#19 JANUARY 2006




Lexington, Kentucky resident Mikey T may look like a cop with that new mustache, but what he brings to the world with his band Warmer Milks is nothing but positive, whether they're spinning 30-minute-long psychedelic song-dreams, or merely sprawling through the kind of wrecked sludge you'd expect from the scene that has already brought you Three Legged Race and Walter Carson (and oh yeah, the Hair Police). The world may not be quite ready for this stuff, at least not until the lifestyle magazine term "freak folk" is erased from consciousness, but a new day is most definitely coming . . . For this article, Mikey T answered some e-mail questions by Larry "Fuzz-O" Dolman.

Where did you grow up? How did you get into music,
singing and playing instruments? Are there any
particular songs and/or recordings that hold a lot of
memories and feelings?

Born and raised in Kentucky. I know this might sound cliche, but my mom used to blare records when she was cleaning the house: Carole King, Neil Diamond, Motown, then being a religious family, she rocked tons of weirdo seventies Christian shit from the Charismatic faith. Flower child bands like Lamb and this Swedish woman named Evie. Total Jesus fest, let yer hair down and go with God's flow style stuff, kinda scary but I dug it cause it was that or hell.

I started on drums when I was in first grade, toy kit. I wrote a song called "I Like School" or something of that sort. Later on, this total Jesus rocker dude drummed during our services and gave me some lessons, he was all like "and a 1-2-3-4", I was hooked. Early nineties I heard Nirvana and it changed everything. Most kids that I knew in Lexington at the time were buying the radio stuff, but I wanted to hear the shit that Kurt recommended so I met up with this misfit in youth group and he turned me on to Black Flag and Bad Brains. We also jammed out Miami bass music and smoked weed, it was serious damage time. Good style for sure.

High school was all about discovering Lou Reed 'Transformer' as well as Neil Young, Bowie and Dylan, total 101 stuff that is uncool to mention unless you're with college indie rock asses that talk a bunch of garbage cause they think they're hot shit. On my own, I delved further and further into underground stuff, remaining faithful to the clusterfuck known as 'Sister', the one record that constantly shredded my soul.

This dude from Louisville Mac Finley turned the cranks even harder in my early twenties, getting me into Can and just random freak out jams. We'd get drunk on shitty wine and listen to James Brown's Live at the Apollo and Here Come The Warm Jets. It was like being in the slow army, I was going retarded but at the same time, it was gearing me up to reprogram the idea that music is done a 'certain' way. We'd jam in his living room in the south end and just kill it. he'd always get on my shit for drumming slow, urging me to just go for it, kill it. Real big time dude in the way that I look at sound. Also, this dude David had thousands of records and got me into the Dead as well as Pink Floyd and the Zoo Records stuff like Echo and The Bunnyman, Teardrop Explodes and Big In Japan. We played in a band called Electric Kool Aid Cult that sounded nothing like the name suggests. I wore black turtleneck sweaters and secretly wanted to be the one to turn the Dream Academy around but "Life In A Northern Town" needs no assistance. Robert and Trevor from Hair Dudes are still turning me onto badass shit everyday, it never slows down. Whether I jam or just listen to music with those dudes, they are total inspiration.

As far as what makes me totally crumble, I would say the first record I ever heard, Evie's 'A Little Song of Joy For My Little Friends' still brings it all down. Sadly, I no longer own it but it really works me over just thinking about it. Current stuff is too much to mention. In the last week or so, I'm jamming Eliminator, Bread, my second copy of Steely Dan's Citizen box set, KITES, Ready To Die and Lexie Mountain. Yes, they are all very good.

What's the Charismatic faith about? Are you still religious? Do you consider your songs to be spirituals in any sense?

The Charismatic Faith is like the Mountain Dew of Christianity. Go all the way with the huge praise band, extreme yelling, dancing, and lots of handing over of the dollar just to hang with the times and feel like you're not going to hell. No I am not religious. I can receive those feelings on my own and as I have grown older, have taken the incentive to do so.

Sure music is spiritual. There is a definite current that goes through our music, dragging our ass over the rocks. I'm not trying to get any heavier than I'm already being but there is an energy that you either get or don't. That could be a spirit, that could be science, but I do believe in it and live my life for it.

Warmer Milks

How did Warmer Milks come about? Are you the only
constant member?

Warmer Milks started with me writing songs on an acoustic while living with my girlfriend in an efficiency apartment two Christmases ago. The idea of being in an intimate surrounding with just my girlfriend and I allowed music to come out on a daily basis. I had played in so many bands and was at the point where dealing wth other people was more a pain than pleasure. Trevor Tremaine (Eyes and Arms of Smoke, Hair Dogs) invited me to play some songs in their living room. Spencer Yeh, Eyes and Arms, and John Fail also played that night. It really opened things up, sharing such personal material with a strong, close group of friends. The idea of Warmer Milks exploded from there.

Soon enough, I wanted to expand the ideas and delegate more melodies, 'situations' to WM. As far as the line-up is concerned, it has been fairly consistent. My friend Travis has been jamming the longest, while Greg, Mikey, Thad and Chris eventually fell into things rounding out the group. A buddy, Dave Farris played percussion on the Penetration disc but has since moved on to other stuff. Trevor also sat in on bass for that track as well as some other shows. In all reality, I have no idea who the constant members are, considering anyone can stop playing at any time, no questions asked and certainly, no hard feelings.


Tell me about "Penetration Initials." Was it always an
epic? How did you write that monster?

"Penetration Initials" was the second song I ever wrote with WM in mind. The original version was all acoustic and clocked in around 6 minutes. As members were brought in, the piece grew to the size it is now. You can loosely follow its growth on the Early Castles disc. I arranged the song, had all my parts already written. I would ask the others to give the sections certain shades, kind of like "Ok, think Eagles but WRONG". They never really know what the fuck I'm talking about but the end result is always completely something that rules. We haven't played the track since that recording. It takes a lot of practicing and we had spent a year or so jamming on it. After that gig, we wanted to move on to other stuff.

For a totally different side of the same coin, tell me
about "Tendertoe Blues"? Anything about it at all.

"Tendertoe Blues" was more relaxed to jam out. I brought D and E to the band and we went for it. Two days later we recorded it live. The lyrics involve staying in the pack, avoiding strangers, sisters and brothers taking care of each other. That track serves as a perfect transition to the jams we're doing now. Everyone wanted to get away from pretty. Tendertoe was our opportunity.

Is there a double-LP in the works?

It's a single LP entitled 'RADISH ON LIGHT'. Anything gross about what we have ever done before is merely a starting point. Total damage.


What jobs have you had and what have they taught you about America?

Through my early twenties I had punker dishwasher jobs. Awful. Then around three years ago, I pulled myself out of the food ghetto and into a slightly better ghetto. Now I split my time between promotions at the college station (WRFL 88.1), night time clerk at a gallery and once a week gig at a record store. I'm proud to say that I no longer jump from job to job and as result sleep better at night. I don't have any idea what it has taught me about America other than if you don't work, you can't get shit for yourself and you have no reason to bitch because it's your own fault.

What do you have to say about Lexington, KY? How does your environment affect your music?

Lexington means the world to me. The (majority of) the band share a house here to keep it cheap so we can jam as much as possible. Slim (from Cadaver In Drag) picks me up from my job and we listen to Neil Young in his van. Wednesdays I get together with Trevor and we jam on his songs. Robert Beatty and I hang out at Charles Mansion and drink tea. It's easy to find work and school is cheap. There's a band called the L-FUCS that do great Kiss and Zep covers. It's hard to imagine living anywhere else. Not to say that I'll never move because who knows...

As far as WM being influenced by Lexington, I can only attribute that to the bonds we have with each other and with our friends. Most importantly we love our record collections.

Recommendations (anything)? Wisdom, advice? Plans for the future?

Hair Cops 'Constantly Terrified', Eyes And Arms of Smoke 'Religion of Broken Bones', all two hundred releases by Cadaver In Drag this year, Guided By Voices, Henry Darger, Harlan's 'Still Beat', Cenotaph, Rampart, Arbouretum, Bonnie Billy, ELIMINATOR dude, ELIMINATOR...

Consider moderation on every turn. Read books and write as much as possible.

Warmer Milks future consists of more jams, tours and recordings with even better results. I'm getting married this year as well as painting, reading, writing, partying, skating, and living.






early castles cd (out of print) (bornmugged)
rotted family corpse of god cd (out of print) (no label)
lucifer's twins cd (blood red cassettes/bornmugged)
penetration initials cd (mountaain)
rwanda/walken agorophobic penn 7" (paper)
nephalim1 cassette (blood red cassettes)
madonna slieve test cassette (bornmugged)
tiger cassette (blood red cassettes)
tendertoe blues cassette (rampart)

Tendertoe Blues cassette on Rampart