💖 What’s Fightmilk about?/ How did you set up?
Lily: Alex & I, having been friends since we were teenagers, found ourselves living weird parallel lives where we both got dumped at the same time & moved back in with our respective families.
The ensuing angst, pints, & playlists meant that the only logical thing for us to do was form a band!
We settled on Fightmilk because at the time we were both big fans of a certain TV show, but in hindsight I wish we’d called ourselves Scumbags with Bumbags.
Alex: The name emerged when we were both bored out of our minds, watching Glastonbury on TV, & distracting ourselves by trying to name the band we hadn’t officially formed yet.
I still have the list – Both Types Of Hay Fever was a close contender, but my pick would have been Father Brian Eno.
💖 What inspires you to play music?
💖 It seems like “Get a Grip” is about a certain kind of person/personality?
How much real life inspiration do you put into your music?
Lily: Get A Grip is a gentle affirmation to lots of different people. & for ages most of our songs were basically three minute subtweets.
It’s safe to say that 90% of the songs are about real things or people. & the remaining 10% are about things that might happen – YOU NEVER KNOW.
💖 What’s your writing process?
Lily: Usually Alex or I will be mucking around on the guitar when we’ll hear something that sounds like (with careful nurturing) it could be a banger.
Then we back & forth it over Whatsapp voice recordings. I’ll usually write the words & Alex usually turns the music into something poppy & listenable. The system works!
Alex: What’s nice is that it’s not like it sounds like there are Lily songs & Alex songs. We quite quickly got attuned to stuff the other would respond to.
Plus when songs get thrown around in the rehearsal room, it becomes a whole other thing – there’s parts that Nick & Healey come up with that totally make the songs better in a way Lily or I couldn’t do.
It’s become a lot more collaborative lately, & for the better. For what it’s worth, I’ve only ever written one entire Fightmilk song, & there’s a reason it’s really hard to get hold of that song now.
💖 What changes do you want to see in the music scene? Is there anything venues/promoters could be doing to make spaces more inclusive/accessible?
Lily: It would be really nice if ‘female fronted’ stopped being used as a genre & promoters could stop pretending they’re doing bands without all-male members a favour by giving us our own nights & then not bothering to publicise it – it’s lip service & we can see you.
For festivals to still have 90% male bills & then try & justify it by saying “there just aren’t that many women & non-binary folks in music” is a bit embarrassing.
The fact that there are all-male bands loudly proclaiming themselves to be feminist allies & then doing entire tours without so much as ONE woman or non-binary person in any of their support bands is so gross. Grow up.
Healey: We’ve got such a massive way to go to make gigs inclusive & accessible!
It really sucks that I can only name a handful of London venues that are both accessible & have gender neutral toilets.
It’s even more depressing that all those venues are independent/ DIY when much larger venues have more capital to easily make these changes.
It’s hard to think what the live music landscape is going to look like in a post Covid-19 world, so it’s super important to support independent venues if you’re able to right now.
“It’s lip service & we can see you”
💖 Who are your main influences in music/life?
Lily: Kirsty MacColl is one of the best songwriters who has ever lived & the sooner we all accept that the sooner I’ll be able to sleep.
Alex: Charly Bliss getting all kindsa hype while we were writing the first album made me feel like we were on the right track (& had a few fun tricks to steal from).
This time around, that dog. were probably the biggest influence on me as far as writing goes – especially now all four of us have mics.
It’s always worth making room for sick-ass harmonies!
💖 Tell us about your aesthetic!
Lily: I usually try & wear socks if it’s a special occasion.
Alex: Before lockdown, I’d just started wearing blazers onstage. Hopefully once this is all over, I’ll regain the confidence to do that again.
Healey: The last gig we played I wore a shirt covered in sharks & also socks covered in sharks. 🦈 💜
My goal is to slowly transform this band into a Katy Perry Super Bowl halftime show. (KNM Edit: OMG!!!! 💕💕💕💕💕 )
💖 When you’re not doing band stuff what do you get up to?
Lily: I like rollerskating, throwing things in a slow cooker, & being really bad at MarioKart.
Healey: I like to draw, grow things in other peoples gardens & beating Lily at MarioKart.
Alex: I’ve been accidentally working through the complete filmography of Cary Grant, because I do not have access to MarioKart.
💖 The video for “I’m Starting to Think You Don’t Even Want to Go to Space” is absolute genius – how much fun was it making it?
Alex: Fun?! You watched it, right? I mean . . . Nick got KIDNAPPED! By ALIENS! & we had to delay the video while we all completed basic NASA training, which is WAY harder than you think.
Next video we make, we stay on Earth. 🌍 🚀
💖 What does feminism mean to you? / What 1 thing could everyone be doing to make the scene a better place?
Lily: It means that one day people stop asking us questions like this.
I don’t know about the scene, because shitty men walk among us wherever we go & whoever we are.
But one thing we could do is stop worrying about people thinking we’re not “nice” for standing up for ourselves. I’d love to stop being patronised by men after shows who are genuinely surprised to have enjoyed a band that has 50% non-men in it.
Healey: Intersectional feminism is the only feminism I want to hear about.
I think within the scene a lot of feminist events & spaces are still tailored for cis gendered white women.
I’d love to see more promoters that market themselves as ‘feminist’ include more POC & trans people in their line ups.
💖 Tell us about your next release – what’s the feeling to it/what’s it about?
Lily: Most of it has been written for a while now, & with the sheer amount of despair we’re all feeling, we’re conscious that we’re not trying to make any kind of grand statement about the state of the world – I’m sure there are artists who can do that.
Personally when I think about the situation we’re in at the moment I freeze & I can’t do anything, so I don’t want to pretend that this is a ‘coronavirus album’. It’s definitely not.
There’s a lot more happiness in this one than the previous one, but also sitting neatly alongside some new (maybe surprising) themes & some good old-fashioned angst.
Nick: We’ve got two thirds of an album recorded, & then all this nonsense started & wiped out our remaining studio time. So things are a little bit delayed at the moment, which is extremely frustrating.
But we’re making alternative arrangements & grand plans to get our music out 2 u.
Alex: Anything anyone puts out over the next 18 months is going to – by default – get read as a response to ‘The Current Situation’ – even stuff we’ve had recorded for a few months has a couple of lines that seem slightly odd to hear back now.
But we’re all in a much better place than we were for the first album, & I really hope that still shows once more of the new stuff comes out.
💖 What’s next for you guys?
Alex: We had plans to get the last bit of a second album together over spring & put it out the normal way in autumn.
But, y’know . . . [waves arms around] all this happened.
So we’re working out quite how to manoeuvre finishing a record when we can’t all be in the same room to do it. But there’ll be something out soon. Somehow.
💖 How do you find the balance between Fightmilk & outside projects (For Sake of Tapes/Healey, Captain Handsome/Lily)?
Healey: If anyone has found a balance between band life, work life & promoter/tape label life please let me know.
I mainly just spin all the plates & send lots of emails.
Lily: I’m addicted to projects & I have a brain that won’t ever, ever sit still, so I love having a thousands things to do.
I can’t not make music. I’ve tried.
But my solo stuff (Captain Handsome) is very, very different to Fightmilk. So in a way it’s good to have a quieter, weirder thing to return to now & then.
Alex has also taken over the airwaves with a radio show, & the archives for that are here – https://www.mixcloud.com/fightmilkisaradiostation/
& finally…MY FAVOURITE KIND OF MILK IS OAT MILK