INTERVIEW: Milk Teeth at Download Festival


INTERVIEW: Milk Teeth at Download Festival

How does it feel to be playing at Download Festival this year?

IĆ¢’m really excited, although last time we played it was really sunny and beautiful and this time it’s the opposite of that. But I’m really excited to make lots of noise and play, I really like Download as a festival anyway because it’s not just heavy metal, you know? There’s a bit of everything.

So we’re really excited to have a good time.

You spent quite a large portion of this year on tour – what is it about touring and live shows that you like the most?

We worked it out that this will be our 95th show this year, which is a fair amount. It’s a weird feeling because when we tour for weeks and weeks we get really excited to go home and sleep in our own beds, and then after a few days at home we just want to go out and play shows again.

If we play to a room of people where no-one knows us, and we make one new fan then it’s worth it. We like having fun and playing live, it’s hard to explain. It’s just a lot of fun. We write the music to play it live.

What have you got in your rig at the moment?

Well, you know I use the Marshall JCM800, and that’s through two 1960 cabs. Guitar-wise I use my Gibson Les Paul Jr, and pedals, there’s a lot on there. I use mostly my Fuzzrocious Demon distortion which I guess is a boutique pedal, and I have my Small Clone on all the time. I used to only use it for a few songs, but now it just sounds weird without it.

I use the Blue Sky by Strymon a lot, and a Big Muff. Loads on there. I was looking at another pedal that does organ sounds, and I think it would sound really cool to put that in there. Pedal board is really complicated but the rest of it is very simple – Les Paul into a Marshall, you can’t go wrong.

What do you like most about the JCM800?

Apart from the loudness? I used it in the studio and just felt that this amp was the one for me. I know a lot of people use it for the distortion, but I use it clean and it still has such a punch to it and works really well with my pedals. It’s just the one. When you’ve got a full stack with that on top, it just looks the part.

If you had to sum up your career so far in one word, what would it be?

Sweaty. We go pretty hard live, and it usually involves days without showering too. Sweaty or fun, because for us it’s all about having fun and that’s why we do it. We’re a fun band I think.

One bit of advice for someone picking up the guitar?

Do proper music theory. I never did, and when the others talk about theory, I don’t know what they’re talking about. When I started playing guitar I just wanted to be able to do all these solos, but I never learned the basics, so I’ve got really bad playing technique.

I play my guitar super low and hit it too hard. My plectrums are circular by the end of a show.

Learn as much about music as you can. It helps with songwriting too, makes it so much easier, because when I’m writing it’s just like ‘Oh this sounds good’ but I don’t know the theory behind it. I just learned every Guns ‘n’ Roses song.

How would you describe the sound of Milk Teeth to someone who hasn’t heard you before?

We got described the other day as ‘scuzz-pop’, which I really liked. To me we’re a punk band, but we’ve never gone away from the pop side of things. We’re not a pop-punk band, more of a punk-pop band I guess.

We try to write gnarly, catchy songs – if they don’t get stuck in your head then you’re not doing it right. So we think about how loud and fuzzy we can make it, but also about the melody and is someone going to remember it.

Photo: Andy Watson