Milburn are finally back and after taking the music industry by storm with their come back, We went to The Sugarmill in Stoke-on-Trent to ask them about new music and the fans’ reaction.
First of all, why did you stop making music back in 2007? Two albums out doing really well, how come? Did money have any part in it?
We were very young at the time, and I think we weren’t really achieving what we thought we wanted to. Don’t get me wrong we were talented but we were waiting to get a break. We got a break and the Sheffield scene was incredible at the time, but Arctic Monkeys took off and we were just… waiting around in a way. We definitely undervalued the fact that we could come to somewhere like Stoke and fill out The Sugarmill and have a great time. Money wise we were ok, we always packed out the venues that we played, we were also ok money wise because we were on a label that had lots of money but they expected certain things.
Do you think by Arctic Monkeys booming out of Sheffield it kind of overshadowed other Sheffield bands, such as yourself?
It did, because we always get brushed under the Arctic Monkeys name. Referring back to your original question that was one of the reasons we stopped because it was getting on our nerves. In my opinion, I do think Arctic monkeys were a poison chalice. I mean, Alex Turner is an incredible song writer and wherever or whenever he was born he would have been a great song writer. But say if we were born in Newcastle then we might have succeeded a bit more. Arctic Monkeys got a spotlight on Sheffield but in a way a poison chalice, as much as we are still friendly with the guys.
Ok so now you’ve come back, how come, why now? What are you trying to achieve?
Well, I started Twitter a few years ago and every day I’d get a message saying “So, when you getting the band back together?”. And it got to a point to when all of us were in Sheffield and I asked them all “So, shall we get the band back together?”, plus if we waited too long then it might not be there anymore. It was only supposed to be 2 shows but now its festival appearances and a UK tour. Overall, were not bothered about making millions, we just want to enjoy it, play music and pay the mortgage.
Did you expect such a reaction on your Sheffield comeback dates?
No! it was crazy. I was passing the ticket office on my way and at 3 minutes past 9, my friend who was helping to sell the tickets came over and was like “They’re all gone!” I told him to check again because I didn’t believe him. When I was thinking, ‘Well, what do we do know?’, we spoke to the venue and they said, “What other days can you do?”. I think that sums up my reaction.
The Sugarmill is the first sold out date on the tour.
What’s in store, anything to mix it up or just all killer no filler tracks?
We’re throwing in a couple of new ones, to show people that we do want to keep doing this and not just a nostalgic band.
I want to ask more about your support bands. we’re you in charge of picking who was going to support you?
We do have a say but there is 4 of us and we do always disagree.
The Shimmer Band
Why did you pick these bands?
We get recommendations from our label about smaller bands and we didn’t really know them all, but we know what it is like to get a good supporting slot and therefore decided to give them all a few shows each.
You’re very friendly with your fans, when I saw you in Sheffield earlier this year, you were in the crowd during the thin Lizzy support taking selfies, saying hi. How important is it that a band makes sure they show appreciation to their fans?
I’m not into that rock star Sh*t! David Bowie was the greatest rock star in my opinion and for every 3 David bowie’s there is on the planet, there are at least 3 million D*cks. I know who I am and I like to show my appreciation to fans, I’m not into being that whole, “Don’t touch me” mysterious character.
Lastly, your new music. How was the experience of recording and releasing after all these years, normal or a bit strange?
It was strange to start off with. I always refer to ourselves as a dysfunctional Kings of Leon. So to be back in the studio with all these great guys, it was like a stag do! It got into a bit of a mess in a good way. Only 2 songs at the minute, we are just seeing if the tour goes well and seeing if we can still write and be relevant. We certainly don’t want to be that Butlins band with all these nostalgic songs. We’re not dead yet!