Interview with Millie Manders

Last year was grand for Millie Manders and The Shutup, they embarked on their biggest UK headline tour and celebrated their debut album ‘Telling Truths, Breaking Ties’. They have been rising and growing from strength to strength so this felt like the right time to have a chat and get to know Millie Manders a little better!

Could you introduce yourself as an artist as well as describing your sound?

I’m Millie Manders, from Millie Manders and The Shutup. We create cross genre punk; influenced by ska, hip hop, dance, metal and more; we create music with a punk edge and ethos, often touching on social, economic, and environmental issues as well as addressing mental health, with the odd love / hate song thrown in for good measure.

Which artists have inspired you to make music?

So many. With a hugely eclectic upbringing I started in Jazz and Classical music, but was listening to the likes of Prodigy, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Cypress Hill, Aretha Franklin, James Brown and more through my parents before discovering Green Day, Rage Against the Machine, No Doubt Reel Big Fish, Cranberries and Pink for myself later. Newer artists such as Scroobius Pip also play a big part in my inspiration and development journey as an artist.

What would you like to achieve by making music? 

I’ll be happy so long as I can pay my rent and feed my cats. Other than that, I’d like to start conversations about things I feel are important and reach out to people, however that may manifest.

What is your process of writing music and, in the case of Telling Truths, Breaking Ties, an album? 

I don’t really have a particular process. Sometimes I write with James – he’ll interpret my terribly played guitar chords and help me with structure, or he’ll send me a backing track he’s working on, and I’ll write to that. Sometimes I have an entire song in my head, and I have to work with the band so they can understand my vision. Occasionally I will have full lyrics and the band will ‘jam it out’ until we find something that fits. The album was written mostly remotely. We all live in separate areas around London and Norfolk, so ideas were bounced back and forth on logic using google drive, mainly with James and I before sending out to the others to develop their parts. Who knows how the next album will be written, but I hope we will have an opportunity for some solid studio time together next time.

What do you think is the importance of albums compared to singles? 

I think music is important, full stop. I wanted to release each of the tracks as a single, that would come together to show the story of the tracks as a whole, but lockdown prevented that vision from being actualised. For us, both were important for different reasons. We found our fans were asking for an album and in particular, vinyl, so that was also part of the consideration.

On your autumn tour, which were your favourite shows and why? 

There were so many incredible moments on our tour, so I find this very difficult. Some of the most incredible highlights were people crowd surfing in Plymouth, the entire room singing in Newcastle, the mosh pit in Birmingham, the sell-out show in Manchester, the sheer joy of the atmosphere in Brighton. I think every show had something truly special about it.

You’ve done it ‘all’; created an album and toured the country. What’s next in store for Millie Manders and The Shutup? 

More touring, more music, more countries … MORE haha! To be more specific, 2022 sees us touring with the incredible Less Than Jake, returning to some of our favourite festivals like Rebellion and our first time at Kendal Calling, plus more UK touring and hopefully the rescheduling of our EU dates.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Just thank you to everyone who’s supported us this past year be that through streaming, coming to live shows or buying merchandise. It’s the people who support us who keep us doing what we love!

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