Emily Warner

15:05 2nd February 2005
Your Code Name Is MiloGrabbing a few moments with guitarist Justin Lockey and drummer Paul Beresford before they took to the stage at the Camden Barfly for a mind blowing night of music, Gigwise talked with them about influences, America and espionage.
Gigwise: So tell us about the band
Justin: ‘We could do it in 30 seconds.’
Paul: ‘Go on then.’
Justin: ‘From Newcastle…’
Paul: ‘It started off, me, Adam and Ross met at school, just digging around in the school holidays and we went to university and Adam met this fella…’
Justin: ‘Hi!’
Paul: ‘Came together as a four piece instrumental and just rehearsed on Sundays.’
Justin: ‘Then we got ‘Frodo’ in.’ (This can only be a reference to their unassuming front man Paul).
Paul: ‘So we get the little hobbit in, recorded some stuff, sent it away and here we are!’
Gigwise: What about your influences?
Paul: ‘No collective influences. There’s no one band that we …’
Justin: ‘There’s no band that we think ‘we wanna’ sound like them’ cause everybody likes completely different stuff.’
Gigwise: What about you guys though?
Paul: ‘Influence wise, growing up it would be Motown and The Beatles’.
Justin: ‘I would say ‘The Pixies’.
Gigwise: If there was one band you had to choose to play with, who would it be?
Paul & Justin: ‘Smashing Pumpkins!’
Gigwise: When you’re writing does one of you get an idea then build on it or…
Justin: ‘We usually gotta rehearsal in a lockup in Newcastle and every thing’s set up and arranged so if we come up with stuff or people have bit and bobs…’
Paul: ‘It usually comes from a guitar riff.’
Justin: ‘It usually comes from a guitar riff and then everyone chips in, then we do it five ways then record it. Then we’ll listen back to it and go ‘hmmm’ and release a very good song.’
Paul: ‘Just like that!’
Justin: ‘We make it seem really easy but…’
Paul: ‘If it doesn’t work then we tend to ditch it.’
Gigwise: And you’re touring at the moment aren’t you…
Justin: ‘We’ve just finished a tour with The Used.’
Gigwise: How’d it go?
Justin: ‘F**king brilliant!’
Paul: ‘It was a last minute one ‘cause Head Automica pulled out and we were due to start, got the call and I was in Dubai at the time.’
Justin: ‘We had to fly him home! We’re doing a show with My Chemical Romance at the Islington Academy- we’ve toured with them twice, and they’re top boys and then a show at the Astoria with Presidents Of The United States Of  America, then some more Kerrang! Shows, then a little bit of time off before we go back to America’
Gigwise: So you’ve been out there before then?
Justin: ‘Yeah we did a month out there.’
Paul: ‘The shows themselves were amazing.’
Gigwise: Are the responses that the American crowds have given you very different to the English ones?
Justin: ‘I’d say they’re a bit more open to it’
Gigwise: Obviously you’re doing well over there, but have you ever found it hard to get the recognition you deserve over here?
Justin: ‘It’s going well; when we first started off, we were…it was one of those hype sort of things and we lost that soon, as over the past year we’ve been touring and when we turned up at Reading we we’re surprised to see the tent packed out- it was amazing; all the touring paid off. We kinda drop between indie or …both sides of guitar music, like with NME and indie bands then there’s all your Kerrang! Funeral, Lost Prophets bands, so we’re somewhere in there.’
Gigwise: So if you had to describe your music in five words what would they be?
Justin: ‘Five words?’
Gigwise: Five words.
Justin: ‘Hang on…guitar, bass, drums and vocals’
Paul: ‘Hmmm’.
Justin: ‘Hang on- three guitars, drums, bass, vocals!’
Gigwise: You say yourself that you don’t slot into any particular music type, so do you think that when people listen to you they find it hard to place you.
Paul: ‘When that album comes out and people have access to it and they can look at it and learn the lyrics I suppose, but I imagine as a first time experience it’s pretty hard to digest it all.’
Justin: ‘There’s no in between; people either like it or they don’t.’
Paul: ‘Marmite.’
Gigwise: How do you chill after a gig?
Justin: ‘With red wine, Play Station 2 and Stanley - our ever wise tour manager; after gigs we usually travel to the next one.’
Paul: ‘You just catch your breath back and stop sweating.’
Justin: ‘Throw up!’
Paul: ‘Change t-shirts, have some beer or wine and then you’re good to go.’
Gigwise: Surely it must tire you out!
Justin: ‘You don’t really think about it ‘till you get home, then you’ve flu.’
Gigwise: What would you be doing if you weren’t in the band?
Justin: ‘I would probably still be working in the venue that I worked at before.’
Paul: ‘I would still be working in a solicitors office, filing compensation claims for ex-miners or their widows and dreaming about being on a bus talking to you here, going ( he begins to mock cry)‘Why hasn’t it happened yet?’!’
Gigwise: Where did the name come from? As not only is it a very long name, but it’s quite an original one too.
Justin: ‘We didn’t want to start with ‘The’ and end in ‘S’ because that’s just a f**king cop out, as are most bands in the world.’
Paul: ‘We opened it up to our mates and said have you got any suggestions, just chuck ‘em in.’
Justin: ‘Bez, Ross and Adam used to be in a band called ‘milo’ when they were f**king in between university and school, and ‘yourcodenameis’ bit came from an adventure book which our friend came up with, and then we just tagged ‘milo’ on the end.’
Paul: ‘We used to be ‘yourcodenameis:johna…’
Justin: ‘But that sounded too much like a weird song!’
Gigwise: If you were spies what would your individual code names be?
Paul: ‘Blaze!’
Justin: ‘BLAZE! That’d have to be in a proper 80’s font with like rivets in it and stuff.’
Paul: ‘How about Blaze, and I’d have flames tattooed across my arms and I’d have a flamethrower!’
Justin: ‘I wouldn’t have one.’
Paul: ‘I’d rather be an assassin and go kill people’
Justin: ‘Yeah I’d be a silent assassin!’
Photo by Linda Chasteau