Milliseconds featuring Joe Easley (drums) and Eric Axelson (vocals / bass / synth) of The Dismemberment Plan, and Leigh Thompson (guitar / noises / pedal board) of The Vehicle Birth will release their J Robbins-produced debut LP ‘So This Is How It Happens’ on October 13 via Spartan Records.
Axelson says, “On the third or fourth date with my now wife, she told me about her fantasy to head to the airport some Friday after work, buy a ticket for Paris, and spend a weekend exploring, eating great food, drinking wine, flying back for work Monday. Without skipping a beat, my overly-practical tour manager brain kicked in and before I knew it was spelling out how expensive it’d be buying a last-minute ticket, how you’d need to figure out lodging when we landed, how raw the jet lag would be on a short trip…completely missing the romantic point of the notion, killing any spontaneity at all. Not my best moment, and I’ve gotten a little better about being spontaneous and staying present, even if it’s not natural.
The verses of Fallingwater are loose ideas of of fantastical dates wandering the world together, like she’d want, then the chorus flips back to my brain struggling with tapping into emotions, being spontaneous, admitting that it’s not what I’m good at.
Musically we felt like we were tapping into Hüsker Dü and the Kinks when writing this. Those chorus chords especially with the high strings ringing out as a drone definitely owes something to Bob Mould, and the riff in seven that separates sections of the song, feels like some early / mid Kinks, or maybe “Alex Chilton” by the Replacements, but in seven. The weird twist comes in the bridge: initially it was just one voice, but in the studio we layered harmonies and it came out a bit Beach Boys, just maybe not as pretty.”
Many moons ago, Joe Easley (drums) and Eric Axelson (vocals / bass / synth) were in the Dismemberment Plan, and met Leigh Thompson (guitar / noises / pedal board), who was in the Vehicle Birth — fourteen years later, and thanks to broadband, we now have Milliseconds.
The DNA of the Dismemberment Plan, the Vehicle Birth, and the trio’s prior band Statehood, are clearly present in ‘So This Is How It Happens’, but as a three-piece, part of the Milliseconds journey was reenvisioning the sonic landscape — trying to figure out how sonic space was filled or left open. A large portion of that experimentation took place during the production of the album with heralded producer J Robbins. Milliseconds evolved and grew organically over time, and as a result, the band’s debut release covers a wide sonic territory swerving not only through the band members’ previous projects, but also through the haunts of bands like the Replacements, Hot Snakes, and the Kinks.