Even though Jon Phillip now lives in Nashville, he’s still a notable figure in Milwaukee music. The former Benjamins and Trapper Scheopp drummer—who also kept time for nationally-known acts like Limbeck, Tommy Stinson, and Paul Collins—occasionally returns home for Obsoletes reunions (another one is way overdue, by the way!) and he owns and operates Good Land Records. So when Phillip decided it was time to start a new project, it’s only natural he looked to Milwaukee for support.
Along with Michelle Sullivan (a Nashville music fixture who fronts Sherbert), Phillip enlisted the help of former Promise Ring—and current Dashboard Confessional and Rx Drugs—bassist Scott Schoenbeck to play in his new band. That project, Mini Meltdowns, finds the accomplished Americana and rock drummer returning to his punk rock roots. In addition to drumming, Phillip also plays guitar and splits vocal duties with Sullivan. The project was started because the bandleader was getting antsy not playing music. The usually reserved supporting player relished the opportunity to be in full control of a project and to try his hand at singing.
“I never wanted this project to be self-indulgent, but if I hear the drums a certain way or if the guitar should sound heavy, I would just lay that part down,” Phillip tells Milwaukee Record. “I wasn’t sure I could handle lead vocals until I just tried, and I was surprised upon hearing playback that I didn’t sound terrible. I guess singing backing vocals for a few bands in the past, may have prepared me to sing lead without me realizing it.”
Mini Meltdowns’ self-titled debut seven-inch (due out April 20 on Good Land Records), is an energetic foursome of pop-punk goodness executed by an all-star cast of musicians who are known for work in other artistic avenues. The band’s latest single, “Number On Me,” was recorded by Phillip’s former Trapper Schoepp bandmate Graham Hunt at Silver City Studios. Hunt also plays lead guitar on the song. “Number On Me” was mixed by Phillip Broussard, who’s worked with Adele, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Bad Religion, and countless others. The rest of the EP was recorded at Chris Carrabba’s home studio outside of Nashville last year.