Music » Interviews

Charlie Milo shares his musical influences

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MICHAEL HAWKINS
  • Michael Hawkins
Charlie Milo is Colorado Springs’ king of collaboration. In addition to leading his own trio with keyboardist Michael Hawkins and drummer Ryan Ross, the funk-fusion bassist/vocalist is currently working with Bruce Hayes in the Milo Hayes Meld, with Madtrees in Karate Man, and with Alister Growley in Citrus. The trio is also the live backing band for Liquid Sound Disciples, Symphonic, and Reecy Pontiff. “We have been really blessed,” says Milo, “to be able to work as a unit a la The Roots or the Stax Records house band.” Milo’s own musical inspirations are no less eclectic…

“Wish I’d written that” song: I’ve never really been the type to hear something and go “Oh man, I wish I had written that riff, those chords, those words, etc.” But I have heard things that have made me feel a certain way, and wished that I could make that same feeling for others. For the sake of playing along, I’d say that I wish I’d written Anton Webern’s Op.20 for String Trio, because I’ve been listening to that more than anything else lately.

Essential Saturday Night listening: If I’m in the van on the way to a Saturday night gig with the band, I’m usually listening to something new from Ryan or Michael, or I’m trying to shove Phish down Ryan’s throat. For some reason I thought it would be funny, in an Andy Kaufman sort of way, to start Ryan off with the worst stuff they’ve recorded, like Vegas ‘04 or Coventry, and be like “yeah aren’t they great?!” It really hasn’t been helping my cause, but it has been funny.

First record I bought with my own money: The Men in Black soundtrack. I obviously bought it because I was the target demographic for Will Smith’s feel-good hit of the summer. But the lasting impact came from the two Danny Elfman cuts.

Current favorite song to cover live: I’ve been enjoying playing lots of tunes from movies and video games lately. Obviously the biggest audience grabber is Koji Kondo’s “Overworld Theme” from Super Mario Bros. But we also play loads from Star Wars and Squaresoft games. It’s utilitarian from the standpoint that we need audiences to pay attention to what we are doing, so a lifeline from the nostalgia boat will usually do the trick.

Guilty pleasure: ’90s-’00s trance music.

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