Interviewed by Jasmine Uitermark-Thaung
Melbourne production duo, Milwaukee Banks are Perth bound this Friday to launch their debut album Deep Into The Night down by the seaside suburb of North Freo at Mojo’s.
We had a chat with Edo and Dyl Thomas bright and early to talk music, promoters and collaborations.
Tell me the story of how Milwaukee Banks formed!
Edo: Basically we met through Dyl’s girlfriend’s sister. I was at uni with her and she was telling Dyl about me and me about Dyl and she was just like you guys should hang out and then we met at a party and actually did hang out. That was over ten years ago and we’ve just been mates for a long time. I used to DJ around town and Dyl was in different bands so we used to just go to each other’s shows and I guess that’s how I got more into production by sending Dyl some stuff to check out and then yeah, Milwaukee Banks formed.
If you guys could describe your sound as a food what would it be?
Dyl: Right off the top of my dome I’d have to say something…oh god! I don’t know actually, something that’s smooth.
Edo: It’s like a really nice hot cake with purple syrup drizzled over the top. It’s definitely sweet.
Your EP Rose Water was when I first caught onto Milwaukee Banks. In one of the tracks, Patty Mills, you cover the topic of promoters taking decent amounts of cash from artists and just generally disregarding musicians who play their shows. Has this happened a lot to you in the past?
Dyl: In my time it’s happened where a lot is expected from you to go and do a show and [the effort] may not be shown both ways. So you might put all this effort in and when you rock up you don’t even get drink cards or you don’t get paid even though you’re told you’ll get paid. I guess with the industry it can be a little flaky like that. As an artist when you turn up to a show and fulfil your end of the agreement it’s only fair the guys on the other end do the same.
It’s really interesting how Milwaukee Banks have combined the electronic sound with hip-hop production, do you think that’s allowed you a lot more territory to explore since you possess what other producers may lack in terms of vocals?
Edo: I’m probably pretty luck that I get to collaborate with a vocalist all the time. I mean you see some producers that are making cool beats but they have to hunt through samples and end up putting in any chopped sample and repeating it. I mean the other side of it is though, because we have this dynamic, we try to push things in different directions and explore different ideas so we are pushing things forward.
“We don’t stick to familiar territory for too long”
Deep Into The Night features a lot of collaborations. When you were creating the album did you guys sit down and say this is who we want to work with or was it more organic?
Edo: It was kind of both, some of them came together organically. Stax Osset is a good example, she supported us at our first solo show and we watched her play and were like ‘we should work with her, she’s really great.’ So Never Coming Down just came together through getting to know her and saying we should do some stuff. Some of the other ones like Kučka were somebody that I definitely wanted to work with, we were both excited about that one. It came about because we’d met her through a show we both played and then Kučka asked us to do a remix of one of her tracks so that all came together that way.
There were a couple more we had lined up that just sort of didn’t come together in time but some of those people we’re still talking about working with for future stuff.
And how long did it take for you guys to make Deep Into The Night?
Edo: Aw it took a fair while, probably about 12 months
Dyl: Personally I don’t think it’s that long but when I think about the process and how much writing we did, there’s a lot of time and effort compressed into that timeline. It actually feels a bit longer than that because I think we had about 30 tracks going at one stage we were dipping in and out of.
Now you guys play at Mojo’s this Friday, are you excited about coming to Perth?
Edo: Yeah big time!
Dyl: Yeah we are, we are. I might bring my swimmers.
It’s pretty cold at the moment…
Edo: Hmm I don’t know, we’ve got some friends over in Perth, we might catch up with them and maybe check out some studios and stuff. On the tour Perth should be one of the most exciting shows because we haven’t played there before as Milwaukee Banks. It’s pretty wild when people in Perth ask us sometimes ‘when are you coming to Perth?’ so we’re glad it actually went through this time!