Local record label Single Screen Records was launched in 2007 by Jackson Milgaten (singer-guitarist for the Vision of a Dying World) and Craig Barclift (bassist for the Powerchords). “Both of our own bands are on the label,” says Milgaten, “as are the Sess, Red Feathers, the Paddle Boat, and Cuckoo Chaos. So far we’ve released six records.”
The Vision of a Dying World was founded by Milgaten and his brother Keith while the two were growing up in Las Vegas. After moving to San Diego in 2006 and hooking up with local players, they began writing theatrical and ambitious songs that mix elaborate harmonies with prog-rock guitar, jazz-inspired sax work, and the occasional ukulele solo.
The group was Filter magazine’s Undiscovered Band of the Month in December 2007.
Jackson Milgaten answered our queries.
MANY CLAIM THAT YOU’RE A CHRISTIAN-ROCK BAND.…
“Everyone from the press to fans to other bands have made that mistake. I’m sure it’s because our lyrics occasionally reference religious imagery. Keith and I were raised by an amazing woman who is very much in love with Jesus and devoutly follows His teachings. She is also a lifelong musician and much of the reason that we got into music. Although we didn’t exactly adopt her beliefs as our own, there are very few people who have had more of an impact on us. I suppose this translates into a certain wonderment with religion and spirituality. Thus, people tend to get confused. But let me assure you that just because we occasionally sing about Jesus doesn’t mean that we’re all up on His jock.”
WORST GIG EVER?
“Our first show was on a giant stage in the middle of Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas. It was just Keith and I playing that night, and it was freezing outside. There were about ten people there, and we had absolutely no idea what we were doing. During our last song, Keith was wailing out a gnarly solo comprised mostly of distorted noise. As he was doing this, I noticed a mother and her child walking by the side of the stage. The woman had a look of sheer disgust on her face and was covering the boy’s eyes and ears as she dragged him away. On second thought, that may have been our best show.”
WHO’S YOUR DREAM DATE?
“No one is dreamier than Taylor Hanson. She’s the cutest thing ever, with her adorable golden locks.”
1. Buffalo ’66. “This is one of the most hilarious yet heartfelt movies I have ever seen. Vincent Gallo is truly a genius in his own demented way, and I enjoy it more and more every time I watch it. The song ‘Right in Front of Mommy and Daddy’ on our most recent full-length And the Grammar Lamb is a reference to the film.”
2. Jackie Brown. “This is Tarantino’s most subtle and understated film, but I think it’s his best. The dialogue is incredible, and the characters are so real.”
WHAT’S IN YOUR CD PLAYER?
1. Wham! Make It Big: “Because they are the greatest pop band that ever was.”
2. Brightblack Morning Light, self-titled: “My favorite modern band. I saw them in Brooklyn, and they blew me away.”
ONE SONG YOU NEVER WANT TO HEAR AGAIN.…
“ ‘Hotel California.’ Why? Because I hate the fucking Eagles, man!”
“The quiet one, George Harrison.”
ytmnd.com “‘You’re the man now dog dot-com,’ with the famous loop of Sean Connery in Finding Forrester: ‘You’re the man now, dog,’ over and over and over.”
“I have always wanted to call Bono ‘Boner’ to his face. Not that I think I would be the first to do so. I just want to be a part of that team.”
SOMETHING IMPOSSIBLE TO DO WITHOUT?
DRINK OF CHOICE?
“It seems to change with the seasons. Right now I’m into tequila and tonic.”
BIGGEST POLITICAL CONCERN?
“Total physical and mental enslavement. We didn’t call our band the Vision of a Dying World because the future is looking real bright. This whole world is going to hell in a handbasket, and the ol’ U.S. of A. is at the forefront of dragging everything down. Every day I see some new horror being realized that at one time was contained in the pages of Orwell’s writings.”
SOMETHING ABOUT YOU FEW WOULD KNOW OR GUESS?
“For the last time, we are not a Christian band!”