Millionyoung on Making a "Pop Record With Substance," Willennium, and the Miami Heat
On Saturday, April 20, Fort Lauderdale's indie beacon of light, Radio-Active Records, will celebrate Record Store Day 2013 with an action-packed, 13-hour event chock-full of free stuff, live music, and delectable and rare musical items. Just streets away, at the massive Revolution Live complex, Block x Blog will be making Fort Lauderdale indie-music history with an epic lineup spanning three stages.
Among those performing this year at both events is Coral Springs native Mike Diaz, the musical mastermind behind chilled-out electronic indie outfit Millionyoung. With the recent release of Variable, the sophomore follow-up to 2011's Replicants LP, and a full U.S. tour just under way, Diaz gave us a moment to talk about what he's been up to and divulge some of his record-collection gems.
New Times: Congrats on the new album! How's it been going since the release back in February?
Foreigner w/ Cheap Trick and Jason Bonham's Led Zeppelin Experience
TicketsTue., Aug. 1, 7:00pm
Double Feature: Straight No Chaser/Scott Bradlee's Postmodern Jukebox
TicketsTue., Aug. 1, 7:30pm
Blondie & Garbage: The Rage and Rapture Tour
TicketsTue., Aug. 8, 7:00pm
Guns N' Roses: Not In This Lifetime Tour
TicketsTue., Aug. 8, 7:00pm
Lionel Richie: All The Hits With Very Special Guest Mariah Carey
TicketsThu., Aug. 10, 7:00pm
record has been doing great! We've been getting a lot of feedback from
our fans, and now we're getting ready to go out on the road. Yeah, just
really happy with how it came out.
How would you say your sound has evolved since Replicants, and what were some of your musical influences while recording Variable?
Well, this was the first time I recorded anything in a proper studio, and it led to a more lucid record on Variable. I really wanted to make a pop record with substance; the lyrics and vocals are clearer and straightforward, but I held onto the pallet of instruments I love.
I was mostly listening to classic soul and funk, like Al Green or even Michael McDonald. So much of the hip-hop and house music I enjoy samples from them, and I wanted to pay homage to that in my own way.
What have you been up to; how've you been spending your time since finishing up the album?
relaxing, actually. We put a lot of work into the record, and we just
did a tour last October through December, so the last month or so, I've
been spending time relaxing, watching Heat games.
I've also been working
on DJ sets a lot and making some mixes, that type of thing. Now
we're kind of changing gears, getting ready to go on the road, so we've
been playing some more live shows.
Who's your favorite Heat player?
Gotta be D. Wade. So clutch.
So you'll be playing a DJ set for
Radio-Active Records' Record Store Day event, and you'll also play a live
show as part of the Block x Blog music festival?
Yeah, I think we're gonna be DJing at the Green Room and then playing the live set at Revolution.
On the subject of records, what was the first record you ever bought?
The first music I ever bought with my own money was a Kris Kross cassette.
What's one record you could never live without?
These are always hard questions to answer! I'd have to say Pet Sounds by the Beach Boys. I can always listen to that.
How about the most embarrassing record you ever bought?
was a long time ago, but I remember I had a Will Smith CD. I think it
was Willennium, like when it first came out. I might still have it. Can't say it's not scratched, though.
If you could change one thing about the music scene in South Florida, what would it be?
More DIY house shows. For sure.
Blogs have been almost like the record stores of the millenial generation -- places where people come to discover and have conversations about new and exciting music. They also have their drawbacks. What do you think about the role music blogs have played for you and others, and what do you think might be the next platform for independent and underground music?
I think there's a lot of great blogs spreading music and promoting what they love, but sometimes their opinions can get in the way of letting the music speak for itself. Word of mouth and independent radio are still my favorite ways to find music. It's great now to see people are finding out about bands at festivals and by actually going out into the world again; I would love to see that grow.
So you're heading out on tour soon, then?
we're just starting to book some dates for late April. We're gonna head
out after Block x Blog. It'll be a U.S. tour, East and West, over mid-spring, early summer.
Give us one reason why everyone should come out on Record Store Day.
all the support for the local bands and the local vendors and
everybody that's here working hard to do that. You know, it's a scene that's growing here, and it's always great to see people come out and support
Record Store Day at Radio-Active Records with Jacuzzi Boys, Shroud Eater, Suede Dudes, and others. 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, April 20, at 845 N. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale. Visit recordstoreday.com.
Block x Blog with Holy Ghost, Jacuzzi Boys, Krisp, Lil Daggers, and others. 8 p.m. Saturday, April 20, at Revolution Live complex, 100 SW Third Ave., Fort Lauderdale. Visit subcultureus.com. Purchase tickets at jointherevolution.net.
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