Interview: Polaroid Buffalo Club

Polaroid Buffalo Club is Kostas Miliaras’ psychedelic music project. He records the music solo in his home studio and has a band when he plays live. His music is a real gem and I’m so lucky to have him on the blog here to talk about his music and inspirations. If you like modern psych like The Allah Las, Elephant Stone, Jacco Gardner, The Growlers, and Mystic Braves, you’ll really like his music.

I’m a simple person and very old school when it comes to music: give me something that is 60s/70s-esque and very true to that style and I’ll love it. Polaroid Buffalo Club delivers on that. If you’re looking for something new in the psychedelic rock world, their 2019 debut album, Twisted Collage, will satisfy that craving and make you feel like you’re on the beach in California. You may not be able to travel physically, but this album is the next best thing and will make you feel like you’re in 1970 and not in 2020. My favourite tracks on the album are “Seasons”, “Blackbird (Revisited)”, “Till I Have Wings”, “Mystical Dream”, “Change of Scene”, “I’ll Hold My Breath”, and “My Last Trip”. It’s always a good thing when I can’t just pick a few favourites. Means it’s a very strong album that you can listen to from start to finish.

You can stream the album below on Spotify.

If you want to learn more about Polaroid Buffalo Club, keep on reading!

Angie Moon: How would you describe Polaroid Buffalo Club to new listeners?

Kostas Miliaras: Well I’d say that we play psych or neo-psych rock, simple as that. But for those who want to go deeper and they’re not bothered by the heavy use of genres and music labels, I’d say folk oriented, psych rock sounding, spaghetti western soundtrack inspired, world music influenced pop. Sounds right to me haha!

Angie: How did you get started in music?

Kostas: I think I started playing music back in 2001 or 2002. I took some guitar and vocal lessons but I quit soon enough to follow a self-taught musician’s path. I felt from a very young age that music was the only language I actually wanted to speak. After being in some school and semi-professional rock and blues bands and having shaped a musical ID through my experience I decided to take the next step in 2017, recording my debut solo EP “Wild & Electric”. I learnt a lot that very year around sound and music production – things that led naturally to the creation of Polaroid Buffalo Club.

Angie: What do you like best about recording music by yourself?

Kostas: Recording music by yourself can surely be a very tough thing to do, but I really appreciated the isolation, the fortitude and the devotion that it takes. Maybe the hardest thing in a situation like that would be to find the motivation, which is essential to every kind of creative process.

Recording this album made me eager to play new instruments, try new recording technics and so on. All in all, I learnt quite a lot but I can’t deny that it was exhausting. Thank god, Polaroid Buffalo Club had been joined by beautiful people and musicians Vasilis Gakis (Bass), Nikolas Mamasis (Drums) and George Papakostas (Keyboards) who are going to make the recordings of the next album more pleasant and soothing.

Angie: What bands inspired your sound?

Kostas: Obviously, bands and musicians from the 1960’s, like The Doors, Jefferson Airplane, The Mamas & The Papas, The Velvet Underground to name a few, but also newer bands that have those retro psych/surf qualities like: The Brian Jonestown Massacre, The Raveonettes, The Growlers, Dope Lemon, Tame Impala and actually the list goes on and on.

Angie: What makes 60s music magical, in your opinion?

Kostas: I feel that in the 60’s it was all about art – about spontaneous art. The sound approach was kinda raw and honest and the songs were adventurous and daring. Another major thing was the diversity and the musical freedom. Listening to just one 60’s record is enough to make someone understand that the possibilities back then were pretty much countless.

Angie: What modern elements are there in your sound?

Kostas: Though the sound vocabulary is inspired by the 60’s, there’s a heavy experimentation with sounds and song structures that people wouldn’t use back then. Not to mention that using a computer to record is another thing that gives sound a modern dimension in any case.

Angie: Why the name “Twisted Collage” for your album?

Kostas: I used “Twisted Collage” for various reasons. First, I generally like the language approach of the Surrealists, who took words out of their initial context, and by putting them along with one another, created new, original meanings. It’s a very fancy and adventurous word game, isn’t it?

Except for that, I wrote all these songs in different eras and phases of my life and putting them together gives us a kind of “Twisted Collage” of sounds and life experiences. Last thing is that when I pick up a record, first thing I notice is the album title – If it’s dynamic it will give me no choice but listen to the whole album from start to finish. That’s what I wanted for the album, a challenging title to grab listener’s attention.

Angie: What are your favourite songs on the album to play live?

Kostas: Depends on band’s and listener’s mood, venue and even the weather. You see, in the album there are some darker songs but there are also even more uplifting and summery ones. To me it’s very hard to pick one of my songs over the other, I love them all the same, so…

Angie: What are your goals for the future?

Kostas: One step at a time. For “Twisted Collage” I had the opportunity to collaborate with good friends like Ren Panagopoulou whose velvet voice’s featured on the duet song “Change of Scene”, Theo Nt who mastered the album, John Valyrakis who did album’s artwork and last but not least Lefteris Fytas from Ikaros records who released the album. Next chapter, to give as many live shows as we can with the Buffaloes and travel and meet new people through music.

Angie: What have you been listening to lately?

Kostas: A bunch of things. Well, all the classic stuff, but there’s a new discovery that’s taken my heart, goes by the name of Alexandra Savior. I’ve got her latest album in repeat. Pure Inspiration! I also enjoyed Jonathan Bree’s brand-new single “In the Sunshine” – so cinematic.

Angie: Any words for your fans?

Kostas: Thank you people for all the love and support so far and we definitely can’t wait to see you and meet you all and have fun in our shows. Till then stay safe and positive!

You can follow Polaroid Buffalo Club on Facebook, Instagram, and Bandcamp.

Shoutout to my friends Patrick and Matt for supporting the blog!

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