On His Life as a Side Musician & The Importance of Dynamics
Blake Mills can currently be seen on tour with Fiona Apple. Well, to be fair, at any point Mills can most likely be seen on tour, period. The young gunslinger is incredibly in-demand these days as one of the top sidemen in the world of live music. What touring artists recognize in Mills, and what was apparent to this reporter within seconds of hearing him turn on an amp, is his innate ability to evoke humanity out of six strings, a plank of wood and some coiled wires. One of the biggest mistakes young guitarists make is focusing too much on playing the right notes and the right rhythms, with little thought to how those notes and rhythms should be played. The name of the game is dynamics – it’s what can set a good musician apart from an amazing musician, and what adds that human element to what could otherwise turn into a robotic series of meaningless sounds. In his twenty-odd years on the planet, Mills has more than earned his reputation as an amazing musician.