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The Henry Millers Explain the Challenges of Writing ‘Children’

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The Henry Millers are perfecting the art of balance.

Fronted by John MacCallum and Katie Schecter, the band blends a wicked sense of humor and breezy harmonies with thought-provoking lyrics. Take for instance the crashing melodies of their latest single, ‘Children,’ which come with the reminder, “We gotta raise our children right.”

As The Henry Millers prepare for the 2014 release of their sophomore album, ‘Posies,’ the follow-up to ‘Daisies,’ John and Katie took a few minutes to chat with Diffuser.fm about the new music. Their quirky sense of humor was evident as they explained their unique songwriting process and the best advice they’ve received.

How did you get your start playing music individually and how long ago did you start playing together?

JM: I started playing music when I was about 13 or so. My brother had been playing guitar and writing songs, and I thought that we could play together if I learned.

KS: It’s in my blood. We started playing together after college. We had been hanging out pretty much every day at that point, so the transition to playing music together was an easy one.

Can you give Diffuser readers a taste of what to expect from ‘Posies’?

We hope it turns out to be a more mature effort than ‘Daisies.’ We have learned a lot since then about writing, writing together, working with our producers and the studio in general, and we think that shows in ‘Posies.’

Which song on the upcoming LP was the hardest to write and why?

Probably ‘Children.’ It was written over the course of a decade, and it meant a lot to me that it was finally making its way on to a record of ours.

Can you describe the songwriting process? Do you develop ideas individually or always collaborate?

The songwriting process is one that is spent near naked eating Oreos and test-running every song on the ukelele…

You found inspiration for the name of the band through literature. Do you find yourself reading certain things while you’re in the songwriting process?

Yes. We usually read dirty, smut-driven rags.

Your new track, “Children,” reads like an advice column. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

D.F.U. Don’t F— Up. Coined by Dr. Herbert Schwartz.

In addition to being a prolific writer, Henry Miller was an avid painter of watercolors. Do any members of The Henry Millers dabble in visual arts as well?

JM: Yes. I enjoy working with metal, and Katie is constantly drawing, creating beautiful collages and filling in notebook after notebook.

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