Today we had the chance to sit down with L.A. based four-piece M I L K, with a space between each letter. The psychadelic-indie rock band gave us some insight on their beginnings, their inspirations, as well as their creative process.
Gigmor: Hey guys, thanks for talking with us at Gigmor today. Can you all tell us about yourselves as well as your musical backgrounds?
Eric Marx (vocals/guitar): I have always “made” music; when I was a little kid I remember “playing the rain” on the family piano… I was involved in different projects before M I L K, mostly indie rock and grunge, both in Europe and the U.S. I believe a guitar riff will always carry us to a better place. With this project, I wanted to bring together my love for grunge rock and 70’s psychedelia and so far, we are pretty excited with the results.
Maeve (vocals/keyboard): We write songs together with Eric but I take care of lyrics, keys, samples and everything that deals with production: I love mixing, tweaking sounds… Our gigs in Los Angeles or in Europe are a major part of the band’s life. We actually love to share our world and sounds with the public! Live performance is the core and soul of M I L K ‘s music. On stage, nothing separates you from the public anymore and it is really like …magic!
Dylan Strazar (drums): Before M I L K, I played in several rock projects, mostly in Connecticut where I’m from. I’ve met Eric and Maeva who were looking for a drummer for the band. The band is now based in Paris. I really dig the music and the overall energy. To me M I L K really is the meeting of heavy grunge and psychedelic rock in the likes of The Doors, Pink Floyd or Hendricks.
Allanis Nixer (bass): I come from a family of Brazilian musicians. With Dylan, we really are the rhythmic backbone of the band. Everything that shakes or grooves, that’s us! It is funny how when people see me, because I’m a Brazilian girl, they immediately think “salsa” or a similar style when I am totally into rock!
G: Well thanks, sounds like you each had unique musical upbringings. So about the name, tell us about the spacing. Is there a story behind that?
E: Actually the spacing is more like a visual approach to the word “milk.” When you read “milk” the basic concept that comes to your mind is of a white beverage, a food. Spacing the letters lift the world of from this concept making it more like a name, a signature, an identity for the band while keeping the overall idea of something liquid and smooth …I think.
G: What is your songwriting process like? Have you hit any speed bumps along the way?
E: We have two ways of writing songs. Maeva and I come up with the main melody and lyrics, sometimes with drums and bass sometimes just guitar and vocals. And then we put the song together with the whole band. Or we also excerpt a few minutes from a jam played with the band. This way is the easiest because songs and ideas just pop up spontaneously. Everything is done while jamming vocals, guitar, bass and drums. Maeve adapts the lyrics afterwards. Our song “Give Me Some” is one of these little “miracles”. It comes from a jam in Los Angeles with the band. Music works in mysterious ways.
G: Do you prefer playing originals or covers?
E: We play originals. Writing songs is really creating art and it is great for the brains. Mixing our idea of grunge and psychedelic rock into new numbers is what M I L K is really about. And hopefully these tracks will become ageless songs. That’s our goal. The only song we cover right now is “Dancing Barefoot” from Patti Smith. We are true fans, she’s great! We just gave her song a heavy Doors flavor and we love it!
G: Any new releases coming up?
E: We are in the process of finishing recording and mixing new songs right now. Hopefully they will be ready for downloading and streaming pretty soon. The great thing about the ‘net is that you don’t need to have the full album ready all at once. I like the flexibility of showcasing songs when they are ready one or two at a time if necessary. It keeps the interest up and it is more in tune with nowadays creative process: as a continuous flow versus everything at the same time.
G: Ok last question, how did you find out about Gigmor? Is there anything specifically you like about it?
E: I think you guys contacted us through an email. In fact we love Gigmor because of its musician friendly approach. It is not one of those sites that treat artists like numbers. We can feel like the whole team is standing strong and pushing for music to reach its audience whether it is live or not. Reaching out is a real challenge today given the huge number of bands around. We always need a little help from our friends!
G: Well thank you so much for taking the time to do an interview with us! Check out M I L K’s song “Give Me Some” below and make sure to follow them on Gigmor.
Written by Gigmor guest blogger: Ari Kapner