MKTO On Overcoming Addiction and Making Music Together Again: 'We're Living within the Moment'


In August of 2016, Malcolm Kelley and Tony Oller, higher often called pop duo MKTO, introduced they had been taking what they referred to as a "a lot wanted hiatus." Fans didn't have to attend lengthy -- the pair made their return in September with the thumping breakup story "How Can I Forget." -- however for the Kelley and Oller, their break felt for much longer than two years.

After reaching worldwide success with their 2013 breakout hit "Classic," Oller struggled with habit -- a serious motive behind the hiatus. The bond they'd created as a duo persevered, nevertheless, and with Kelley's assist, Oller is now sober -- and extra keen than ever to make music.

Billboard caught up with Oller and Kelley to speak about what they've been by way of over the past couple of years, the inspiration for his or her comeback single and what the long run holds for MKTO.

On their hiatus:

Oller: It was actually cool how "Classic" took us from one aspect of the world to a different, however I believe we by no means actually had an excessive amount of down time to essentially take pleasure in it.

Kelley: We actually had been going [for] like 4 years, simply actually ripping and working on the highway with none down time, so it was good to go dwelling and be with the household a bit -- taking the time to mirror on all the things we've gone by way of and all the things we've discovered because the rollercoaster success of “Classic.”

On Oller's habit:

Oller: Me personally, I've had some stuff I had to determine. I obtained sober, which was positively one thing I used to be battling for fairly some time. I simply wasn't performing proper, and I wasn't being an excellent pal, in the beginning. I believe I took as a right all the things we needed to work to get to. Malcolm was at all times like, "I would like you to be completely happy," and that meant the fucking world to me. I don't suppose I noticed it till all the things was gone.

Kelley: He's one in every of my good associates, so it was straightforward to have that dialog. Being completely happy and being in the best head house is so necessary, particularly being on this enterprise.

Oller: I discovered to embrace being susceptible, coping with my feelings very in a different way. As the writing course of continues with this, it positively comes into play when determining issues you may focus on and write about.

On the inspiration behind "How Can I Forget":

Kelley: I jumped out and in of a relationship once we began "How Can I Forget." As life goes on, we positively are keen to place loads into the music, letting that be the premise of all the things we're going by way of.

Oller: Whenever we see somebody supporting us or somebody who doesn't communicate English singing the lyrics or somebody [sharing with us] one thing private they're going by way of.... Somebody requested what's the head with a profession like this, and I really feel like these moments are those you'll always remember. And how may you?

On the band's future:

Kelley: We positively have some information to the touch up and ensure they're prepared. We're at all times writing simply to attempt to beat what we now have and push ourselves. We're actually taking it day-to-day. We had been going to make music [together again] regardless, however now we're dwelling within the second. Who is aware of what's gonna occur in 10 years, but it surely's good to be again.