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Exclusive Interview: Milestones at Slam Dunk Festival 2018

Mancunian four-piece Milestones may be brand new to the UK music scene, but the talented pop-punk band have already made quite the impact. They’ve quickly risen through the ranks – selling out rooms across the country, releasing their debut record Red Lights, and signing to Fearless Records less than a year after forming.

We caught up with Mark Threlfall at Slam Dunk North to chat all about influences, upcoming music, and their growing fanbase.

Source: Promo Image

CelebMix: Welcome! Are you excited to be at Slam Dunk this year?

Yes, definitely, it’s probably my fifth year attending but first year playing so it’s exciting to be here on the other side of it all, to say hello to all of the bands, and drink a load of beer – it’s going to be fun.

CelebMix: It must be a bit surreal then if you’ve been here five times to be on the other side of it all.

Yeah, definitely, it’s very different to coming when I was 12 or 13 before I was doing anything musically – fast forward however many years later and we’re here playing. It’s wild. It’s so weird.

CelebMix: Slam Dunk is over three locations over the full weekend, that’s a lot to travel, who is on your tour playlist to keep you hyped? 

Our playlist can bounce between anything, we listen to a lot of The Faim, Stand Atlantic, Panic! At The Disco, Counterparts, and then it goes to Taylor Swift and Carly Rae Jepson in a second. It’s completely dependant on what mood we’re in.

CelebMix: You guys have got some upcoming tour dates with Broadside – are you excited for those?

Yeah, it’s going to be sick. We became good friends with Broadside on tour last February then we saw them when we were in the US and now we get to play more shows together.

London’s sold out and I know Manchester and Glasgow are close to selling out too so it’s going to be a really good time.

CelebMix: You dropped the video for Once Upon a Time a couple of days ago – what can you tell us about that?

The reaction has been a lot better than I expected – we didn’t really hype it up, we didn’t sort of like tease it we were just kind of like ‘Here’s a video’ and for us to just drop a video out of nowhere and to have kids give a shit so much is surreal.

Kerrang! did the premier of it so being through their platform definitely helped, but to see kids engaged and see them know what the music video was about without us having to say it was amazing.

A lot of the comments were saying ‘Yes, I totally get this video, I know what you were getting at.’ That’s exactly what you want as an artist.

CelebMix: For anyone who might not know your band yet – what does Milestones sound like?

We’ve had a lot of comparisons drawn different ways – Rock Sound described one of our singles as ‘The best You Me At Six song you’d never heard’, we’ve had the Mayday Parade comparison, essentially we’re trying to do everything that was great in 2007 pop-punk but modernise it.

So like, it’s got that new spin on it from now but it is everything that was good in 2007.

CelebMix: What was it like playing the Manchester scene as an up and coming band?

It was good to us. It’s strange because different cities have different scenes I guess. Like, Liverpool is struggling at the moment – it’s difficult to get kids down to shows and it’s difficult to get people to really care.

To build a core fanbase is difficult. We slogged away in Liverpool for a long time and then the last two shows they were completely sold out, so I guess the hard work pays off.

Manchester’s always been a good one, we’ve always had a crowd. We’ve always had a good thing going in Manchester.

CelebMix: How did you guys end up getting signed to Fearless Records?

We have a friend who manages a band called Nothing But Thieves, and then one day he was just kind of like ‘We’re going to pitch to labels, and we’ll just see what happens.’ Then he sort of sent out a big email that was like ‘Everyone should listen to this’ and Fearless snapped us up like ‘Yep, we want it’ and that was it.

Within four or five months of us being a band this was happening, and we decided to just roll with it.

We were so grateful to get the opportunity, we were so lucky – for a brand new band to get the chance to have their music on such a huge platform like, we were incredibly lucky.

CelebMix: Your debut album Red Lights came out in February – how was that?

Great – we’re very lucky to have the kind of fans we do have and everyone whose listened to it we’ve got a lot of time for, it really means a lot.

We see a lot of the same faces at shows and it’s so nice because you sort of know their personal lives too, you know that they study this at school or that they tweet you all the time.

So when you see them in person you can say ‘How’s this going?’ – you get to build a very good relationship and it’s nice to know that you’re able to do that with fans.

We want to create something that is more of a family than a fanbase, we want people to know that when they come to shows they’re part of something. Not just that they follow this band, but that they’re part of something bigger than just a fanbase.

We care about each and every one of our fans individually. I’ve always said to any of our fans that if they’ve ever got any issues just drop me a DM, if there’s anything I can help them with I am willing to.

Kids go through a lot and they have no idea how to handle it, if they need any help at all they can just message me, I don’t care, and I’ll help as much as I can.

But if they don’t want to drop a message – we want them to be able to allow music to be their solace.

CelebMix: What records are you excited for this year?

The new State Champs record, I don’t know what The Faim are doing but anything by The Faim I’ll buy right away – they’re ridiculous, that band is silly good.

And when Stand Atlantic get around to releasing new music that’ll be incredible, again I’ve got so much time for them.

You Me At Six just finished tracking their record, there’s a lot of big albums due to be out.

Check out Milestones’ latest single below.

What do you think of Milestones? Let us know @CelebMix!

Written by Faith Ridler

Faith Ridler is a UK based student, music journalist, and twenty one pilots aficionado. Follow her on Twitter @FaithLRidler!