Due to the fact that scheduling has never really been my forte, and I’m basically running through life with scissors in hand, I’ve come into a gap in my Q&A. This gap will be filled by an inception Q&A! Yes, you read that right. So instead of me picking the brains of Atlanta’s movers and shakers, you’re going to hear a wee bit about the scoundrel who asks the questions: yours truly. Please don’t mistake this as some ill-executed attempt at self-promotion, as I am merely trying to maintain some consistency, dammit. I sat around with some pals whom I asked to pretend to want to know something about me and shoot out some questions. First there was silence, and then laughing at the tribulations and follies of my day-to-day. This is what we came up with.
BANG! So, what made you choose your career path?
Miles Jenson Well, for one thing I’m not good at anything else. Seriously, there is no way in hell I had a future in sports growing up, or math or science or history, really. The things I’ve gravitated toward are writing and music. In middle school I would staple stacks of wide-ruled paper together and write stories in them. One series got up to being nine “books” long, which probably, looking back, reflect the inner workings of my awkward pubescentness, so I’m really glad I got that all down on paper. Music has always been a huge part of my life. My Dad was a blues/jazz pianist and always had the Rolling Stones blasting, while my Mom would bob around to Jackson 5 and Janis Joplin. One day she bought a black baby grand and put in the living room as a surprise for my Dad. I took to it more than he did, and from there I taught myself. Singing, too. It just kind of came from listening to The Temptations. I basically have no choice but to follow these passions, because frankly I am inept at most other trades. And yes I know- “there’s no money in it.”
Photo Credit: Laura Dickie
BANG! How does music and writing work for you? Does one inspire the other?
Miles Jenson They pretty much go hand in hand. I love writing about the arts because that’s what hooks me. Music is actually pretty difficult for me to write about, because I want to sound just right. I would hate to give an inaccurate review or critique, let alone receive one. I will spend hours on a paragraph sometimes because I obsess over the way wording sets a mood. That’s probably really neurotic, but it’s a compulsion. Sometimes I’ll write a short story or prose, and there will be a few lines or phrases that pop out to me that make me think “Hey, that’s tricky! I’d like to elaborate on that.” And so a song comes into fruition. I’m even pickier when it comes to song writing. When I first started writing music I’d finish the entire song, stare at it and rip it out of my notebook. But yes, writing and music are not at all mutually exclusive. They are more like blood brothers, or friends who know way too much about each other to cast the other out.
BANG! Plenty of people call you weird and crazy. What’s your take on that?
Miles Jenson Well, I am most definitely those things. What sucks is I got pegged some of those things whilst behaving like a drunken simpleton. That’s okay though, because everyone around me was, too. I’ve done some crazy shit, sure. It’s gone from knocking back a couple with the homeless and hookers to getting down with the “hoity-toity”. People are people, and I like people. Keep in mind that the people I choose to surround myself with are all a bit off. I could give a list of things I’ve done and experienced, but this is going on the internet and I’m not sure that I want it all floating around. Talk to me on a Friday night and I’d probably give you an earful and more than you really wanted to know in the first place.
BANG! Do you have any current projects coming up?
Miles Jenson Yes, it’s called getting my shit together, which in my world umbrellas a bunch of things. I had to take a good look at myself a while back and straighten myself up for one. It’s hard to steer habits, ya know?! Cool thing about the universe is, though, that once I started to make changes for the better I received opportunities. First off, I scored an internship at Bang!Arts, the lovely organization providing the platform for this and all the other Q&A’s. BANG! showed me that my aspirations weren’t stupid or silly.
I knew there were people out there doing what I wanted to do, but it was really beneficial to get in on the ground floor and see the blood, sweat and tear stains of creators in the community doing what they love to do.
I’ve also been able to record some demos, which were received well by my standards. I’ve met incredibly talented musicians, and I’m getting the ball rolling in respect to collaborations. Right now, my music is kind of in a reconstruction phase. I want to come out with a “bang!”…no pun intended.
BANG! What are your favorite words?
Miles Jenson Vexing, sinister, palpable, mighty, thunderous, dropped, dismissed, perpetual, cackle, amicable, shit and fuck.
BANG! Some people that have influenced you?
Miles Jenson Well, I met this guy Jimmy one time in Atlanta City Jail. He kept on praying to God to please get him “the fuck up out this jail.” He taught me how to play cards, and explained to me the process of cleaning up a hooker and having her run drugs for you on the corner. He would also free style while I sang, and offered me a spot on his debut mix tape once he got out. I haven’t gotten that call yet.
Really, though. My Mom and Dad hammered home the whole “we all bleed red” ideal, which has been a chief truth in my life. My imaginary friends and the characters I created early on were awesome, as well. I always had someone or something to dive into when I didn’t like reality. I wonder how they are doing nowadays. I’ve learned a lot from people I don’t necessarily get along with, too. This kind of question is hard for me to answer, because everyone leaves a mark.
BANG! What’s your end-game? What do you want to contribute?
Miles Jenson I want my writing to light a fire under people’s asses and get them excited about the people around them and the things they do. I love reading a good article and researching further, or a short story and being inspired. That’s what I hope to do. I want my music to do people what it does to me. I want it to be a source of escape, strength, and energy. I want to pay it forward, I guess.