Jika menutup mata dan mendengarkan hook-nya saja, pikiran bisa terkecoh. Seolah ini adalah band asal Seattle. Namun faktanya, Milk Teeth adalah salah satu band terpanas di Inggris. Sorry, ralat. Salah satu band grunge terpanas di Inggris. Yup, Milk Teeth sendiri tidak menyangkal jika mudah disebut sebagai band grunge. Bahkan dengan menyandingkannya dengan Nirvana, sudah menjadi pujian tersendiri.
EP mereka sebelumnya berjudul ‘Sad Sack‘ membuktikan itu, membuat band asal Bristol ini menemani tur unit grunge gelombang baru macam Balance and Composure dan Seaheaven. Serta menyebabkan mereka meloncat dari Venn Records ke Hopeless Records untuk merampungkan debut LP mereka ‘Vile Child‘.
KANALTIGAPULUH berhasil menghubungi Josh, gitaris/vocalist Milk Teeth, untuk membicarakan musik mereka yang katanya membuat lagunya wajib egois dan tidak usah peduli orang mau menyebut apa tentang musiknya.
First of all. What prompted you start Milk Teeth? When it was first started, what music influenced you?
I had just left what would be I suppose my first “proper” band. I remember wanting to make something I would listen too, so the idea of starting any band was strong in my mind. I saw Olly playing drums in the live room at the college which me, him and Becky all attended and the moment I saw that dude shredding close to uncontrollably I knew. I wanted too make something with him involved. Me and Olly actually wrote a 3 track E.P entitled “fuck” recorded it ourselves with a lot of help from our friend Alden and whacked that on the internet. At the time Chris ran a small indie label called “Nowhere Youth” and I would be pestering him constantly either about the band which at the time had no name or other bands I was into.
That conversation progressed into the question “you wanna be in this band?” and once he said yes “what shall we call it”. I had worked on projects in college with Becky so I felt she was like-minded and also knew she was easy to work with so that was a no brainer.
We were/are all influenced by the music we have always listened too, the obvious bands that I care not too list anymore as you can clearly hear it within our music and then also by our friends and peers bands and all the bands/artists that make up the current “scene” and “industry”.
But how did Milk Teeth grow in the scene? Tell us about what the hardcore/punk music scene is like in Bristol particularly.
When we began playing shows there wasn’t a “scene” it was just a group of friends and like-minded individuals looking to put on some cool bands from around the whole country and just make something worthwhile.
We were lucky we have a lot of friends that put on shows and gave us a lot of fucking cool opportunities specially in where we count as our hometown of “cheltenham” a place where everyone is very proud of the bands that come out of the local area, a place we will always be excited to play truly.
Bristol’s hardcore/punk scene is just like every other in this country, small and welcoming and growing in numbers.
And, is there any current state of affairs in Bristol that impacted your reaction through music? I mean do you feel alienated or something?
Personally not at all, just a regular guy in a band like a good amount of kids in this country and no one is really stopping me from doing it either, so I can’t say so myself. If anything the way people react to it is the reason I still do it, this shit matters. People are excited about it, no one is saying “stop being in a band”, “get a job”, “cut your hair. And if they did, people would still do it.
Bristol as well is a hippie paradise full of opportunities for creative people so no one is creating in that town because of a feeling of “they shouldn’t” or “sticking it to the man”.
Talking about your record. You have announced your debut LP Vile Child. Why the name Vile Child? Your experience during the process of making this record?
Names are a fun experience they can lack meaning or be full of it. Vile Child sounds cool right? Maybe one of us was a disgusting child? Maybe one of us still is? Maybe we all hate children? Honestly with us, names are holding very limited secret meaning and if they do it highly likely it’s something dumb.
The process of making the record was simple and easy, very fun. We had a chance to experiment as I’m sure people will hear and we had a good chance too really set down in stone what we feel it is we do best.
Your new single ‘Brickwork’ is catchy and fun. You hit the audience’s first impression with the chorus. Your melodic intro usually comes first like on Vitamins. Plus, the emotional feeling makes your music really amazing. Do you find some sort of healing catharsis through the record?
For me personally, the healing (if any is achievable) comes initially when writing but doesn’t really ever begin until we start playing the songs live. Writing music is a coping mechanism much the same as punching a wall when angry. It’s just displacement of your darker hurt side. The damage is done this just helps manage it.
Speaking of which. In a world of today, what does the importance and challenge of making honest or personal music mean to you?
It’s always been important. Today is no less more in need of “honest” music than years ago and if you aren’t being personal then more fool of you because you won’t be gaining all you can from it. You can lie and make a song another person relates too but that’s not helping you and ultimately song writing is a very very very selfish practice so I think its more important we all utilize it fully. Write for you first don’t worry about what you think the world needs/wants too hear.
Sure. There is a lot of punk bands that are influenced by 90’s alternative and grunge in the last few years. I’m happy as good music never fades away. Have you heard Basement’s new single? What do you think?
It’s great that band write straight down the middle good songs, I personally can’t wait to see what this new album brings us and then mostly what that album coming out brings us in terms of what bands come out of it because every time a band of that size that started small drops a record people draw from that. It’s good music it has that effect.
But what do you feel when people started calling you as the grunge band?
I have no problem with it at all, it’s a compliment. My personal issue comes from the fact that it’s not right but I, myself, am a bit of a snob when it comes to music in general so I’m not the right one to ask. I liked it though I’d rather that than it be completely wrong in so many ways and get called a “pop punk” band because we write catchy choruses. We were going too get categorized and that’s one (Grunge) genre I’m fine with being thrown into.
Alright then, would you want to say anything to us in Southeast Asia and Indonesia?
Same thing I’d say to anyone else anywhere else if I was asked to essentially drop a semi-inspirational one liner. Whatever you are doing keep doing it for the reason you did it to begin with, once that’s gone you are gone and losing yourself is never the aim.