5 Minutes With Hot Milk

Following half a decade of perfectly honing their craft and gathering a legion of fans in the process, Hot Milk dropped their debut LP this week to huge acclaim.

With a summer filled with festival sets, a winter headline tour and a support slot for Foo Fighters lined-up, we caught up with the band to find out more about what's happening in their camp right now!

Check out the full interview below.

Your debut album, 'A Call To The Void', is out this week – are you the kind of band who starts to overthink everything or are you more chilled and accept that what’s on there is the final product?

I think a bit of both actually. There’s nothing else we can do apart from make it chart, but we don’t want to think about that. We write the songs because we want to say something and we hope that people like it. We’ll see what happens when people listen but like I say there’s a reason why we put those songs on the record.

In terms of making the charts – is it difficult to keep a balance between making something that will commercially do well and creating an authentic body of work?

We’re lucky to be very close to the inner workings of Hot Milk and can look after every avenue of our band – and we always try to remember the reasons we started the band, and at the end of the day it was because of the art. It is easy to get lost amongst all the bureaucracy and everything that comes with it because sadly there are a lot of financial attachments that suck the soul out of the art, but we just want to go out and play gigs and write tunes. It is important to keep hold of your brand because it is your business and ultimately your life. I wish money didn’t exist, but for me it is about the art first and it should always be about the feeling that comes with writing and the show you can put on through those songs. That’s the point of this world that we live in.

Does the pressure of writing a full album differ from when you were releasing EPs and breaking through?

We’re definitely more conscious about creating a body of music that talks for itself and it more cohesive, rather than writing individual songs and crafting others around the singles. The only instruction we gave ourselves was to create a journey this time around, but the rest was still business as usual. We go in and write songs the way we know how, and I think you’ve got to enjoy it so we explored new avenues of linking songs with interludes and working out the flow.

Does the flow of the record give an indication of how it’ll work on the live stage too?

Sometimes when we’re writing or in the studio it’ll kind of write itself, if that makes sense? But occasionally we’ll really hone in on a part and say ‘this bit will sound sick live’, and playing live is our bread and butter to be honest. That’s what separates us from other bands because we’re performers first and foremost and that’s where we fell at home. When we write, we write for the stage and write in a way that’s impactful where people can find moments in the performance. We don’t want to write for radio or to create a single that might do well – we want to write a dramatic performance because you can never kill live music so we’ll always make that a priority.

From a production point of view, do you have a vision for the stage set-up – or do you prefer not to take away from the music?

From a show design aspect we’ve always been interested the production – we always like to know how we can utilise lighting or special effects to make the songs come alive and give them like a new lease of life. I'm currently working on production for the November show and it is very much the same mentality as the album is having a flow. We’re dramatic people, so we like the drama and theatrics.

Does having a brand new album mean we’ll see a brand new live show from Hot Milk?

We've been playing some of these songs for four years now, so for both the audience and ourselves we need to find a new way to play the older songs. Doing the same thing over and over again is the definition of insanity, isn’t it, so we’re excited to be updating some of them. We can’t wait to show people how we’ve developed the songs.

What else can we expect from Hot Milk across the rest of 2023 and beyond?

We just really want to showcase this album and give it the life it deserves. To be able to take it to new places and have fun with it will be exciting, so really it’ll just be a lot of touring and then maybe starting to write a new record. We have got to be open minded about the future and be flexible with what we’re going to obsess over next. It is important to be influenced by what surrounds you and enjoy where you’re at with everything.

Final tickets for Hot Milk are on sale now.

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Hey - I'm Callum. Fan of The National, collector of vinyl, season ticket holder at Leeds United, owner of Dougal the cat.

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