Artist Interview – Arms & Hearts

After writing our review of Arms & Hearts’ newest EP, Set In Stone, we got the chance to ask Millar a few questions via email. He and his PR company were great with getting back to us quickly and answering our questions thoroughly!
Indientry: While the feeling of the music initially seems happy or cheerful in some instances, the lyrics are more melancholy. Can you describe how you manage to pull these together?
Arms & HeartsI guess it’s to do with the fact I am a miserable person trying to write happy songs. A lot of my influences have that. Trying to write how I feel and discussing the matters that I want to, whilst keeping people engaged and the live show interesting (which is especially difficult as a solo artist, just a guitar and vocals).
I: What are your plans for the future, music-wise?
A&HJust keep pushing it as far as I can, maybe an album in a few years, maybe a split EP with some awesome musicians is in the pipeline. I really want to tour Europe next summer.
I: What new albums are you currently listening to?
A&HAt this moment, ‘A Lifetime Apart’ EP by Harker is getting played loads. I just did a small tour with those guys and it’s an insanely good record. Craig Finn’s (The Hold Steady) ‘Faith In The Future’ and Northcote’s ‘Hope Is Made Of Steel’ make up some of my favorite records to be released this year. I am also very excited for Brian Fallon’s solo release. Oh, and Ryan Adams ‘1989’ Taylor Swift cover album is the best record ever and I’m so glad it’s a thing. 
I: How do you think that this new EP shows your journey as a musician? How does it vary from your other EPs?

A&HThis record is generally about changes. A huge part of it is about not having Arms & Hearts as a band anymore. There was no huge spat, it just happened that I started doing more and more solo shows till it made more sense, but there is always that sense of loneliness I feel, especially when travelling alone now, which found its way into the lyrical themes of the record. There is a line in Take No Prisoners, “If I keep giving all this grace what’s left for me” which kind of shows my sometimes frustration at how hard I can work for such a little return in something that keeps calling me back no matter what. It varies from my other EPs because personally, I don’t hate it for a start. It’s the first effort I am proud of and I don’t think I’m trying to sound like something else. I think I have begun to find a basis for my sound that I can now develop; this to me feels like my first real EP, the first record that I have done properly.

I: Are you planning on another tour for this EP? How did you manage the self-booked tours and traveling on public transport with your gear on the previous tours?

A&HAs mentioned previously, I just did a small tour with Harker and my friends in Larkhill (if you are reading this, check them both out now, go do it, this can wait), which was awesome. My main priority with managing a tour is keeping costs down, so I only ever get a hotel or whatever as a very last resort; I tend to try and call on a lot of my wonderful friends who live in different places in the UK. This also means lots of time spent on a megabus too. I shall leave that there. Just being organized helps with managing tours; knowing where you need to be for a certain time and having everything set out in advance. I usually have some kind of document with all I need on it somewhere on my person.

I: Have you ever had any weird fan encounters?

A&HNot really. I guess it’s weird having fans. I by no means have many at all. I have lots of friends who don’t hate my music (I joke). I guess I try and make friends with people who show an interest in music and pre-existing friends have gotten into my music. I guess the weirdest thing, and it isn’t that weird, was a guy walked into this free/donation entry show I was playing in Leeds, watched my set, bought a t shirt from me straight after the set and then left before any of the other bands came on. He didn’t leave a donation though, much to the dismay of the promoter. I still have no idea who that guy is to this day.

Thanks so much for Arms & Hearts and Rookie PR for letting us ask a few questions!

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