Interviews
Mike Watt Cameos, Hairy Carpentry and DIY Punk – An interview with Milo’s Planes

By Jordan Mooney.

That’s not music. It’s just bloody noise.

Who else has heard that from friends, parents, colleagues, grandparents…? I reckon it’s all of you. Everybody has had their music – particularly if they’re a fan of hard, heavy rock, punk, metal, etc, belittled as nothing more than cacophony.

But you know what? I like noise. And something can be said for noise, too. It takes a lot of talent for a group these days to recreate that ‘garage sound’, that sound people will dub ‘just bloody noise’.

In these times of studio recording, overfinanced, overproduced and ridiculously clean music, it’s a nice change from convention, in my opinion, to hear something torn and ragged, loud and perhaps a touch overenthusiastic.

 

As ever, this introductory paragraph segues into today’s band..whom, in this case, are named Milo’s Planes.

Milo’s Planes are a true garage sounding group. You’ll be hard pressed to find any slow, acoustic crooning here – this is a band that exists to make a terrible mess and then write a soundtrack for it.

Never lacking in catchy riffs, the band’s philosophy, regardless, is for audible saturation, and it achieves this effect beautifully. There’s tons of distortion, but it isn’t used to hide a single decible – it’s there to over-indulge it.

If it’s too loud, you’re too old, after all!

You can’t understand a single word that’s being belted into the mic by Joe, and the cacophonic effect reduces the importance of lyrics to simply providing an interesting sounding yell. It all sounds explosive, anarchic, and ripped up – but it doesn’t, unusually, sound intimidating, harsh or cruel.

This isn’t with similar intentions to a lot of the bands we feature on the wall – it’s not intended to scare people, or provide a dark, intense experience. It reminds me irresistably of an underground comic, perhaps something a little like Hewlett and Martin’s Tank Girl. It’s colourful, bright, casually anti-establishmentarian chaos that doesn’t flinch at the unrealistic or abnormal.

And that means…it’s a hell of a lot of fun.

While Milo’s Planes is not the most eloquent or complex music, it at least has the decibel system on their side. They’re difficult to ignore.

 

Like their music, Milo’s Planes take nothing too seriously. Which is why we simply had to get an interview…

milos stag

Cat on the Wall: Hello there – welcome to Cat on the Wall! Thank you for taking the time to talk to us. Please, introduce yourself to the people at home!

Joe: Hello people at home! We’re Milo’s Planes. 2 brothers (Joe & Harry) & a bit of Charlie (bass).

 

COTW: Milo’s Planes. Before we begin properly…where on earth does that title come from?!

Joe: Milo was the name of Harry’s first pube. He became so attached to it that he gave it a personality, feelings and characteristics; he was a carpenter and planes were his favourite tools.

 

COTW: Who – and what – makes up Milo’s Planes? How would you describe yourselves?

Joe: Well…

SGT PAIN!
Special move: “The Purge”  /// Taunt: “yo anus is hanus busta!!”

THE EXTERMINATOR!
Special move: “No Anesthetic knee-drop”/// Taunt: “I’m gon slap dat ass boi!”

IRON FISSURE!
Special move: “Ripsaw Rimshot” /// Taunt: “come and lick it, Doris!”

We’re hard.

 

COTW: You’re no strangers to releasing music. You’ve released your own EPs, a single or two and work regularly on youtube releasing home grown videos. You’re here to talk about your new single, out from the 18th onwards. What can you tell us about it?

Joe: It’s called Two Feet In a Crowd and it did indeed come out properly on July 18th. It’s the first track on our debut album and comes with four b sides! I’m pretty sure it’s the best song we’ve put out yet – it’s got a radio sample at the beginning, a bit of feedback, the drums sound more like drums rather than loose tubs being thwacked by a caveman…

We actually supported Mike Watt a few months ago and got him to appear in the video so that’s hot diggaty rad! The clip you see of him in the video is me apologising to him after pouring my beer all over his knees. Really amazing guy; we’re super chuffed to have him in the video.

The 4 b sides were all recorded whilst me and Harry were doing the More Free Music EP. There’s a couple of really short noisy tracks and then two longer tracks: King – which is only not on the album cos we ran out of space to fit it in and I think we may get a better recording out of it at a later date & Better Off, which is a really old song that I used to play with a band called Thai Bride; it’s a simple garage track really, pretty poppy, it’s got a proper pop chorus and oohs and everything! we don’t really play it, but it’s one of our dad’s favourites… so we thought we’d put it out.

The artwork is a collage I did, but all the illustrations come from an amazing comic book Rhianna (Me, You & Thomas) did for us – think we’ll be releasing that comic as part of the album too at a later date…

We’re launched the single at Mother’s Ruin on the 18th with our friends The Gnarwhals & Happy Crayons – IT WERE BUCK WILD! Music to wrestle to.

 

COTW: You’re also working on a debut album, which you’re -I believe – aiming to release in winter. Is this going to be all new tracks, or are you going to release some of your EP’s materials and singles part and package?

Joe: The album is all new songs – 15 of them in fact! Well 13 with little interludes… We play about half the songs from it live already, so if you’ve seen us live, you’ve already heard some of them… And some songs from the yet to be recorded second album ha!

Winter is still just a very rough estimation; just depends how long it takes us to save up the money to release it!

P.S Any sizeable donations welcome…

 

COTW: How have you find your experiences thus far? You obviously work very heavily in social networking and online releases – would you say it’s as easy to get noticed online as people often claim?

Joe: Well all we’ve done so far is gig a lot in Bristol, record loads of music, give it all away for free… This year things have started to pick up nicely though; we supported Eagulls, Amazing Snakeheads and Mike Watt! And we keep seeing new faces at our gigs, so that’s all good!

And No! We’ve found getting noticed on the internet is fucking impossible! We spend whole days making press releases, looking at blogs, finding ones that look like they’ll like us, sending emails, sending emails, sending emails. You need to be established already in some way, have PR/label backing/management, or have heaps of trendy contacts – otherwise the bulk of reviewers aren’t interested and won’t open your email. It’s frustrating, ‘cos we don’t have any of the above – we’re doing literally everything ourselves, so when we do get noticed, it’s all the more rewarding. On quite a few occasions, we’ve had people come up to us after we play, saying they’re keen to feature us on their blogs…so I think that’s a far more worthwhile way of getting yourself noticed…

There is potential for it to be super easy; your music is freely available on Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Facebook, Youtube – all anyone needs to do is type your band name into google and it’s all there. It’s just getting someone to type your band name in that’s difficult.

 

COTW: What sparked off Milo’s Planes as a group? Was it a spur of the moment decision, or have you all contemplated it for a while? Would you say you intend to stick with it for life?

Joe: Believe it or not, Me and Harry have been playing together since the early naughties. Harry was 6 or 7, I was 11 or 12. We were called Testys (with intentional misspelling). I played guitar and shouted, while Harry banged two cardboard boxes, exclusively with gel pens! (trendy at the time!); he wouldn’t even consider any other type of pen! With hindsight, he realises that gel pens weren’t the wisest choice; he could have been bustin’ tubs with a pair of whiteboard markers! We’d record ourselves on a little tape recorder – our mum would frequently have to take us to WH Smiths, so we could spend our pocket money on gel pens and blank tapes.

We had a few songs: (I Want To Be Your) Lawnmower & The Gherkin Parlor are obvious classics, but mostly we had song titles. I’d write tracklistings down for thousands of non existent Testys albums in a notebook… along with stuff like “I HATE ELLA!” (our sister), lists of my favourite Green Day songs, fantasy football formations & detailed listings of flags. I loved flags. Still a fan to be honest… So that’s where Milo’s Planes comes from. At some point since then, we wrote more songs, started singing into microphones, and added a bass player.

It’s difficult to say whether we’ll stick with it for life… It’s loads of fun and we love doing what we’re doing; there aren’t any grand plans to release a triple disc rock opera and take it to the west end so who knows… maybe a pantomime though..

 

COTW: What influences you all as a group? Is there anything besides music that has gone into the visuals of the band, the personality of it all, the philosophy? Films, television, books? For that matter, would you say there’s any musicians or bands that you find inspiring, but aren’t particularly heard in your music?

Joe: Well let’s see.. Fugazi, Wire, Cap N’Jazz, Lync, Husker Du, Black Flag, Rites of Spring, Minutemen, Snuff, Replacements, Leatherface, At The Drive In, Drive Like Jehu, Dinosaur Jr, Built To Spill, Pavement, The Fall, The Go! Team, Superchunk, Nomeansno, Trail of Dead, Sonic Youth… and on and on and on…

We’re all big fans of Motown & Funk and that probably doesn’t filter in that much to the music we’ve released thus far – however, the new songs we’re writing for album 2 are a bit funkier; since adding bass, we’ve been able to experiment a bit more with song dynamics, which is lovely… but we also have to stop Charlie from slapping his bass… that shit’s just not kosher!

We do read and watch a lot of television but can’t really think of any specific books or films that have directly influenced our music – except Our Band Could Be Your Life… but that’s just another musical influence really… oh and there’s Catch 22 – but that just helped with the name…plus we don’t really have a band philosophy or agenda; we’re just three simple men looking for simple fun #yolo! ..Oops!

 

COTW: What are your thoughts on your own local scene? Would you say a fan of hard and heavy music would get much out of Bristol?

Joe: Depends how hard they like it. If they’re looking for doom Viking sludge warrior crossover trash power violence then we wouldn’t really know…

However there is an abundance of seriously noisy shit in Bristol. You’ve got Spectres, Repo Man, Happy Crayons, Featherhead, Velcro Hooks, Plain Views, St Pierre, Naturals, Fairhorns, Giant Swan, Oliver Wilde, us, my other bands, Let’s Kill Janice, Me You & Thomas etc… The scene itself is amazing; most weekends there’s an ace local gig on, and just round the corner we’ve got the Howling Owl 3rd birthday, where they’re putting on a series of secret(ish) gigs at Centerspace gallery in Bristol throughout a week, which is going to be radical fun top!  Sadly we’re not playing it cos Harry is gallivanting round Europe with his bro’s, finding himself EURO TRIP BRAH! But I’ll be there doing a reunion show with my old band, Holy Stain, who were one of the first to be embraced into the howling owl family – HOT DAYUM!

 

COTW: Finally, what are the long term intentions of the group? Where do you want to see yourselves in the future?

Joe: To record more music. We’ve already written a second album – just need to practice the songs and record them! It’s probably gonna be better than the first. A few people will listen to it, I reckon, but then we’ll break up and the album will become a cult – and we’ll have to reform for the money sometime in 2025, when we’re all visibly older. With beer bellys and pretentious side projects.

 

COTW: Thank you very much for taking the time to talk to us! Here’s hoping we’ll be hearing more from you very soon! Any final words to friends, fans, family…or us?!

Joe: Never buy a banana more than three days in advance; you’re setting yourself up for a big disappointment.

Valuable advice!

—–

Now that you’ve noticed Milo’s Planes, why not prove it. Below are their social networks…

https://www.facebook.com/MilosPlanes

https://www.twitter.com/MilosPlanes

 

Here’s a music video…

 

And here’s some music. If you like it, buy it, and support an independent talent!

What more could you hope for?!

About the author

Compulsive hat wearer, eccentric, fan of all things audio-visual, part time Goth, historian, and railway enthusiast, Jordan is the closest you can get to everybody's weird uncle. Except he's less than 60 years old.

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