Splash Magazines

Miles Schon's Eclectic Sound Infuses Blues-Rock with R&B, and An Array Of Heavy Metal

By Mimi A.

View the Full Article | Return to the Site

Miles Schon first became interested in music around age thirteen.  "At first I loved bands like AC/ DC, Guns and Roses, old Metallica, and anything alternative Deftones, Queens Of The Stone Age, and System of A Down; then I was introduced to the Beatles and my exploration into other genres began," he expressed.

Miles played the Bass guitar for a year before he picked up the electric guitar. He disclosed that once he became interested in guitar Jonathan Cain lent him an electric guitar. This guitar was a 'miniature one,' which was a little, red, tour-travel guitar. Miles explained that though many may assume talent is inherent he struggled a lot, " I really was not good at any of them. I really struggled to pick up guitar for the first year and a half. I didn't really know anything." Miles played that little red guitar until the strings broke, and since he did not know how to restring it he went back to Cane for help. After playing for five more months on the red guitar, he decided it was time to get his own.

Miles Schon

Miles expressed that until about age eighteen he never really took playing guitar too serious because he also liked playing sports. He stated that, " I eventually fell in love with playing music; If I was not playing sports, guitar is what I was doing." Miles can read music but does not because he is not a fast reader. Miles also expressed that he is self taught, "I'm self taught in the way I did not have a teacher but I pick up everything I can from everybody." He is not shy when it comes to asking a fellow musician to 'show him their shit.'  Miles is self aware and acknowledges his ability to learn quicker by ear with a lot of practice so he empowers that method of learning. "Even the other day when I was part of the benefit for Tom Size I was sitting in the back with Paul Gilbert; I was like: what was that you were doing? Can you do that again?" Miles shared.

I had a lot of people who love me, supported me playing, and allowed me to grow as a musician. He explained, I say allow because, "While most people don't like electric guitar for beginners because they have to hear it, everyone was kind and tolerated it with me; then at a certain point it started sounding good."  Miles wanted to reiterate that playing has never come easy for him, he just put the work in to get where he is now.  He stated, "I think creativity may be a genetic thing, but I don't think it's an inherited gift." Miles exemplified that playing did not come easy at all, "I remember I tried to learn that one riff of ACDC's: Back in Black album and it took like a month to learn that. I'd practice constantly, I'd sleep on it, and then I woke up one day and could finally play it. At first I was so frustrated I couldn't play it."

Miles Schon with guitar

"I could thank a bunch of people," said Miles. He continued by expressing gratitude to both his  grandparents, Les and Barb Boyle, because they were the ones who were prominent in his mind. Miles's grandparents were always pro-active in his life, "My grandfather played a huge part in raising me, and from a little dude he was always there." Miles grandfather showed him that unwavering, unconditional-love and he is truly grateful for that gift. " I remember being 18 having my first band, and my grandfather offered me an incredible opportunity ... He stayed working in the union, APL shipments/crates, just so I could get into the union myself. I, however, made the decision to not take that avenue and just pursue music. It was probably one of the harder decision I've ever made in my life because it was a good job with benefits. I realized to get it handed to you like that, and then me turning it down was a hard decision. And, though my grandfather may not agree with me on my decision he fully supported me in what I wanted," Miles stated.

Miles strongly exclaimed that another person who has been a huge influence and mentor for him has been Amber Morris. He highly and respectfully spoke of Amber's loving and professional enthusiasm. "Amber showed me that next level thing of working. She really just showed me how to just do it right. She would say, 'okay you guys know how to rock, but can you R&B?' 'Can you sit back in the pocket?' 'Can you clean up your tone?' That would not of happened for me, I think as well as I can do it, if it was not for her."  Miles further expressed that she also challenged and expanded his abilities, "I wouldn't be singing right now either if it was not for Amber. I don't think of myself as an amazing singer or anything, by any means, but I wouldn't even be singing at all or even have the courage to do it; especially coming from where I came from, which is having naturally talented vocalist and musicians in my family, if it were not for Amber."  Miles explained that when he was younger he was just scared to sing, and he felt that he could not hold a note but eventually just being around Amber and gaining confidence he learned how to breathe, phrase, and deliver a song.  Miles stated, "I would say I owe a lot to Amber too. I hold great respect and appreciate to her for being a mentor and friend."  

Miles is flying solo currently and is open to moving to explore the music scenes of Nashville, Texas, New York, and Los Angeles to see what may help him grow as an artist. But before he ventures on that journey he is in the process of writing his first solo album; something that shows 100%  of him with lead vocals so when he is on the road he can give his version of that Bay Area sound that represents. Miles tries to be aware of his strengths and blind spots, and he has challenged himself, "My next step is being able to sing without a guitar in my hand. I would say that having the guitar is a crutch because anything that is separating you from just belting it out, ya know, and being vulnerable, is something to work on."

Not only does Miles play guitar and sing; he also writes music and lyrics, "I started writing songs immediately, I think that is what hooked me. Even before I could play a handful of songs, I was already hitting the recorder and writing riffs." He also stated, "I do write lyrics too. When I took the time to read the lyrics of the songs I was playing, I finally began writing lyrics." Miles admitted that at first it was all about the music not the lyrics. However, when he was introduced  to Bob Dylan's work he really began to pay attention to lyrics. After Miles read Dylan's work he was in 'Awe' of how Dylan could remember all of his phrases even though there were five or more verses. Miles realized that within the lyrics were messages and life stories. Miles admitted that he has a hard time remembering his own lyrics, yet Dylan remembered all his verses and there are many.  Miles stated, "I aspires to remember and portray my stuff as well as Dylan ... However, I think, you don't remember your stuff unless  you believe it or have lived it."  

Thus far through his musical journey Miles has been able to share the stage with members from: Tesla, Montrose sons of Chaplin, Journey, Santana, Pat Travers, The Tubes, Tower of power, Mr. Big, The English beat, The storm, Phil Lesh and Friends, Night Ranger, Edger Winter's bassist, and many more. Humble and gracious as he is Miles also stated that, "Even if I am playing covers, I'm stoked to be playing and connecting with good musicians. Whether it is in church, a club, or for a benefit I'm just grateful to do what I love." Currently Miles does teach and give private lessons: Acoustic, Electric, and Ukulele.  He expressed that, "I teach out of my place or I will go to the student's home. I have been teaching for ten years but full time for the past five years; and it has mostly been through word of mouth"

If you are interested in reaching Miles for guitar or Ukulele lessons feel free to email him at: [email protected], or following his musical journey by visiting his facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/Milesschonmusic/  

 

Published on Feb 06, 2017

View the Full Article | Return to the Site