Absolutely chuffed to have Sheffield lads Milburn on Northern Exposure. The first interview since their split in 2008 the guys are back this April/May to play in their hometown at the Sheffield O2.
Due to phenomenal demand all dates sold out in 10 seconds!
The guys stormed onto the scene way back in 2001 when after years of friendship Joe Green, Tom Rowley and Lois Carnall decided to form a covers band. Lois’s younger brother Joe joined later on to play bass an they started writing their own stuff. They released their first demo ‘Steel Town’ in 2001 and steadily gained a loyal fan base. Milburn’s debut album released in 2005 and the album featured the singles ‘Cheshire Cat Smile’ and ‘Send in the Boys’. Milburn have been compared to the likes of The Jam and The Libertines with their eclectic riffs, and great punk bass lines. Personally I think Milburn were hugely underrated, there isn’t one song i didn’t like. Firm favourites include ‘Thats Not The Only Way To A Mans Heart’ and ‘Dancing on the Kitchen Floor’ (My favorite past-time…..)
Milburn went on to release their second album ‘These Are the Facts’ in 2007, preceded by the first single ‘What Will You Do (When the Money Goes)?’. Milburn sadly split in 2008 but are returning to mark the ten-year anniversary of their debut album ‘Well Well Well’
Its 2016 Milburn have been broken up for 10 years. Why reunite?
Fundamentally the band is made up of 4 lifelong friends. We saw there was still a demand for the band out there and thought enough time had past for us to revisit it and really enjoy it. We also thought there was a risk in leaving it much longer – a sort of now or never moment.
Milburn’s last ever gig at Sheffield Academy on 24th May 2008 sold out in two hours 8 years in and your selling out in 10 seconds! How does that feel after been away so long?
Strange. We knew the gigs would sell but the speed shocked us all. My brother owes me £20 actually because he thought it would take at least a week and I said sooner. I’ve met loads of kids who were not old enough to see the band the first time round, I suppose it’s a bit of Stone Roses moment on a micro scale.
After making such a massive impact on the music scene, what was life like after Milburn? Did you stay in touch?
We’ve always been in touch. Obviously me and Louis are brothers but all our families are quite well connected. It’s a very Sheffield affair.
What was it like that first time playing together again?
Easy. It didn’t take long before it felt very normal and smooth. We’ve all got good music brains!
Your two outstanding albums ‘Well Well Well’ and ‘These Are Facts’ What do you think made the albums were so prolific? Are there any plans to record any new material?
I think WWW came at the right time and really encapsulated the mood of that generation of kids. We were just kids ourselves so it was natural that we would be able to embody that sentiment. TATF is a little more mature and reflective, we didn’t want to make the same album twice. New material? We’ve not really spoke about that as we’re too busy learning all the old stuff!
Talk to me about your inspirations and influences, 10 years on have these changed at all?
We all grew up listening to our dad’s record collections – stemming from that we all share guilty pleasure for Thin Lizzy. As we grew up we all loved Rage Against the Machine, the Coral and the Strokes. Since splitting up we’ve gone in different directions with our tastes. It would be a bit weird if we were all still into the same things – like one of those 45 year old men – with a pan head haircut, a union jack guitar and a pair of sambas – stuck in 1996.
I have to ask…. I bet annoyingly over their years you’ve been compared to your friends The Arctic Monkeys; was this frustrating? Did it make you want to drop kick every journalist who mentioned it?
Yes. Especially around the second album. Lazy journalism is infuriating.
Talking of reunions…. What’s your thoughts on the whole will they won’t they Oasis reunion?
I respect what they achieved but I don’t think music needs another Oasis record. Unless it’s going to be from a whole different direction. I think Noel is happy doing his own thing – I think he can be more creative that way.
Many moons ago you spoke about Scotland been a great place to play…. What’s the best venue and are there any plans to go back?
A rammed ABC is amazing but I’ve never played at Barrowlands – that’s meant to be the one.
Who has caught your eye on the current music scene? What bands stand out for you?
We all have different tastes but we’re into that new Iggy Pop record, a couple of lads like Sheffield band Baba Naga and I love how Father John Misty takes the piss out of everything.
Finally, what can fans look forward to at the gigs, will you be playing songs from your entire catalogue?
All the hits…we’re not going recite poetry or anything like that.
Best Venue in Sheffield?
Weapon of choice?
Favourite upcoming band in Sheffield?
At the bar?
Pint of Stones
Liam or Noel?
I have a wife thank you
The Jam or The Who?
The Jam. The Who are ridiculously overrated.
Best takeaway in Sheffield?
Rajput (South Road)
Blur or Oasis?
Football; Red or Blue?
Top 3 tracks?
Batman or SpiderMan?
Up The Owls
Thanks lads and roll on the gigs!
By Rachel Brown
Owner of Northern Exposure I’m a Northern girl who loves her music and is a tad obsessed with Liam Gallagher and Ian Curtis! I am full of passion for live music, brimming with enthusiasm and striving to give new and upcoming bands a shot. I’m planning on putting on as many Northern exposure gigs as I possibly can. Sniffing out the UK’s best upcoming talent!