An Interview with Miles Wilson from Bad//Dreems

The talented Miles Wilson has found success as a cool-as-fuck graphic designer by day, and a musician in an indie-darling band by night. Jacinta Mazzarolo gets the lowdown on the high life.

1. You’ve just been to New York, what was that like?

The best. I’ve been there a couple of times before, but this time we stayed in Brooklyn – fairly deep Brooklyn, and it felt as if we were much more engrossed in the locals’ way of everyday life. We were also right down the road from where Christopher Wallace grew up, who later became Biggie Smalls, which was exciting. Oh and the shows we played were good.

2. In a few months you are heading to the UK, is that strictly for festivals?

Initially it was. We were going over for the soul purpose of performing at the Great Escape Festival, In Brighton. We then got offered a spot at ‘Live at Leeds’ festival and decided to make a tour out of it. Now we are there for three weeks with two days off hahaha. Our booker over there, Jamie, is bloody good. Bless his cotton socks.

3. Congratulations on recently completing a Master of Visual Arts and Design with UniSA. How do you balance being a successful graphic designer (Aspire Magazine, UN Women, Australian Volunteers, UniSA campus wear) with all of Bad//Dreem’s success?

Firstly, Thank you for referring to my endeavors as successful and secondly, yes, it was very difficult to balance.For the last few months of my Masters thesis, I was working full time for Free Run Press (an Adelaide based publishing house and design studio) and flying interstate after work on a Wednesday, for example, then getting the red-eye back in time for work the next day – all the while trying to write a thesis at night. But I got it done in the end. Just. So now I can focus on my job and playing music. I’ve managed to negotiate a pretty good balance at the moment. But we are about to tour again and that’s when it gets difficult.

4. Do you think you will ever do music full time, and if it came down to it – how do you choose between these two passions?

I’ve thought long and hard about this. That’s not to say that we will inevitably have to make that choice, but the opportunities for Bad//Dreems are coming in harder and faster, and making that decisionmight be just around the bend. I guess if I had the opportunity to do music full time and still pay my rent, then I would jump on it – while I’m still young. It’s an incredibly hard decision to make, especially when you feel that you’ve started a real career. But if we did decide to pursue music full time and felt that is was feasible, I would be over the moon. And if we did and it failed, well at least I won’t die wondering.

5. Your music explores a darker, more desolate side of Adelaide, how influenced are you by your experiences and attitude towards Adelaide as a city?

All four of the band members experience some kind of love/hate relationship with Adelaide.We will moan about this and that, but on the other hand we will often comment on the many great things about our hometown. Especially from a music industry perspective, it is very easy to feel isolated coming from Adelaide. You travel to Sydney and Melbourne to play and everyone seems more ‘clued-in’ about some new band, or trend. Whereas in Adelaide, you can be totally oblivious. I think that is a good thing. We like to explore isolation and loneliness because it is something that we have all felt, and in a way it’s an ode to the kinship that the four band members share – which is rooted in growing up in Adelaide. I also think Ben, Alex, and James (the other three band members) are really good at articulating things that we all feel. Like the feeling I might have had when I was playing at St.Kilda playground, near the mangroves in the summer of 1996 – these guys can put that into perfect words. The lyrical content we have created is something I will always cherish and a lot of that is derived from our attitude towards Adelaide.

6. What’s next for Bad//Dreems?

We are currently working on our debut album, which will be out around August/September through Ivy League records.This is our primary focus for now, because it’s massively important! We are also touring around Australia with The Black Keys in April, then the UK tour in May etc. etc. It’s going to be a busy year. But I’d have it no other way.

Editor’s Note: The Black Keys cancelled their Australian tour in April, so Bad//Dreems are now embarking on their own headlining tour in June.

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