Sept 25, 2019
"Buddy, can you paradigm?" (With Milo Rothstein)

Ira: We are back, ladies and gents, with Mr. Milo Rothstein!

Milo: Wow, this whole setup you got going on is really legit. Hey, guys. Mr. Milo Rothstein, you're out here introducing me like I'm a professor and this is a real studious address. People are gonna expect so much and I'm gonna deliver so little.

Louis: It could actually be argued that you are, in fact, a professor in lyricism.

Milo: Oh, shit. Coming in hot with the smooth lines.

Louis: Right?? I'm on coffee number two here. Maybe it can be a future Twitter bio.

Milo: I mean, sure. If I wanted people to bully me online.

Ira: Who doesn't love a little cyber bullying?

Milo: People are too witty and clever these days, they hit you with these surprisingly good one liners you can't even be mad that you're being roasted because it's a high class roast. With Lavazza beans.

Ira: I don't know, I can get mad at any level roast I'm getting, but yeah, we're excited to have you here. We were pregaming with the new album and it's really great stuff.

Milo: Thanks, man.

Ira: You know, I was reading some twitter comment and it was described it as the perfect spring album and I'd agree with that. Aside from that sort of feel is it fair to say that in the past, on your albums, there was always something more to uncover? At least that’s how I felt. I could listen to an album and just feel like I was deciphering something whereas I listen to Father of the Bride now and this one just feels very relaxed.

Milo: So you’re saying that we sounded a lot more prolific then.

Ira: [Laughter] No, no! I —

Milo: Nah, I know what you mean. I think there was a time when I put a lot more pressure on the symbolisms. In the music, in the way we dressed. I was very pointedly like, 'oh we can’t be like everyone else. We’re going to show up in polo's and blazers and still rock out. You know, when you gotta perform with the boys at 7 but meet your girlfriend's parents at 8.

Grace: A true image curating tyrant, huh?

Milo: Somewhere there's just footage of Fitz crying because he's sweating through collared shirt #2 and I'm yelling, "don't give in to societal indie rock norms. Resist! Let the sweat guide you to sweet release!'

Grace: You seem like you can kind of poke fun of it now though, is that it?

Milo: Oh, for sure. If we're being honest, I think a part of that was also because most of those guys had graduated from this prestigious college I was supposed to have graduated from as well but I didn't so I felt like I had something more to prove. As if that look was our own armor. There was a novelty in it for me, but who cares about any of that? It's about the sound, the music. That was an era in time but I can also look back at in now, in my 30’s, and laugh. Appreciate for what it was but not feel the need to revert.

Ira: What's your tour apparel like now?

Milo: Man, I'm just out there in jeans or shorts & a t-shirt like the rest of the shmucks of the world.

Louis: Are you into checking in on the latest trends though, like how the Supreme craze is in or those Thrasher skateboarding tshirts.

Milo: Do...I...look like I'm a trendsetter checking in with the latest cool fads?


Milo: We're selling fucking bucket hats and tie dye shirts, I want everyone to live their best most comfortable life up in here.

Louis: Okay, okay! I see your point. But going back to the music for a second, you were talking about the layered approach of your music vs the more open one. I do know from listening to past albums that a theme was one liners that --

Milo: People could throw onto their social media taglines.

Grace: I was 100% that bitch who did that.

Milo: I think we were all 100% that bitch, too. Not with just our band but in general, people hung on to a line they could reuse and make their Myspace tagline. Shoutout Myspace, we miss ya.

Grace: So much. How will my friends ever know which one's my favorite without a visible top 8?

Milo: Do what I do and hold friendship meetings where you can discuss who came in at #1, who's on the chopping block, and who needs to step it up to up their rating.

Ira: Gonna absolute do that. Grace, you really messed things up today when you didn't get me a muffin and you got Louis one.

Milo: [Laughing]

Ira: I love her, but that hit me to my core.

Milo: Oh, no. I was just thinking about something severely embarrassing related to Myspace.

Louis: Spill.

Milo: God, it's so bad though. It's so so bad.

Grace: This is a safe space, let's hear it.

Milo: Alright, so. I was really into this girl, and turns out she liked this one band so I wound up following them on soundcloud. They make a song called 'Myspace Girl' that's how influential Myspace was, one of the lyrics was something like....Oh my god. So fucking cheesy. It went something like, I'm saving space in my top 8 for you, something something about Ourspace. A couple weeks later I basically covered it in some kind of slowed down wannabe Modest Mouse version. It was horrible, horrible. So so so bad.

Ira: Oh. My. God.

Milo: I was young, stupid, in love...

Grace: Any way we can get our hands on this demo?

Milo: It's dead and gone, never to be seen or heard from again. Sometimes it haunts me when I wake up in a cold sweat at 2 AM but that's about it.

Ira: Milo, I'm sorry but we would be missing an opportunity if we didn't play the song.

Milo: Don't do it, man. Don't do it.

Ira: Ladies and gentleman, may I present to you, Myspace Girls by The Afters released in 2008.

Milo: Ah, fuck.

Grace: Ah, yes!

[Cut back to laughter throughout the room midway through the song]

Milo: That's it, I'm leaving. I won't be subjected to this abuse of power.

Louis: I am honestly crying! It would've worked on me, Milo.

Milo: Thanks, thanks. You're all still on real thin ice here, lemme tell you.

Grace: Did the girl ever hear the song?

Milo: No idea, but if she did, I hope she rightfully thought how corny and idiotic it was and then just pretended it never existed and went back to her Psych texbook and maybe one day psychoanalyzed me for it. I took a break from my old school classics to rework this cheesy pop indie song that had no hope in the first place, I thought it was gonna land so well.

Ira: The things we do for young lust. It's okay, we've all been there. I once made a mix solely of John Mayer songs with a Maxwell one in between...Anyway! I want to go back to talking about the album, what you were saying about the tone change.

Milo: Maxwell's a stellar choice, but sure. Moving that embarrasment right along, thanks for that. Maybe more than any other album it’s a lot more visceral. It’s about a feeling that’s almost immediate and while you can have attachment to the lyrics there was a consistent choice about the immediate gratification component. Or lack of gratification if you hate it, that too. More than any album, there was an intent with the whole picture of this album. Not just separate songs. I wasn’t at my best in my 20’s and I think to an extent that helped the art. There’s that sense of panic and dread about the future and ourselves. There was for me, anyway. The struggle was real, for sure. The struggle is still real but it’s less enveloping.

Louis: Absolutely. I’d even say it’s less stigmatized with people going to the internet to discuss those issues and have an added validation with people immediately retweeting, liking and replying to be like hey dude, I feel the same, we’re all in this messy feeling together.

Milo: Right? Sometimes that’s enough too. Just feeling validated in your discomfort.

Louis: Is it true that you took inspiration from country music? I read that somewhere. Lil Nas X style?

Milo: Yeah, we’re actually going to go full out country for the next album called this ain’t ya mama’s farm.

Louis: That sounds a little more r&b than Country, Milo.

Milo: Porque no lo dos? You know what though, in terms of the whole picture, I always did like aspects of what I heard in country and r&b songs. It’s very to the point. You’re introduced to a theme, the main characters, even the explicit feelings.The music tells a story and the lyrics are pointed. We don’t have all too much of that in our past repertoire so it was a nice change to throw some of those moments in there too. I’m a sucker for anything layered and up for interpretation but sometimes telling a simpler story in a nice melodic package is fun too.

Ira: That’s absolutely a nice sort of change, which I did notice. Actually, how do you feel your fans have changed since your first album? you’ve since matured, so what’s that been like as both of you change with the times and age?

Milo: There was a limited amount of time where we could have continuously, wholeheartedly, kept referencing collegiate nostalgia until it became weird. Like, you know how in just about every coming of age movie there’s the dad who had big dreams, or went to an Ivy, and he keeps mentioning it and then things hit the apex of tension where his disgruntled son stands up, pushes his dinner away and yells that he isn’t going to his dad’s college or won’t keep playing football just because his dad did? You don’t wanna be the dad in that scenario weighing your kid down with your own neuroses and crippling doubts.

Grace: Is this a deleted scene from The Breakfast Club?

Milo: Insider edition right here. The deleted scene happens when Andrew decks his dad in the face, steals his car, and drives off with Allison. I think that we’ve all grown up, been through changes good and bad, but our music is also going to reflect that. Some people aren’t going to like it, that’s fine. They’ve got three albums worth of music from before that to listen to and if this isn’t their vibe, this isn’t their vibe. That’s the beauty of the music, the album process.

Louis: It must also be weird to see how it can stand the test of time. Like, I was literally listening to Horchata a few days ago and it felt like it had just come out.

Milo: Which is wild because that came out just about 10 years ago. Someone actually just texted me about that. How in a few weeks that song will be exactly ten years old.

Louis: Do you have people coming up to you and saying something similar, that those classic songs keep feeling renewed?

Milo: Absolutely, and I love hearing it every time. The fact that people are still jamming all these years later is enough for me. I’ll still have people come up and tell me they listened to our stuff through High School or College and it’s stuck with them or helped them through shit and I’m all about it.

Oh my god, actually. A few months ago Wes and I ran into these girls who were 14-16 or something, they came up to us and were like ‘I love Oxford Comma! Been listening to you for so long!’ And so I had to take a beat like, wait wait, you started listening to our stuff as a straight up child? And they go on all, ‘no but my parents love you and they’ve played your songs for me!”


Milo: I swear, crazy right? It made me feel like I was about 65 years old, but it’s fiiiine.

Ira: You know, there’s a good chance you have such a special place in their parents’ heart because they had a steamy end of the year hookup to Bryn.

Milo: Oh god.

Ira: And the outcome was in fact a beautiful baby girl who they decided to name Bryn.

Milo: Wow. If only, what an honor. Any parents out there who named their kid after the song hit me up on Twitter and I’ll snag you some free show passes.

Grace: You heard it here first, folks! Milo, thank you so much for joining us. We've had a blast. Before

Milo: You too guys, thanks for having me and have a good one.