Self described as “Scuzz pop,” or what guitarist Billy Hutton depicted to me as “gnarly guitars but with catchy melodies that your mum would still like,” Milk Teeth have been creeping up the lo-fi punk game since 2013.
This year however, with festival sets, tours and new music galore they’re set to make an even bigger impact on the music scene, especially now they’ve come a long way since their conception four years previous.
“I think we’ve grown into ourselves. It took us awhile to find ‘our sound’ but now it feels great! Because we’ve been touring and roughing it for so long we haven’t lost any of our punk roots, and we still don’t do anything we don’t wanna!”
The punk influence is something that’s incredibly apparent in listening to Milk Teeth, even transitioning through their early stuff to the latest releases, the distorted sound is still memorable in every guitar twang and powerful vocal. But where do Milk Teeth place themselves within the punk movement as a whole? “Being punk is being yourself,” Billy explains to me, chatting around the subject of the entwining of politics and music.
“Though I don’t think our lyrics or songs aren’t directly political we are influenced by our surroundings, writing about frustrations in modern life. So I guess you can’t really escape being somewhat political!” The sentiment is hard to disagree with, especially with the world events taking a twist at every turn. “We’ve never done anything we don’t wanna, and we always tell people exactly what we think.” Billy adds, reminding me of the iconic repeated chorus of Rage the Machine.
But punk isn’t all where their influences come from, from pop princesses to heavy rock, Billy says the influences can come from the most unlikely of places. “Anything to death metal to the latest pop hits. Green Day and Sonic Youth for me, but the latest Ariana Grande record hasn’t left my iPod since it came out.” Influences old and new definitely help the writing process, which according to Billy is a continuous process. “We don’t stop writing. Becky has no chill with writing and we love to bounce ideas off each other. It’s a pretty hands on process with everyone getting involved.”
Recorded and written music aside, the punk poppers live up to the names carved by their predecessors in their performance too. “We go hard or go home.” The band has a ferocious energy on stage that can only be seen in truly enigmatic performers. “We like to get into it, get sweaty and get the crowd involved too. We give 100% no matter if we playing to 10 people or 1000.” But make sure to watch out for ‘Fight Skirt’, which Billy informs me is one of the bands’ favourite to play live. “It’s one off of our latest EP, Be Nice, and it’s so much fun to play. Real fast and really easy to remember lyrics, which helps!”
Words by Ella Guthrie