Alexandra Duguid caught up with Jonathon Desmond Miller of Magnetic Heads to talk about their debut album, their influences and much more!
Name and title, please!
Jonathon Desmond Miller. MASTER
How did Magnetic Heads come about? And the name?!
Well the name is a direct reference to the magnetic heads on tape machines because all of our early recordings were to tape. The band was pulled together after I played a whole lot of solo shows (as Des Miller) and we started writing and rehearsing songs.
Comparisons have been made to seminal acts such as Morrissey and the Go-Betweens; how do you feel about people comparing Magnetic Heads to such musicians?
Honoured and slightly daunted. Perhaps that’s why I’m fretting about this next album
Have there been any unusual comparisons that have come out of left field?
Someone once got an email from their friend in the USA saying that they didn’t know what this song was (it happened to be Strange Places) but that they thought it was definitely an early Talking Heads song. That’s not left field but to be confused with a band like that is pretty amazing. I hope that doesn’t mean we sound too much like them.
The Broken Stone Records showcases are not only about the music, but also about sharing the visuals that belong to each bands; what are Magnetic Heads bringing to the night?
Some of our film clips and a weird video art project I did with a photographer friend of mine called WILK. It was going to be a clip but it never got that far.
How did you come to join the Broken Stone Records family?
Well I’m kind of the start of that family because I run the record label.... !
Your debut album is due out in March; will fans be greeted with all new songs?
March is probably a bit too soon, more like May, and yes we will definitely be playing new songs from the record on the roadshow. Ironing them out. Fixing them up. Making them better. Which is exciting.
Simon Berkfinger had some pretty long and impressive list of production credits to his name (Wolfmother, Sparkadia, Cloud Control) as well as his own popular music endeavours with Philadelphia Grand Jury; how was your experience at BJB and working with him?
It was great, we’re excellent friends and he’s a great person to work with especially in that studio which, sadly, is no more. He understands very quickly where you’re coming from, and when you have particular ideas about what things should sound like, he is an expert at helping you find that. Experience is everything and he’s got it so it was a real pleasure. We’re going to be working with Liam Judson (Belles Will Ring etc) on our next record but I have no doubt we’ll be back in touch with Simon some time down the track.
What is Magnetic Heads going to get up to in 2012?
We’re going to tour so stay tuned!
Catch Magnetic Heads playing the Broken Stone Records Road Show near you!
February 9th - Bellingen Memorial Hall - Bellingen, NSW
February 10th - The Brewery - Byron Bay, NSW
February 11th - The Waiting Room, West End - Brisbane, QLD
February 17th - The Street Theatre - Canberra, ACT
February 18th - Kyneton Town Hall - Kyneton, VIC
February 19th - Horse Bazaar - Melbourne, VIC
February 22nd - Lass O’Gowrie Hotel - Newcastle, NSW
23 February - The Standard, Surry Hills, NSW
24 February - Clifton School of Arts, Clifton, NSW
25 February - Baroque Room, Katoomba, NSW