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RYL: Let’s talk about your new EP that will be released next spring; how is preparation going?

Jared and The Mill: it’s going great! We like to prepare our songs on the stages we play upon, it’s a great natural way to have a song take its course and become what it’s destined to be.  

I’d say this tour is yielding a great development/recomposing phase for our new songs and we can’t wait to get them on record.

Jared&theMill album cover

RYL: Is there a common theme between the lyrics of its songs?

Jared and The Mill:(http://jaredandthemill.com) there are a few themes we seem to write around.  For Western Expansion the lyrics seemed to revolve around being a kid and dealing with early stages of growing up.  

Given what we’ve been through since Western Expansion was released I’d say the new songs have a theme that revolve around how this life of touring and playing music has affected our lives personally, as band mates and friends.  

There’s even a tune called “Life We Chose” that explores the emotions felt when one is left with a choice between a relationship and a life as a musician.  I think it could speak to others who are pursuing the craft of music.

RYL: “Western Expansion” your album released in 2013 received a large number of great reviews, what did you want to communicate to your fans with its release?

Jared and The Mill:  It was kind of a testament to our youth as 21st century Americans.   Exploring things like young love obviously, but also dealing with anxieties, self loathing… Things of that nature.  The tune “WWYD” comes from the moments you happen upon in early adulthood that may involve some loss of innocence that you probably wouldn’t tell your parents about, and wondering what they would think of you and your actions.  

I think I also kind of envisioned having to explain to a 10 year old me that these things we do as young adults are a part of life and it doesn’t mean we’re bad people.  

It’s equal parts shame and justification.

RYL:  Do you remember how you wrote “Breathe Me In”?

Jared and The Mill:  I was with my girlfriend at the time who was really an incredible young woman. I woke up in the middle of the night at one point and just evaluated how fortunate I was to have such a positive bright presence in my life, and also that looming wonder of how long my luck would carry me.  

We’re not together anymore, but we’re very good friends, which only enforces my appreciation of her, in a funny way.  

RYL: how do you, usually, write the lyrics of your songs?

Jared and The Mill:  I used to write lyrics first, then melody, then chords. Nowadays, the different parts come to me, there’s not really a method to what I do anymore and to be honest I prefer it that way. As far as subject matter goes I just kinda write it like I see it.  

I think that I like to write about things I observe, but I also do a lot of day dreaming and I’m certain it affects my lyrics.

RYL: Which is the best verse you ever wrote?

Jared and The Mill:  haha that’s so hard… There’s a part in a new song called “Messengers,” it’s a song that is about that girl I was telling you about earlier. After we split we promised we wouldn’t talk for a little while.  

I ended up calling her friends to ask random questions, but would always come around to asking how she was doing, and I’d tell them things to tell her if she asked about me. It was a funky time in my love life… The verse goes:

“Tell her everything is good

But I miss how her eyes would

Take me whole

Tell her life is getting faster and I miss the way she’d make it move so slow

Tell her I’m still alive and I wish that was something I could boast

And I’m up in the sky now

The Stars haven’t ever seemed this close”

The song is ultimately written as a personification of the emotion of love as a beautiful woman who I miss very dearly as opposed to an actual girl.  

But there are parts that bleed over that obviously are directed toward an actual person.

RYL: What inspired “Love To Be Found”?

Jared and The Mill: that tune was actually written by Mr. Larry Gast III!  I’ll give the podium to him for a moment –

Larry: Love to be found describes that stage in a relationship where although it is fatally doomed, the only place you find solace is in the person you are splitting off from.

This happens to be a position I have found myself in more than once. I wanted to express that in that moment, you realize that it is the little things about that person that mean the most.

Things like holding hands and just being close. I’m not sure if I achieved that, but I have had people come up to me and say they feel a connection to the narrator in that song. I guess it feels good to know I’m not the only one, haha.

Love to be found is the first song that I wrote for the band and it is one of those that just sort of flowed out in fifteen minutes, which is always a nice feeling. 

RYL:  Tell us more about your tour…..

Jared and The Mill: this tour is the final breath before we go into the studio and record an EP that will be available in April.  We’re having a really awesome time going around the nation and playing for our great American family.  

We’re tightening as brothers and as bandmates.  

Touring is exhausting and trying on the soul, but it’s also a hell of a good time and the fact that we’re all such good friends makes everything we do a very good time.

RYL: Which is the last song you wrote? (not released yet)

Jared and The Mill:  I wrote a tune called “Hang Me High”, it’s a country folk tune that takes me back to an argument I got into not too long ago with a fan when she made some very unfair judgments toward me and eventually told me I was destined for the inferno when I die…

That’s never a pleasant conversation to have.

The tune is a response, saying that you can pass any judgment on me you want and feel free to tell me what you think is the way the spiritual plane works.  

When all is said and done, the only force that’ll send me to heaven or hell or whatever end will be the God, creator, or celestial being and force that put us here… And I’m certain this force will not consult a random person somewhere in the Midwest upon my judgment.  

I’m not sure if the song will ever really be “released” but you just might hear it on a live session or something.