'My Next Dilemma started as a studio project, and three albums later we find we are starting to do shows," says San Diego--based guitar player and vocalist Todd Miramon.
"The songs come from mostly experiences we have all gone though in the past. The new 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 cofounded the band and is also on guitar and vocals; Emelie Miramon was recently added on bass.
TRICKIEST PROBLEM PLAYING LIVE?
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."
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. '"
Todd "[Best], I would say the Whistle Stop. People seemed more responsive when we played there. The worst gig? Hasn't happened yet for My Next Dilemma, but in the early '90s I was in a band called the Silent Kind, and I remember we played Velvet. The soundman decided to go play pool, so you couldn't hear the vocals. We played five songs and decided to leave."
Emelie "In college I used to play trumpet in a ska band, and while it was always fun and high energy for us, there were times when it seemed like there were more people onstage than in the crowd. That can be a bit disheartening."
Jeffrey "Best, headlining the Whisky with my band True Hollywood on our bass player Tom's birthday. He was nervous to start, and we had just brought in a new drummer three days before the gig. In the middle of a song, where the bass brought everyone back in, we went on a birthday tirade -- while he just kept grinding out the bass line and sweating. I think it was my finest performance as an entertainer. There's no recorded evidence of the night, so it's just something special that everyone that was there shares."
WHERE DO YOU SEE MUSIC GOING IN THE 21st CENTURY?
Todd "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 (i.e., 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 -- a.k.a. 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."