In a recent interview, I read that you were no longer pursuing your degree in Philosophy. What made you make that decision?
i was burnt out, it was getting to the point where i needed therapy or something. i have a hard time divorcing class lessons from my daily living habits and i have a hard time of being compassionate. studying philosophy honed my ability for criticism which in turn made me a very acidic person to be around, i’m just trying to get some handle back on being normal. i want to be able to talk to people and not make them feel like they had a very strenuous argument. that’s what it got to being, studying philosophy turned me into a very effective arguer and because i lack(ed) an emotional intelligence i was not handling my new-found powers with maturity.
You include many philosophical references throughout your songs. But when you say “i’m just trying to get some handle back on being normal,” does that mean we will be hearing less of these?
i don’t mean my music. philosophy informs my music and my understanding of making music. when i say trying to get some handle back on being normal i mean, you know, like talking to you or my mother regularly on the phone and not scaring her. i mean not taking everything so fucking seriously and wearing out my friends’ patience for me. stuff like that.
So I know you’ve met most of the people you’ve worked with from Riley Lake to iglooghost through the internet, but now there’s word that you’re moving out to California to be closer to the Hellfyre crew. While I’m sure you will be working with people around the world through the internet, how do you feel about this transition and relocating yourself into a different environment because of your music?
it makes me feel, by and large, bad about myself. this move has such an exponential cost in my day-to-day life, such an earth shattering impact… it’s been difficult. that’s mostly why i announced it. i needed / wanted accountability in the face of how astoundingly difficult it would be to yank myself from this sturdy midwestern context. i might be making a massive error and that’s fun. my goal is to make a lot of things and be near(er) the epicenter of this art rap scene, to participate in a community. i have learned the importance of that, i want that.
It seemed like Riley Lake was your right hand man when it came to the production on your work with him being on the boards for things that happen at day and Cavalcade, but you are working with iglooghost on your next full-length. Why did you decide to make a full project with iglooghost and are you and Riley still going to be working on something on the side?
iglooghost has been a part of this de facto squadron of internet and real life music pals/collaborators of mine for at least a year if not more. the decision was natural, he and i had been making songs and not releasing them for so long that when we looked down to adjust our belts we saw an album at our feet. it “just” “worked.”
Riley and i may work on more in the future. i don’t know what his present plans are, he seems to be in the throes of young adulthood.
Do you give any direction to Riley Lake, iglooghost, or any producer you work with on the music they’re making for you? If so, how much?
i give a lot of vague direction. my music tends to be about communicating the ambiguous and peripheral, so often my direction to producers is such. the only way i know how to make things is by mimicking sorcery i learned from video games. there may have been entire emails written in Latin early on… i don’t know. recently, i have taken a serious interest in producing, my direction is probably becoming more concrete.
Do you have a certain process when do you produce? Do you think we will ever get a self-produced project from either milo or scallops hotel in the future?
i make beats with maschine and ableton. my process is pretty childlike, i usually open of those two programs and begin noodling until i have arrived at a place. right now, i don’t go into it with any forethought which is exciting and a bit of a therapeutic foil to how i approach rapping.
How did you go about picking the vocal samples you picked that were played throughout Cavalcade?
i think i had a little notepad file on my phone that i was updating every other week with videos i was watching in class instead of participating. the videos were chosen to communicate a theme or point that maybe i had failed to in the music. Riley had the massive task of incorporating them seamlessly into the music– and he did that very well.
You’ve released a project [poplar grove (or how to rap with a hammer)] and a few loose tracks under the moniker “scallops hotel.” You experimented with dusty samples, introspective lyrics, and a deeper voice, but what else differentiates scallops hotel and milo?
my present understanding of making music or really art at all has to do with an adherence to honesty. it seems like i might have a few dialogues worth exploring through multiple personas and i’m not necessarily wanting to give all of that away presently but scallops hotel functions as a shield for milo. scallops hotel embodies the air of making songs that i really had when i was in high school, whenever i can write a song and disregard who will hear it– that’s fundamental to scallops hotel.
You keep saying on Twitter that your next project will be called a toothpaste suburb. Is this true and if so, what is a “toothpaste suburb?” What and when should we be expecting from this album that you and iglooghost are prepping?
it is true. that’s all i can tell you. it is called, “a toothpaste suburb” and it is totally finished. there are 17 songs.
Thanks again to milo for the interview. Make sure to check out whatever music you may have not heard by him at the links below and keep up to date with him on Twitter so you don’t miss any information on a toothpaste suburb.