Tony Mills


Tony Mills (2002)

Tony, congratulations on the solo album - the record sounds great.

Why a solo album now?
The album was recorded over a period of years in several sessions around the UK between 1990 and 1995. After I left SHY in 1990 I had serious intentions to become a solo artist, but through various management issues, it didn't really take off, and I ended up forming and working with SIAM until 1996. This material would have been the basis for the launch of a possible solo career. I had forgotten all about it until recently I put a studio in my house and the tapes were found in a flight case that had been stored. This was discovered whilst I was setting the studio up. Z records were interested and hey presto !

The solo album is obviously in place of the Shy album you have been working on for a while now. Can you share any of the frustrations of the recording process with us?
Trying to work together with people that you don't regularly stay in contact with can be a real problem. Every one has a very different life of their own these days; much has changed since we used to live out of each others pockets on a tour bus. Organising studio time where we can be at the same place at the same time when we live miles away from each other is probably the biggest issue. Just logistics, I guess.
The solo album happened to come to light during a rather long and unexpected cease in the recording process for the new SHY album. After six months in the studio, various problems were encountered with people, equipment, logistics and yes, money.
We had started in November 2000 and by April 2001, we had overrun our agreed schedule and another band were banging on the door to come in. Having yet to write various keyboard parts and some vocals and guitar parts, we decided to wrap it up for the time being, planning to go back in November. This didn't happen for various reasons and lo and behold, it will have been a year now until our return for completion.

Is it harder or easier generally to make a record in the year 2002?
I think when we were younger, we didn't have the knowledge that we do now, and with greater knowledge comes concern over how and why various procedures are carried out in the studio; you tend to question things more than you used to when it was all just exciting and you were full of apprehension.
It is an awesome task recording a project when you know everything has to be just right. If you are any sort of a perfectionist (and there's a lot of competition out there, don't forget!) then time scales disappear out of the window and it takes as long as it takes and nothing else matters.
Technology has advanced at a colossal rate since the band were formed in 1983, so the process of recording has changed beyond recognition.

Did you use any material intended for the Shy release on your solo album?
No. Steve Harris played the solo on the last track 'Let Love Rain Down' and that was the only connection.

How will the style of this and the Shy album differ?
Apart from Steve playing that solo, all other musicians were people I had never worked with before, and that in itself develops a different sound and attitude to the music.
Yes, the sound is generally AOR/Melodic rock, but the lack of Steve Harris' writing style made it very different for me. Don't forget, the solo album was written seven to ten years ago, and we haven't finished writing the new SHY album yet.

You have some very catchy songs on this album - what makes a good melodic rock song?
Usually, I find a good song happens when you create a combination of dynamic chord structures and production together with something you feel strongly about that you can put into words and make gel together. A solo that's not something off an
Yngwie Malmsteen album, that is fairly melodic and perhaps follows a motif.
Strong harmonies always help, and separation between kit, keyboards and rhythm guitar. Riffs are not always needed. I'm fairly fond of grand piano and especially saxophone, although i have only used it on recordings from that era that have now been lost.

Any solo dates planned in support of the record, or will you wait for the Shy dates to maybe throw in a solo number or two?
Too early to tell as yet.

What's your favourite part of the recording process?
Vocals! There is a time that is damn difficult to describe, when the lights are low, the ambience in the headphones is massive and you feel you could sing effortlessly for hours on end. If the headphone sound is just right, you barely have to try at all and this can inspire great things.

Can we do a brief description of each track off the Cruiser album?
Only Love Knows Why
Probably the hardest track on the album, although it remains melodic. Originally recorded on an 8 track in my studio at home in 1992, this version is a full 32 track digital version recorded by 'THE WHO' producer, Andy Macpherson.

Keep The Faith
Probably what might be called the Anthem of the album.

As Sure As The River Runs
I love this song. Simple, full of dynamics, sad and yet strong. Probably the best ballad I was ever involved with.

When Two Worlds Collide
Moody, powerful, yet never made the digital recording process, and consequently the quality suffered somewhat. I liked the song very much, but would probably have never used it live though.

Walking Away From Love
I was never really over keen on this track, although it was properly recorded and had a lot of time spent on it. It never really seemed to have much in the way of direction. One of those songs you almost expect to climb a key change as the chorus fades out !

We've Got The Night
One of my favourites ! A great motorway track. I remember the vocals had to be re-recorded though, as after we wrapped up the session rather drunk one night, we found out that I'd sung all the vocals out of key !
8 track version only though.

Hearts Under Fire
A lot of people love this song. Its moody and powerful, lots of space and was a pleasure to write and sing. Very dynamic track.

Into The Unknown
This is a rather sombre subject of meeting angels on the way to heaven, and being 'flown through the night'. Mike Cheshire co-wrote this with me, a great guitarist from Birmingham.

Dressed In Music
Uptempo pop/rock singing about exactly what the title says !

Don't Look In The Mirror Much
Could have probably spent a lot more time improving this ballad, but other tracks had taken priority. It has a fair atmosphere to it.

Let Love Rain Down
I love this track, a great uptempo rock pop song with wonderful soul singers in the background. Steve Harris on guitar. Unfortunately, a digital version could not be found although one still exists somewhere. Quality suffers slightly.

Thanks Tony - is there anything you would like to add?
What's next for you in 2002 and forward into 2003 - what can Tony Mills fans look forward to?

Currently working on a new SIAM album with Ian Richardson. Can't stop, gotta keep writing and recording!!

Thanks again for taking the time to do this interview with me!
Take it easy!



TONY MILLS Gets A Festival To Celebrate His Life & Music

The Tony Mills Festival is a celebration of Tony Mills life and music, organized by Black Swan Productions, that will be held on Saturday, September 21, 2019 at the Al Luppolo Saloon in Roletto (TO), Italy, from 3:15 to 11:30PM, in the context of a larger 3-day biker fest.
There will be six bands, selected by a team of Italian record labels, playing a selection of their original material and Tony Mills songs from his different projects.
The festival will close with a rare headlining performance by Docker's Guild, who will present a special show made exclusively of material featuring the voice of Tony Mills (Docker’s Guild, Shy, TNT and solo works). As many of you already know, Tony Mills was diagnosed with terminal cancer in April 2019, so a huge fundraising effort is underway to collect as much money as possible for cancer research in Italy. Please show your love for Tony and support the cause! Also, visit the Official Facebook Page and follow all the news and updates.
DISCLAIMER: the Tony Mills Festival is officially supported by the Mills family, but Tony Mills will NOT appear.
More news and details soon!

Tony Mills - "Beyond The Law" (Lyric Video)

Tony Mills - 'Beyond The Law', from the album, 'Beyond the Law'. (2019) Guitar/keyboards-Tommy Denander, Bass-Linda Mills, Drums-Pete Newdeck.

TONY MILLS Posts Heartbreaking News For Fans

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British singer/frontman TONY MILLS has terminal cancer. MR wishes Tony all the best and hopes he stays strong for as long as possible. He is one of the good guys.
He posted the following overnight on his FB page:
Not only my birth sign, but now also my fate.
Recently diagnosed, but far too late. I have suffered since the end of last year, shortly after a car crash before Christmas, which halted my digestive system and left me with internal pain that was difficult to isolate or fully understand.
Various hospital visits found nothing from tests until I took myself to a private clinic in Oslo, where the doctor decided I was too unwell for normal scopes and I was scanned the following day.
A tumour too old and large to be removable had been growing inside me for a year or so and was the cause of all my problems. It seems to me that the car crash definitely accelerated the growth and/or effects of this entity, otherwise I may still not even be aware of it. So, that's that.
Standing back from this for a moment, to look at my ensuing album release, I am grateful to the people around me that have been involved with my latest album, 'Beyond the Law', that will very obviously be my last written work as an artist.
The timing was nothing short of a relief. I am glad it got finished in time.
Certainly not least my wife Linda, Pete Newdeck, Tommy Denander, Toine Vanderlinden, Josh 'Tabbie' Williams, Tony Forsythe and Chris Aldridge on the studio level and Pete Kotevski from Battlegod Productions Jon Løvstad, Alex Cooper, Avalon Music and Ivan Gunn for artistic support, finance and logistics.
The record is delayed slightly, until June to help the different territories release simultaneously and assist the record in some success.
I was planning a thirty year anthology of solo material next year (1990-2020);
I have spoken to some of my colleagues and they may well organise that.
WIth regard to what will happen in the short term, I don't intend to do a lot; I gave up travelling after touring Spain three years ago, as I found it too tiring and it just felt like it was time to withdraw from such a public existence and get out of the spotlight. I have been a live performer in one fashion or another since 1978 and though many rockers paint the wrinkles and endeavour to recreate their long lost talents, that never interested me; I was always a believer in moving over for the youngsters and giving them their rightful opportunities while they were young and fit enough to do it with the energy that it requires.
I have been writing and recording for three years, mainly for other artists, which I have enjoyed a lot and for whatever time I have left, (which I will no doubt be told in no uncertain terms very soon) I intend to carry on that practice and work around the farm with my wife and the animals we love.
WIth little more to say for now, I will remain as sociable as possible for as long as I can, until it renders me incapable and then my wife will inform everyone of the eventualities. 
Thanks for your support during my time as a singer/songwriter; I met and worked with many of my heroes and I lived the dreams from when I was a starstruck teenager, against all odds and the advice of parents and teachers, who were all wrong.
Rock on.
Tony Mills

Tony Mills - "Running Guns" (New 2019, Lyric Video)

Tony Mills - 'Running Guns', from the album, 'Beyond the Law' (2019)
Guitar - Tommy Denander, Bass - Linda Mills, Drums - PeteNewdeck.

TONY MILLS 'Over My Dead Body' Album Out Now

Monday, February 23, 2015
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The 4th official solo album from ex-SHY/TNT frontman, Tony Mills is out now. A hard rock concept album tracing the death and rebirth of  the singer in Scandinavia in 2010.
For fans of SHY, TNT, SIAM, & SERPENTINE, WORK OF ART, DOCKERS GUILD, PAUL SABU, ROBERT SALL, ERIC RAGNO and RAM-ZET. The album crosses over from METAL to AOR and PROG ROCK. Mixed at OTB by Neil Kernon for Auslander.
Produced by Tony Mills for APM Music/Battlegod Productions.
01. Time Won't Wait
02. 28 Flights
03. We Should Be On By Now
04. No Love Lost
05. Gate 21
06. My Death
07. Bitter Suite
08. Northern Star
09. 4 In The Morning
10. Somewhere In London
11. Free Spirits
Vocals - Tony Mills
Keyboards - Douglas Docker, Eric Ragno, Henning Ramseth and Robert Sall
Bass Guitar - Andreas Passmark and Henning Ramseth
Guitars - Henning Ramseth, Robert Sall, Paul Sabu
Piano - Douglas Docker, Eric Ragno and Henning Ramseth
Drums and Percussion - Andreas Nergard
Fretless Bass - Neil Kernon
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