Mike Milford of Scars Of Tomorrow – Scenes Then and Now

Scars of Tomorrow

Scars of Tomorrow

Scars of Tomorrow made their return in 2014 and brought back their brand of metalcore that helped them establish their name within an Orange County scene made up of peers such as 18 Visions, Avenged Sevenfold, Throwdown and Bleeding Through.

They completed a run of weekends on the West Coast this past summer supporting Bleeding Through on their farewell shows. While they enjoyed returning to doing something they love, frontman Mike Milford shared his thoughts on the band’s return in 2014.

“It’s been good. The shows aren’t what they used to be back in the day when any time we’d play it would be the craziest shows we’ve ever played. But they’re still fun. It’s cool that a lot of people from the past that have been coming out,” he said.

“It brings back all the old fun memories of touring. Some things I might have forgotten – ‘wow I forgot about that. This was awesome!’ Those were some of the best times of my life. We made money for a while but the most you get out of touring is life and experiences. It won’t happen any other way. I’ve been to places I would never go if I had a regular nine to five job. I’ve met people all across the world, touring internationally. I wouldn’t have had that any other way. It’s cool and seeing old friends again I haven’t seen in a long time.”

“Yesterday was the first time playing on stage at Chain Reaction since 2006. It brought back a lot of memories. I have a lot of close friends here. They used to let me work here in between tours. I’d get home from a Scars tour, come and work security and work the door here, and help some good friends. It’s good to be back.”

Mike Milford of Scars of Tomorrow. Photo By Keith Chachkes.

Mike Milford of Scars of Tomorrow. Photo By Keith Chachkes.

He shared his memories of coming out a scene where they were the underdog band within a scene of their peers were gaining bigger exposure doing bigger support slots on arena tours and much larger sales numbers overall. Despite all of the hype, Milford is proud of his band’s accomplishments. “All of those bands got to the point where they were selling hundreds of thousands of records. We sold about 70,000 records. I’m proud of that. 70,000 records is a lot of records. We did a lot of high profile tours. We did some sold out headline tours. We didn’t get the commercial success of some of those. We still had success that was greater than a lot of bands even get the opportunity to tour. I’m thoroughly proud of everything I did.”

He recalled one of their first big touring moments. “Showing up to our first show in Germany to a sold out show with us headlining was like ‘wow!’ It’s awesome. Our era of metalcore is popping up out of here – there’s Atreyu, Avenged Sevenfold, 18 Visions, Throwdown, Bleeding Through…all the bands sound different too. A lot of bands nowadays sound the same. Every band sounded different. Everybody blew up. Everybody was able to go out and represent the area.

Bob Bradley of Scars of Tomorrow

Bob Bradley of Scars of Tomorrow

Hoping that comes back around again. There’s some bands who are willing to dare to take some new sounds and effects and all of that. It’s slowly coming around. The good old days…makes me sound old but they were. Scars were the birth of that whole scene, which is what some of these bands are doing now. 1500 people a night and crazy touring and it’s spawned off of stuff bands in Boston were playing 100 kid shows. When it’s here it’s 1500 kid shows. Metalcore blew up and now it’s so commercialized. It’s cool and I’m still working in that industry. I’m just trying to keep them level headed.”

“Even some of my bands are doing crazy numbers are some of the most humble people and I love it. Because when they were smaller, it helped bringing them up the right way. It helped them have careers. Now they’ve been bands for about six or seven years, still going strong and still growing as a band, when some bands will come around, be around, be big for about two years and then bounce out already. That sucks. I’d rather have a long career. I had a long career. Made some good money for a while, got to tour around, and stayed in the biz.”

As for Scars of Tomorrow’s return and their first shows since 2006, Milford wanted a low key approach upon getting the word out about the band’s happenings. They chose the Bleeding Through’s final shows for sentimental reasons, and the irony of them calling it quits while Scars of Tomorrow making a return on the same billing carries a lot of meaning to Milford.

bleeding through west coast final shows

“It’s kind of cool. The reason I wanted to do these shows so bad [was] when they were putting together these last dates and I asked if we could do them…I got to see Bleeding Through’s first show, even before they were Bleeding Through. I was there and for me I was at all of the early shows. I was friends with all of them too. It was such a big part of my coming up through high school and afterwards for years and years. It was such a big part of my life. Those early 2000s I wanted to be part of it.”

“I wasn’t trying to make such a big deal about our coming back too because we shouldn’t have broken up in the first place. It should have been ‘we’re going to take a few years off for ourselves.’ I wish we wouldn’t have officially broken up. I know it looks weird when bands break up and then get back together.”

“We didn’t make an announcement about it. We went out on a good note. We did the headline tour and the tour did very well, but at the same time I saw that…that’s when Myspace started taking off and all of the Myspace bands started popping, getting their 100,000 plays a day. We started taking out a couple of those newer hype bands. We saw what the new generation was doing. I don’t want to be one of those bands that goes out there and bleeds the promoters dry because he’s not making his money on us drawing kids any more. I didn’t want to be at a point where 400 kids were at the show and only 100 stayed for us. I didn’t want that.”

“I felt that we stopped at a good point and I think that’s one of the reasons why when we did come back and started playing shows again, it wasn’t like ‘oh that band’s shot. They’re not gonna draw anybody.’ We never let it get to the point where we weren’t drawing kids anymore. We were still drawing a good amount of kids and still doing well. It was just time. I saw it was our time. I didn’t want to be that band with a bunch of 30 year olds playing to 30 kids and ‘we sold this many records…’ and we need $3000, and have promoters lose money. I hate when promoters lose money. They do a good job…and that’s where it was at.”

“That’s why we subtlety came back, put out a new record and do the Bleeding Through shows. There’s so many memories with good friends.”

As for the future, Milford isn’t ruling out touring completely. International touring could be a possibility, where he mentioned shows could happen in the near future.
“I’ve actually been getting offers for Scars to go do some of the festivals over there. The festivals over there are awesome. I went over there last summer. I’ve been over there a couple other times for it. Playing in front of 30,000 people…yeah I’ll go do it.”

“We’ll probably go do a couple festivals. I can’t stay gone too long. I’ve got kids and everything now. I hate being away from them. I don’t want to take time away from my record label. We’ll probably do some overseas stuff. I’ll never do a full US tour. It just won’t happen. Some of my bands want my band to go out with them. The newer kids don’t get my era. If we would do a tour, I’d rather go out with Unearth or one of the older bands where we see the older crowds who are still there, in front and having a good time. It’s the crowd that likes us. The younger kids don’t get our era.“

“I’ll do a week here a week there. We’re already talking about doing more Cali shows coming through after this. These shows were focused around Bleeding Through. It may be cool to do shows focused around us or bands around our era.”

Interview By Rei Nishimoto