Looking for something to listen to this Summer? Well, if you’re actively searching for something, then you’ll probably end up in several different avenues. However, by letting yourself expand your tastes and discovering a plethora of bands out there today, you may find yourself listening to something like Milwalkie. A band bursting with tunes as they only can without the linearity heard in some groups nowadays. Fortunately, Smooth Town was able to speak with the group about many things including origins, inspirations, and Katy Perry. Here’s our featured Flavor of the Week:
SMOOTH TOWN: So, Milwalkie basically came out of left-field for me as you’re currently promoting your new single, but when I took a moment to actually listen to it I found myself clicking “Play” multiple times. Where have you been hiding and what took you so long? How did Milwalkie come together?
Steve Morris: Matt and I have played in a bunch of indie bands together in Scotland over the past years. The music was mainly a mix between rock, pop and (most recently) country rock. To sum it up, we just grew completely bored and tired of the music style, and also the way in which we conducted these bands. We were pushing ourselves to tour as much possible and spending too much money in studios. It then dawned on us that we weren’t even writing or performing music in which we were really passionate about. So, we ditched all our old ethos and ideals, and promised to each other that in our next band, Milwalkie, we would focus entirely on the music. Let’s just write a heap of songs with no specific genre in mind. We didn’t set out to create some totally neat little package of pop songs, neither did we want to become some crazy alternative psych-fest. All we knew was that we loved the band name and we were super excited about starting a new project together. Over the course of (almost) a year now, we have self-released our debut album ‘Milwalkie’ along with an EP and a bunch of other tracks.
ST: Milwalkie happens to be based out of Scotland and Berlin. That’s quite the mix! Are you looking to incorporate the musical styling from both places into your songs and future albums?
Morris: So, yes, Matt and I both grew up in Scotland. We moved to Berlin last year where we met our drummer Jan. Berlin has a great vibe. The music scene is pretty electronic and DJ focused, but I don’t really mind about that. There are lots of music lovers there and I am sure/hope people still want to see rock bands. Plus, there are so many venues that look to be a lot of fun to play. Our music style will probably reflect our location somehow, but I don’t really know what more to say about that. It is not something we have talked or thought about.
ST: Does the band look up to any other group, singer or any other influences?
Morris: We like a lot of American and British bands like Real Estate, The Shins, Pavement and Frightened Rabbit. Recently, though, we have been listening to a whole heap of European music. Mew are f***ing incredible. How they write some of their music is beyond me. M83’s latest record has been an also been an inspiration.
ST: Not too many people know about Milwalkie but if there was one thing you could try to persuade them into listening to your band from now until the future, what would it be?
Morris: I don’t want to sound like I am being arsey, but we really dislike trying to persuade people to listen to our band. Of course we do all the usual stuff like send our music to blogs and radio stations, but I like to allow people seek us out themselves and make up their own mind. If they enjoy the music and believe that we are genuinely passionate about Milwalkie, then hopefully they will stay in touch. We will always try and make our live shows as exciting and atmospheric as possible. It is incredibly important to us that people are not disappointed with Milwalkie’s live shows.
ST: Who’s the craziest and wildest of the group and who is the calm and reasonable person?
Morris: Neither of us do any drugs or drink a lot. Neither have we done shit like bunjee jumps or lived on the street. My girlfriend and I like to watch films on our projector screen and eat popcorn along with (fresh) ginger tea and other tasty German treats. Matt and his girlfriend just recently had a pair of Aran jumpers knitted for them by my gran. They then took a photo of them wearing them. Jan is pretty crazy, I guess. He plays in some Hip Hop bands in Berlin. They go on tour a lot. They probably do all kinds of weird things.
ST: Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, or Nicki Minaj?
Morris: Katy Perry, for me. I don’t know any Gaga or Minaj songs. Some of Katy Perry’s tracks are alright actually. There was one which was out about two years ago with the word ‘Fear’ in it. I remember enjoying the melody a little bit.
ST: Thanks for your time! It was a real pleasure spending some time with you guys! Wish you all the best! Is there a place we can follow you guys or listen to your new release, “Wash Yourself”?
Morris: Thanks to you guys too! You will soon be able to watch the brand new video to ‘Wash Yourself’ on our Facebook and official Milwalkie blog. When the single is release on the 22nd of July, you will be able to stream it at Soundcloud and Bandcamp. At these websites you can also download our old stuff, for free.