Answered by: Raf from Milkpunch
Position/role: Vocalist and guitarist
Where do you hail from? Brasília, Brazil, but now based in Sydney, Australia.
Give us your wicked-cool backstory: It was a sunny Wednesday, when walking home from school I saw this tarot card on the ground. It meant “start something new”. I took that as a signal and started a bedroom musical project, inspired by musicians like Ty Segall and Nathan Williams, in which I’d write, record and produce songs all by myself. As things started to flow I decided to move to Sydney and really focus on recording and getting a band together. It happened thanks to Gumtree classifieds, now the one-man project is now a four-piece band called Milkpunch. The name comes from a cocktail drink.
If your sound had to be described as a meal, what would it be? Probably one of those salty meals that have a sneaky sweet spice in it, like a nice fillet mignon with sweet caramelised onions on top.
Tell us about your new EP Junk Pop – what’s your creative process like? Junk Pop is our first release ever, so it’s pretty exciting. It’s like giving birth to a child without having ever done that before. So, I tend to write all the instrumentals first, then the vocal melodies and then finally the lyrics. I basically just stole ideas from my phone’s voice memos and recorded demos for each song on a four-track, then spent nights singing on top of them ’till I got all the vocal lines right. Recorded the guitars, vocals and percussion in my bedroom, and as I didn’t have a bass guitar, I secretly recorded all bass lines in one of my school’s music rooms. They had some great amps and a bass Big Muff pedal in there, incredible. The lyrics came pretty naturally, it’s like my subconscious already had it all written in there. That’s how Junk Pop came about.
You worked with Rob Grant (Tame Impala, Pond) on this record – how did he get involved? So no one really knows that, but Rob is a mastering engineer that loves working with smaller Australian acts, I guess because he likes to help who’s starting out. This producer from Brazil that I’ve worked with before recommended him to me, so I hit Rob up and he liked the tracks, and that was it, pretty easy, he’s super accessible. If you’re into tube compressors and tape, hit Rob Grant up, he’s the man.
What was the best thing that came from your experience working with him? Learning that some serious mistakes actually are repairable. There were some real crazy tape noises from the recording on some of the songs, and he fixed them all like magic. He taught me that nothing is impossible.
The worst thing that happened during recording was…: Finding out, in the worst way possible, that cassette tapes get out of sync really easily. After recording all the guitar lines, for all tracks, I bounced each one to the computer, and they wouldn’t match with the other instruments at all. It was all a mess, I cried a lot.
But the best thing was…: After the cassette tape incident I was able to record all the guitar lines again, digitally, but all in one take, no mistakes. That’s instant good karma right there. I was still able to use some of the cassette recordings though, but only a couple.
The most interesting thing about your band is…: Jo, the drummer, is ten years older than me. I don’t know if that’s very interesting. We’re still starting out so we don’t have many good stories yet. I wrote most of the songs when I was 16, back in Brasília. Also, three of us are Gemini. Sam is a Virgo.
And the most boring fact…: We didn’t meet at a cool place like the jail or a psychiatric hospital, but on Gumtree instead.
We know all of your songs are your babies, but if you had to pick a favourite, which would it be and why? Liam’s, the bassist, would be Everyday Is The Same; Jo’s, drummer, would be Gemini!; Sam’s, keyboardist, would be Annabelle (She Said); mine would be Annabelle as well, maybe because it’s about this girl I don’t even know.
What’s your grand plan to take over Australia’s music scene? We’ll probably just write music about Vegemite and find an original way to cross dress, without looking like Nirvana or The Garden. Also, try and make good music. Spread a message.