Say hello to Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson.
Here at IM//UR we prefer to do interviews the old fashioned way; face to face. But in this international day and age, with the internet at your every convenience and inconvenience, it simply must be used. So I'm putting this interview down to virtual (mis?)communication. Daaaaang I must have been in some kind of wonderful mood when I wrote these questions. Maybe I'd taken too much in of his press bio and the interviews I'd read. Maybe I was just in the mood to provoke. Either way, Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson is most definitely an entity to be reckoned with, musically and, well, email-ably.
With a wry grin and a somewhat weary shrug at life, a devil may care kind of whimsy in a musical smirk, Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson is full of a shuddering kind of strength and a tough tenderness. So we rumbled via email.
In a nutshell, what exactly is your damage? I wish I could have met you face to face to check it myself, well, according to your press release that is (yes yes, I've read about your ire with it)
I have decided that the journalisitc depiction of my life as tragic is in actually an expression of profound jealousy by people who have never done anything even marginally interesting in their own (lives).
I moved to New York in 2000 when I was 17...I saw some of the first Strokes shows...I lived nine blocks from Ground Zero on September 11th...I partied, a lot. My best friends happen to comprise two of Brooklyn's most critically celebrated music groups. The album is neither about homelessness nor drug addiction. I was off hard drugs and engaged when I recorded it. I spent the next three years getting up at five in the morning to cut wood, build things, and wallow in bitterness and disappointment. It is profoundly tiresome to talk endlessly at age 26 about things you did when you were 19.
What do your friends call you? And did you ever think to shorten your quadruple barrelled moniker?
My friends call me Miles. My family calls me Ben. I've always found those two fairly manageable.
Are you named after anybody besides your father?
I am not named after my father, my father is named after the murderer Miles Terry Anthony Robinson. I am named after Miles Davis.
I read somewhere you said "...but after learning about the industry...you have to keep a small degree of naïveté. You have to keep on believing the lie to some extent." What exactly is that lie and why is it you feel you have to keep believing it to a point?
Apparently what I meant at the time of that interview was that I wished I was able to not resent and sonically punish my audience for wanting me to perform an album that I had recorded three years prior. 'You' in that instance was directed at someone both more professional and more hypothetical than myself.
I feel your music actually sparkles with a wry kind of humor; some of the time I can't really understand what you're singing, but I can feel it that's for sure. Are you at peace with where you are right now life wise?
Thanks, I feel like too many people miss the humor. I am more at peace than I ever have been. I'd like to be recording the album i wrote last year instead of promoting one from four years ago and gearing up to release one that's been done for two, but worse things have happened to better people. You can read the lyrics on the myspcae page if you're interested in how at peace I was at 20-21.
Have you ever been formally trained in music?
Musically speaking, are you satisfied with what you've produced so far?
Not at all.
What advice would you now give to the you of ten years ago?
Be more sexually irresponsible.
Would you say you are better behaved nowadays?
Where in the world do you want to be right now, doing what? And in ten years time?
I want to be touring right now. In ten years I want to be touring in a hybrid bus.
PS I love your music