Do you know one of the best things about music? Specifically, I am thinking of live performance here, so, one of the best things is the music that you go to see can help you find more music. Confused? I am all the time. Anyway, I was at the Music Feeds HQ and there was a discussion about what was going in the next issue, psychedelic acts were being discussed and my mind twigged. Here I am listening to this talk of psychedelic rock and I think wait a sec, what about that band I saw the other night… Blackmilk?
Next thing I know I’m chatting away on the phone to a laid back and intelligent musician, James Sherry, who’s fronting a band that hails from the hills, outside of Perth. Taking their name from the Massive Attack song, “it’s one of our favourite tracks”, James describes a band that is a tight unit, one that is based on friendship and love of good music. The band consists of childhood friends Rick and James, who’ve played together “since we were 11 years old”, along the way they picked up John on bass, Tim on lead guitar, and Todd who plays the keys, percussion and much to my joy, the tambourine.
It seems my phone call has interrupted some important spa/sauna shenanigans. “Yeah our management has been pretty good to us.” Good? A five star hotel on the Gold Coast seems a significant step-up from the six-people-to-one-room-backpackers that they’d been staying in on their last trip to Melbourne.
Describing how they hooked up with Huluahoop Management James laughs, “Yeah these two girls approached us after a gig and said…they were interested in working with us, numbers were exchanged…it just skyrocketed from there.”
Skyrocketed is correct. Not only are they in the middle of their first nation-wide tour, but Davey D the infamous tour manager for the Brian Jones Town Massacre and The Warlocks is along for the ride. James is enjoying the tour saying, “it’s great to just lose yourself in the music and forget about whatever might be going on.’’
He describes their sound, “I think that as you grow up you find out what music suits you…we have gravitated to that sound we have, whatever that sound may be and I guess it can be called psychedelic rock.”
Commenting on the recording process of their new single, ‘Wanderlust’, “I think it’s one of the best recordings we’ve done, definitely. We did it ourselves this time and had a lot more of our own input…we recorded it at Tim, John and Todd’s house; they all live together and have a studio there.”
We drifted onto the current state of Australian music, “a lot of the stuff that you hear on the commercial radio stations and Video Hits, well, it just blows my mind that it gets airplay at all! When those shows are on I am usually screaming at the TV wanting to smash it in. There are a lot of bands with no substance getting a lot of airplay…It’s just annoying because I know a lot of bands personally that are just so much better than what’s getting the rotation. The worst thing is that all our friends, not just people in bands, think this way too and it’s a problem…There’s a lot of great music out there and I’ll testify to that.”
Blackmilk are soon heading off to the US, not before playing support for The Warlocks on their Australian tour. Do yourself a favour and get to one of their shows before you miss out.
21/08/08 – Blackmilk w/Jarvis Jay, Fearless Vampire Killers + The Polites @ The Revolver Upstairs, Melbourne, VIC.
23/08/08 – Blackmilk @ The Ding Dong Lounge, Melbourne.
23/10/08 – The Warlocks w/The Black Ryder, Blackmilk @ The Gov, Adelaide.