Hailing from Phoenix, Arizona, Jared & The Mill offer catchy yet profound songs with melodies and instrumentation somewhere in the mix between desert folk and bluegrass twang. The group formed in 2011 and has been touring and writing together ever since. They tell stories of the love, triumph, and heartbreak they’ve encountered in life on the road.
Read our interview below to learn more about what drives Jared & The Mill’s musical creations, make sure to give their music a listen, and then pre-order their new EP Orme Dugas, which comes out on September 9.
Emily Cardé: How did Jared & The Mill come to be?
Jared Kolesar: We actually started out as Jared Kolesar & The Locals, but my name was too Polish for people to spell on Facebook, and there were so many bands that included the term “The Locals.” We all went to Arizona State University, and there is a street that all the students go to hang out called “Mill Avenue,” which has an old flour mill at the end of it. Jared & The Mill sounds almost like a fairy tale, too, so I think all these things added to the new name.
Emily: What have been some of the most challenging aspects of being musicians?
Jared: Life on the road is tough! It’s the subject matter of most of our songs, and it’s something that I think all touring musicians battle with. Our time out causes us to miss family members being born, friends’ weddings, and family holidays. It also drives us away from the women we love, which is something that causes a lot of emotional strain. Luckily we’re able to confide in one another as brothers, we have a really strong fellowship that keeps us all in a level head.
Emily: What experiences have had the most impact on your sound, style, and creativity, especially in light of the new EP coming out?
Jared: The whole vibe of the EP is actually very influenced by our recent decision to just be us. We’re sons of the West: we come from the desert, and from a land that is shrouded in this mysterious mythos. We don’t necessarily buy into the who desert mystic thing, but we certainly are proud to be from a land that seems so magical to people. Arizona is a clash of Western culture, California progressive spirit, and Mexican heart and soul, and it causes the land to be a real spiritual treat, even for a bunch of lads that grew up there. This EP is us fully celebrating the land we’re from.
Emily: Two of my favorite songs of yours are “Life We Chose” and “Breathe Me In.” Can you tell me a little about the stories or inspiration behind those two songs?
Jared: I’m so glad you enjoy those! Like I told you, it’s really difficult to be out on the road, especially with love life. “Breathe Me In” is about the beginning of a relationship. It’s so inspiring and exciting to think you’re fostering a relationship with somebody that can handle your life out on the road! Unfortunately we all make mistakes, and the girl from the description of “Breathe Me In” and I unfortunately had a falling out. There was nothing dramatic or fantastic about the break up, but I was a little devastated because I was so certain that she understood the life she had chosen to be with me (hence the song “Life We Chose”), and that same life is what tore us apart. It was really unfortunate, and I think it’s something that almost all musicians fall victim too.
Emily: What message do you hope to inspire in the people listening to your music?
Jared: I hope people listen to our music and feel a desire to go out and explore, I hope they want to call a person they love who they haven’t spoken to in a while, I hope they want to dance with their friends, and I hope they want to be the truest version of them, because that’s what we’re doing with this record, and I think it really is transcribed onto the tracks. I also hope it makes them want to love more.
Featured photo courtesy of the band.