In the fertile fields of the San Diego music scene, one energetic rock band has continued to grow in popularity and strength, playing shows to a growing and intense fan base. This band is Good Morning Milo, and they know what it’s like to struggle balancing faith, jobs, and rock, while still managing to play at Youth Conference. However, they believe that the Spirit has inspired their rock journey. Good Morning Milo released their first album, Through the Chaos and Clatter, in 2009, and an EP called Pushing the Envelope in 2008, and have developed their chops through relentless live performances since they got together. Good Morning Milo represents everything good about Latter-day Saints in music (whose adrenalized rock is like an awesome kick in the face), and they are now a featured artist at Linescratchers, agreeing to an interview. They rock essentially and have some depth to them, too.
Tell us how the band got together. Where did you get your name, “Good Morning Milo”?
Ren: Where all quality relationships are formed; Craigslist and Myspace. It only took us a month is get everyone together.
Weston: Except for Johnny. He joined 5 months later and no fair asking 2 questions in one question.
My bad. Have any of you been on missions?
Weston: 5 out of 6 of us are members and yes some of us have served. Weston in Brazil, Ren in New York, Alexis in Mexico (despite being stranded in Salt Lake City for 3 months), and Johnny in New Jersey.
How does your non-LDS band-mate feel about your crazy religion?
Weston: It’s a non issue for him, as long as were making good music. He’s game.
What are some influences that your band brings to the table?
Weston: Folk Tales, Relationships, Death Cab for Cutie
Ivan: Pierce the Vail
Johnny: The Anniversary, Paramore
Weston: Anything that rocks essentially and has some depth to it.
Tell us about your songwriting process. Who writes the music in your band?
Johnny: It’s all about who brings their influences to the table first. No but really, Ren, Weston and I write most of the music. It usually starts on acoustic guitar or piano and we build all the other parts from there.
Weston: Whoever writes the song acts as the director, allowing or dissuading the song from going in certain directions.
Have you had much success with your latest album, Through the Chaos and Clatter?
Weston: The album has been very well received by critics and music lovers alike. And considering we recorded, produced, and financed it all ourselves in a three month time frame, it’s done very well.
Ren: We learned a lot and are looking forward to working on our future releases.
Could careful LDS listeners hear spiritual themes in your music?
Ren: Well we base our songs on our own experiences and given that we are members of the church it’s easy to find gospel themes in our music.
Weston: Sometimes we are just a little more cryptic about it.
Your Facebook page also mentions that you’ve done benefit gigs for “With More Than Purpose” and “Invisible Children”. What made you choose these charities in particular?
Alexis: Well honestly they chose us and we couldn’t be happier to be working with them. Both organizations raise awareness of human trafficking; one is domestic and one is international. It’s a big problem that is vastly overlooked.
You have mentioned that you have played at youth conference, but also at other non-LDS venues. Is the vibe different when Mormons are in the audience?
Peter: Actually, Some of our best shows have been at youth conferences.
Alexis: LDS kids are way more animated and get more into the music than any other demographic we played to.
Weston: The coolest thing has been exposing the LDS youth to other good local bands here in San Diego. We act as that bridge. It’s a really cool and unique experience.
Do you feel “called” to write and perform music?
Weston: Definitely. Music is what the Lord wants us to do right now. There is not a doubt in my mind about that. And it’s cool because it was on our missions that we really figured that out.
How else does your faith influence the music you’ve written?
Johnny: Well our faith heavily influences what we listen to and and how want to be portrayed. It’s at the core of everything we do, from how we write our music to how we communicate with one another, even to how we resolve problems that arise.
You’ve been around 3 years and have two releases. Any plans to take your band a step further and sign with a label?
Ren: Right now we’re staying independent but we do have plans to start shipping our music around to labels. These three years have been essential to our development and finding our sound.
Is this a career or is it just a hobby?
Alexis: We treat it like a career because this is what want to do for the rest of our lives. It’s gonna happen but patience and hard work is key.
Where can interested readers find out more about your band, or buy your music?
A: We really want people to know that they can talk to us. We love answering questions and hearing people’s input. So find us on Facebook, Twitter and Myspace. Our music is on iTunes, Amazon; it’s everywhere digitally. If they want our actual CD they can go to http://goodmorningmilo.bigcartel.com/.