Milan Borich, lead singer of the Kiwi band Pluto talks to us about getting the band back together after near-decade hiatus. The band also feature in our Locals Only: Roundhead Sessions series - watch an exclusive video interview above, and scroll down to see exclusive live performances.
Pluto were arguably at the top of their game when they broke up in 2010. The band's second album went double platinum and they won single of the year at the 2006 New Zealand Music Awards for Little White Cross.
As lead singer and guitarist Milan Borich explains to TimeOut, the band members' egos got in the way of their success. It was so bad, he said, that the breakup was a big relief, similar to the end of a bad marriage or a toxic relationship.
The band is made up of Borich, Tim Arnold on lead guitar, Michael Franklin-Browne on drums, Mike Hall on guitar and Matthias Jordan on keys. Before the disbandment, the group had a fourth album set for release.
He declined to go into details about the nature of the band members' rifts. Borich's father passed away last year, and he said it was "his dying wish" to see Pluto reunite.
Fast forward almost a decade later, and the wish has been fulfilled. The band released their new single, Oh My Lonely, the title track for their new album out in November.
"Pretty soon after the breakup, I knew it was a mistake. So regret started to sink in. I just kind of equate it to a divorce."
The band has been reconciled and is making a comeback. Why now? It was thanks to a serendipitous moment of finding an old hard drive filled with old Pluto demos.
"In the lead-up to the breakup, we were in the studio, recording demos for the [fourth] record. We were playing a lot together in a rehearsal space...we got those recordings done and then suddenly we broke up, and then about four years later I discovered that I'd lost all those recordings and I started to regret it immensely," said Borich.
"And then miraculously, I found this old LA hard drive where I'd copied all those sessions down on to. So that inspired me to call up the boys...and try to reunite all five of us."
The 42-year-old had moved to Los Angeles for a publishing deal, which eventually fell through, and wound up working as a bouncer. The other band members kept pursuing music as well as their own individual business pursuits.
Borich carefully alludes to some of the band members taking more convincing than others to start the band up again - but doesn't name names.
"There are always ones that are more [hesitant] about 'getting back in bed with the ex'."
"We all wanted to get back together and reunite as friends, and to be able to create the fireworks that we had done back in the day. That's what is important to us now, realising our friendship was what was lost along with the music."
In the near-decade since the band last released music, there's been a raft of changes in how music is received and consumed. Borich says he's realised the importance of social media for reaching fans.
"I had no clue for a very long time because I'm a little bit of an old school kind of guy with analogue equipment and that kind of vibe," he said.
"I'll be the biggest advocate for it because I know it's kind of what you need for your audience."