Spilt Milk Society is a Midlands-based indie rock band formed in May 2015! We interviewed Harry, Chan, Josh, and Adam about their music and a charity they support, called Captive Animals Protection Society (CAPS), which helps protect animals all over the world.
Alt Philanthropy: How did you guys meet, and what inspired you to start making music together?
Josh: Well Harry and Adam are brothers and have been involved with music all of their lives in some form or another. Harry met Chan through school, both being musical they played in concert band and other school projects together and became very good friends. I however, met the lads on different terms; being the oldest and attending different schools I didn't know they lived just 2 minutes from me all their lives! It wasn't until a chance meeting last autumn when their mom (and now the band’s honorary mom!), Penny, needed a decorator to paint their new kitchen. I was working with my dad at this point and so, you can probably guess the rest. I had been looking for a band myself for months with no luck, so after couple chats I took the opportunity to give Harry a call and it went from there.
ALTP: We read that you guys were recently formed as a band. What brought you guys closer together, or influenced your music?
Josh: Me and Harry started meeting up a few evenings in the week; we spent some time getting to know each other and talking about our different influences. We had a couple jam sessions and instantly knew we had something. Once I had met Adam and Chan and we started playing, that was it. Everything seemed to flow so naturally from the off. Even with our different tastes in music and playing styles we all really enjoyed what we were creating. We are now using those different styles to create something new and unique.
ALTP: What is your creative process while making music?
Harry: I tend to write the framework of a song and the basis for the riffs and then every band member adds and embellishes. It’s all very relaxed and we don’t put any pressure on the process of songwriting so that we don’t rush things. I prefer the comfort of my room too, in comparison to a studio - all of our singles have been recorded sitting on my bed or at my desk and you'd never believe it! I think the environment in which you create music is as important as the song itself.
ALTP: When you are creating music, who do you picture your audience being?
Harry: We make our music accessible so we like to think that our audience is anyone and everyone! We’ve had audience members ranging from 15 up to 60 at our gigs and I think it’s because we don’t exclude anyone musically. We keep our tunes PG as well as providing a healthy balance of light pop and dirty indie. It’s this sort of broad scope of musical genres that we incorporate into our music that gives us such a wide fan base.
ALTP: Where do you see yourselves as a band in 5 years?
Adam: As a band, we have pretty big ambitions. We often say, "it'll all be worth it when we headline Glastonbury!". I personally would hope to have completed perhaps 2 albums and perform as much as possible because that's what we do best. Making our way to regular festival slots would be ideal too! Who wouldn't want to do a tour in America? Like I said, we have high ambitions and we feel capable of following in the footsteps of bands that we look up to, like Bombay Bicycle Club and Foals.
ALTP: If you could go on tour with any artist, living or dead, who would it be?
Adam: Personally, I've always dreamt of touring with bands the likes of Foo Fighters, Catfish and the Bottlemen and Empire of the Sun! As a collective, however, the ultimate group that we'd want to support on tour would unquestionably be Foals. We see them as a great influence, not just musically but also with their stage presence and the humility that comes with their fame: you seldom see artists that are so down to earth!
ALTP: Are there any particular songs that you had good memories writing and believe should be heard by everyone?
Chan: One particular song holds many memories for me. The first time Harry and I ever met up to write music together, was about 2 years back, when we worked on 'Bloodstream'. Harry had a chord pattern down and some lyrics to go with it. We explored the structure and experimented with new sections, and ended the day with an awesome track. To me it will always be a very special moment, as it was the beginning of something exciting and we both knew it! On a separate note, the song ‘For The Last Time’, our latest single, is a song that should be heard by everyone, as I’m sure everyone would enjoy it. It’s already our most streamed song and suggests the music we intend to pursue in our next releases.
ALTP: What do you believe makes Spilt Milk Society different from other up and coming bands today?
Chan: I believe that what really makes our music different is the diverse range of music we all listen to; Josh is crazy about his blues; Adam is more into rock; Harry loves his indie alt/rock; and I'm a bit of a house head! I really think this shows in our music - we're not afraid to let our influences come out and try new things and I know that, together, we have created a very fresh sound that I'm extremely proud of.
ALTP: Why did you guys choose to support Captive Animals’ Protection Society?
Harry: Animal cruelty is something that everyone looks down on, but not many people actively get involved in it. CAPS is valuable to our society as it embodies humans trying to help other species; too many people don’t hold animals on the same pedestal as they do people, and I think that’s wrong. For example, whenever I see a dead animal on a road, I always think how it’s our society, our inventions and our way of life that has led to that animal’s death - even if it wasn’t strictly that particular driver’s fault. So on a more important note, when people actively go out of their way to hurt or oppress animals it makes me sick. Keeping animals in cages the size of their own body is, in my opinion, worse than killing them. So this is the reason why CAPS, and many other charitable organizations alike, are important to both us as people, and our society.
ALTP: How does Captive Animals’ Protection Society personally relate to you?
Harry: Luckily, I have never had to come in direct contact with the type of things that this charity stands up for, but the thought of it alone is enough to put me in a bad mood. The way in which this charity relates to me is on a personal, moral level. Humans are so selfish and self-obsessed in our society that they don’t pay attention or repartition to the things that we destroy to make our lives so pleasurable. Going to the Zoo of Sea World may seem like great fun, but the pain and marginalisation that animals encounter is not worth anything.
ALTP: Why do you guys want to help bring awareness to Captive Animals’ Protection Society?
Harry: Bringing awareness to this organization is a starting point as far as us helping goes. We’d like to eventually donate to many causes that we believe strongly in, including the one that CAPS advocates. Overall, I think that this particular subject needs more care and attention given to it. Even if this interview gets only one person to donate, then we’ll consider it a success.
ALTP: Who are your personal role models? (People you look up to either musically or as an inspiration)
Harry: Individually, I’m sure there are a so many people we could name as we're all very diverse in our interests. My personal heroes, for example, range from musicians (like Yannis Phillipakis, Harry Koisser, Kevin Parker etc.) to literary scholars and politicians (like Oscar Wilde or David Lloyd George). As a band, though, we have a common role model in Foals. Everything they do it so pure and individual to them and even after gaining success and world recognition they don’t sell themselves out. Musically and principally they are a perfect model for us as a band.
ALTP: In what ways do you hope to use your platform as music artists to help others?
Harry: For now we only have the capacity to make music and play gigs - spreading (more often than not) happiness. When we’re bigger and more influential, however, we hope to extend this to palpable help and really make as much of a difference as we can. The most admirable musicians are those who are altruistic with their power and money, not those who sit on it and don’t help others.
To learn more about Captive Animals’ Protection Society, you can visit http://www.captiveanimals.org.