Interview with London rock band Mile End by Elliot Gregg, Merchant Taylors

De gauche à droite : Joe Young, Josh Simpson, Desh Saxena, Seb Zecevic <i>(Image: Hema Simpson)</i>”  data-src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/j9TGnxixYb9Eld_NDst6ug–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MDtoPTY0MA–/https://media.zenfs.com/en/this_is_local_london_627/d9147d92c80560174e812b8e” datasf867c17rb8e” datasf “https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/j9TGnxixYb9Eld_NDst6ug–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MDtoPTY0MA–/https://media.zenfs.com/en/this_is_local_london_627/d9147d92c80560174e867c112e67″></div>
</div>
</div>
<p><figcaption class=From left to right: Joe Young, Josh Simpson, Desh Saxena, Seb Zecevic (Image: Hema Simpson)

After rehearsing, writing and building their chemistry together since 2019 and graced venues across London with their riff-based 90s rock inspired sound, I was lucky enough to be able to get an interview with rock band Mile End on a zoom call to learn more about how the band came to be, their secrets behind the creative process, and more about the mysterious album they’ve teased is releasing soon. Mile End Features Josh Simpson on rhythm/lead guitar, sharing lead vocals with Desh Saxena who also plays rhythm/lead and occasionally bass, Joe Young as main drummer and Seb Zecevic as drummer and backup bassist.

How did the 4 of you meet?

JS: We all went to a music school called Rhythm Studios for their summer classes, and in 2019 me and Seb signed up for the band sessions, which was a weekly thing on the schedule. We were put in a band with two other members, and for about a year we played under the name Yes No Maybe.

SZ: And then Nemesis too.

JS: And then Nemesis too. But we changed members, two of our members left, another drummer called Joe and a guitarist called Gabriel, then Desh and Joe [Young] joined by registering for the same group sessions.

JY: Seb and I have been going to music college for 8 or 9 years, doing solo lessons and boot camps, so me and Seb have done a lot of band stuff before, messing around and playing with different bands during summer courses, and playing in our bands on the weekends. When did Desh return?

DS: I joined about two weeks before you, around January, and I think you joined around February.

JY: Midway through covid…well, Josh, you want to explain the Nemesis breakup?

JS: Well, we had another guitarist who left for a number of reasons, so we kept playing with Desh as a new guitarist with our old drummer, and then the other drummer left and Joe joined us.

Which brings me to my next question: where does the name Mile End come from?

SZ: We talked for a while when we were still called Nemeis. We had written our own songs, and normally when you think of the name ‘Nemesis’ it sounds like a heavy metal band, which I don’t think we are. We have many variations. We have all kinds of different styles of music, and we’re not heavy metal enough to call ourselves Nemesis. Once I was just coming back from one of our district line practice sessions and saw ‘Mile End’ as a tube stop and thought, ‘You know what, this is not even such a bad name”. So when I got home I went to the whatsapp group and said “What do you think of Mile End as a new band name?”. We didn’t decide right away, but we finally warmed up.

JY: I don’t think any of us have a connection with the Mile End location. I guess the only connection we have is that my mom works there.

DS: I guess it’s on the District line, and where we practice now is also on the District line, but it’s a very loose connection.

JS: But also separated from the tube stop, “Mile End” sounds like a kind of journey. I think we have enough connections to warrant it.

What are your main songwriting influences?

DS: Tired of being the bad guy [their newest single] I think it was influenced by Royal Blood and Rage Against the Machine, this heavy riff is definitely inspired by Royal Blood. Generally, we are inspired by modern rock bands, from my point of view it’s mainly Arctic Monkeys, Foo Fighters and Red Hot Chilli Peppers, this kind of modern alternative rock.

SZ: I totally agree, but we also have such a variety of different songs. As you said, Fated of Being the Bad Guy is influenced by Royal Blood, but we also have more folk songs, indie songs. I think it’s hard to identify a single influence.

JS: For example, another one I wrote, “Awe of Her”, is very inspired by Fratellis. There is a variety, but the three Deshs mentioned sum up our style.

JY: The rock of the 2000s.

DS: Yeah, 2000s modern rock. But not stuff like Imagine Dragons.

What did you think of the recent death of Taylor Hawkin?

DS: We paid tribute to him at our last concert actually.

SZ: It was quite sad.

This is local London:

Do you have a songwriting process?

DS: The way it usually works is one of us goes into a session with a song he’s written and he shows a demo or an idea and then we build on that and start forming a song. . Most songs come to the session fully formed and some songs come with just a riff. We wrote Fated of Being the Bad Guy when Seb came into the studio and said ‘I think I’ve got this great riff’ and then we kind of built on that and from there we wrote our first single. And that’s why it’s the first single, it has a lot of stuff that we all put into it. I don’t think there’s a song on the album that’s 100% persona.

JY: An example of a song that was pretty much written by Josh would be “Awe of Her”. The only part that Josh didn’t write is the drum part that I implemented. But the complete opposite of that would be a new song where Josh introduced this pretty abstract guitar riff, and during the session, me and Josh started writing a backbeat that would work.

DS: We’re still evolving as a band in terms of songwriting. I think eventually we’ll get to a stage where we’re writing songs all the time in sessions, but we’re still at that early stage of developing and refining our abilities.

If you’ll pardon the pun, what’s the next direction for Mile End?

DS: First, release the album. I think after that we have a few different options.

JS: Even before the album?

SZ: We have a few singles coming out. We have ‘Dreams’ and ‘Awe of Her’ coming out in the next few months. Our first album will be called Stormy Sunshine. We will try to release it towards the end of the year, no date has been specified yet. Then we can find our sound and which songs work best.

DS: We still have a few songs that we could possibly release as singles in the future. There’s our coverage of Eleanor Rigby which looks like something we’ll explore in the future, but I think right now it’s just important that we get through the next few months before looking any further.

You can listen to Mile End here: https://open.spotify.com/artist/5jOURuSbcwDra9sQ1eKFsc

Comments are closed.