Wren: It’s not a song that’s been released yet, but the one that means the most to me personally is a song called “You Think You’re Jared Fucking Leto”. Sonically it’s the kind of song I’ve always wanted to write, and lyrically it’s all about following your dreams. I can’t wait to put it out. I hope everyone else loves it as much as I do.
CJ: Another song that hasn’t been released yet, it’s called “Baby You Can Have It”. It was the first demo of this entire project that Wren showed me, and it kickstarted this whole thing. I’ve seen every form the song’s taken and I just think it represents us and what we’re doing more than any other song we have. It’s something really special, I know it’s gonna be a big moment when it comes out.
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
Wren: So every song is written by my co-writer Liam Hurson, and I. He put the guitar in my hand when I was 15, and he’s been a part of my musical journey ever since. I come to him with an idea, or a riff and we just go back and forth writing and tracking demos. The whole time I’m sending them to CJ to see what she thinks, and when it’s about 60%-75% realized we bring it to our producer Chris Piquette (No Boundaries Studios) and he really brings it to life. Nothing inspires me quite like the manga I read. I write a lot about my own experiences, but I don’t know. A lot of the stories I consume just help me put everything into words.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
Wren: Basically everything I write, I do for catharsis. It helps me heal. Part of what makes art so great is what people get out of it, isn’t necessarily what the artist puts into it you know? A line I write about something, can mean something completely different to the person listening. Beyond that though, I hope more minorities can come across our music and be inspired to start bands of their own. It’s no secret bands are all mostly straight white guys, and there’s nothing wrong with that! But growing up a lot of people would look at me funny, like “Oh man why are you listening to that screamo shit? That’s for white people.” I want people that look like CJ and I, people of color and members of the LGBT, to know that these spaces are for them too.
Do you have any new singles, videos, or albums out that you would like to tell me and your fans about?
CJ: I don’t want to spoil too much, but the next single we’re putting out is called “The Trash Was Avant Garde And Jack Will Love Me Forever”. The video for it is something we’re so excited about I can’t even properly express it.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
Wren: We’ve got like 8 songs we’re gonna be methodically putting out for a bit. I don’t want to talk too much about it, because anything can happen. But we’ve got a pretty solid plan I think. We’re also always writing. So by the time those songs come out we’ll have a lot more ready to go.
How can your fans best keep up to date with you, any socials you want people to check out?
CJ: We’re “@milaforfun” on Instagram and Twitter, and “@milaforfunn” on TikTok! Anything [mila] related we’ll be posting on there."