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Mylets is Henry Kohen

M Y L E T S

Management : Sargent House
Cathy Pellow - Manager
Justin Scala - Day to Day 
Michael Roe - Europe

Label & Licensing - Sargent House 
Marc Jetton - Label

N. American Publicty - US/THEM Group 
Dave Clifford - Publicist 

UK Publicity - Prescription PR
James Parrish & Will Vincent - Publicists

USA & CANADIAN BOOKING - United Talent Agency
Justin Bridgewater - Agent (NY/ Nashville Office)
Zaed Maqbool - Agent (Toronto Office)

US $ STORE // UK £ STORE

MYLETSMUSIC.COM

Retcon Live from Montreal

Live Audiotree Session 5 Songs

MYLETS TOUR DATES

NEWS

Melomania Interview at ArcTangent 

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Click here for the full interview: ARCTANGENT 2015 INTERVIEW: MYLETS

Henry Kohen, a.k.a one-man band and looping king Mylets, released his second album Arizona on Sargent House this year. I caught up with him after his ArcTanGent set to learn more about his musical history and writing process.

You had a great crowd for your set at ArcTanGent, how did you find the gig?

Yeah, such a wonderful group of people for the second year in a row. I managed to stumble my way through the set despite a lot of technical issues. It was very physically and mentally draining, but in the best way possible.

Who were your top 3 acts of the weekend (if you had to choose!) and did any band that was new to you make a big impression?

Helms Alee, Marriages, and Dillinger Escape Plan. They’re not new to me, but seeing Dillinger Escape Plan live for the first time and experiencing ‘43% Burnt’ live was pretty mind blowing.

What were you studying at college before signing to Sargent House, and was there ever a plan B to playing music? Do you feel that leaving your home town was a necessary step in your growth as a musician?

I was studying Audio Engineering type stuff over at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. Playing music was actually the Plan B up until very recently. I’ve always approached things realistically, so I never dreamed such an opportunity would present itself. There still are Plan Bs, it’s a scary world and things can drop out from underneath you at any time. Leaving my home was definitely an important step and being around musicians I so highly respect has certainly helped me grow, but I feel anyone is capable of musical growth regardless of their location or situation.

Did you play in bands before Mylets, and what do you find the advantages or disadvantages of being a solo musician are?

My brother and I played music throughout our childhood(s) and eventually formed a band with a mutual friend. Writing and performing music as a solo musician is actually really dangerous because it creates the delusion that you, as the sole contributor, should rightfully have full creative control of any given project. For me, this can very unpleasantly leak out into real world situations (creative or not) where collaboration is key.

What is your current set up for gigs, and do you modify it a lot?

Two pedalboards: one large with all of the guitar signal chain and effects, the other is smaller and has two midi-synced loop pedals and drum effects. I’m using an Alesis SR-18 which has a built in bass synthesizer now. It sounds great. There’s not as much modifying as there is fine-tuning, trying to reach the pinnacle of one set up instead of trying out various ones.

Relying on so many pedals, it seems like there is a lot of opportunity for technology failing, and things going wrong – have you found ways to deal with that if it does happen, or does it make you nervous?

ArcTanGent was a perfect example of this. No amount of practicing or rehearsal can prepare you for an inopportune technical problem. It’s extremely stressful and never far from the front of my mind before and during any show.

I understand you live at The Farm – what’s it like out there, and is it a good environment for writing and practicing?

I actually have moved my operations mostly to Los Angeles now. I was out at the Farm by myself in complete isolation pretty much constantly last year and while it was a pretty productive time, I went just a bit too crazy out there. I think being in such an introverted project makes it important to stay healthy and engaged with others outside of composing. As I get closer to throwing the next album together, I’ll certainly find myself out there more and more often.

Arizona seems to be drawn from a wide range of influences – Nine Inch Nails comparisons have been made quite a lot, but it sounds like something completely new and fresh. Musically or otherwise, what inspired you during the writing of the album?

I found myself paying much more attention to producers rather than artists as the studio drew nearer and nearer. Pretty much anything where Daniel Lanois, Mark Ellis, Alan Moulder, Brian Eno, Trent Reznor, or Mark Linkous are involved would have been heavily important to me around the record. I also got a lot of inspiration from the cinematography of Jeff Cronenweth, I think the way he captures warm and organic subjects through an entirely cold and emotionless lens is really beautiful.

Do you find that touring provides inspiration for your music, and is touring heavily something you’d be happy to continue doing for a long time?

Yeah, I’ll generally come home from any given tour with five or six songs that I composed from the back of the van, a venue greenroom, or hotel bed. I’d like to tour more often for a lot more time. I think the live performance aspect of Mylets is the most pure form of what I do.

A few Sargent House bands shared the ATG line-up with you this year – there seems to be a real ‘family’ aspect to the label. Do you have close relationships with any other SH bands?

I think every band has met every other band on the label at least once, there are some very close relationships within bands and some people keep to themselves, but there’s definitely a massive amount of respect throughout the label. I can’t express how grateful I am to be a part of it, especially during these specific years.

Arizona is available now from Bandcamp/iTunes/Hello Merch. From September 28th, Mylets joins And So I Watch You From Afar and Blis. on a US tour – click here for all shows.

Mylets "Arizona" CutLoosetv live session 

Mylets performing “Arizona” tour version for this session by Cut Loose filmed during the European Spring 2015 tour with And So I Watch You From Afar

Extremely professional people doing great work, enjoy. Mylets will be back in the UK to perform at ArcTangent on August 20th. He will return to America and be part of the Sargent House Fall line up with label mates And So I Watch You From Afar and Blis.  See all tour dates HERE.
 

Sargent House Fall Tour 2015 

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Happy to announce I will be on the Sargent House 2015 Fall tour in support of my new album Arizona, as well as the newest addition to the Sargent House Roster, Blis.  And So I Watch You From Afar will be headlining in support of their newest album, Heirs, adding to their list of dates in the US.    

A full list of dates can be found below. Tickets are available HERE.

AND SO I WATCH YOU FROM AFAR / MYLETS / BLIS. TOUR 2015:

09/28 - Dallas, TX @ Club Dada
09/29 - Austin, TX @ Sidewinder
09/30 - El Paso, TX @ Bowie Feathers
10/01 - Albuquerque, NM @ Launchpad
10/02 - Denver, CO @ Marquis Theater
10/03 - Salt Lake City, UT @ Kilby Court
10/05 - Seattle, WA @ The Crocodile
10/06 - Vancouver, BC (CA) @ The Cobalt
10/07 - Portland, OR @ Analog Café
10/09 - San Francisco, CA @ Bottom Of The Hill
10/10 - San Diego, CA @ The Casbah
10/12 - Los Angeles, CA @ Teragram Ballroom

Birthday Cake For Break Fast: Interview 

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  King of the pedals – Indiana native Mylets (Photo Credit: Nick Fancher)

I probably can’t tell you exactly what I was doing in my late teens (other than eating pizza for most meals at Uni and getting progressively heavier because of it), but it certainly was a different path to that of Henry Kohen. Dropping out of college at 17, Henry became the youngest artist to sign to mega label Sargent House under his monker Mylets, and he’s just this year released his official debut full length ‘Arizona’ to heaps of praise. This is how I first became aware of Mylets, the album having generated a real buzz on social media this past year, most of which came from his peers and contemporaries. The press weren’t far behind, with glowing reviews appearing everywhere you looked.

Making the move from Indiana, Henry now lives in Los Angeles at The Farm; a Sargent House operated studio and artist residence where he fine-tuned his latest release. As well as putting out Arizona, this year has also seen Mylets hitting the road across the UK and Europe with label mates And So I Watch You From Afar. It was the second night of this tour where I got the chance to see Mylets in the flesh, at Gorilla in Manchester. What he lacks in other people on stage, he makes up for in occupying as much stage space as possible with his vast array of pedals. A tremendous live show, his intricate guitar work and looping, as well as use of a drum machine and other effects, is a joy to watch and the crowd were enthusiastic with their praise. For a full review of that show, click the link here.

With a penchant for pedals, it should come as no surprise that Mylets will be playing this year’s ArcTanGent Festival. In what is becoming a bit of a yearly tradition for them, this year’s festival is boasting a seriously stacked line-up as it takes on its third year, with Mylets performing on Thursday night alongside the likes of Alpha Male Tea Party, Cleft, Mutiny On The Bounty and 65daysofstatic!

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                                                 Mylets and family

Now a few months removed from that fantastic evening at Gorilla in Manchester, Henry was kind enough to speak with Birthday Cake For Breakfast about time on the road with the boys from And So I Watch You From Afar, his latest record and exactly why an album by U2 means so much to him.

BCFB: I’ve read that you dropped out of college and became part of the Sargent House ‘Farm Family’ pretty much straight away. Was there a lot of thinking behind it, or did you just pack up and go?
Mylets: For me there was no thinking involved. The second I got the offer I was out of there mentally and then the semester ended and I left as soon as my belongings were together.

How did you get involved with Sargent House in the first place?
I had been a fan of a few of the bands on the label after hearing them through my brother when I was probably 14. Over the next few years I just read all of these great things about Sargent House and their treatment of artists and human beings in general. When I got to college and became quickly disenchanted with it, I freaked out and was looking around for options. I emailed Cathy Pellow (who runs the label) just to ask advice on what a young person who dreams and daydreams of music can best do to become involved on a serious level.

What’s life like on The Farm? I’ve heard you’ve got quite the penchant for looking after the dogs on site?
It’s very secluded and full of options. I’ve spent a lot of time there rehearsing in a way that I don’t think any other environment could provide. There’s a definite mindset surrounding the Farm that, for me, really promotes productivity.

It’s there at The Farm that you wrote your latest album ‘Arizona’ – How was that whole process for you?
Arizona was actually mostly written back in Indiana, only two songs were fully composed out on the Farm, but I definitely refined the full album out there. I do think the isolation provides a comfortable place free of outside influence. I like to think that this record sounds like mine and only mine and that I could attribute that to being out at the Farm reworking all of these songs, free from intrusions whether they’re conscious or not.

I’ve read a few interviews in which the idea of solitude and being alone crops up quite a bit. Was it a conscious decision to work alone as Mylets? Do you bounce ideas off others or do you like to have control over the whole process?
It was a decision that I made years back, but partially made out of necessity. I’d be a moron to not bounce ideas off of my friends since all of my friends are musicians that I have the utmost respect for. I do love having control over all of the more intricate aspects of making a record, but I love showing friend’s new ideas and getting some level of input.

A lot of folk have been going pretty crazy for the new record – How have you been finding the response?
It’s a very nice feeling. This record is so far from what I put out 4 years ago (which got rereleased 2 years ago) and people seem very on board with the progression.

You’ve just finished up a tour around Europe and the UK with Sargent House label-mates ASIWYFA, who seem like the sweetest dudes. How has the tour been for you?
For a 34 day tour it went unbearably fast, I think we were all shocked and a little saddened by how quick it went. This is my second tour with ASIWYFA and I have so much love Rory, Chris, Johnny, and Niall. It was a wonderful experience.

What have been some of your highlights?
There was a day off in Verona, Italy where we rented a condo, went grocery shopping, and then some of the lads cooked a massive dinner which we ate out on the lawn of the condo. I also went on a walk and saw some old amphitheatres and medieval frescos.

I caught the Manchester leg of the UK tour and it only took a song or two for the crowd to be fully committed to you! How have people been taking to your stuff elsewhere?
It was a generally good response everywhere. I think there was an initial shock whether it was figuring out how I was doing what I was doing or maybe just why I was being so shouty on stage.

You seem to really be getting on with TTNG and ASIWYFA – yourself and Henry recently joining ASIWYFA on stage for a song. What’s it like touring with those dudes?
Everyone I’ve toured with and everyone who works at label all happen to be the most amicable people I know. It was very terrifying to move out here alone at 18 and start traveling, so I am extremely lucky to be surrounded by such supportive people.

Finally – you’ve cited ‘Achtung Baby’ as an album that’s incredibly important to you. Twenty years on, U2 are a bit of a sore subject these days, but their 80’s – 90’s output was the tits. What is it about that album in particular that means so much to you?
There’s the famous sound clip from the last show of the Rattle and Hum tour where Bono says something along the lines of “We have to go away and dream it all up again”. They were the biggest band in the world at that point and instead of riding it out and making Joshua Tree Part 2, they dropped everything. They threw away all of their influences, moved geographically, changed the technology they used, changed their image, changed their live show, etc. I don’t know a single other band that is brave enough to take such a risk. And it paid off so massively. Achtung Baby is incredibly important to me, but it’s also incredible important to art in general and I think so many people don’t acknowledge that because of how easy and ‘cool’ it is to hate U2.

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                                  (Photo Credit: Jose Ruiz)
 

Don’t miss Mylets on the Sargent House tour with And So I Watch You From Afar and Blis. this Fall.

All dates and info here.

Gig Review: And So I Watch You From Afar w/ Mylets - Islington Assembly Hall, London (01/05/2015) 




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Instrumental music proves to still be instrumental in producing an outstanding gig.

It’s surprising how much energy can be produced in a concert by two artists whose sound centre on pure musicianship. But that is what was on display when Islington Assembly Hall was left devastated after And So I Watch You From Afar and Mylets performed two impeccable sets.

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Mylets, the alias of musical wonder Henry Kohen, is a one-man tour de force of math rock. With a distinctive sound that is incomparable to any other artist. Through the usage of only a drum machine, a guitar and a seemingly infinite amount of pedals, full tracks are produced which are both complex and monolithic in their sound. With each song building up eventually, with more and more layers looped and drum tracks developed upon, the songs start bare but end up as an elaborate display of musical prowess. This coupled with Kohen’s sparse, yet incredibly impassioned howling vocals, create an incredible wall of sound that bombards the audience. New tracks such as ‘Arizona and ‘Trembling Hands’ sounded beautiful live, with Kohen’s trancelike vocals complimenting the sheer depth of his sound mesmerizingly. At only 20, it is outstanding to know how successful Mylets will become if he continues his path to musical revolution.

Then stood the headliners, And So I Watch You From Afar, with their own brand of inspired post-rock-cum-math-rock. The band have never been one to refrain from putting on a blistering show, and this night was no exception. Opening with a trio of songs from upcoming new albums ‘Heirs’, the tracks set a precedent for the evening, with the delectably intricate rhythms and varying dynamics to their sound, volume and tempo still ever-present in these tracks. Whilst their entrance may have been muted by these unfamiliar tracks, they more than made up for that in their energy in playing these tracks. Guitarist (and occasional vocalist) Rory Friers himself tiptoed forward past the stage and clambered along the barrier still immaculately devastating the guitar, instantly making the crowd that much more unruly.

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The band moved on to play a section comprised of tracks from older releases, with ‘BEAUTIFULUNIVERSEMASTERCHAMPION’ and ‘Search: Party: Animal’ making the crowd erupt and mosh in euphoric celebration. The resurrection of EP highlight ‘S Is For Salamander’ resulted in a similar necessity for movement. This song seemed to emphasise the varying degrees of greatness of the band, with the song swapping on a whim from high-octane wailing guitars and crashing drums to assuredly calming guitar melodies. However, the undercurrent of these sections were almost that it was the calm before the storm, as any avid fan could tell you that in most tracks there is a bubbling tension which is just waiting for the crowd to leap about.

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All photos credit to the wonderful Holly Balcombe. Thanks for the help.

Fans were cooed into thinking that the band would finish their set with new album track ‘Tryer, You’ a song said to represent the story of the four-piece, with the ambient humming of the guitar and resonating effects make this track heart-warming. But it wouldn’t be an ASIWYFA show without a venue-destroying encore. As such, the band obliged by racing through destructive renditions of beloved tracks ‘Big Thinks Do Remarkable’, ‘Set Guitars To Kill’ and ‘The Voiceless’. If you know any of these songs you’ll comprehend just how chaotic these experiences were. It almost feels like ‘Set Guitars to Kill’ was created with the sole intention of breaking as many people’s bones as possible, with its constant understated shifts in tempo, and powerful drumming that pushes the track onwards and pushes the audience into beating the shit out of each other. This encore summarised how spectacular the evening was, with older sacred tracks lovingly mixed with experimental new ones to the immense reception of the crowd. And So I Watch You From Afar can do no wrong.

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