Hey, I’ve been pretty good. It’s a vulnerable thing, sharing these songs with the world, but I’m so happy when others are positively effected by the art I make.
Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Slow Burning Winner”?
It’s meant to encourage everybody to take a minute to enjoy where they’re at instead of getting caught up living every minute falling short of an expectation.
Ludwig Näsvall is the drummer and he really helped make this song come to life, he’s the one counting in Swedish in the beginning. Jason Soda put some icing on the track with that real Mellotron you can hear in the pre-chorus sections.
Did any event in particular inspired you to write this song?
I was having some heart to heart with a good friend of mine who was feeling pretty down about life and how they were fitting into it. At some point they kind of broke down and said, “Timmy, I just feel like such a loser”. I looked them in the eyes and I said, “No, you’re not a loser, you’re just a slow burning winner.”
They laughed and thought it was a good line. Sam Winsor (co-producer) heard the story and told me I needed to write a song on that. So that inspired the song.
Any plans to release a video for the single?
Shoot, yeah I really want to. Stuff is expensive, but I’m trying to come up with a way to make that happen. Of all the songs on the album, I thought Slow Burning Winner should get a video. I want to make videos for a few different songs ideally. But yeah Slow Burning Winner is definitely one that’s been considered for that.
The single comes off your new album Fall Risk – what’s the story behind the title?
Well, I was in this car accident where my wife and I stopped on the 55 freeway with the traffic (we were driving a Smart Car). We were at a dead stop becuase of a stalled car a few cars ahead when this sedan rear ended us at 75mph. We were in comas for days and it wasn’t pretty, they thought we were gonna die on them multiple times. There was a long recovery involved and it was a life changing event.
When I came to in the hospital I was wearing a Fall Risk bracelet that the hospital gave to me, because I might fall over if I stood up. Since a lot of the songs are reflections in someway on these events I named the album Fall Risk. It’s easy to get comfortable with the way things work in life until something happens that tests all that you know and it’s then that you ask yourself, ‘who or what do I have to fall back on? Is that trustworthy?’
How was the recording and writing process?
Being my first album, I had the luxury of writing these songs and refining them over a long period of time. When I realised I wanted to record the stuff and everyone was telling me to I started on my computer because I didn’t find the team straight away. When my friend, Sam Winsor heard the music, he thought the music was great but told me the recordings needed to be better. He has an all analog studio in his home with a 2 inch tape machine which appealed to me as I have always dreamed of recording analog.
He produced the record with me and we went to a number of other studios also and ended up with a final product that we are both very satisfied with. Not many people record analog these days on the budget we had, so we think it’s pretty unique and of course there’s a certain warmth and life that comes from that that just doesn’t make it’s way through recording digitally.
How has tragedy influenced your music?
Glass of Your Eye talks about a vision I had while in a coma that I remember as clear as any memory or maybe even clearer, in spite of memory loss from the car accident. I was crying on my bedroom floor during the time just after the accident when I wrote Pretty Pearl. A lot of the album is me processing tragic or traumatic events and how I reconcile them with my faith.
How Sufjan Stevens and Van Morrison has influence your writing?
Like everyone, I have a ton of influences so these are two of very many. I got into listening to Sufjan Stevens because my older brother went to this little college that Stevens once attended so his albums found their way onto my ipod in highschool. I love the way he handles both lyrics and music. Stevens’ music taught me to reconcile pop music with a classical approach of composition.
Van Morrison has a charm and warmth to his recordings which inspire me. Astral Weeks is especially cool to me, it’s got this free, jazz-like spirit behind it all while carrying some really visual lyrics that break the norm and open a door to expressing mystical experiences. It’s not so much a style thing as much as the way he approached music.
What aspect of those traumas have you been exploring?
Those moments where you’re not sure if you will live through this, or maybe if you do everything will be a completely different way of doing things cause you take a long, hard look at yourself and what you believe in. It’s these moments that draw me closer to my God, increasing my awareness of a spiritual reality and the universal need for true love and a peace that’s greater than what we can think up. So when I sing about the rough stuff it’s in effort to point out the need for the really good stuff (love, peace, justice).
Where else did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?
I’m a Christian and a lot, or maybe all, of my music has my spirituality embedded into it. Some of the songs confront a dissatisfaction with the Christian Church at large, but Jesus is an integral part of who I am so it’s naturally in the lyrics. I think people who don’t share these beliefs can still relate though, they aren’t meant to be preachy or anything, just reflections of my own experiences.
Any plans to hit the road?
Yes, not set in stone yet though. But yeah, I plan to do a west coast tour. I’m also in the early stages of planning a small Scandinavian/Europe tour since the drummer is Swedish and I have a lot of friends out that way. We hope to do that in 2019 before the summer. Basically anything I can get my hands on, I’d really love to hit the road!
What else is happening next in Timmy Milner’s world?
As of yesterday I moved up to Los Angeles, living in Culver City area.
Sam Winsor (co-producer for Fall Risk) and I are planning to record some singles this September in preparation for my second album! So I’m very excited about that, I have some new material I’m wanting to get cooking. Otherwise I’m looking to collaborate with other songwriters and artists and play more shows.