Standing outside Camden Assembly’s famous green walls, I interviewed 5-piece Birmingham band Spilt Milk Society on behalf of Benumu. Despite battling sirens, cars and the noise erupting from the stage above, the group’s charisma and energy emanated as strongly as it had just moments ago as they performed to a packed out audience. Spilt Milk is often described as Indie/Rock, however, an amalgamation of all the member’s tastes results in a sound that is hard to pin down, as the boys cleverly twist between varying styles of music. It’s clear the band are not willing to waste any time as they made the move from hometown Birmingham to Liverpool to further chase their musical aspirations. The band’s intrinsic sense of flair and artistry has gained them backing from BBC Introducing and they have sold out shows in esteemed venues in hometown Birmingham like the O2 Institute and The Sunflower Lounge, as well as appearing at The Great Escape Festival.
So this is your second show for Benumu and you’ve got even better. How did that happen?
(Harry) Practise mainly. We’ve actually changed our members up. The first time we played with Benumu was the first time we ever played with a new line up, a new band, so from that point to this point that was our first show to our latest one. It’s nice to be able to judge the difference from then to here. As you say, hopefully it is better!
Is there any difference between a London crowd compared to a Birmingham crowd?
(Harry) Well you get much more people – probably because there are 7 million people in this city. But you know Birmingham’s are home crowd so I’m gonna have to big up Birmingham home crowd. But you know, every time we play in London there’s a great reception, packed out venues. We love playing here. (Freddie) It’s a lot better than Manchester (Harry) – laughs – Yeah it’s a lot better than Manchester…
You released ‘Amsterdam’ on Christmas day. Were you expecting to get 40,000 streams in the first two weeks?
(Harry) I mean we were hoping that it would because we kind of rushed to get it out because ‘She Tastes Like Summer’ suddenly just went really well for us and we wanted to follow it up quickly with something. And we’d been working on ‘Amsterdam’ with this really good producer up in Wolverhampton called Ryan. He also works on Sugar Thief stuff and also on all of Violet’s tracks. So we’d just finished that track and we felt it was actually good to go, just needs a quick master, so we threw it out and we didn’t actually have any expectations. (Josh) It was a bit of a shot in the dark because we didn’t actually promote it at all we just put it out, sort of like a Christmas present for people, but it did pretty well in the end!
And to date where is your favourite place you’ve performed at?
(Josh) I really really like this venue. I’d probably say this place actually. (Harry) This is the best place we’ve every played at in London. We’ve played a few London shows and Camden Assembly is by far the best so I’m going to have to say it’s in my top five for sure. Great Escape Festival was pretty fun. There’s a really good venue in Birmingham called Mama Roux’s – played there with Superfood that was a class gig. Yeah there’s been loads.
If you could play anywhere in the world where would it be?
– Mixed responses but ‘Glastonbury’ is a prominent answer – (Harry) I want to know what Freddie thinks because he’s an avid music fan and goes to more gigs than all of us, so where would you want to play? (Freddie) –jokingly- Stoke.
Can you explain the origins of your band name ‘Spilt Milk Society’?
– Unanimous groaning from the group – (Harry) Oh, here we go… Next question –laughter.
If you had to liken your band members to animals what would they be?
(Steve) Rob’s the bear, Freddie’s a weasel, (Josh) Hard question that… (Harry) Josh is quite cute, you’ve got a cute little face (Freddie) No, no, Josh is one of those dogs that just runs at people (Josh) Harry’s a koala bear (Freddie) Steve’s like a really polite horse.
Which song has taken longest to compose?
(Harry) They’ve all been pretty quick to be fair. Probably ‘Amsterdam’ actually. I started writing that when I was in Amsterdam and I finished the original song off about a week later, so even that’s longer than we normally take.
Was that just the lyrics or the music aswell?
It started off with a beat in Amsterdam. I wrote the lyrics on the plane home and sort of recorded it all when I got home but we also sent it to this producer and that took a few months to do. So that was probably the longest.
Do you find yourself worrying about stage presence?
(Rob) I can’t really see anything anyway, my view’s pretty blocked by Harry – laughter. (Josh) We’re still learning how to cope with performing. (Harry) It’s hard to fake it, you have to have the energy. Some nights you have the energy from the crowd, some nights you don’t. So I guess yes, it’s hard sometimes but at the same time it’s not something you can fake.
So you’re saying it’s the real you on stage?
(Harry) Yeah, for sure. That’s probably why I’m so tame! ( Freddie) No crowd is going to stop me from having a boogie. (Harry) Yeah, Freddie will have a boogie wherever, even if we don’t want him to.
If you could experience an era of music that you weren’t alive for, what would it be?
(Rob) Beethoven (Harry) What?! (Rob) Yeah, that whole time just living in that Beethoven period… (Harry) – Talking to Jordi James from a fellow young band called Sugar Thief – You’d probably pick 70s wouldn’t you? (Jordi) Yeah, lots of brown and yellow – I’m about that.
And what do you think about the era you’ve landed in?
(Harry) Sick! I love it. Theres so much good music around. (Josh) It’s getting better, definitely.
Do you feel it’s changed in recent years?
(Harry) In the last three years music has gotten so much better commercially. Even in the Top 50 which I don’t often listen to, but when I do I actually enjoy what I listen to. (Josh) It kind of feels like all the big genres have broken up into even smaller genres and it’s really diverse. There’s so much you can listen to. (Freddie) I feel like songs aren’t restricted to just one genre now, there’s a lot more influences. (Harry) Probably for me the most fun song to write, we all wrote together. Normally Josh and I write together but with our new members, Steve’s been instrumental in writing the start to the new songs and they’re really hard to pin genre wise. I think people will find that they are quite different to our past songs.
Do you feel there is a wider chance for interchanging genres?
(Harry) I feel like there’s a lot more love in the industry now. For example, we are collaborating with Sugar Thief and we helped them on their new tunes and vice versa – same with Violet. It’s good fun and really good practise and it never really used to happen so much.
And lastly, a question suggested by Violet – who is the worst band in Birmingham?
(Harry) It’s going to have to be Violet, isn’t it?