A musician from Southampton in the UK, Miles Grindey has been playing the guitar since the young age of nine, building his repertoire and refining his talents whenever he could. Beginning his music career while studying at the University of Brighton, he rose to prominence as the lead guitar player for The Bones and Arrows, a local group who laid the foundation for what was to come.
Leaving the group in 2016, Miles embarked on his solo career, releasing his debut album, ‘Caught In A Storm’ at the start of 2018. A well-received release, Miles kindly donated the proceeds to the charity Mind UK, before then going on to release his first single ‘Ethereal Bollocks’. After graduating university, Miles went from strength to strength, releasing a new single in ‘Make Up Your Mind’ and constantly pushing his musical boundaries.
A prolific talent with a lot to offer, we couldn’t wait to sit down with Miles and find out what makes him tick.
Great to meet you Miles, I’m keen to hear all about your music. How did you first start out? Where did it all begin?
I started making music properly back in 2016 with the first band I was in, I hadn't really been in a band environment before, so it was quite challenging but nonetheless we had some good times doing it. I did dabble before when I discovered AmpKit but that was just messing about.
It certainly seems like you’ve come a long way since then. How would you describe your sound?
I like to think my sound is a modern take on retro stylings. In the sense of distorted guitars, power chords, screaming vocals (not screamo though, more like David Lee Roth), chuck in some keyboards here and there and make that snare sound like the drums just exploded and that is how I'd define it.
Sounds great to me! What influences would you say most define your music?
My influences are a combination of many different musicians I used to listen to growing up. The key moment for my music was when I was fourteen and I really discovered Van Halen. That was when I took guitar playing seriously. Everything rolled off the back of that, sure before that, there was Aerosmith, The Beatles, The Kinks, Guns N Roses but it was Van Halen that kick-started my passion for music. I tend to go through phases, I had a Def Leppard phase, I just got out of my Robert Palmer phase, every now and again I enter a blues phase but that's a different kettle of fish.
So, what’s next? I know you’ve recently released a stunning new single, but any interesting projects on the horizon?
My next step is trying to finish my album off, most people don't realise how much this stuff costs to make so I'm just getting that all together. That being said, I'm currently talking to a few people in Southampton to get a new project underway as well. Multitasking is always fun when you're passionate about something!
On the subject of the new single, what can you tell us about it?
Well... what began as ‘Make Up Your Mind’ actually started back in November 2017. I started writing some music on my Mac on the floor of my living room at the disgusting apartment in Brighton that I was living in. Originally it had a Trap style of drum beat and the sections were basically the same as it is now. Unfortunately, my MacBook’s hard drive passed away and I had thought that the demo was lost forever. Luckily, I had saved an mp3 to the cloud. Fast forward almost a year later in September 2018 and I had returned home and was working on my next album.
I was talking to the folks I was working with to get that done and this demo resurfaced, with much encouragement they suggested I put it on the album. When it came to lyrics, I had written a bunch of lyrics and one part of it was "Make up your mind, I don't wanna lose mine". I kept that and the rest sort of fell into place. I intentionally wrote it as a very soft rock track and actually included a reference to the best-worst film of all time ‘The Room’ with "love is blind, said Tommy". Anyway, I finished re-recording a new demo, took it off to Atlanta, got it recorded and released it in May!
What is your songwriting process? How does it all come together?
Typically, I have a riff or a progression in mind, I unpack that to find all sorts of musical goodies and opportunities. However, as I continue writing the music, that's really where it all begins, the mood comes out and when I get round to writing the lyrics it's typically me assessing the mood and applying a story to it (if you will) and picking parts out of that.
What’s the most important thing when you’re writing a song?
My goal is always to try my absolute best to make it that kind of song where each listener can identify their own meaning, that was achieved with ‘Make Up Your Mind’.
What has been your best moment in music so far?
My best moment in music was when I went to see Oz Noy perform at The Velvet Note in Alpharetta, GA. Dave Weckl and Jimmy Haslip were in the band. After the show, I went backstage and I was introduced. Dave Weckl said to me "Oh man I love the way the Brits explain things, they make everything sound so interesting!" and I said "Well I'm here till May 4th so keep in touch!". They are such nice guys and great players too!
Present or past, what would your dream collaboration be and why?
I would absolutely love to collaborate with Kit Trigg, a few years back I was introduced to his music by someone who was on my course at University. Since that time I've been a big fan and I feel like I could learn a lot from him. It would be cool to do a blues track or something along those lines.
Finally, what advice would you give to bands who are looking to follow in your footsteps?
Don't. Do your own thing, sure there are some things that worked for me but the reality is there is no set path in music. It's the same thing with life really, there's no written rulebook except maybe a few things. But what worked for me may not work for you, no harm in trying though. I have three golden rules when it comes to trying to make it in music that seems pretty universal. The first is be kind and courteous at all times, a great drummer by the name of Adam Wolfe once said "If you're a fantastic player but have a terrible personality, no one will hire you. However if you're an average player with a great personality, you'll get work".
Secondly, seize opportunities but go with your gut. I'm incredibly lucky to be able to say I have gotten myself into situations where I'd thought I'd lose it all but live to tell the tale but I only got into those situations because I ignored my gut reaction. Thirdly, don't lie. We live in an age now where anything can be checked by a simple Google search, if you're claiming you've won a certain award or achieved X amount of streams or something - be sure you've got something to back you up. Silver tongues worked well in the last century but in the 21st Century we know what's true. It has served me well to be able to say I've always been honest with what I've achieved in music. I've seen too many good musicians fall because of this.
Currently championing the release of ‘Make Up Your Mind’, Miles has already broken boundaries with his music. With a diverse and wonderfully visceral sound, it’s a perfect introductory single that illustrates his sound in perfect form. Stream it today on Spotify, Apple Music, and all major platforms, and be sure to catch one of his shows the next time you’re in Southampton.