(Rules of The Gauntlet: The artist (Like in this case the badass AltRock Hip Hop Band Milton J and The Leftovers) is sent a butt ton of questions ranging from standard to stupid from which they must choose at least 12 to answer and return them to us with a minimum of tear stains.)
Hailing from Frederick, Maryland, Milton J and The Leftovers are an Alternative Rock/Hip-Hop Quintet with an impressive background and an even more impressive album, Vain Wisdom, dropping April 15th. Check out their performance against The Gauntlet and watch their debut video off the album, “Killing Dreams”!
Tell me why your music rules. Or why it sucks.
Our music rules because it’s a style that no one has ever heard before. It’s original to us because that’s what it is, us.. and we stay true to that. Yes, we’ve developed the sound technically and musically with each album and keep coming up with new ideas but we still stay true to our roots and makes references to our older music. We each pull influences from our personal favorite artists as well, so it’s an awesome mixture of just good music that I believe everyone can relate to and jam out with.
Tell me about your new album. The writing, vibe, production/producers, etc.
Our new album is called Vain Wisdom. The title is a quote from John Milton’s Paradise Lost, which is something that we always do when it comes to naming our albums. But this one I believe stands as a milestone in our pursuit of the music industry in that we’ve found and developed our sound and finally reached a sweet spot. Each song tells of the struggles of being an unsigned musician as well as personal issues that every human being meets with at some point in their lives. For instance, one of our singles off that album, “Sun”, is about my love for my son who came unexpectedly into my life…But the vibe is very heavy rock and hip-hop and our songs transcend through both genres throughout the album. So there are some heavier, deeper songs like “Still Make It” and “Of Every Face” while there’s also “Never Chan
ge” which is a more upbeat hip-hop influenced track. We recorded it ourselves, all of our albums have been self-produced but with this one we had it sent out and mixed and mastered professionally. Our producer BJ Sampson did an amazing job capturing what we were looking for and he’s a really awesome guy to work with. More than likely we will continue working with him in the future.
What are you working on right now?
Currently we are working on the album campaign for Vain Wisdom. We have a PR campaign being built up and getting everything ready for that with TAG Publicity helping us out. Our first single for the campaign, Killing Dreams, will be dropping on March 17th and will premiere through PureGrainAudio and then the album will be released a month later on April 15th. We’re planning a release party for that too which should be awesome and then the tour over the summer to promote the album. So, it’s a little hectic but we want this to be perfect as we’ve learned from past mistakes what not to do and
what we needs to be done and prepared beforehand.
Why do you make your style of music? Why not polka? or Japanese symphonic folk metal? or..?
We make hip-hop/rock because it’s a unique combination and something that we all love equally. To put them together I believe is something really cool to make and experience because it’s two genres that we’ve all grown up and been influenced by. To be able to channel both of them and create the feeling we get from hearing a heavy rock anthem and a hip-hop track is a great feeling to achieve.
Top 2 stupidest things you’ve ever done.
One of the stupidest things we’ve done.. Well, this was something that our drummer did. But we were
playing a show at Ram’s Head over the summer and the crowd was really feeling us. We were doing our last song and the crowd’s response was too much, so our drummer Garrett didn’t know how to react so once the song was over he got up and threw his seat into the crowd because he was so pumped.. Unfortunately, the promoter didn’t think this was the greatest thing to do and immediately after we got off stage he was berated by security. Of course, we apologized and promised that we wouldn’t do it again without warning the promoter beforehand.
Another stupid thing that happened.. A few years ago we had a different bass player named Justin and although he’s an awesome guy and really good at picking up instruments and playing anything, he’s had mental health issues and even had a brain tumor removed about a year or so ago. But we were playing a show in Downtown Frederick at a venue called Cafe 611 and at one point during the set, he had the audacity of taking his clothes off and ran out of the venue and into the street.. It was interesting to say the least, but he’s notorious for doing crazy shit like that.
What is your philosophy? Motto?
To be relentless.. to never give up. No matter how many times you’re taken advantage of or have plans that fall through at the least minute, you must always get up and try again. And no matter how much drama is stirred up, never let that get in the way of your dreams. Just keep trying because eventually once you’ve gotten through all the bullshit and dealt with people who’ve only tried to bring you down, you’ll be at the other side at will be able to breathe. This goes for both personal issues as well as struggles in the music industry.. Just don’t give up and everything will be fine.
What exactly is “Going apeshit?”
Going apeshit is completely losing yourself in sequence with your band members as well as the crowd in front of you. The feeling of 100% chemistry through a wave of movement with the people surrounding you. So a more positive feeling rather than negative, as going apeshit on stage is a feeling that can’t be easily recreated.
Who are your influences?
The crew’s sound is a mixture of Alternative Rock and Hip-hop developed into it’s own consciousness. MCs such as Mike Shinoda, Slug, Immortal Technique, Nas, and Eminem along with bands like Deftones, Incubus, Sublime, Linkin Park, and Red Hot Chili Peppers are just a few of their many musical influences.
Any tours planned?
We do. Once our album drops, we plan to have a release party and then go on tour during the summer along the East Coast and South to promote it. It should be exciting and fun because it’ll be summer and we’ll get to play all of these new tracks we’ve been working on for over a year so.
If you could accomplish one thing in a music career what would it be? When you achieve that will you quit?
If I could accomplish one thing, it would be to play at least one venue in each state, country, and continent. One of the things that inspires me about music is the ability to travel to different places and share our music with people we’ve never met. Traveling is also something that I look forward to because I’ve only ever been on the East Coast but other members have been out of the country. The idea of being somewhere I’ve never been and being able to have that experience and absorb that
and be able to look back and be like “Dude, I got to do that!” is important to me and is meaningful.. and to be able to share that experience with my band and friends is exciting.
Top five favorite albums?
Saturday Night Wrist by Deftones
Illmatic by NAS
Hybrid Theory by Linkin Park
When Life Gives You Lemons, You Paint That Shit Gold by Atmosphere
316 by MURS
Satellite by P.O.D.
What master musicians would you like to study with?
Dr. Dre, Kellin Quinn, Mike Shinoda, Chino Moreno, NAS, Slug, Jim Morrison, Lady Gaga.
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