PRODUCT Toronto Issue 10 (17)

There was this old couch that I waited on while Brett Millius searched upstairs for a cable to play me his bands latest mix. They are releasing a four song EP. “It’s a celebration of Rock and Roll.” The front man Brett Millius tells me. It sounds like a rock anthem. Something like the songs I remember singing along to at my high school’s dances. But that’s where it all starts – the Rock and Roll, the music, the rebellion – at the parties during high school. It’s the only time you’re free from responsibility because it doesn’t matter. There is no rent. There are no groceries, no bills… “Rock and roll is all about getting into trouble. Its the teenage thing, but you can be smart about it. It’s about f### you, I’m going to do what I want.” Said Brett.

Brett’s band is called Suxess. He called it Suxess because how do you say the word success without using the word sucks? It is a smack at our cultures definition of the word. Millius doesn’t pay interest to have a mortgage. He lives in an old house with roommates. He doesn’t work in an office or wear a suit. His pension is not priority. On mondays he stays in bed. He loves music. He plays music. He throws parties. He writes songs and sings them with his band. He does what he loves and does it well – that’s success.

We drink wine in his living room and Brett jumps up off the couch after each song to pick a new one from his massive collection of records.

“When you put a record on, as soon as you put it on, you’re digging for the next one. There is no plan. I like the motion – digging, pulling it out, putting it on, listening. Is this the right song? Yes no? If it’s not, you’ve got 30 seconds to pick the next one. I just love that.” He said. “I’m a vinyl guy. It’s the most fun. I like feeling it. When you play on a laptop it is very CLICK CLICK CLICK. It’s boring. It’s almost too easy. It’s convenient. You don’t have to take a cab with a trunk full of records.”

“I’m not a great DJ. I don’t mix songs, I don’t beat match.” He tells me. He calls himself a “Selecta” after the term used by the reggae DJ’s. He gets hired to play because of his song choice. He knows how to get a crowd on the dance floor. He knows how to make people feel good. “Manipulating a dance floor is an art.” He tells me. “Its your moral responsibility to spread good taste because the majority of the culture just takes what they’re given anyway.”

I’m given a tour of the house. There is a music room in the basement. There is a recording studio upstairs. This is where he recorded his EP. Brett tells me about the parties he threw as a teenager in high school. “Lucky for me my younger sister was awesome at sports so she was always out of town with my parents. So I threw a lot of house parties.” Said Millius. “I learned the party dynamics early on.” He would spend the first hour and a half talking with each guest he didn’t know. They thought he was cool, then found out it was his place. The guests didn’t cause trouble. It was about respect and he had earned it. His parties were a hit. They still are.