Milburn have recently created a buzz amongst the music press and its watching world with their blend of indie-ska-pop rock, refreshing lyrics and virtuoso instrument playing. So now along with their army of devoted fans the Sheffield band arrives in Manchester and contact music got the chance to talk to them.
Contactmusic. Hey guys, Welcome to Manchester! I've not got loads of questions that you've been asked hundreds of times, because as a music journalist I think it's really bad to see questions regurgitated and I'm sure you guys completely agree.
Joe, Louis: Yeah
CM. So, how do you usually deal with that kind of thing?
Louis: What shit questions? We just usually reply with sarcastic answers.
Joe: You just get bored really quickly.
CM: I mean there are a lot of lazy music journalists who have labelled you the 'New Artic Monkeys', how aware are you of that consciousness within the music press?
Joe: Yeah, but we're not bothered about it.
CM. So is it something you're trying to shake off?
Joe: It'd be nice not to get asked about it every time you have an interview.
Greeny: It'd be nice not to be compared or compared to someone else.
Joe: Yeah it'd be great if someone came up and said you sound like I don't knowâ¦
Joe: Yeah, Teletubbies that'd be good. No you know someone like Maximo Park or someone.
CM: Yeah just someone different, than just the obvious answer.
CM: I mean obviously you're from Sheffield and there has been a massive music explosion over the past couple of years. So I mean compared to say 5 or 6 years ago is that helping bands from the area? Or do you think it is something which is really overrated in the press and it was just gonna naturally happen anyway, with good bands from anywhere.
Joe: If a bands good enough it doesn't matter where they are from really.
Tom: I think there's been a musical explosion in Britain, personally of the past couple of years.
CM: Yeah definitely.
Joe: I think it's more beneficial in Sheffield now though, like new bands have got a better chance if you know what I mean. They've still gotta be good like, but they've got a better chance.
Louis: They've got more opportunities.
Joe: It's not like a band coming from Truro or somewhere like that.
CM: Yeah definitely, there's just more exposure.
CM: Right, so if we now go back to your roots a bit any key musical influences or albums that really kick started your music?
Greeny: Chas and Dave's greatest hits.
CM: Cool man.
Joe: We where listing to one last night that we all used to listen to, which is 'Word gets around' by the Stereophonics. That's like when we all started picking up our instruments.
CM: So it kinda sent you back to when you first stated playing?
Greeny: Yeah we had a right sing-a-long.
Joe: Yeah we did.
Greeny: I kinda lost my voice.
Joe: I did, it tired me out.
CM: So when did you guys know that this was going to be a career, rather than just mates playing instruments? Was there a specific point that you can say "This was it.."?
Greeny: When we signed our life away with Mercury.
Joe: Yeah in January, it all kinda sunk in a bit.
CM: Did it take a while for it to sink in?
Louis: Yeah, it suddenly becomes real like a job. When you sign it's fu**ing unreal, it's like this is really my job.
CM: So onto your music now. I think you've got a really refreshing sound both lyrically and musically? Was this a conscious thing or just naturally how it happened? Because there is a lot music which as you know sounds very similar and samey.
Was there a conscious effort to do something different?
Joe: Yeah, in our songs we just get bored â¦ we try to do every song different as we'd just got bored playing gigs and rehearsing.
We do get bored rehearsing.
Greeny: When we're practicing if we hear something similar we just like fuck it off or we just kinda interpret it in another way.
CM: So lyrically are there any literally references or books you want to right home about?
Joe: Not particularly. There's not like a piece of literature that's been inspirational it's just the music.
CM: And just having a wider vocabulary than other artist's kinda helps.
Joe: Maybe yeah.
CM: Obviously you're music fans and you're really busy, but do you still get to go and see gigs?
Greeny: Yeah, when we've got a day off, we try and go as much as possible.
Joe: Yeah we went to see Bromhead jacket.
CM: Was that in Sheffield?
Joe: Yeah it was good. It's good when you've not seen someone for a while and you get to hear a load of new songs.
CM: So how's the tour going? Tiring?
Louis: We're all fu**ed after last night. We where in London, we didn't get in till like 6am and you can't sleep on the bus when it's boiling.
Greeny: You just have to get rat arsed!
CM: So what time did you get up here [Manchester] then?
Louis: About 12ish.
CM: So have you had the chance to have a mooch about then?
Greeny: Yeah, me and Tom had a look about the city centre.
Joe: We've been to Manchester loads of times before, we've got mates at uni and that.
Greeny: It's a nice place yeah, fu**ing expensive socks! I bought six pairs for 15 quid!
CM: I mean Sheffield, Manchester and Liverpool have obviously got rivalry with music and football but it's good up north. There's a good vibe.
Joe, Louis, Greeny: Yeah.
CM: So moving on to the last question which is a bit more serious. I mean obviously there is a lot of trouble in the Middle East at the momentâ¦. So what would you say was your favourite breakfast cereal?
Joe: I like it. As that is aâ¦.
CM: â¦key thing. I mean I've got a 14 bowl a week habit. I've gotta have like two bowls of cereal a day man.
Joe: I like raisin splits.
Joe: Yeah, you "What?" that.
Greeny: I've never had them.
CM: There like mini shredded wheat with raisins inside aren't they? A bit old skool.
Greeny: I'm a coco pop man.
CM: Sounds good.
Greeny: Coco pops are right good, cos you can eat them and then you can drink that shit.
CM: Yeah, the chocolate milk.
Louis: Yeah it's called 'Milk' that is.
Greeny: Yeah but it's like shit really, but it's the best bit that.
Joe: That shit bit.
CM: Cool man, that's it.
Joe: Cheers mate, sorry for not being enthusiastic.
CM: No, it's been fine. Exactly what I needed.
CM: Anyway, whenever I interview someone I always buy them a little gift.
Joe: [Laughs] Oh right.
CM: So in a summer fair kind of way I've got a lucky dip. By the way all of which are from the pound shop, so there's no expense spared really. So who wants to go first?
Joe: I'll have a bash.
CM: You've gotta close your eyes and delve deep.
Joe: I like this, but I can't really get anywhere.
Joe: I like it. [As he pulls out a plastic none working real sounds horse]
[Louis is next]
Louis: Yeaeess, that's going on my amp. [In regards to the garden gnome he pulled out and they did play the gig with it on the amp.] That's right good that is.
Joe: Thanks very much.
[Greeny is next]
Greeny: Orr yess. [Pulling out a minture playable snooker table] Pound shops are great aren't they?
[Tom is last and pulls out the statue of a cowboy]
Joe: I'm amazed by this horse.
Thanks to the guys for their time, I left them playing snooker on the mini table and with that plastic horse.
Adam Adshead. 18/07/06
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