We’re happy to release the first interview in our series Gettin’ Chilly With It, incorporating artists from this year’s Catskill Chill Music Festival taking place at Camp Minglewood in Hancock, NY from September 6-8th. This year will be the 4th year of the Chill and they put together one hell of a lineup, featuring headlining sets from The Meter Men (ft. Page McConnell of Phish), Lotus, Galactic, Conspirator, Lettuce, Papadosio, Tea Leaf Green, The Motet, Kung Fu, Dopapod and many more. We sat down and spoke with Cochrane McMillan, the drummer/band producer of Tea Leaf Green, about the band, their musical influences and the upcoming Catskill Chill Music Festival.
Cochrane, we are really excited Tea Leaf Green will be performing at this year’s Catskill Chill Music Festival. It will be our first time seeing you live since you opened for the Dave Matthews Band back in 2006 at Randall’s Island.
Q1: What are you looking forward to most about performing at the Catskill Chill Festival this year?
Well, I love festivals. Especially ones like this that are in beautiful locations. It’s always fun to be able to hang out with other musicians. Sometimes these are the only places I see some of them.
Q2: Who are some of your musical influences?
Always a tough question. Now, James Blake, The Walkmen, Alt-J, Phish, Kurt Vile, my daughter, my friends, Bob Dylan, The Beatles, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, The Books, Chopin, Can, Radiohead, Michael Jackson, The Slip, etc…
Q3: What made you decide on the name Tea Leaf Green and how does it reflect you as a band?
I wasn’t in the band yet, but I like the story that it’s a color that wasn’t in the crayon box.
Q4: You just released a new album, In The Wake. What has the response been like from your fans? Will you be performing some of the new album at the Chill?
As far as I can tell, the response has been positive. My perspective is so consumed in how the process of making and funding the record went. And from that place, it’s the most rewarding and successful music I’ve ever been a part of creating. I think for us it felt affirming. We did a Kickstarter campaign to fund this release, and having that be as successful as it was really made me proud and was also humbling and kinda scary. We will definitely be playing many tunes off ‘In The Wake’ at the Catskill Chill. Playing the music live has been some of the most fun I’ve ever had on a stage.
Q5: Can you describe what life is like on the road for Tea Leaf Green?
Life on the road is tough to describe in just a few words, but I’ll try. We travel a lot and if we’re doing a few week stretch of gigs we’d be in a van. So there is a lot of driving between gigs ,then you get to a venue for soundcheck, maybe then have a couple of hours of down time to eat, shower, etc. Play the gig, load out, (it’s late by then), sleep, wake up, and do it again. I like traveling so it works but it’s like being in a bubble of existence that the majority of people you’re interacting with are not. It’s honestly a lot of haze, aside from the glorious ability to be able make music with my friends for 2 or 3 hours a night, which makes everything worth it in my mind.
Q6: Your following has really grown over the years, what do you attribute that to?
Q7: What should fans expect from your set at the Catskill Chill this year?
Rock jams, fun tunes, maybe rain.
Q8: Tea Leaf Green is based out of San Francisco. How does being a from that area influence you as a band?
Well it is a very supportive area as far as being a musician. We have lots of friends who make amazing music so that aspect keeps you motivated. For me, I just love cities that have a thriving scene. I feel it keeps me changing and inspired. It creates a healthy does of competition as well, which I love.
Q9: Being a west coast band, do you enjoy traveling to the east coast on tour to perform?
The east coast for Tea Leaf Green is honestly the best!
Cochrane, thanks again for taking to time to discuss your musical career with us. We look forward to seeing your performance at the Chill and wish you guys the best. Fans can catch Tea Leaf Green perform