The Milk Interview, 14/03

©The Milk, Sony; Image credit: The Milk, Sony

It was a quiet Tuesday evening at Stereo when The Yorker checked in with Essex band, The Milk. We managed to get a chance to talk to them before they started soundcheck on their upcoming album, all things internet related and where the heck the name came from:

Band Members: Ricky Nunn (guitar, lead vocals) Mitch Ayling (drums, backing vocals) Luke Ayling (bass) Dan Le Gresley (guitar, vocals)

Who writes the tweets for the band?

Luke: We all do. We’ve been doing it for about six months. We got a bit more hardcore with it recently.

Dan: There’s lots of down time in the van, innit? (Laughs)

You guys have been featured on a lot of blogs for up and coming musicians – the Hype Machine and the Guardian – for a band that’s only been recently signed, how has the blogosphere helped?

Ricky: I think it’s important, you know what I mean? Blogs are the first little wave of things before the broadsheets and the tabloids get involved. People that are generally in to music read the blogs, along with producers and DJs, so it’s a good sort of introduction for the band. When we first got signed there was a lot of blogs writing about us, it’s stuff you can take to the label.

Where does the name come from?

Ricky: It was just literally a stop-gap name before we could think of something better. And then we got signed and they said, oh you’ve got fans now and we’ve got to keep your name.

Dan: We’re not very good at band names.

Ricky: We’re good at every other part of being a band asides from the band names.

So you’ve only got three tracks up on the website. What can expect from tonight’s setlist?

Ricky: It’s all non-stop, no breaks, we don’t leave gaps for applause. The idea is that we want to get everyone up, get everyone having a good time and then we don’t want to give them a reason to stop. People feel like dancing, and that’s where we want them to get to, there’s no excuse to stop. It’s the same way for people going to a night club tonight, they wouldn’t expect the DJ to stop in between each record so they could applaud

Luke: We’re kind of like 5 DJs.

Where did that philosophy come from?

Dan: It’s kind of mix. Where we grew up in Essex there wasn’t a big music scene, so we always ended up going to night clubs. When we were putting the idea together, seeing bands like the Roots, Sharon Jones and looking back at the James Brown Band, it was the same things back in the day. So we just want to put those two ideas together.

Luke: It kind of shocked us at the time that no bands do this. No one was doing it, so we stepped up to the plate.

Ricky: And it’s all a chance to show off.

You have a cover of ‘54-46 Was My Number’ on your website, which is regarded as one of the best ska songs of all time. Would you say Toots and the Maytals and that scene are your main inspiration?

Ricky: My record collection is all the back catalogue of Trojan Records. I’m a big old-school reggae fan. I wouldn’t say it dominates the sound but there’s always a skank in one of our tracks.

Luke: Reggae, soul, rock’n’roll, a bit of hip hop, it’s a bit of all of that mixed together. We’ve all got quite a collective taste and thankfully they all sort of fall across each other. The music that comes out of it is based on that.

When’s the album out? And what can we expect from that?

Dan: End of June. It’s going to be called Tales from the Thames River. It’s kind of taken from our live shows and so it’s all linked together. And they’re just little stories about where we’re from, like most songs are, so it’s all of those flavours that we’ve been talking about.

Ricky: We wanted it to sound like a mix tape. We wanted to make it so it’s an excuse to put an album on rather than put your iPod on shuffle. We wanted to make it a continuous piece of music to encourage people to listen to it as a body of work. We’ve tried to think about making it into a homogenous body of work. It is all threaded together, you could put it on at a party and there’s not going to be any silence for 45 minutes, it’s all going to try and flow. It was a pain in the arse to do it that way! But hopefully we got there.

What’s next after the tour wraps up?

Luke: More touring.

Ricky: We’re going to Ireland, we are going back out in May to some bigger venues, and in June the festival season starts.

Dan: Europe. Then North America. We’re trying for world domination.

Read the gig review here

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