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Taken from Rock Sound Magazine (Aug 04, 2022)

This Is The Anatomy Of Hot Milk's New EP 'The King And Queen Of Gasoline'

Another step on the band's journey to the top.

by Jack Rogers


Hot Milk. Courtesy Image
Hot Milk. Courtesy Image


Hot Milk are about to release their new EP 'The King And Queen Of Gasoline' via Music For Nations.


Their second release in just under a year, it is an expansion not just on their sound but their journey so far. A collection of reflective, raucous and rallying tracks, it's another snapshot of life within and outside the band that's as heartfelt as it is honest.


To dissect some of the elements that make it and the path to creating it, we chatted to Han Mee and Jim Shaw all about it...


WRITING SONGS THAT ARE MADE TO BE PLAYED LIVE AND LOUD

Jim: "Live is our bread and butter. It's the very reason that we started a band."


Han: "We got into this because we fell in love with playing rock shows, the culture that surrounds them, and the people we met through it. Rock and roll isn't just whacking a song on Spotify and hoping for the best. It's a real-life thing that you can experience, and that is where people find themselves. I want to be the best live band we can be, and we will write songs that will help us do that."


A REMINDER OF JUST HOW QUICKLY THINGS IN THIS LIFE CAN CHANGE

Jim: "It's hard to take stock and consider what this all means, just because things are so different this time compared to last time. This time last year, we were stagnant and sitting still, almost living this fantasy life. In a band, but not really in a band. And from the backend of last year into this year, it has been full throttle, and we haven't had a second to consider it."


Han: "We wrote these songs so fast. They were a pure reaction. Two of the songs we have been playing for a long time, and if we didn't put them out now, they would never come out. And we wrote the other four in three weeks in December. That's just how quickly it came to life. We wrote two in Jim's house and two in Los Angeles. But I feel that that pace has allowed them to have more action in them than before. Like, here we fucking go. This is us, whether we like it or not."


Jim: "It's quintessential Hot Milk just because it all came so very naturally."


Han: "But at the same time, what does that mean? That's kind of the beauty of this band, to be honest."



NOT LETTING ANYBODY TELL YOU WHAT YOU SHOULD AND SHOULDN'T BE

Han: "We don't listen to the people that feel like they can tell us what Hot Milk is. Those rogue comments saying what we are doing right and wrong. I want to go around and knock on their door and get them to say it to my face. If you're going to say something, you should be prepared to back it up."


Jim: "If you're feeling a bit of a lack of confidence, it's easy for those comments to leak into your soul. But then you have to think that people are going to be people, but you can't let that derail what you're about."


Han: "It's all about being ourselves, and if that isn't enough for somebody, then that's their problem. Because all we can do is be ourselves and live freely. But it's nice when you see that freedom resonates with people. Throw parties, have a good time with my best friends and help people come out of their shells. I speak to people, and they say they almost feel empowered, and I wish I had that when I was younger. I think it's a beautiful way to run a band, having a space so open that things like that are possible."


BEING HONEST ABOUT WHO YOU ARE IN EVERY ASPECT

Han: "I feel like this EP represents our darker side. The parts of us that keep on saying yes when we should probably say no. It means that we end up playing with that little bit too much fire, and we are incredibly flammable. We are two close to the line sometimes, which is how it is sometimes. I think there was a period of time where that was what I was doing all the time, and I think that's where the idea for it all came together. I realise now that I need to step back into the real world every now and then, but that alter ego will always be there. It never goes away."


Jim: "I feel like where the whole world was at the time, we were writing and forced to reflect on ourselves and what we were doing. Am I happy doing this? Is that the right way of doing it? That's what the last EP felt like. This one is us coming out the other end and trying to figure out the things that we learned along the way and the answers."


Han: "I would like to think that this might be the closing of a chapter, but who knows? Life is unpredictable like that."



PERFECTLY PREPARING FOR MAKING YOUR BIGGEST STEP SO FAR

Han: "We're looking towards the album now, and we know it needs to be good. Like really good. The best thing that we have ever done, 10/10. I either want to go heavy with it or go poppy with it. There's nothing in-between, but how we feel about it changes daily. We want to be able to make a full piece of art because that's something we have never done before."


Jim: "I used to love picking up a CD and listening to it front to back. That's what we want to bring back, there's something really powerful about it. But at the end of the day, we want to do and make something that is right by us. We want to know that these songs we have written slam and that we love playing them. We need to believe in it and believe in ourselves."


SOLIDIFYING THE DEEP LOVE AND RESPECT IT TAKES TO BE IN A BAND

Jim: "What Hot Milk means to us is not to falter. Whatever comes up, we will face it. The sheer resilience in the face of anything that stands in front of us, whether production issues or touring schedules."


Han: "You have to keep on going, no matter what. We are the only ones who ensure this keeps going because if we don't do it, nobody else will. You sacrifice an awful lot to be in a band, an everyday life, and you sometimes wonder whether you have fucked up by putting everything you have into it. But you do it for the love of it. You're in the wrong game if you don't love it and don't want it more than anything. This is what we love, and it's what keeps us going."






 
 

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