Milkshakes Interview

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As a frequenter of Connecticut punk shows, I can personally attest that Milkshakes are quickly becoming a standout in the scene and are always a fun live show. In my first interview, Tim from Glastonbury, CT’s Milkshakes discusses the band’s upcoming full-length, maturing as a band, Connecticut’s punk scene and shitty attitudes. Be sure to check out their new record when it comes out early next year.

What do you do in the band and how did the band form?

My name is Timothy Diltz, I sing and play guitar in Milkshakes. I’ve been playing in bands with Christian and Jason since I was 15, but none of them ever really amounted to anything. The whole time I was in those bands I really just wanted to be in a more straight forward punk band like Milkshakes. So October of my senior year of high school, after our old band fizzled out, we decided to start (or re-start, but that’s a whole different story) Milkshakes. Originally Christian played drums, Jason played bass, and our friend McClain played organ. We only played one show with McClain before he left the band. After that Christian moved to bass, Jason moved to (lead) guitar, and we asked Morgan to be our new drummer. A few weeks after Morgan joined the band we recorded our split with Wisdom Teeth. I guess that pretty much sums up the formation of Milkshakes

What inspired the band name?

Sometimes when you drink cold milk too fast it makes you shake, giving you “Milkshakes.”

Talk about the importance of the Connecticut punk scene and some of your favorite bands to play with.

I could talk for hours about the CT scene and the current state that it’s in, compared to previous years and whatnot. When I started going to shows there seemed to be a lot more people attending them. A lot of the bigger bands in Connecticut soon after either broke up, or became popular outside of the state and started touring full time. I feel like due to things like this not as many people my age got into the local scene. It seems like this left a gap that has yet to be totally filled, although I’ve started to notice a bit of a positive change lately.

There are some really great bands in CT right now, but I feel like the majority of kids just go and see the super popular bands that come through and don’t pay any attention to what’s going on inside of their own state. It’s annoying because you’ll see bigger bands play shows in CT with either no local support, or like one band that’s already super well known in the scene. Kids (or people, I fucking hate when bands refer to their fans as “the kids”, like older people aren’t allowed to like their music. This just seems to apply more to younger kids) aren’t getting exposed to local bands when they go to these shows, which is actually really sad. The majority of my friends I have because of the punk scene and playing in Milkshakes, so the scene is very important in that aspect. So many people are just living on the internet and aren’t doing anything in their own scene and it’s really frustrating. I got into punk because I liked that it made me feel something, and I liked the idea of creating something that means something, that other people can also enjoy. People can enjoy music anyway that they want to, I just wished more people actually gave a shit about it. Music is so disposable nowadays and people have such shitty attention spans when it comes to listening to it. I’m guilty of doing this, but I try and appreciate things for what they are. When I was younger I used to just listen to the same CD’s over and over again in my Walkman or whatever until I knew every word. Now I’m constantly overwhelmed with options and I really don’t like that feeling.

Back to the scene though, people involved in punk can be so judgmental and shitty to people who are little bit different than them. There’s a line in a Bomb the Music Industry! song “I think it’s dumb when you take the inherently fun like riding bikes and singing songs, and say they’re not for everyone as if for your whole life you were cool as shit.”. I think this perfectly describes how I feel about a lot of people in “the scene”, they act like just because they’ve been into something for a little bit longer or because they know more about something than someone else does that in turn they are better than them. For the most part no one is better than anybody else, unless we’re talking about actual shitty people. I really don’t get why people have to be so shitty and judgmental for no reason. I just want as many new people and new kids getting involved in the scene as possible. A lot of kids that are new to punk are obviously going to be a little annoying and easy to make fun of, but you just have to remember that you were probably just as uncool at their age. Instead of being an asshole and making fun of these kids, you should talk to them and try to make them comfortable in an environment that’s still new to them. I remember feeling like I was constantly being judged when I started getting involved and going to shows, it’s not a good feeling and it discourages a lot of people from being themselves. Punk is about expressing yourself any way that you want to, no one cares about how obscure your taste is or who your friends with (at least I don’t). People just need to stop being assholes and start thinking about the wellbeing of other people. Like I said before, I have a lot of friends in the scene and not everyone is an asshole. Most people are pretty cool to be honest, you just need to give them a chance. There are people who are really making an effort to keep the CT scene alive and well. Shout out to all of the promoters in CT that have put us on shows and actually give a shit about the smaller bands. Sloppy Seconds Promotions, The Arc Agency, and Al McCarthy are a few that have helped us out a lot.

There are some really great bands coming out of CT right now. Ovlov, Two Humans, Night Owls, and Chris Cappello are some of my favorite local artists at the moment. We’ve gotten to play with a lot of great CT bands over the past two years, and we’re lucky to call some of them our friends. Some of our friends are in a new hardcore band called Setsuna that’s really good, they have their first demo coming out soon, so check that out when it drops. There’s a band called Reaching Moon that we played with a few times last year. I’m not really sure what they’ve been up to recently, they released an EP this year that was really good though. I think that they’re all still in high school too which is cool. Pines and Tri-State Era both just released great EP’s, check those out if you haven’t. Also check out Paper Jymys, they’re good friends of ours and are pretty underrated.

I’m a very soft spoken person so sometimes people are a little bit surprised that I have so much to say about something like this. Music is a part a big part of my life and so is the community that I’m involved with. I want as many people as possible to experience the positive effects that this music scene has had on me. The Connecticut punk scene is very important to a lot of people, including me. A lot of great bands have come out of CT, and a lot more will in the future. I love Connecticut so much, I just get tired of it sometimes.

Describe the best and worst shows you’ve ever played as a band if you can think of specific instances for either. 

There are a few shows that stick out to me as the best ones that we’ve ever played. I think that it was like our 4th show ever and we played with Iron Chic at the Horse’s Mouth. Our set wasn’t that great, but it was just a cool show to be on and it kind of served as our introduction to the CT punk scene. Another good one was at Bramble Jam this past summer, not only was the lineup fantastic (Ovlov, State Lines, Night Owls, Daylight, The Saddest Landscape), but we sounded super tight that night and nothing went wrong during our set. We’ve played like 55 shows in the past year and a half, so it’s hard to remember the best ones. There are two shows that come to mind when I think of the worst that we’ve ever played. Both times it was totally my fault; the first show was at a friend of ours party two summers ago, the second show was in Philly this past March.

What are some of the biggest influences on your sound?

I like Osker and Alkaline Trio a lot. I really look up to Blake Schwarzenbach, Conor Oberst, and George Hirsch as lyricists (as well as songwriters). I’m influenced by a lot of bands, way too many to fit into this interview. Also I guess whatever is going on in my life at the time that I write a song has the most influence on its sound. I tend to care about vocal, lyrics, and the emotions behind a song more than I care about the actual music. Luckily everyone else in the band is actually good at their instruments and make up for my lack of technical ability. I’m not going to put words in my band mate’s mouths and say what their big influences are, but they differ from mine.

What is the songwriting process like for the band?

I write most of the songs and all of the lyrics. Jason writes some of the songs and Christian has written a few things. Generally I’ll write a song by myself and then show it to everyone, we then turn that into a full band song. Everyone comes up with their respective parts and we tend not to interfere with one another in that department. Different songs tend to have different levels of involvement during the writing process.

What can we expect from your upcoming debut full-length?

I’d say it’s a bit more varied than our past releases, which makes sense because it has 11 songs on it. I think the songs are the best that we’ve written so far, and I’m really happy with the lyrics that I’ve been writing. We’re not reinventing the wheel with this album, but we’re doing what we want with it and I think that’s going to show in the final product. It’s also the heaviest thing that we’ve done so far, there are some super heavy parts on it. It’s not heavy in the sense that it‘s fast and aggressive, it’s the slower songs that tend to be the heaviest on it, it’s weird. We finally found our footing with this album, and we’ve really grown as a band during the writing process. I’m more mature than I was when we wrote our past releases, I’ve experienced new things in the past year that have a heavy influence on the lyrics. The songs are incredibly personal to me and I’ve put so much personal shit into them. It may sound a bit weird, but I sort of sacrificed my emotional wellbeing to make these songs as good as possible. I’m constantly reminded of all the heartbreaking things that have happened over the past few years when I listen to these songs. It’s hard to move on with your life when you are constantly reminded of the things that you just want to forget. The lyrics on this album are definitely the most bitter that they’ve ever been. I really didn’t hold back with them and they are going to make a few people very angry. I really don’t give a fuck though, I’m just speaking my mind about the people that have hurt me and let me down over the years. When you’re a shitty person and you hurt someone, you need to be ready to face the consequences. I’d say this album is the best thing that we’ve done in every single way possible.

Do you have any other plans for the near future?

We just started recording our album today, so we’re going to be working on that for a while, it should be out early next year though. We’re probably going to try and do a spring break tour, as well as a longer tour during the summer. Right now making our record is our number one priority, but we plan on keeping busy once that’s done.

Any final thoughts to offer?

Thanks for interviewing us, I really appreciate it! Everyone should check out our new album when it comes out. I’m not really sure what else to say. Shout out to everyone that’s keeping it real and shout out to Nahhhhh.com.

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SHOUT OUT TO MILKSHAKES’ BANDCAMP



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