Interview – Millie Manders

Millie Manders and the Shutup are releasing their debut album, Telling Truths, Breaking Ties, on October 23rd, having built up a good fanbase over the last couple of years. We were very excited to hear the album, so we decided to have a chat with Millie Manders herself to find out more about it!

By Jane Howkins

You have your new album coming out soon called Telling Truths, Breaking Ties. What can you tell us about that, and what is the title about?

I wanted a title that would tell the whole story. The concept of the album lyrically is to be open and honest about all my struggles with mental health, my take on the world as it is right now, and my feelings towards situations that have damaged me. All those things combined mean I can break ties with some of the things that have held me back. 

This is your debut album release. Are you nervous? And how different has it been writing and recording the album, compared to shorter releases?

I’m fully nervous! But we have all been blown away by how much support we have received both by people in the industry and people buying the album on presale. The album was actually written far faster than any of the EPs. We had more time with the EPs because we had less of a following. More people than not were coming to our shows and hearing us for the first time, so it made sense to release EPs once a year or two. We suddenly started getting people asking for an LP and it was like, oh! We need to do this! And so, we knuckled down and got it ready within something like six months. Two of the songs on the album are older than that but, generally speaking, it was a white-knuckle roller-coaster ride of writing.

Do you feel that the current pandemic has hindered your work as an artist? And has it had much effect on making the album?

It hasn’t hindered the album because thankfully it was recorded and ready to go before it hit. It’s affected my creative flow massively, though. I didn’t write anything new for months, but I have been concentrating on promoting the singles and the album, liaising with our booking agent to get stuff rescheduled and working too – my job wasn’t one that stopped over the lockdown.

One of the recent singles released from the album was called Bitter. What can you tell our readers about that? It’s one of my favourite songs by the band, I love the energy of it!

Bitter is a journey dealing with my anger at one person in particular and a handful of other people as well. It’s a f**k you to someone who knows they deserve it and a side swipe at anyone who thinks that just because they haven’t been called out, doesn’t mean their acts have gone or have been left unspoken.

Do you have further singles planned for release anytime soon? If so, when, and what are they?

Yes, we do! But I’m not giving that away just yet, haha! Nice try though …

Your music has a punky feel to it, is that a scene that you identify with? And what sort of music influences you most as a band?

We consider ourselves to be cross-genre punk, so absolutely! But if you spoke to any member of the band you would find countless influences. I was brought up with everything from jazz and RnB to classical and metal. We all love punk, but we all love fusion too.

What have you been listening to recently? Anything you can recommend our readers check out?

Yes! Dream Nails have just released their debut album and it’s divine! Delilah Bon (Lauren Tate), Riskee and The Ridicule, Call Me Malcolm, Stand Atlantic, KAVES, Jora The Fortune Teller … I am massively into my underground punk, grunge and metal. Also, go check out my playlist Badass Ladies of Punk. So good.

Do you have any tour dates lined up for the UK?

We do, but like everything else we are at the mercy of COVID and whatever restrictions the powers that be decide to put in place next.

What can people expect from a Millie Manders and the Shutup show and, when they get the opportunity, why do you think people should come and see you perform live?

Boundless energy, lots of swearing between songs, beer sloshing, dancing, singing along and laughter. Come if you like that stuff.

Any last words for fans?