The revolving cast of sales assistants at Mills Records reads less like a standard payroll and more like a who’s who of music.
Some names who’ve manned the Freo music hub: Scarlett Stevens, the lead singer and drummer of indie-pop band, San Cisco. Stephen Mallinder, a founding member of seminal industrial rock band Cabaret Voltaire. Steve Parkin, a solo artist who wrote award-winning material for Eskimo Joe and performs with Basement Bird, an indie-pop super group. Chris Daymond, the lead guitarist of alt-rock group Jebediah, one of Australia’s biggest bands of the ‘90s (and still going strong).
And that’s not even an exhaustive list. Suffice to say, it’s something of an understatement to say the staff knows its music.
Since 1945 the two-storey building on Adelaide Street has sold music merchandise including vinyl, CDs, posters, band tees, gig tickets and instruments. Along with unusual finds, such as a secondhand issue of Magic Box by ‘60s rock band The Loved Ones, or a rare Japanese pressing of Art Blakey and The Jazz Messengers, there’s a huge selection of CDs from local artists.
Long-serving staff member Tim Mack (who scored a WA Music Industry Award and heaps of Triple J airplay as one-half of electro duo Lake of Bass) even made a lengthy “How to Get Played” document he hands out to new local bands. It’s got info he gleaned from the head of SONY and works like a charm.