At 2:00 pm on December 4th, I rushed to my car and called Pat Kiloran of MILKK. He answered with a friendly "Hey, this is Pat!" and we got to talking. Throughout the conversation, Pat gave off a genuinely passionate vibe. I had a wonderful conversation with him backgrounded by cars whisking by and I am so glad you all get to, as Pat put it, "listen to [him] ramble".
Can you introduce yourself for those who may not know you?
I’m Pat Kiloran. I sing and write and all that stuff for the band MILKK—with two k’s.
Starting with the two k’s, an infamous typo, can you tell the story behind that?
It was just kind of dumb. So we, when Jack and I first started the band, we just thought of a bunch of dumb-sounding names. I wrote them in my phone and I was trying to write over-the-top, trendy-sounding names, like obviously trendy and stupid. So we had some options, like all caps or taking out vowels, super over-the-top trendy names because we thought it was funny. The one we got stuck on was just the word “milk”, all caps, and we were like “this is kind of funny, this will work”. When I went to make the social media stuff, back in March or April of last year, it might have been facebook, but one of them was like we can’t make a page called milk, it was like too general or something. I called Jack and I was like “should we do this?”. We don’t use facebook that much but we wanted to have our bases covered and he was like “well, I don’t know. We could do a different name or something”, and I literally bumped the key again. I looked at it for a second and I was like “it’s a word, I don’t know, Jack what do you think about this?” and he was like “yea, that’s probably good enough”. There was a negative amount of brain cells put into the name.
So you’re very active on twitter, and your following has doubled in the past few weeks. How do you think that happened?
I honestly don’t know. I don’t have a this-is-what-it-is answer, but my kind of assumption is that it was a combination of several things. We had always had a pretty good social media, small but really dedicated social media following, so I think it was a trifecta combo of us being put in people’s faces so much because of how much I post about stuff, and how much our band and our fanbase has been thrown in people’s faces all the time. I think it just hit a point where the awareness of us hit a peak and it came at the perfect time because it was Thanksgiving break and people were out of school and out of work, and we just got off tour, and we’ve been talking about the album. All those things combined and we hit a precipice of “okay, fine, I’ll check these guys out” and it rolled from there, especially the first week, first week and a half of it, we were growing more than we ever did before. There was a week where we were gaining between five and seven hundred followers everyday and our engagement on twitter and instagram, all of our stuff really, just quadrupled and it was crazy. Spotify, too. Our Spotify following shot up several hundred, maybe a thousand. All the work we put in the past year and a half or so just hit a head and kind of overflowed. It’s the power of the internet and people talking about something, people talking about something catches your interest. It’s cool, it’s great timing for us with the album coming out. We’re really happy about it, and it’s nice to have new faces to, you know, drag on twitter and all the stuff.
How’s the new album going?
It is partially there. A lot of it has been worked on, or skeleton-ed out so to speak, but we actually, me and John, are flying out [December 5th] to go to Jack’s studio in Minnesota for a week to finish everything up. Some songs we haven’t even started, two or three of the songs just got written in the last week. It’s one of those things that’s an evolving process. We just know we have a deadline so we’re like “well, whatever happens between know and then, we’ll get it done”. It’s still in the works but a lot of it will be wrapped up in the next week.
What is your favorite part of the recording process?
I think the coolest part, for me, is the moments you don’t plan for. I’ve done so many different songs and projects, and you can try to make the perfect thing and you can spend a million hours trying to make something pristine, but there is something about those moments when you capture something that you’re not going to get again. Sometimes, even if it’s not perfect, like when you’re doing a vocal take and there’s some sort of magic in it. [I do something] and I’m like “woah, that was crazy” and then I try and try again to top it, and I never can, but there is something about that moment, whether it’s recording something or writing, especially for me the last couple weeks all these new ideas flooded in and I’ll just sit, stop what I’m doing, and furiously write them down, like this is a moment I need to capture. I think it’s more of that, the times where something happens accidentally or you didn’t plan for or even a mistake that can turn in to something. A lot of the time those are the things that can turn into people’s favorite parts on an album or a song, it’s when you can really see the personality come through.
What from the album are you most excited for everyone to see?
I think maybe a couple things. I’m really excited for people to see the cohesiveness of the whole album. It’s not a concept album in the sense of being a story, it’s wrapped around one theme, one commonality. I feel like generally, with music, there’s kind of this invisible wall that goes up between an artist and a listener. You can fake connection, but sometimes it just doesn’t feel real. What I want [the album] to do is say “no, that wall doesn’t exist for me”. I think there’s a whole issue with celebrity-ism and glorifying someone above being just a regular person, and for me, with the platform I have come into, it’s like I just want everyone to see that I have the same problems and issues as everyone else and I have the same hopes and goals. It’s all the same. I want to open up that side of normalcy and humanity of being an artist, and also give people a look inside of what it’s like to be an artist that’s working towards something, I want that story to be in there. [I want people] to see the inner workings of that mindset a little bit, which is another thing that I don’t think is necessarily portrayed all the time. I love transparency and being upfront and honest with people so that’s what this is all about. Another thing I’m excited about is that I think people will notice another growth and shift in sound. With the [Sad Girls] EP, like I love that sound and I love those songs, but they were written at a completely different time and with a completely different purpose. We wrote it early last year when we were just starting this band and we didn’t know what it was—we thought it was sort of a side project, sort of something just for fun. The next EP, the [If You’re Reading This, I Love You] EP, I realized this was getting more serious and I decided I was writing really good songs. That was heading in the right direction, but know it really feels like I’m putting myself more on display, and I think it really hones in on what were doing and our skills. I think it’ll come off more mature and personality-driven, and I think it’s going to have it’s own sound, it’s going to be more unique. I’m just excited for people who have followed us for a long time to see our growth and I’m excited for people who are thinking about checking us out to come into this time and think “oh crap, this is like, super good”, or at least that’s what I hope they’ll think.
How would you convince someone to listen to MILKK?
I’ve been doing the opposite lately. I see people online saying “should I listen to MILKK? Are they any good?” and honestly, go listen to us if you want to or don’t, so I just respond to those people with “no”. What actually gets under my skin is when people tell me to convince them to listen to our band. I literally just say no, I’m not going to barter with you to try to get you to listen to our band. Of course I’d love for you to listen, but it’s up to you. But to answer the question, I think John put it best: “If you like to be tapping your foot one minute and dancing one minute and then the next minute you’re wondering why you’re openly weeping, then we’re the band for you.”
Be sure to follow MILKK's twitter and stream "Stupid" on Spotify. You won't regret it!