I’ve played Frontier Ruckus‘ debut album “The Orion Songbook” to death, it was my most favourite record of the year 2008 after all!
When a band comes out of nowhere, steps into my life and makes my days worth living I want to know everything about that band, so I sent some questions to Frontier Ruckus. Singer and guitarist Matthew Milia kindly answered.
When was your band born and why?
Frontier Ruckus began as just David Winston Jones and myself, while we were around the tender age of sixteen. Dave and I both attended an all-male Catholic high school in the suburbs outside of Detroit, Michigan. Directly next door to our school was an all-female Catholic high school separated by what they called “the moat.” We met when we both enrolled in Drama class, as it was one of the two courses offered that boys could take over with the girls (the other was German, which Dave also took–shows you where his interest lies). Anyway, Dave had been playing the banjo since he was a little kid, and when he started bringing it around during play rehearsals I was just totally fixated on it. We would just sit in the wings and play traditional bluegrass songs, which no one else really understood. I think that esotericism, at the time, encouraged us all the more. I started my attempts at writing typical bluegrass songs about women and rambling and other shit I had no experience with until eventually I kind of came into my own and began writing about memory and the physical space of which I had actually become an extension–Orion Town.
What was your first musical instrument and where did you get it?
My first musical instrument was the acoustic guitar that I still play today–my dad’s jumbo 1970s Epiphone. A guy sold it to my dad back then while he was the caretaker on some wealthy estate where they used to have parties in the service quarters. The guy that sold it has since looked me up. It’s a good old guitar.
Do you download music or buy hard copies? Or both?
I hardly ever obtain new music in any form. I probably get really into one or two new albums a year and listen to them nonstop. If I do buy something it’s usually a vinyl record. I’m trying to collect some good old country albums with that classic golden pedal steel sound.
Favourite music venue to play and why?
So far our best shows have probably been at the Union Ballroom on the campus at Michigan State University. We released The Orion Songbook there and it was kind of a culmination. A climax of sorts.
Last book read:
Winesburg, Ohio –A singular world of psychic locales where people are physical extensions of the space they inhabit; a world I can really relate to and fetishize and fantasize myself inhabiting.
Last movie watched:
Noises Off! –A slapstick classic from my girlfriend’s childhood that she had me watch. I like Michael Caine’s somewhat bumbling demeanor, particularly in Hannah and Her Sisters.
5 resons why we should listen to The Orion Songbook
-It is the only thing in existence thus far that gets close to expressing the interiority of Matthew Christopher Milia–an individual who lived in Oakland County, Michigan from 1985– and obsessed greatly over his area’s geographical, topographical, pyschological, economical, emotional, familial, existential and possibly spiritual connections–if that should at all interest you.
-It is the natural sound of consummate musicians playing in one room at the same time.
-It makes it so Jim Roll, Zach Nichols, Ryan Etzcorn, and David Jones didn’t smoke so many cigarettes in vain.
-It may remind you of something in your Orion Town.
-The spaces and connections which spurred the songs are strange, large, and overflowing containers deserving of mythology.
Best moment on tour?
Once in Dayton, Ohio we were hanging out with our friends from Southeast Engine and I snowboarded down the front lawn of the mansion where one of the Wright brothers, I think Orville, used to live. We also went to the highest point in Dayton which is a cemetary and saw a large possum milling about and weaving through the tombstones.
If you could play anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Italy! See you this summer..
Favourite band/singer/album you discovered recently?
Like I said, I don’t take in much new music, but I recently had a long train ride and really enjoyed me some Phosphorescent.
MP3 Frontier Ruckus – The Tower (demo) *in esclusiva su HDAHA per gentile concessione dei Frontier Ruckus*