Posted On 10 Jun 2014
Jared & The Mill once were a little local Phoenix, Arizona band but not anymore! These guys are taking the music scene by storm, one city at a time. They are currently on a whirlwind summer tour hitting up every major city and major venue along the way. They even just played the renown Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles!
I’m not sure how exactly but Jared from Jared & The Mill found some time for an interview with me!
I know that you guys are crazy busy right now touring all over the US so I really appreciate you taking the time to answer a few questions for me. I am so glad that I’m friends with Jared’s cousin, Monique so I learned about you guys a long time ago. I am really excited for all the success you are having now!
First things first, how did you guys come up with your band name? Of course, I know that Jared is the lead singer of the band but why “The Mill”?
It’s indicative of our writing process, I (Jared) approach the band with the raw material (the chords, melody and lyrics) and then once it’s “run through the mill” we have our finished product.
How much has Phoenix and really the state of Arizona impacted your careers thus far?
AZ has been an amazing home for us and greatly influences our sound as a band. The landscapes and big skies are an inspiration to us, and the people are so friendly that it’s hard not to be impacted by them.
I had the original thought to start a band, I was prepping to receive my business degree at ASU and it scared me to be honest. I was afraid that my passions were leaving me and I just really wanted the opportunity to start a band and play songs that I’d written at the time, so I called Mike who’d been my best friend since the 7th grade and we met up with a friend of a friend (Larry) and I told him I was starting a band and I wanted him in it. It really was as simple as that, he brought in Chuck and Josh and the rest is history.
Take me on the career of musical journey so far? What has got you to this point?
Lots of hard work, they say that “luck” is when preparation meets opportunity, and I like to think that in that sense we’re very fortunate. We practice hard, we’re constantly taking lessons for our instruments and voices and we never miss a practice. Through our people skills we pick up opportunities and our preparation enables us to meet our challenges.
Who does the songwriting? Do you take turns? How often are you creating new music?
I write most of the songs, however Larry has written a few and Mike is almost done with a really awesome folk tune, which we’re really excited about! Once the melody, lyrics, and chords are written, the song is presented to the band and everybody writes their own parts for their instruments, the “milling” process if you will. We’re constantly writing and jamming together, we’re almost ready for album #2!
You are playing at the Hollywood Bowl this summer here in LA! How excited are you guys? What are other venues you are looking forward to playing at?
So incredibly excited! It’s like a dream come true to play in such a culturally significant venue! Our next big one is Summerfest in Milwaukee, where we will be playing with The Zac Brown Band.
It’s incredible, his camp is so incredibly supportive and nurturing and it’s really awesome to be around such kind people on our first big production tour. Barry himself is really so nice and caring, he’s always making sure we’re comfortable and prepared.
Who are some of your and the band’s biggest musical influences?
It’s hard to pin our influences because we’re all very different in our listening music. However we all really love classic country, folk, and some new age folk, Fleet Foxes in particular is the jam on this tour. My influences as a writer are very steeped in classic country, I listened to a lot of Bob Dylan, Merle Haggard, Kris Kristopherson, Johnny Cash, and Willie Nelson as a kid. I’d be be lying if I told you I didn’t rock to Blink 182 as well growing up.
If you had the opportunity to work with any act/artist from the past, present or future, who would it be?
Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young would be amazing, the Head and The Heart would be a dream come true, and it would be awesome to tour with Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings. I feel like lot of good stories would come from that.
Right now at this we got club bangers in the green room, Kendrick Lamar to be specific. I wouldn’t say he impacts us too much as artists! Haha.
When you guys aren’t performing or writing new material, what do you all enjoy doing for fun?
Camping, movies, readings a big one, climbing trees, I personally love chopping wood, hanging out somewhere shaded and green is always nice.
Everybody’s family is very supportive, the road is a lot of fun but you learn quickly that exhaustion is your ever-taunting enemy. We’re very often fighting our eyes open before going on stage and adequate sleeps are few and far between. So we look to each other for encouragement and we do our best to smile and joke about it rather than dwell on it.
Talk about being in Austin this year and the drunk driver incident at South By Southwest. You guys amazingly went and played at the victim’s hospital room! How did that all happen?
Truthfully it wasn’t a big active effort on our side, we just felt it was the right thing to do, so we did it. Mason has been a fan and friend for almost a year and a half now so it really wasn’t any bigger a deal than visiting somebody you know in the hospital, we just happened to have instruments with us.
What is your favorite song to perform live? And so far, where has been your favorite place to perform? Do you have any great road stories you’d like to share?
We have a brand new song called “Kids These Days”. It is such a good time on stage and it has this moment where everybody comes in on gang vocals and then the bass and drum hit right after. I don’t know.. it’s hard to explain.
The Wichita Orpheum is probably my favorite place to perform so far. I really like old buildings. We’re not very interesting as far as road stories go, but I will tell you we were once accused for stealing a motels construction laminent.
Do you have any advice for upcoming musicians?
Work hard, work so hard because every moment you spend watching TV or going out with friends, there is somebody in their room writing and sending emails, and composing a tune. Every moment you spend should be in pursuit of your craft.
If you’re our fan, then you’re our friend. If you’re our friend, then you’re our family.