Aldus Santos, writing for NME Asia, had a chat with Armi Millare about the recent announcement of her departure from UDD, the band that she’s been associated with for the last seventeen years. The collaboration resulted in four albums and many memorable singles, with Millare’s powerful voice serving as the centerpiece for the band’s eclectic pop stylings.
It’s clear from the answers that Millare is still keeping things close to the chest, speaking largely in vague generalities that avoid specifics about what led to her departure. But one does get the sense that this has less to do with the band itself, and more with her relationship with her label, Terno Recordings. Santos’ first few questions drill in on that, and Millare alludes to how her perspective on the label has changed:
“The default reputation of independent labels was that, basically, they’re the good guys who didn’t meddle with creative freedom, didn’t take advantage of the artists in a business sense. Creative freedom was the most important thing to me.”
Millare doesn’t air any dirty laundry, but does speak of having “no one to turn to, to tell me I wasn’t doing right by me,” in reference to the toll that doing shows was taking on her. Millare also mentions how the pandemic made her reassess what was important to her, which really seems to have become a theme among creatives who were unable to ply their craft amid lockdowns.
It’s a short interview, but it provides real insight into the struggles of balancing creative fulfillment with the demands of commerce. Millare gives the impression that if she could stay with UDD, she would. But the business side of it seems to have made the relationship untenable. For now, fans can look forward to whatever Millare is doing next, the artist now fully free to explore what makes her happy.