After their fantastic set at the Hive in Shrewsbury this Saturday, I caught up with the lovely lot that is Spilt Milk Society to ask them about their new EP, their inspirations, and what they’re up to next. Click below to listen (content warning: contains infrequent strong language), or scroll down for some highlights (PG) of the interview.
(For context, when I was talking to the band before the interview, Josh stated that he never chews peas, and therefore has never tasted a pea in his life (you'll understand soon))
First of all, hello! Could you introduce yourselves and your role in the band, and a fun fact about yourself?
Harry: My name is Harry, I sing the songs and I try to play guitar. A fun fact about me is I’ve got a big nose, that's why I say I'm in the Big Nose Club. Everyone else out there who doesn’t know what that is doesn’t have a big nose: you don't have big nose if you're not part of the Big Nose Club.
Rob: My name's Rob; I play drums in Spilt Milk Society. Fun fact about me is I don't like chips; potatoes have so much more potential.
Josh: My name is Josh and I play the guitar. A fun fact about me is I taught Rob about Saveloy, and now that's all he eats when he goes to the chip shop, which is why he doesn't buy chips anymore.
Jordi: My name is Jordi and I play bass, and the fun fact is I chew peas, and I've tasted every pea that I've ever had in my life, unlike some.
The name of the band is three words: what other three words would you use to describe the band?
Late, talented, and exceptional.
That's a pretty good combo.
Mainly late though, that's why that comes first.
So, talking of the band name: why are you called Spilt Milk Society?
Harry: Well, we had a long time not telling people why because it's kind of boring, so we just make up a reason.
Jordi: Actually, Charles Darwin had a Social Club in Shrewsbury called Spilt Milk Society, and it was about evolution and stuff, and that's where the name actually comes from. Weirdly.
Harry: Weirdly, he used to drink a lot of milk as well.
Jordi: And anyone that spilt their milk was out of the society.
Not sure of the plausibility of that one guys! Moving on, your new EP, Community, came out on Friday: how does it feel?
Harry: Good: we're really proud of this EP. It sounds great and we had a really lovely time making it. Lockdown was a bit of a head blag: we spent a lot of time doing gigs before that, so we tried our best just to make use of the time stuck inside. We did a few live streams and stuff, and it just wasn't quite our thing, so we decided to just record. This is pretty much our first proper gig back with the full set list and everything, so it’s kind of nerve wracking in a way to be playing these new songs live so soon.
Rob: They're a lot more delicate and vulnerable, for Harry especially; the lyrics are really honest I suppose.
Harry: Definitely yeah, and even just harder to play aswell.
In Community EP, the song Lazy really stood out to me, particularly the lyric: “I’ve got an answer, but I’m waiting for the question to be asked”. I was wondering about your inspiration for that song?
Harry: Funny you ask that: that was the first lyric I wrote of that song; and while the rest of that song really means something, that lyric was something I had to make the meaning up for afterwards. I wrote that lyric because I remember seeing Holly Humberstone (who I went to Uni with) say that every lyric she ever writes has to be a tattoo. So for some reason that was the first thing which came to mind when I was looking for a lyric that could be a tattoo, and the rest of the song was sort of built around that lyric, but there's not really much explicit meaning to it.
I feel like sometimes lyrics mean the most when you can't pin down a meaning. You said the rest of the song isn't so ambiguous: what's the inspiration behind the rest of it then?
Harry: Its about a lot, but there's a nice little snippet in there at the end for my dog Charlie. He’s a little bit ill so its nice that he can live on through that song in a way. And he's a lazy dog: I wrote that song when I was looking after him for a week, he was whining in the background when I made the demo, and he made the cut. So in essence, it's about my dog being super lazy.
It’s so lovely that Charlie can live through that song. On a different note, you talk about Flyte as being a favourite band?
Harry: Yeah, I got to play with them actually. It was meant to be all of us, but it was such a small stage setup that it could only be the one.
Jordi: Harry and the guy he lives with, Dan, have a tape machine which they ended up lending to Flyte to record some demos. When Flyte gave it back, their demos were still in the tape machine, so if anyone wants a bootleg version of Flyte’s new album Harry’s your guy.
Harry: Unfortunately, there's only little snippets on there because when we got the tape machine back Dan was so excited to use it, he didn't listen to the tape and just started recording, so he recorded over a whole Flyte demo by accident.
But Flyte are a big inspiration because they’re just great songwriters and they care about the songs. It was Jordy who showed me them when he put on their record The Loved Ones
Jordi: I saw them as a YouTube ad for their old stuff that unfortunately ended up being deleted. But then they released an incredible record, so it was alright in the end.
Do you have a favourite Flyte song?
Harry: Not really; though I remember There’s a Woman really stood out to me when we played with them live, which I didn’t expect.
You also mentioned Holly Humberstone. Are there any other emerging artists that are inspiring you right now?
There's this kid from Shrewsbury called Myles Newman and he's pretty class; we've been playing a lot of music with him. But really its just the people we spend the most time with that inspire us the most. Bands wise, we’re all into a lot of different kinds of music, so it's very hard to pin down. Variety music describes it best; it just nothing and also everything at the same time.
So lastly, what's next for Spilt Milk Society?
Harry: We just want to record more, that’s what we realised over Lockdown. We did around 66 gigs in 2019 which was a bit much. Josh has just built a state-of-the-art studio in his garden, and it facilitates us now to record some great music and really level up on that side of things. We just want to focus on recording really, and when good gigs come around, we’ll do them.
Thank you very much to Spilt Milk Society for their time and for being such great fun to chat to.
Community is out now everywhere on INgrooves
Find Spilt Milk Society on Instagram @spiltmilksociety and Twitter @spiltmlksociety
Thank you to the band for providing the photos. All image credit to Charlie Harris