The up and coming pop group Milk. will soon be taking Dublin by storm. The four-piece band includes Mark Mckenna, Conor Gorman, Morgan Wilson and the very handsome Conor King all in their early 20s. They are taking a whole new twist on music by mixing different genres and brand-new sounds.
Missy.ie got the chance to sit down with them ahead of their shows to chat about music, Dublin and life.
How did the band come together?
Wilson: We were all together in music college actually,
Mckenna: Yeah, the band started with just me and Gormi really. Basically, I was actually in another band and then I met Conor through that and we became mates. He sent me a song he had written and I thought it was very cool and we started writing together and eventually Milk was born and then we knew Morgan and then our bass is Conor King from college and we just kind of asked him to play from us.
How long have you known each other?
Gorman: Maybe three years. Started writing together about two years ago.
Wilson: Yeah around about that I’d say.
Mckenna: I only really got to know Morgan about a year ago.
Gorman: I was thinking about this the other day one of Morgan mates lives around my estate and I remember seeing Morgan around my estate when I was like ten.
Morgan: My roommate is actually Conor’s next-door neighbour.
Mckenna: And then, we’ve known Conor King for a little over a year actually, he is very well-known around for playing the bass and we were worried that he wouldn’t like our songs, but he heard one of them and thought it was good so we said that he could come play for us if he wanted, please.
How did the name Milk. come about?
Mckenna: There is a book and movie called “Clockwork Orange” about a gang of four teenagers and the lead character drinks milk and he basically puts loads of drugs into it. I just found it was hilarious how they took something as innocent as milk and they took something as violent as drugs. It shows that drugs and violence are as prevalent in an adult’s day-to-day life and a glass of milk is to a child’s day to day life, which is a very weird contrast.
Gorman: We will probably have to keep it now unless we get sued by milk.
What is the genre of music you are most inspired by?
Mckenna: We are all inspired by different genres and I think that is what makes a good mix. We try to mix everything we can, there will even be small details in the back of a song that could be really influenced by an oasis song but it wouldn’t sound like an oasis. So, there are always hints of things there.
Mckenna: In a few songs that we have there are a lot of Daniel Ceaser inspiration.
Wilson: I don’t think we have a right to one certain genre.
Mckenna: We just kind of go for it and if something doesn’t sound right or if it’s unnecessary we would take it out.
How are musical decisions like that made?
Wilson: I think I lot of our creative bits are made over WhatsApp.
Mckenna: Yeah if we didn’t have WhatsApp we wouldn’t be half as organised as we are.
Gorman: We have a WhatsApp chat where we talk and send memes and then a separate one where we keep and archive important things.
Mckenna: We do a lot of like, if I write something I’ll send it into WhatsApp and then someone will say I like that let’s try this with it and we will change it from there.
Wilson: If we didn’t have a computer or WhatsApp you could say goodbye.
Mckenna: We are the band of 2020.
How does the process of writing songs happen?
Wilson: We’re not a band that meets up and jams to a song, it starts with one of us and then we add stuff on and then we record on a laptop.
Mckenna: It always started with just one of us, we have way too many songs that aren’t finished. We probably have at least two albums full. Some songs that me and Gorman would have written a while ago that doesn’t even sound like us anymore.
How did the song ‘Drama queen’ happen?
Gorman: That kind of started off as a punk song.
Mckenna: Yeah it started a while ago, but we’ve changed it since. It used to be very fast but we slowed a bass line down from another song and then we liked it much better. Gormi made a demo of it then I wrote lyrics and played it off my laptop and put my phone down beside me and I sang with the track of the laptop. It sounded awful at first. That was back when we were recording things on our phone. We thought it was really amazing at the time.
Gorman: We are very thankful for our producer, now.
Morgan: He is a wizard.
Are there struggles having a band in Ireland?
Mckenna: Not in Ireland anyway. If you’re not in Dublin though it would be. I feel like every band eventually in Ireland needs to come to Dublin at some point.
Wilson: It’s easier having it here compared to other places in this country just because this is just where the people are.
Gorman: The music scene is not that big here, you play like two gigs and people start to know who you are.
Wilson: I wouldn’t say it has made it more difficult actually, the scene is so small here when you are getting started it can be a little bit easier, at least play a couple of gigs. Like all your mates will go, everyone is looking to support each other, it is a very supportive environment. I’d actually be quite grateful for how small the community is, to be honest, I think that it would probably work against us if it was bigger.
Mckenna: It’s also nice to be able to play a gig and it is 20 minutes away from your house rather than get a three-hour train.
Is there any inspiration that comes from Dublin?
Wilson: I suppose we kind of take it for granted, it is very culturally involved.
Mckenna: Our sound as well at times, Dublin was the birth of U2, the birth of that distorted guitar, we kind of use a good bit of that. I feel like we are a very Irish band, I suppose the culture, growing up in Dublin. A lot of lyrics come from what we were raised with.
How do you balance college and music?
Wilson: With very little efficiency, but the college is very understanding because we are at college for musical art’s so they are lenient. We are trying to create a career with this band and college is helping that. But college has been great, it’s the reason we know each other and helped us get contacts in the music world.
Is social media a big part of having a band?
Wilson: Yeah definitely, specifically Instagram, I guess its most relevant for people our age.
Mckenna: I think people just like to see what you’re doing behind the scenes, get that insight into what you are genuinely like as a person. Like when I follow bands I want to see what they do when they are not on a big stage. So, it’s all just the lads hanging out, there are no gimmicks.
Wilson: I think it made it really pay attention to the detail of how everything looks. Even when we are announcing stuff we will use little candid photos. They all stick to this kind of film-photo theme. But, they are generally just us, doing normal things.
When are your next shows?
Wilson: We have a showcase in Cork on the 2nd of May and then our headline is on the 8th of May on the top floor of Whelans. You can get tickets here.
Make sure that you follow Milk. on Instagram
You can listen to the debut single by Milk. “Drama Queen” on Spotify now.