Alternative Rock/Hip-Hop Quintet Milton J and The Leftovers are gearing up to release their long awaited Vain Wisdom album on April 15, but are teasing out the single “Never Change” with an in depth Q&A with AntiHero Magazine today! They’ve also dropped their debut video off of the album, “Killing Dreams”, so check out these awesome tunes and learn about this dynamic and very direct and honest group of talented rockers!
You have a new album dropping next month, what can you tell us about that release?
That the process as a whole has been an experience for all of us. It’s definitely a step up from our previous releases in that it’s a professional step in a much different direction. With our last two albums, there was a lot of trial and error as well as setbacks that made it pretty clear that we didn’t know what we were doing. We were naive and although we’re still pretty young we’ve grown from that. This album made us re-evaluate a lot of the choices we made a year or two years ago, take a step back, and better prepare for what we want accomplished and see what we need to do and do it. It’s also a huge step towards the sound we’ve been going for and just overall much more evolved sound/quality-wise and is definitely something to be proud of.
What is the intended sound and image of Milton J and the Leftovers? How did you all come together and develop your image and sound?
Our aim as a band has always been towards representing a unique mix of 90’s hip hop and rock but with our own twist on it that stays true to who we are. We are huge supporters of the underground music scene for bands and artists of all genres and we also stand to represent the city we’re all from. As we’ve progressed, the sound has definitely expanded more from just 90’s hip hop and rock influences that we’ve had and become us. We’re not trying to sound like or mimic other artists that we like but rather combine our individual styles and make good music that moves not only us but our supporters. Our image has also been going in the same direction with us putting a modern twist on the alternative style that still stays true to what we like.
How did you go about putting “Never Change” together, from songwriting to composition to production?
The lyrics were written first for the track. I had a flow in my head that I did not want to forget. The beat was slowly built little by little until I had the melody that I wanted that would work for these lyrics. The chorus was made during the beat mapping process.
Who is your inspiration/role model in music?
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 our many musical influences.
These artists are particularly influential because of their well rounded experience in producing, writing, and creating business initiatives that truly changed the industry for the better. I strive to become an entrepreneur as well as an artist such as those listed above.
How would you describe your music to a potential fan?
Our sound is a raw mixture of Alternative Rock and Hip-hop developed into it’s own consciousness and it transcends who we are personally into the music. Like, if you were to listen to it you could pick out the slight rock and hip hop influences and be like “yeah I can get into this” but overall it’s definitely got an original trueness to it that if you got to know us and knew who we were you’d be like “Oh that’s definitely MiltonJ. That’s his style. That’s classic MiltonJ.”
What is the craziest live show you’ve ever done?
The craziest live show we’ve ever done.. I think our craziest show was our very first show with our guitarist Kristina. We were playing locally in Downtown Frederick at the Baker Park Bandshell in the middle of the summer. It was a hip hop/singer-songwriter showcase and there weren’t a huge amount of people there but when we played our set more people showed up. We decided to do an old track “The Rockstar’s Life” as the encore and in the middle of the song everyone rushed the stage and were dancing and jumping around singing along. That was definitely the craziest show because it wasn’t expected and it happened so early in our career that it’s been a story we never get tired of telling.
Tell us about your equipment? What is each members’ go-to instrument?
Milton J, our frontman, plays an acoustic-electric Taylor that he runs through a Fender PA that we’ve had for a long time. Our guitarist Kristina has been playing a Fender frontman 212r that she’s had for a long time and has been playing a Gibson SG. Eddie / GOOD ‘OL BOY our bassist recently got a really nice G&L bass that he plays through a standard Acoustic bass amp. Garrett, our drummer, has been forever playing a drumset that Milton J has had but has made many tweaks and additions to cymbal / percussion wise. But more recently our hype-man Silverio has started DJing and doing backup vocals and he’s been using a Pioneer DJ set that our bassist got for him. So it’s a pretty interesting line-up.
What is the craziest moment you’ve had with a fan?
We had a fan who was clearly on some sort of rave drug that got up on stage with us and started feeling up our lead singer Milton J. We acted like it was no big deal and politely got security to kick this gentleman off the stage. It was very memorable because we were opening for a national called Nappy Roots who we all looked up to. After our set they came out back and congratulated us on how well we handled that fan.
If you could eradicate any social institution (sports, religion, entertainment, etc.), what would it be and why?
If we could eradicate any social institution it would have to be politics. It seems like nowadays, especially with the 2016 election, that it’s become nothing but a game of putting down everyone for their personal beliefs and is just portrayed as a joke. I agree that there are extremely radical viewpoints on religion, racism, sexism, war, etc. out there but everyone is honestly entitled to their own opinion because in the grand scheme of things everyone is solely responsible and viable for only themselves. If someone is happy living their life the way that they want to, that’s fine but if they’re going to put other people down for expressing themselves or living in a way that puts the people around them in harm’s way then it’s not okay. And with politics, two people with drastically different opinions end up walking away from each other offended after a petty argument or debate. It just seems like politics are more trouble than it’s worth because even though the aim of it is to place people in charge of other people, there will never be a neutral leeway where everyone is happy and content with the result. There is no right or wrong in politics it seems because everyone has varying opinions of what they think is right or wrong. So it’s a constant battle of morale.
Christmas or Halloween? Why?
Halloween and Christmas are both awesome holidays. But over time I think that as you get older, Halloween starts to lose some of the hype it had when you were younger. I mean, adults can dress up and have parties and stuff but trick-or-treating was always meant for the kids. Christmas has a special feeling to it that I don’t think fades over time, because it’s a time of coming together for friends and family and celebrating each other and expressing how we feel. I always get excited during Christmas holidays because I like getting gifts for people and wrapping them and being like “Woo I get to be Santa” I don’t know. It’s a sentimental thing.
We know that you play alt. rock/hip-hop music, but is that the music that you personally listen to all the time? What is your favorite song from?
It’s definitely a big mixture of what we listen to. We all have differing music tastes and influences but we all collectively listen to a large chunk of Rock/Alt/and HipHop. I mean, on every drive we take to a show we blast a whole array of different hiphop and rock that we all know and get into. We all have roots in Emo rock like Taking Back Sunday and Saosin that channels into sort of poppish punk rock like Weezer and Pennywise and then that channels into heavier stuff like Chevelle, Deftones, KoRn, etc. And it’s the same with Hip hop, we can style hop from 90’s to Southern to early 2000’s Eminem and some newer hiphop like Kendrick/Drake/ScHoolboyQ. I don’t know if we could all pick a favorite song but lately “March Madness” by Future has been a pretty popular track and the instrumental is really catchy.
Hailing from Frederick, Maryland, Milton J and The Leftovers have created a buzz in the Mid Atlantic. Rocking the stage from NY to NC the crew has had the opportunity to share the stage with a range of major artists including Redman, Rehab, Nappy Roots, Mayday, Ces Cru, Almost Kings, and Super Bob. Their dedication to the music is evident as they are currently finalists for best Rap/RnB act in the Maryland Music Awards, #1 on the ReverbNation charts in their city, and have an unmistakable face in the DMV music scene.
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.
Milton J and The Leftovers have been making their mark on the industry since 2009. Starting out as a solo artist, Milton J formed the Leftovers with drummer Garret Hall, guitarist Kristina Hong, bassist Edward Hong, and DJ Silverio Montano along the way. The group name came from an inside joke
Milton J had for a b-side album called “Leftovers”, because kitchen leftovers are the best just as the leftover tracks of an artist that make a b-side record. Members of the group liked the idea so much they adopted the name for the band.
The name has evolved from a simple inside joke to a movement made strong by their supporters. Their influence has spread past the DMV as they look to take over the industry.