“It feels like we’re grinding for sure, that’s what we expected,” says Andrew Vanette drummer for Brooklyn band, A Million Years, of his band’s current position.
Joined by Andrew Samaha on bass and vocals, Nick Werber on guitar and vocals, and singer and guitar player Keith Madden, it is hard to imagine that A Million Years hasn’t taken over the world yet. After touring the UK in support of Jesse Malin, selling out Mercury Lounge in March, a week before the day of their show, and doing a mini-tour of the West Coast, A Million Years have certainly raised their profile — not that they’d admit it though.
Distilling the best parts of Brit-rock in a punk-y, intelligent, and guitar-centric vehicle, A Million Years hits all the right notes. “I’ve spent so much time listening to Brit-pop, pouring over Napster and audio galaxy. As soon as everyone started downloading music it was like a renaissance for me. British music was the majority of what I got into, very guitar-centric stuff,” says Keith of his main songwriting influence.
Those influences come through well, albeit in very diverse ways. “Holy Ghost Town” starts like a post-punk song that the Lemonheads might write, but by the time the band kicks in the song’s soaring chorus listeners will be somewhere else entirely. On the other end of the spectrum, “Poster Girl” feels pretty thoroughly indie-rock, yet there are touches of programming and blippy synths, leading into distorted-not-really-there-guitar-solos. Yet, the song feels contemplative and relaxed.
Both of these songs speak to the amount of craftsmanship that A Million Years puts into their music. “We all rate the demos that I put out there, and the one’s with the highest scores we work on first,” says Keith, offering a peak into the band’s songwriting process. Such a system speaks to the bands workmanlike approach to their music, never resting or simply feeling like things are ‘good enough’.
“One thing with this band that we kind of pride ourselves on is that we’re never completely satisfied,” says Andrew.
What’s really impressive about the band though, aside from their work ethic or their well thought out music, is their live show. Recently taking in a set at Southpaw, the band absolutely destroyed the sold-out room. Not only did the music sound exactly how it should have, the band’s passion, energy, and charisma was evident for even the sound guy to see.
But, what made the performance really stand out was how good the songs sounded live. “A big thing that I like about this band is that it’s very important that it sounds good live,” says Nick “We’re never going to be the band that demo’s something then records it then figures out how to play it.”
After talking to A Million Years, you get the impression that the band could really do some things. They have the right approach and they know exactly what they want to do. Aside from all that, A Million Years doesn’t feel like another here-today-gone-tomorrow blog band.
Listeners can probably expect new recordings from the band soon, but in the meantime, the band just announced two huge shows at Mercury Lounge in July. Then again, for a band this talented and this intelligent, who knows what other tricks they might have up their sleeve.
Check out A Million Years here.