I N T E R V I E W
The End is Nigh: An Interview with Milpool
With Ian Duggan
We have featured a couple of tracks by Dunedin band ‘Milpool’ on the HUP/The Hum 106.7FM's Top 10 over the last few months; Mydriasis was #7 in March and Ambulance Driver made #7 in our May countdown. We talked to guitarist Tom Monaghan about their evolving sound, the band’s future, and the ‘The Simpsons’ connection in their moniker.
HUP: Tom, I was reading that you were leaving the country in May. But looking at your Facebook, you have still been playing the last few days! Are we soon to see the end of Milpool? Or are the reports of your death greatly exaggerated?
Tom: I am leaving the country in a couple of weeks, slightly later than expected. But yeah, we just finished playing our last couple of Dunedin gigs this weekend and will be playing our last two gigs in Auckland and Wellington on the 7th and 8th of June.
HUP: The band was aiming to do a lot of recording before you left, and you have just released another EP in late May called ‘BLOOD/TAR’. Are there some more releases to come soon?
Tom: We're about halfway through recording our fourth and final EP, which should be released within a few weeks. After that we're planning to release a compilation album of the best tracks from the four EPs plus some new/rerecorded songs.
HUP: Do you feel your sound on ‘BLOOD/TAR’ has changed since ‘Down’, released in January, or ‘START’, released on October last year?
Tom: We recorded ‘START’ before [vocalist] Adelaide [Dunn] joined, and as such the songs were a lot punkier and noisy as I can't sing. After Adelaide joined things got a lot more melodic and atmospheric. Between ‘DOWN’ and ‘BLOOD/TAR’ we've gotten a lot more collaborative; most of ‘DOWN’ was written by Adelaide and I and then taken to Hamish and Josh to get fleshed out, whereas pretty much all of ‘BLOOD/TAR’ was written with all four of us jamming together. Adelaide also wrote a lot more of the lyrics on ‘BLOOD/TAR’.
HUP: Are there bands that have influenced your sound?
Tom: International bands that we enjoy/have ripped off include Cate Le Bon, Hop Along, Women and Charly Bliss. Local bands that we enjoy/have ripped off include Koizilla, The Mint Chicks, Ha the Unclear and Wet Specimen.
HUP: The ‘Milpool’ name comes from a Simpsons episode, with Milhouse misspelling his name due to getting distracted. Who is the Simpson’s fan, and why did you choose this name?
Tom: I am the obsessive Simpsons fan - of the first eight seasons - and decided early on that the name was going to have to be a Simpsons reference. It was actually my sister Laura that suggested Milpool, and we felt really clever and original until we made the Facebook page and realised that there were ten other emo Bands also called Milpool!
HUP: How long are you gone for? Is it possible new bands will evolve out your departure, or will the band be sitting around awaiting your return?
Tom: Sadly, I am leaving indefinitely to go to Bristol with my other band 'The Rothmans', and I do not know when I'll be back. I imagine we'll keep making music under the Milpool name as soon as we're all in the same country again, however long that'll take. I know Adelaide, Hamish [Morgan; drums] and Josh [Howley; bass] plan to keep making music together under some new guise, so it'll be interesting to see how that goes.
Everyone also has other bands on the go. Hamish plays drums in Marlin's Dreaming, Adelaide produces/sings/plays keys in Repulsive Woman, and Josh has been secretly growing a new band called G.I DRO. So, I imagine everyone will have a lot to do while I'm gone.
HUP: What is behind The Rothmans moving to Bristol?
Tom: It feels like it's time to leave Dunedin/New Zealand, haha! Half of us have British Citizenship and Bristol is a cool town, so it seems like the logical place to go.