"The Green Children band takes you on a cinematic, fantasy and pop journey." - Interview

The Green Children are an up and coming pop group. When I say pop I don’t mean pop in the traditional sense. The European duo is known for blending their ethereal pop with post modern dance beats. They are featured on Amazon.com’s “Emerging Artist Playlist.” Recently I got a chance to chat with front woman Milla.

Q – The two of you have very interesting backgrounds. Both of you met while attending the Liverpool Institute of the Performing Arts, but what was it that drew the two of you together in terms of musical background and inspiration?

A - I met Marlow in my first song-writing class. I was actually late and everyone had teamed up with a partner for a song-writing task and there was Marlow left for me! It must have been destiny because we wrote a really cool song and have continued to do so ever since.

We both share such similar inspirations, namely nature, romance, film, magic, fantasy and innocence. We feel really lucky because we definitely bring different elements to the table. Most of the time I focus on the lyrics and melody and Marlow does the music and production side of things, but we do change things up from time to time.

We are trying to make music that takes people to another place. We share such a similar vision in all aspects of what we do. Our musical relationship if effortless, yet always exciting.

Q – The name The Green Children is based off the green children of Woolpit in South East England who were seemingly normal yet had green skin. Why did you decide to name your band The Green Children?

A - The story of our name is quite unique and strange. One day we were discussing different ideas whilst taking a walk in a Norwegian forest and came up with The Green Children. We liked the green element because we draw so much inspiration from nature and we are childlike in many ways!

So, a few weeks later after choosing, we thought we’d better look online to see if anyone was already using it and were shocked by our discovery! A legend about a boy and girl came up. In Medieval times two green skinned children had appeared mysteriously in an English village. They wore strange clothing, spoke in an unfamiliar language and later claimed to come from a land with no sun.

We started to notice a lot of coincidences, I am allergic to the sun and the boy was slightly younger than the girl, as is Marlow. We traveled to Woolpit, the village at which they were discovered and visited an old museum there. We found lots of artist’s drawings, showing the boy with curly dark hair and the girl with blonde! We keep discovering more ties between us and the mysterious children and feel the name chose us not the other way around!

Q – Your debut album, “Encounter” is set for release in October 2010. There are a lot of different genres mixed together on the album. How would you describe The Green Children’s sound?

A - All though many people like to define music by category, our music has so far not been placed. Personally I have been pleased by this undefined musical observation. Who wants to be typecast anyway? Marlow and I have basically played written and produced every thing on our record so the sound will naturally be derived from who we are as individuals. We have both grown up in magical small towns blessed by exiting history and natural beauty. We humbly hope that these elements have been well reflected in our music and wish for our listeners to be taken on a magical journey. I believe a short description of our sound would be ethereal electro pop.

Q – How was the sound developed?

I suppose one of the main ways we’ve got closer to our vision and ‘sound’ is by producing the music ourselves. We searched for many years to find the ‘right’ producer to collaborate with and never really found a good fit. Most producers we met had their sound and we didn’t always feel comfortable fitting into their parameters. When the producer feels more important than the music and artist there is seldom smooth sailing.

We’ve never really wanted to emulate anyone in particular, and always had a clear vision of the sound we wanted, so for us it seemed to make sense to take that role as well!

Q – Your bio says that your music is “cinematic fantasy pop,” naturally infused with folklore and magic, lyrically and through its euphoric sounds. What are the writing and recording processes in regard to coming up with music and writing lyrics?

A - As I mentioned, most of the time I focus on the lyrics and melody and Marlow does the music and production but we try to start songs in as many different ways as possible. Sometimes an idea will begin with the piano or guitar and other times with a beat, lyric or story. The more we mix it up, the more fun we have and the more varied our tracks become!

When I write lyrics I escape to another world where my mind is free to wonder without limits, I’m incredibly visual and imagine the whole story behind what I’m writing. Marlow is very similar in the studio, creating an atmosphere where freedom and improvisation are key creative elements.

Q – Tell me about The Green Children Foundation and what is your role with the organization?

A - I co-founded the foundation together with Marlow, with the purpose of highlighting positive solutions that are working to conquer world problems, such as poverty.

We established our foundation in 2005 after visiting the micro-lending projects of Grameen Bank in Bangladesh. Once we’d met the poor women developing small businesses through the use of small loans we were incredibly inspired! We were lucky enough to meet Prof. Muhammad Yunus during this trip, who is the founder of the whole movement which has helped over 7 million women in his country.

After leaving, we instantly wrote a new song and then went back to make a music video in the villages! Our hope was to shine some more light on the great work being done there and then to our total surprise, three months later Prof. Yunus won the Nobel Peace Prize!

This was a great opportunity to raise some funds by selling the video in stores across Norway whilst the prize was given out. We raised a lot of money that went to a new hospital opened in May of 2008.

Q – It’s nice to see a band that isn’t about drugs, sex and rock n’ roll. When you’re out performing, what message(s) do you represent and what message(s) do you want the audiences to walk away with?

A - I’m glad you noticed that! We’re a little bored with the consistency of modern day pop music, which feels quite cold and lacking of romance.

We hope that people who come to our shows get to revisit some of their childlike feelings, where dreams and imagination were limitless!

We get lots of messages from people who have been looking for our type of music and it’s heartwarming to think we might ignite some dreams in them.

Q – Thank you for taking the time to do this. Is there anything you wanted to add?

A - Our thanks to you as well! I would just add that for anyone interested in knowing more to follow us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/thegreenchildren).


Bob Zerull is the Managing Editor of Zoiks! Online. He writes pop culture commentary, does interviews with bands, and reviews music and stand-up concerts. He also administers Zoiks! Online's Facebook page. Follow Bob on twitter at bzerull. Email Bob at bob@zoiksonline.com.
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