Weird Milk interview at BBC Introducing Live 2019
Squashed onto a tiny, worn leather sofa on a rainy Saturday afternoon in the depths of
Tobacco Dock’s cellar are the five members of emerging indie-alternative band, Weird Milk.
The room we sit in is cozy. Filled with people, lots of dimly-lit lamps, stacks of beaten upbooks and magazines strewn across the floor and tables – the atmosphere is warm. Fresh faced and eager having just supported Trudy and the Romance on their UK tour, a new single 'Time Machine' out in just under a week’s time as well as starting the day off with a set at the Marshall Stage of BBC Introducing Live’s 2019 event, the group of boys can best be described as, well - in the best way possible - boyish.
Even with the baby faces and cheeky grins, there’s no denying that this group are absolutely invested in their music. With their new-romantic, retro aesthetic reflected clearly not only in their sound but also their appearance, the London based group offer impressive harmonies, crisp choruses and an impressive collection of Doc Martens.
I decided to chat to Alex, Charlie, Zach, Blue and Harry about getting the opportunity to perform at the BBC event, and their story so far in the music industry.
“Yeah we’re very grateful for this. It’s not every day that you get to play to a room of people who have come literally just to discover new stuff.” Says Alex, one of the two lead singers for the band. “It just gives such great exposure, which is all any artist can ask for in the earlier stages."
With everyone but Harry (who grew up in Bedfordshire) having grown up around each other in Buckinghamshire, there’s no doubt that the group are more than comfortable in one another’s company.
“Well, Alex and I have been neighbours since we were what, five? And we’ve always known Zach and Blue through school and stuff.” Drummer Charlie explains. “When Zach and I both decided to move to London to ‘do the music’, coincidentally Alex also had just moved to the same part of West London and so then we all just got back in touch and, well, formed the band.”
“Oh yeah and Harry, well we just thought we’d give him a roof over his head. We kept seeing him on the way to rehearsals and were like yeah, why not.” Zach jokes.
Where BBC Introducing offer advice, support and importantly inspiration for aspiring
musicians, journalists, producers and just about anyone wishing to get their foot wedged in the music industry’s door – something clear to see in the band’s creative process is the
significance in having and using strong influences to create their own sound.
“Pet Sounds – The Beach Boys. It changed our minds. I mean even subjectively, it’s just such good songwriting, but it’s also very musically complex. It is really what made us start writing. Going on tour with Trudy [and the Romance] was great too. We just love their stuff and have always been the biggest fans. I think what was good too was how in terms of sound, we are quite similar.” Bass player Harry tells me.
But, like in any creative industry it can still be easy to fall into spells of feeling uninspired and unmotivated.
“Luckily all of us can write songs – if someone’s not feeling particularly creative at any point in time it’s likely that someone is already getting on with something else. We’re lucky we can fall on each other like that.” Harry continues.
“Affording rehearsal rooms in London was probably the most challenging to start off with,
though. Just organising anything in London really is hard, and it still is. From carrying all the gear on the tube, to getting to the other side of the city for that one gig. For musicians
London is the place to be; which is great, but it’s so hard at the same time.”
Like any artist starting out; it’s the little things like jumping from to tube to tube to get to the venue and doing pub gigs in small towns that are essential to the experience.
“We started off playing small nights through smaller promoters in less renowned venues
before working up to places like The Sebright and Shacklewell Arms. That way we met a lot of people and eventually got signed to an indie label for a couple of singles who helped book us.” Alex explains when he tells about the first few gigs the band played.
“You need to trust your gut and just get the songs out. Also, think that the first people that
approach you wanting to work with you or sign you tend to be the most genuine and
actually interested in helping you out.”
“Well, he’s got a real job anyway.” Harry says as he points to Blue. “Yeah, I’m a qualified
accountant , so…” Blue jokes when I ask the band about what they’d be getting up to if they didn’t have music as a creative outlet.
“All I’m really doing is waiting for that to take off so I can ditch music. It’s my real passion;
spreadsheets, numbers – I don’t know if you have any questions prepared about
accountancy but I’d be happy to answer any.”
“I’d probably be in music production or something," Charlie adds, "but really, we went to university in London just so we could live here and do as much as we could without worrying about external things for a few years – for all of us we’ve just always wanted to do this.” Charlie goes on as the group agree before going back to ripping into Blue for being an accountant.
Not quite ready yet to ditch the gigs and tours for numbers and spreadsheets, the band
have plenty more exciting things coming up throughout the winter months.
“Yes! The Great Escape First 50 gig on is on the 13th of November – that gig’s going to be really fun. For us it’s the penultimate of this year. And then we go to America in March
which is, yeah, just wow. We’ll be releasing lots more in the next few months too, so loads
to look forward to.”
Listen out for the up and coming band’s latest single Time Machine, out on Friday the 8th of November.