This Is One Time We're Not Lactose Intolerant

By Jocelyn Geboy in Arts & Entertainment on Jun 7, 2007 2:13PM

Milk at Midnight is a trio where Danny Doom does duty on vocals and guitars, Nick Ritz brings it up on bass guitar, vocals, guitar and drums, and Eric Ander$in rounds it out on drums and bass. Their discography consists of the full-length album "A Fit To End All Time" and a more recently released 6 song EP called "Letter Bombs and Holidays," and they will be helping Chicagoist celebrate our third birthday tonight at Subterranean. It's an 18 and over show, it's 7 dollars, and it's going to rock. (Did we mention the beer special?)

2007_06mamwinos.jpgWhile we have bad memories of sitting at the table staring at a glass of milk getting warmer and warmer as our sister ran out the door to play, we were intrigued to see Milk at Midnight's description on Myspace as "indie/rock/experimental." Described by some as The Who-meets-Flaming Lips, when we took a gander entirely other bands came to mind. The Daybirds. Rogue Wave. Wolf Parade. But what do we know?

What we do know is that Milk at Midnight will be performing at our birthday party and we are really excited about it. We sat down with Danny Doom of the band and threw him a hodgepodge of questions. He was gracious enough to take them all in stride and answer them eloquently, intelligently and articulately, despite the fact the band oft makes reference to a penchant for getting loaded.

Chicagoist: Milk at midnight. Do you indulge? What kind? What's your favorite milk or milk-infused product?

Danny Doom: Well, who doesn't love a nice caucasian? And by that I mean a post-coital White Russian with Julianne Moore (or Philip Seymour Hoffman). My cupboard currently holds Fruity Pebbles, Frosted Flakes, and Frosted Mini-Wheats, which I love to eat at all times of day (especially midnight), with, of course, 2% milk (no skim!).

More dairy-filled goodness after the jump ...

C: If your songs were a novel, what would it be?

DD: The Most Beautiful Woman in Town by Charles Bukowski, because it's so funny and drunken, just like our songs are when we play them live.

C: Who were your musical influences at 10 years old?

DD: If you asked at 15 years old we could get serious, but at 10...I was listening to Dr. Demento and REO Speedwagon and thinking about how great it will be when I turn 15 and discover The Who.

C: When did you start playing music? When did you start playing music together?

DD: My Uncle Denny gave me a beat-up Epiphone guitar that I clawed at for a few years in my early teens and then I took some lessons, but I probably didn't make any actual quality sounds until I was at least 22. Rick and Eric have played together for years, ever since they were young hair metalists, but MaM started playing together around the turn of the century.

C: What is your band's mission statement?

DD: Have a pretty good time, most of the time.

C: Who would you most like to meet in person (musically speaking)?

DD: Meeting your idols is probably a bad idea because they'll most certainly be assholes. Or you'll say something stupid and look like an asshole. But that said, I would love to meet Bjork, Michael Stipe, and Mr. Townshend.

C: What you do want an audience to walk away from a concert with?

DD: A Milk at Midnight album, sticker and button. Oh...you mean...I'd like an audience to feel like I did after I saw The Cure in high school: a little dizzy, kind of disturbed, but exhilarated.

2007_06dannydoom.jpgC: How often do you rehearse?

DD: 2 or 3 times a week, although lately it's been about once a week.

C: Who does the songwriting? What kind of process is it? Collaborative? Do you all bring stuff to the table?

DD: We're all in on it. Besides bringing in pieces here and there we usually end up stumbling over something in practice that gets taped on the 4-track and forgotten until the next practice. Then we'll listen and go "what's that?"

C: Cicadas? Discuss.

DD: I love the crunchy little bastards. Actually, I thought it was all media hype until I was driving in the suburbs this weekend and boom! They all started screaming and whizzing real loud. Pretty cool, but we don't have 'em in Logan Square, as far as I can hear.

C: If you could have one musical talent that you don't already possess, what would it be?

DD: I'd like to be able to play a little piano.

C: What's the best thing about Chicago's music scene? Worst?

DD: The best thing is that there are so many options, so many places to play and see music, and that Chicago is not (in my opinion) defined by a particular "sound." The worst thing is that Lounge Ax has not been suitably replaced.

C: What is the thing you are most looking forward to about the Chicagoist anniversary show?

DD: Meeting you, Jocelyn, and shotgunning a beer in the backstage room with you. That, and giving Tankboy a wedgie.

C: Anything you wish interviewers didn't ask you?

DD: Yes, I wish you wouldn't ask me how much I weigh (140 pounds, by the way).

C: That about covers it, unless there's something you are dying to tell me. then, feel free.

DD: I am a Libra, fav number is 22, and between the three of us in MaM there are 5 cats, 3 dogs, and Rick also just inherited a bunch of bunnies or something.

Chicagoist Local Snapshot:

Favorite place in the city to chow?

El Cid and Thai Lagoon are in my top 5, and I go to Dunlay's a lot too.

Favorite "tourist" spot?

I suppose the beach could be considered a tourist spot that I love to bike to. I also spend too much time at Wrigley Field, those undeserving bums!

Most underrated thing about Chicago?

The pizza. Just kidding. Ummm, how about nothing? Chicago is my hometown and I haven't found a better one yet.

Pics from MaM's myspace page.