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Milo Greene: Born Of A Music-Industry Phantom

Milo Greene's self-titled debut comes out Tuesday.
Milo Greene's self-titled debut comes out Tuesday.

Buzz has been building. There were standing ovations when Milo Greene toured with The Civil Wars. Esquire magazine put Milo Greene on its list of artists to watch in 2012, and Milo Greene will perform songs from its debut album on David Letterman's show later this month. But this budding star is probably not who you think he is.

"I like to think that we are all Milo Greene," Robbie Arnett tells NPR's Scott Simon, jokingly. Arnett is a member of Milo Greene — which is, in fact, a band. But Milo Greene was also a fictional publicist whom Arnett invented as a struggling young musician.

"Milo Greene came to fruition when I was going to college with Andrew Heringer, who's also a part of the band," Arnett says. "We were in separate bands, and we wanted to sound a bit more professional, I guess. We wanted a booking agent, a manager, so we created a Gmail and starting sending people emails, calling people, on behalf of Milo Greene."

Arnett says the plan worked: Soon, he and Heringer were playing bigger shows more frequently.

"We got into better venues," he says. "When you're calling on behalf of your own band, they kind of disregard you, but when you have someone speaking on your behalf, it helps."

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