Sour Milk is what happens when societies crumble /// Interview with Daily Meds

Hard hitting, socially aware and pumped up with political swagger, Daily Meds bring you a dose of highly charged, head banging but also meaningful songs off their second album Sour Milk. The Sydney four piece crew of Mikoen and P.Smurf, singer Billie-Rose and producer Roleo have just embarked on their national tour Soul Milk in an effort to keep live Hip Hop fresh! Sarah Connor caught up with Mikoen to talk about the making of the album, the role of artist as social architect and a few hints at what’s in store for the end of year party season by this well experienced set of live performers.

You’ve already completed a Behind the Radar tour and are backing it up with the Sour Milk tour, how important is touring to the Meds from a business perspective?

The Behind the Radar Tour kicked off in August of this year and the Sour Milk tour is the first national tour for the Meds. Touring is very important to follow up after you’ve done a release to really take it out there to the road so you can perform and share it with people via live performance. I think its critical to the album itself. You’re really wasting your money if you’re not going to follow up and push it.

Touring has become important as, just in terms of trying to make a dollar off your music I think it’s the only way you can really do it. For us, the money we make off our music we make back through shows. Without a tour you would struggle to break even after the costs of making the album and getting it pressed.

Behind the Radar had a powerful political message, an inspiration against Australian apathy and our most detrimental “she’ll be right mate attitude”. What role do you see the artist playing in effecting social change and how far should the role go?

I think it should go all the way. We are all architects as artists. We have the power to change the world and culture and we are the ones basically, we design the cultures, we write the cultures, we control what people see, the power of colour and music and we can impact sound and ideas through music and we can evoke emotions and make people feel things. Where as you take the academics, they can just tell you what to think and its not as powerful. The artist has the power to make you feel something. It can inspire you to get up and do something. I think with all the technology that the art forms have all taken there is real power in the artist’s hands, provided they take responsibility and realise their power and if everybody realised their power collectively as a society in general I think we can do a lot with it.

I think people need to take that a lot further. People need to stop making music about.. bullshit… they need to think about commenting on what’s going on and geeing people up to make a difference.

What story is the film clip, in Behind the Radar telling? 

I think basically the underlying theme to the album is that its gotten to a point in this country if we’re letting that “she’ll be right,” like you said and if we keep going with that attitude its only going to be a lucky country for some, you know. The divide between the haves and the have nots is going to get even wider. And I think there is  massive gap already and its a growing gap.

We’re not going to do anything about it and people are not going to do anything about it until they fuckin have to! They’re watching play station or watching he fuckin football or whatever and drinking their beer and not giving a fuck about anything. Nobody cares about the struggles that anyone else has gone through. All these strikes, little strikes, we don’t have a general strike. Until there is no choice, until you are starving, until you are on the street or sleeping on the streets that’s when people will be forced to do something about it. This could be set in the future. Its set at a point where the gap between the haves and the have nots and the Police State and the citizen and the protester- when that explodes, when shit erupts and I think thats going to happen. Its already happening.

Obviously artists with a message, keeping it positive and progressive will never sell like pop artists keeping it base like. How much freedom do you strive for in your artistic expression when writing and planning what to do with your songs? 

Complete freedom. No one is telling us what we can and can’t say and if they did that would just make it say what we wanted to say, or at least attack their reasoning behind that. So yeah, complete artistic freedom, freedom of expression and I think back to the point you just made before about artists not saying shit, will sell more. I’m not necessarily sure how true that is. Because you could be making a song saying Fuck Sony Records and as long as it’s selling records, Sony would pump that for you. I don’t think anyone gives a shit anymore. I feel like the tipping point is already there. They’re pretty sure they can get away with anything these criminals- the corporate elite are getting away with all this shit on so many levels! So I don’t know how much power a couple of artists could have anymore- I think we all need to do it to have any power. I think shit will still sell. As long as someone is bumping to it, it will sell. There is no reason we can’t sell politically aware shit!

Ever had any experiences where anyone or anything has asked you to change in order to get played, get a gig etc?

On a small level sometimes just toning down a bit of the language but other than that no I’ve never really had to tone down my stuff. I try to make sure I can get my point across – I want to make my shit as accessible as possible. But I don’t want to tone down the message at all. But I can see the wisdom in taking out a few F words or taking out the big C bomb if it is not necessary.

What was the hardest thing about making this album? 

The deadline and making the deadline. Meeting that. And also the financial barriers in being able to afford it. And also obviously what was going on in our personal lives at the time. There were a few things going on in our personal lives that were a bit of a fucking struggle but mostly making the deadline!

What lessons did you learn from the process of making the first album, that you were able to put into the making of the second album?

Probably writing shit down that I can spit in one take! Just get the fuck out in one go. And also learning- everything you do you getting better at it each time around so I think the technical skills improved around a little bit. And being more aware of certain things in the album itself. Each album you refine yourself more and not just completely changing up your style but working on the tech a bit too. Sort of not just jumping from the last thing a bit and just continually keep challenging yourself, and and rather than just sticking at one spot or one thing. I think there is a few things that have been learnt, but yeah the tech stuff.

Earlier this year Daily Meds went to Big Sound, a music industry conference in Brisbane. Tell me about Big Sound, what was it like and what did you learn?

Big sound was a fucking great collection of music industry and artists all coming together in Brisbane for a couple of days. The whole town was just an overlapping session of gigs and venues around town all within a walking distance of each other or a short taxi ride. There was a lot of great talent, up and coming talent and established talent and people doing there thing. It was a great chance for artists to hang out with different people in the industry and just to sort of like network and establish connections.

For me what I got out of it was theres a lot of.. its more than just you doing your act, its more than just you doing yours shows, its bigger than that. There were a lot of dope acts out there and a lot of dope people and its a big industry.

What else is in store for the tour?

The album is one thing but what we do on stage is another. Anyone who wants to come and check it should check it. We back up our solid album performance in our live shows and then some.

The Big Village Christmas Party is legendary in Sydney for being a great live show and an all round hyped party. Are you having one this year? 

The Big Village Christmas Party will be on this year as well and will be in Melbourne this year as well. We have done the Big Village Big Things tour down there, but this is the first Christmas Party we are throwing outside of Sydney. So the Christmas Party will be in Sydney and Melbourne this year.

Thanks for the chat, enjoy the Sour Milk tour and best of ongoing luck with the release of the album.

Check out all the tour dates for Daily Meds over here