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TONY MILLS On Leaving TNT: 'I Hate Wasting Days And Singing Songs From The Past To Satisfy Old Fans'



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Elle Haus of Full Throttle Rock recently conducted an interview with British vocalist Tony Mills (TNT, SHY). A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below. Full Throttle Rock: You've had a long, fruitful career with TNT. Do you look back on that time with fondness and accomplishment for the work you created? Mills: Not really for the work I created, to be honest, although the third and final album, "A Farewell To Arms", was the best of the three, without a doubt. Full Throttle Rock: But this time really belongs to seven years on stage and not a lot else. Mills: Maybe we did 500 shows or something like that, but not many out of Norway. It has been the most prolific live period in my career, and when I felt the stagnancy and the lack of desire to grow and develop any further, I knew my time was done with the band. I don't think it's sensible to expect new art from the band after thirty years, just a lot of re-living the past and reconstructions of old albums and performances. None of us are getting any younger, but I have a great desire to not stop creativity in my life. I hate wasting days and singing songs from the past to satisfy old fans. Nostalgia wasn't doing it for me. We were never close as friends or anything like that, so there is no great loss, and I have no doubt they will reform the original lineup and just do the whole thing all over again. I wish them good luck on that. I have other releases to come that excite me much more than that. Full Throttle Rock: You've publicly stated that in today's world long gone are the days of going to a shop to buy your favorite artist's new record, with the whole digital revolution of music and downloads. What is your opinion of the state of the music industry at the moment? Mills: The young musicians of today will get different kicks, I guess, but there was nothing like getting a letter back through the post from a record company with a positive response to a demo that you had sent weeks before. Or recording in big studios where you stayed for months; a lot like being on holiday, but creating great music with big name producers. Record advances have all but disappeared, and the market is evolving in many different ways. I often hear engineers saying that they miss the roll of the tape machine in the background. I can empathise with that, although the technology is so much better now. I feel sorry that the traditional record company and its releases have all but disappeared, but on reflection, they also made a mess of a lot of things and they can't do that anymore either. Corporate record companies had many of their own ideas that didn't agree with the artists' ideas at all, but nevertheless were enforced regarding releases and artistic direction. They had no real place in that, but they waved the cheque book and you had your arm twisted in their direction one way or another. I kind of soldiered on regardless through all the changes of the last thirty years, because they were so inevitable. I don't see a whole lot of money in making records anymore; the profit has lay in the performance and the merchandise for quite a while now, so we write and record to support that ethic and do the best we can. Read the entire interview at Full Throttle Rock.


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