Musical Duo Millennium Resorts Release “Happiness” off of their Upcoming Album

Music Duo Millennium Resorts talk to Splash Magazine about their recent single release and upcoming album

Millennium Resorts (comprised of Scott Raulie and Jonathan Richerson)
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Austin-based music duo Millennium Resorts (comprised of Scott Raulie and Jonathan Richerson) blur the lines between many different genres of music. The musical prodigies released the first single, titled “Happiness” off of their lates album, “In the Key of David,” which will be introduced to the world January 26th. The album is meant to be listened to in its’ entirety and the artists hope that listeners will form their own meanings for the individual songs and the album as a whole. Millennium Resorts spoke with Splash about the album and more.

First, I’d love to know how you came up with the name Millennium Resorts.

Part of what inspired the name is kind of a secret or a mystery. The other part would be that we just thought it sounded cool. “Resorts” plays to the 80s synth-wave aesthetic of palm trees and beautiful sunsets and “Millennium” just has a sci-fi “ring” to it. We hear the term “millennium” a lot, but when you actually look at the definition in a dictionary it’s pretty interesting. 

How did the two of you come together and what strengths does each one recognize in the other?

This is really embarrassing. We were in a U2 tribute band. Jonathan was the fake “Edge.” I was fake “Larry Mullen Jr.” With that gig, we quickly realized we had a ton in common in terms of ambition and musical tastes. Jonathan is one of the most creative guitarists I’ve ever heard. Part of this project was inspired by the opportunity to showcase his unique approach to guitar and record some great guitar solos. Jonathan would say a couple things about me – I just have a unique way at looking at things and I’m very disciplined. Jonathan’s more detail oriented when it comes to recording. I’ll have a great idea and I think it sounds great and then he’ll come in and add something and it sounds fantastic. 

How does this work creatively? How long did this process take?

So I (Scott) started composing the basics of all the music on an upright acoustic piano. I wrote the “skeleton” of what the album would be, but I was conscious of the order and the flow of the different pieces from the beginning to end. I have written some screenplays and I kind of approached it like you do when you outline a script. Putting together the melodies, chord progressions, the motifs, etc and having kind of 3 ACTS if you will. This took about a year. Then I got together with Jonathan and we started translating it into Ableton. From there it was a collaboration and with so much help from Jonathan, we elevated and developed my outline into the final album. This took about three years. I think if we had more time and resources we could’ve finished it a lot quicker though. 

Have you been surprised when you first had people listen to it and share their opinions?

Yea, for sure, but it’s also a positive thing. We like it that people are interpreting different things, but what we really love is that a lot of the feedback suggests that people are distracted more by the music than the lyrics. I’m (Scott) no poet, and more focused on the tune and the lyrics fitting into the melody, When writing a song, I believe the most important part is the melody. 

I read that you aim to constantly build mystique and tension in their music. What does this mean?

Good question. Somebody made that comment in a write-up for our first single “Happiness.” Based on thoughts like this and other reviews, we think it’s because you can’t quite put your finger on where we are taking you. There’s a certain reverence to genres that have been mentioned, but strangely we aren’t any of those genres. I think the tension has a lot to do with our style. We go into the dreamy lighter side of things, but we also are pretty moody and  have much more aggressive beats than a lot of electronic dreampop type music. We are both drummers so that’s probably why. There’s a fight going on in the music between the “light” and the “dark.” Maybe that’s what they mean by the tension. I dunno.

“Happiness” came out about a month ago. What’s been the reaction so far?

Fans of the genres we are inspired by seem to really enjoy it. We’ve gotten a lot of feedback that it’s too long, mostly from radio. We tried to edit down a shorter version because we figured this would be the case, but even the “radio edit” is apparently too long. All and all, listeners want to hear more. So that’s a good sign. Hopefully our next single will do well. This one has a very short version that should appease the indy stations we’d love to get in rotation on and playlist curators should be more inviting. 

Tell me about plans for the album release? And how did you come up with the name of the album

Well we have another single coming out hopefully in the next week or so, “The Big Show,” and then we are going to release the full album on Jan 26th. Just gonna do a massive campaign to try to get as many write ups and streams as possible and would like to do a show at Levitation festival next year to kind of make our debut, but we’ll see. 

As far as the name of the album, it’s kind of like the answer to the name of the band, part of it is inspired by just wordplay. The other part is another mystery. So yea, the guy that described us with the word “mystique,” he kind of nailed it. We like to build intrigue and tension and maybe the listener will get some answers  after listening to the full album. Or maybe it will inspire repeated listens to unlock the mystery. 

What bands or artists have influenced your career the most?

The first music I gravitated toward and felt like “I could do music like this, this is my thing” was thanks to my brother. He had Depeche Mode and New Order albums and I think I get a lot of melodic influence from the 80s new wave music. Jonathan grew up on Led Zeppelin and Hendrix and SRV. We are both massive fans of the first handful of Smashing Pumpkins albums and Pink Floyd. I like to think that the album ended up the way it did because I took about 6 years and only listened to the great classical composers. Jonathan and I recently got to see some of our favorite bands Mars Volta and SMILE (which is essentially Radiohead.) Then there’s the dreamy bands like MBV, Slowdive, M83, Tame Impala…I could go on and on. 

Images courtesy of Independent Music Promotions

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