We had the good fortune of connecting with Pete Mills and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Pete, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
“No risk it, no biscuit” Bruce Arians coach of the 2021 super bowl champions Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The parallels of football and life are many and I feel compelled to implement all I learned from my days playing the gridiron. I remember questionnaires handed out by my coach asking us who our toughest opponent would be, and while my teammates would write down our most talented opponents, I knew immediately it was ourselves. We as a team are only as strong as our weakest link so began my journey not only to be the best defensive end, but to build up my fellow lineman and defensive unit as well as make efforts to inspire the offense. In my attempts to do so I felt I had a gift for mitigating personality conflicts to focus the team on winning. During this time, I saw the obvious similarities between a band and a football team so I would apply the very same “football” principles to my band and found this paid off handsomely.

The role risk has played for me in my life and career has looked like being comfortable with the uncomfortable. When I’m safe and protected, I’m not living life to the fullest. I intuitively know the difference and have strived all my life to be uncomfortable. The minute I feel secure I try and push myself beyond the limits of my potential.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am a Los Angeles based Darkwave Post-Punk artist. The Sweet Kill is my project that chariots in on the dark and gothic aesthetic. I sing in a low baritone velvety croon to illustrate and articulate my passion for Darkness, and all its nooks and cranny’s. I try to express and create a world within this one as a secret place to hide out from the lows of life. I purposefully expose the shadows with the light. I aim and polarize for a cinematic experience with the hope to inspire the listener to go deep into the cellar of their soul and find what hides beyond the deep.

Over the years I’ve been in many bands and signed many deals from independently touring Canada to major label deals touring North American stadiums. I loved and I’ve lost many times in the music industry and find that the most important thing for me is to uncover more of my truth locked inside. I don’t take rejection or bad reviews personal I try to learn from it all and move forward. Refine or die is my motto. My biggest challenges are staying disciplined daily for creative exploration. I was taking a train back to London from Bexhill England where my dad was born and struck up a conversation with a painter. She asked what my creative routine was and at the time I told her I write music when I feel inspired. She was shocked saying that was very dicey, so I asked her what her routine was, and she said she gets upon and paints every day for the discipline of it not the result. Immediately I remembered the book The Artists way which stated as artists we take care of the quantity, and the universe takes care of the quality. Meaning as an artist I need to stay out of the result. Then I immediately remembered a story I was told that Nick Cave takes the subway every weekday to a small office with a piano and a typewriter and works on music 9-5, Monday to Friday. This train ride back to London will always stay with me for the fact I was super emotional and grateful to see my dad’s origins and for this monumental artistic conversion with a stranger.

As of 2022 I have signed my 8th record deal in my musical career with European label Young & Cold Records. My project is driven by cold synths, atmospheric guitar, and melodic bass, and as a multi-instrumentalist and singer I conduct a darkwave masterpiece full of romantic sorrow echoing the laments of The Cure and Joy Division. I’m always recording and producing in my own The Audio Studio where I wrote the sonic cinematic album Darkness with the intent to inspire those lost in the shadows of life.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Day 1. We would start off at the wizarding world spending time walking around Hogsmeade and exploring the Hogwarts Castle itself. After we would wander through the forbidden forest interacting with the two wild rabbits that frequent that area. Have lunch or dinner depending on the time we arrive at The Three Broomsticks which has amazing food. Then attend an underground show downtown.

Day 2. Drive to the Salton Sea and take in the decrepitude and depravity that part of the world has to offer. Soaking up all the ruins and bask in the glory of what was back in the 1960’s when Frank Sinatra would perform there. To polarize the trashiness of the trip we would return for the best chef menu from West Hollywood’s Ajisai sushi.

Day 3. Drive to sequoia national park and explore on and off the path the power of nature. The meal would be a diner along the way or a 4X4 from In N’ Out.

Day 4. Drive down to Newport Beach’s The Wedge and observe the surfers risk death while navigating the turbulent 30-foot shore break. Due to this inspiration, we’d go up the beach where it’s safer and body surf cylinders. There are so many amazing seafood restaurants in the area we would have to go to.

Day 5. Hike the Hollywood sign and take the secret detour to the meditation spot I found and Zen out with the wild deer that frequent the area. The Beachwood café has amazing food and then we’d head over to Bar Sinister and soak up the goth BDSM vibes and wind up in a secret society and carom around with the well to do of that world.

Day 6. Obviously, we would be sleeping in so waking late we’d have a coffee at the Everly hotel and then have dinner while watching a movie at the iPic theatre.

Day 7. Getting a room at the Chateau Marmont we would chill by the pool recovering from the excellence of the trip. We’d play ping pong and wander around the legendary premises eating from the amazing menu at our leisure.

Alright, so let’s jump right in! The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there a person, group, organization, book, etc. that you want to dedicate your shoutout to? Who else deserves a little credit and recognition in your story?  
Person: Adam Hamilton Within the first 2 months of moving to LA I met Adam and we instantly became friends. He was also a songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer, engineer. He and I have worked on musical projects over the years and he’s a super solid individual.
Group: Cleopatra Records
Adam introduced me and vouched for me, and my talents and I have been working on many music projects for this label over the years.
Book: The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron
Every time I do the 12-week excursuses my life becomes more and more creatively fluid in my recognition of the artistic beauty that surrounds me as well as becoming more productive in my outflow as a creative. I highly recommend for anyone, even those that have never been creative to sign the contract and complete this 12-week book!

Website: www.thesweetkill.com

Instagram: www.instagram.com/thesweetkill

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/petemillscomposer/

Twitter: www.twitter.com/thesweetkill

Facebook: www.facebook.com/thesweetkill

Youtube: www.youtube.com/thesweetkill

Other: pre-order vinyl/CD THE SWEET KILL albumDARKNESS here https://thesweetkill.bandcamp.com/releases

Image Credits
Photos by Sam Hodges, Leslie Alejandro Live Photos by Ed Kalashnikov

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.