My Next Dilemma revolves around the songwriting of Todd Miramon and Jeffrey Teruel. The two songwriters met at 14 years of age attending the School for the Creative and Performing Arts. One stayed in San Diego and became a staple in the local music scene and the other moved to Hollywood and enjoyed all the success and disappointment he could bear before running away to live in Manchester, England. Reuniting for My Next Dilemma gave them the opportunity to share their life experiences while making music together.
"[The band] started as a studio project, and three albums later we find we are starting to do shows," says guitar player and vocalist Todd Miramon.
"The songs come from mostly experiences we have all gone through in the past. The album Heal is a prime example of that. We made it into a concept album...time for us to heal and move on."
Jeffrey Teruel plays guitar and vocals; Emelie Miramon was recently added on bass. The trio describes their instruments:
Todd: "I have three. My Rickenbacker 330, which I've had for over ten years. I mostly use this in the studio. You can hear it on all three albums -- such a great tone for Brit-pop music. I run it through a Vox Tone Lab and a 1969 Fender Twin Reverb. When playing live, I tend to use my MusicMan Axis. Great action, and it has a great live-tone feel. For acoustic I use a Carvin 550. Feels and sounds like a Taylor, but half the price."
Emelie: "I'm not originally a bass player; I've been playing guitar and trumpet all my life. The bass I use for My Next Dilemma was actually given to me. It's an Ibanez."
Jeffrey: "I'm not really picky when it comes to guitars. I've always said, 'It's not the guitar, it's what you do with it that matters.'"
Regarding the challenges of performing live, each player has a pet problem they single out:
Todd: "Playing with a sequencer. Everything has to be right on with no mistakes, and that can sometimes be stressful. Plus the fact that it doesn't give us much room to extend the songs on the fly. We are hoping to bring in a drummer in the near future."
Emelie: "The tear down. I don't mind setting up all the equipment, doing a sound check, and obviously I love playing -- it's what comes after the show that I can't stand! When we're finished playing I want to hang out, have a few drinks, talk to people, but instead we have to tear down. We need postshow roadies."
Jeffrey: "I try to keep songs sounding fresh, which is hard to do when you've played them a million times. But being able to play them on autopilot is essential, so you have to play songs a million times. It's a catch-22."
As for where they see music going in the future, Todd says "I'm hoping to see another Brit-pop movement here in the States. It seems to come in spurts. In the '80s you had several British bands with success (e.g., the Smiths), and the '90s did give us Oasis, the Sundays, and bands like that, but they never made the Top 40 in the U.S. charts. I'm sure we will get stuck with some godawful boy band or bubblegum pop crap."
Emelie: "Every time I turn on the radio, all I hear is someone sampling or remixing someone else's song from two decades ago. I'm not sure where it's going."
Jeffrey: "I don't really know. I've been inspired by my friend Stephen's -- aka the Delta Boy -- new album. It's classic, vintage, yet fresh and new. It reminded me that musical trends and fads will come and go, but good music will always be good music."
-- "Lists," 10-5-06