Matt Clarke on Milestones' Debut Album, "Red Lights": "It’s About Perseverance, Attitude and Resilience"
If Red Lights is the pushing off point for Milestones, then it's safe to say that 2018 is going to be this UK pop-punk quartet's year. Filled to the brim with catchy hooks, memorable choruses and vulnerable lyricism, Red Lights is everything you'd want from from a debut full-length release and more. What promises to be the band's biggest chapter yet didn't come without a few struggles, though. In fact, that's exactly what Red Lights is all about: pushing past life's obstacles and the "red lights" that people put in front of you.
Following the release of the album (which you can pick up now!) we caught up with vocalist Matt Clarke to discuss the creation of Red Lights and Milestones' plans for 2018. It comes as no surprise that the band is showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon, and trust me - you're going to want to know their name before the year comes to an end.
Interview by Dom Vigil
Can you tell us a little bit about Milestones for any new listeners?
Hey!!! We’re a band from Manchester in the United Kingdom. Our album “Red Lights” came out recently and we’re really excited for you to hear it!
First and foremost, I want to talk about your new album, Red Lights. What goals did you guys have in mind for this release sonically? What did you want to accomplish?
We wanted to make sure the album had diversity and longevity to it. We wanted to make sure that it had anthems, ballads, rocky songs, poppy songs - the lot! I think more than anything we really wanted to connect with fans lyrically and I feel the message really is a positive spin on all of that!
It being your debut full-length release, was creating Red Lights daunting at all? Did you know exactly what you wanted out of it when you began writing and recording?
It’s definitely daunting for sure! I think we always had the goal of creating the best damn album we were capable of at this point. We wanted to have the diversity and we wanted it to be an album that grows with us and our fans! Based on the response, I feel really good about that!
How do you feel you’ve grown as musicians and in general with the creation of Red Lights?
I think we had to really test ourselves mentally and as musicians. It was a real test to demo 70+ songs and rewrite an album 5 or 6 times. It takes it out of you because you’re constantly having to re-access and make sure it’s good enough, and not get trapped in what you know.
Lyrically, Red Lights has a really deep meaning for you guys as well. Can you tell us a little bit about what inspired these songs and the stories on the album?
Totally. Red Lights is about facing your demons and really striving to pass through the red lights that people put in front of you. It’s about perseverance, attitude and resilience.
What was the most challenging aspect of writing and recording the album?
I think the grueling 15 hour writing sessions week-after-week were what killed us off a little. Drew and I really hit breaking point too many times but we really pick each other up and push through. The music we were writing was really the reason we didn’t give up, quite ironic really!
On the flip side, what was the most rewarding?
Definitely seeing it all come together and looking back on past demos for sure! It’s been great to see how we critiqued the first demos and how we moved forward, I think it’s nice to know we have a process that works really well!
You already have quite a few tour dates lined up this spring, as well. What are you looking forward to at those shows? What can fans expect?
They can expect some dabs, that’s for sure! Mark is going to be dressing up in drag for a couple of them maybe too…..
Do you have any other big plans for the rest of 2018?
Yes! We just want to tour as much as humanly possible!
Thank you for taking the time to chat with us! Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Just thank you guys!! :)