Bilk: "It Just Felt Right To Put Out A Full Project, We Are Just So Happy It’s Out Now"
If you've not heard of this Essex-based trio that are destroying the indie scene right now with their debut self-titled album 'Bilk' then honestly, shame on you, but now is the time to get to know.
Recently heading out on their headline UK tour playing shows in the likes of Bristol, Sheffield, Edingborough, Manchester, and Nottingham where we got the chance to see the chaos of a Bilk show unfold and catch up with Luke Hare of the band to talk all things Bilk, their debut album, and the tour.
View the gallery from the Nottingham tour night over on our 'In The Crowd' section
So tell us how did you all meet? How did 'Bilk' become a thing?
I guess we all kinda met on Instagram really, it’s pretty mental. I met Sol through friends of friends from college, then Harry was in a local covers band that I knew and he was leaving them and we just kinda met through that. I think this line-up’s been going for about 5 years now, almost 6, and it’s just been mental ever since.
So what does 'Bilk' mean? Where did the name come from?
Oh yeah, it stands for Badger Milk…
That’s a complete lie, so Sol’s dad Shaun is a London black cab driver and to get bilked is to run without paying the fare. So one night Shaun came home from work, Sol did the usual ‘how was work?’ And he was like ‘some fucker bilked me’ to what sol was like ‘what’s that?’, he was looking for a band name at the time and that just stuck and the band name has been that ever since.
You have a really clear and distinct sound, where do you get your influences from?
I mean like everywhere really. With the ‘rocky’ stuff we get influenced by bands like Nirvana, Oasis. Then Sol loves his old school hip-hop stuff so you’ll hear that in his writing sometimes like N.W.A, Eminem, Dizzee Rascal, but we all like the same kinda things.
So It’s almost like a mixture of all your influences?
Yeah pretty much, but it just seems to work.
So you guys come from Essex, I don’t ever hear much about the music scene there, what’s it like?
It’s not too bad, there’s a few local bands knocking about, a rapper called Just K who’s sick at the minute, and then there’s a band called Soaked from Southend and they’re doing well at the moment. Everyone got their own thing going, they’re definitely the best ones at the minute.
Ones to look out for then?
Oh yeah defiantly.
So taking it back to you guys. You've just released your debut album ‘Bilk’, how did you find the whole process?
It was pretty crazy, I feel like we’ve been leading up to it for ages with us being around for 5 years. Sol’s been writing for 6 or 7 years, so for him, it’s been leading up for even longer. It just felt right to release the album though, we’ve done a few EP’s now, and it just felt right to put out a full project. We are just so happy it’s out now.
The fans have been wanting this one for a while now too, I feel like it's been a talking point for a while now amongst your fans.
Yeah, it was meant to come out in September, we had to delay it cause we had a few issues with things, but it’s defiantly been worth the wait. We are just so happy everyone's rating it, and having everyone scream the lyrics at the show. It’s nuts.
What do you think was the most challenging part of the whole album process? Did you find it daunting?
Probably the recording side of it all. We rented an Airbnb for two weeks up in Manchester, every day was for a different track and it was like for some we’d have the song, for some other tracks we’d have the lyrics, then like the rest, we’d have full segments so it was just like the combining of all that to get the final products.
But even down to the others bits like the artwork and even finding the naming of it was funny.
We didn’t know what to name it for ages, but we finally settled on calling it ‘Bilk’ as it just represented us at the time. It’s just us really, it seemed to be the perfect fit in the end.
Do you have that one track that stands out for you on the project?
Personally, I’ve got a few. I love ‘Fashion’, that great and the lyrics are just so relatable, or like the closing track ’10 O’Clock’ that’s a great one for me. Then some of the chiller moments like ‘Part and Parcel’ have some of my favourite lyrics.
When you picked the singles to release before the album, what was the thought process behind them? Did you see these as the tracks the fans would receive best?
I think when we recorded them we just knew, these had to be the singles and the fans would love them. Every night on the tour, these are the ones the fans are singing back to us, it just seemed a no-brainer.
Talking of the tour, how has the album been received on the tour?
Oh it’s been perfect, considering it came out less than a month ago people know every lyric. We are getting people come up to us saying we love this song, we love this lyric, like they’re just album tracks but people seem to love it.
How does that make you feel?
Oh mate, I feel fucking great. I'm glad people are requesting the album songs, like we love some of the older songs and we still play a few but the fact they want these new songs just proves we are doing something right.
As the bassist, what’s your favourite track to play live?
Ooh, I like ‘Fashion’, but ‘Daydreamer’ always goes off. When we do ‘Stand Up’ on our encore it's carnage, the fans love it, they’re shouting for it, and they’re fully ready for it.
So going forward from this album, where do you see the band going?
Oh yeah, mate, we will be huge, we all fully think we are onto something special and something new, even all the fans think it they’re all like ‘Why ain’t you bigger?’ It’s crazy. I can fully see us headlining Brixton Academy.
It does feel like you’ve got everything it takes to be the next big thing.
Oh 100%, we ain’t stopping either.
So let’s spill some tea here on the band
who’s the messiest member on the tour?
I might have to put my hands up and say it’s me. I’m a bit like, I’ll just throw my suitcase on the bed and that, but I do have my moments of tidiness.
Right, so you’re going on a night out as a band to celebrate the tour, who’s the biggest liability?
Yeah, that’s me again I’ve got to be honest.
Happily throwing yourself under the bus here...
Yeah, I’ve got to be honest, we will go for a few drinks, my phone will die, and they’ll all be like where’s Luke gone?
Who is most likely to have ‘Bilk’ in their Spotify wrapped?
All of us. We all listen to the tracks, like we are all fans of our music.
Words: Liam Tyler (IG: Liamotyler)
Photos: Liam Tyler (IG: Liamotyler)