RGM Interview Indie Rap Rebels BILK on their upcoming album.
Bilk are a three-piece rap/rock/indie band who’s music has taken the industry by storm, finding their niche and a gap in current market. They stand out with their rebel-like attitudes and honest social commentary on British youth culture; something often sugar-coated or overlooked in mainstream media.
Having first released ‘Give Up’ in February 2028, the band have continued to grow their fanbase of angry youngsters, who find their music a form of release with the relatable lyrics. Now, the trio are set to release their debut album ‘Bilk’ (self-titled) in September. The interview covered a wide range of topics from the band itself, to the upcoming album, to stage invading. Read the full interview below:
Where did the name ‘Bilk’ come from?
We get this question all the time hahaha. The name came from Sol’s dad, he’s a London black cab driver and ‘getting bilked’ is when someone runs off without paying their cab fare.
What’s the meaning of Bilk’s logo – the snail?
Sol used to draw the snail on his books at school and when we needed a logo it just stuck. In your opinion what makes your ‘sound’ unique There’s not a lot of bands doing rock and roll music at the moment, if any, and none inputting a rap element like we do.
You’ve said you want to turn heads – is this solely by your music, or also behaviour and everyday life?
We just wanna go into the music scene being ourselves and if that turns heads then so be it.
How important is it for you to maintain the lack of genre barrier? Is having a lack of labels, definitions, and rules vital for Bilk and why.
It’s important to be influenced by whatever you’re influenced by and not be put in a box. We don’t really define ourselves and ain’t trying to be like anyone else.
How would you describe your fans?
Our fans are a mix of all different people that relate to our music. We look in the crowd and see a mix of people from all different cultures and backgrounds.
Why have you chosen to self-title the album?
We was trying to think of a title for ages and couldn’t decide on one. We decided to self title the album as we feel like it sums us up as a band after experimenting a lot up to this point. We think this albums our true introduction into the music scene hence why we called it ‘bilk’.
How many tracks will be in the album, how many pre-released?
The albums got 10 tracks on it.
What can we expect from the album in relation to previous released tracks and EP?
We feel like we’ve grown into a broader rock and roll sound with the album. It’s happened naturally as we’ve grown as people and as a band.
Who’s producing the album and where was it recorded?
The album was produced by Andy Gannon. We recorded on a farm at The Edge studios just outside of Manchester.
How would you describe British youth culture today?
What one song of Bilk’s is the stand out track that summarises this culture?
You’ve previously said that your songs are social commentary, so what makes a good song title and why do your songs match this criteria?
A good song title sums up the song in a short form. You’ve called your hometown un-aspirational; how did that go down with fellow CM2 residents? Most of them agreed, especially the youth. There’s a lot of people that don’t live in Chelmsford or know what CM2 means but they can relate to the song and it’s topic.
In previous interviews you’ve said you can only change and comment on your environment, not the world – what makes the world different to your environment and why can’t you comment and have an opinion on the world?
You can of course comment on the world but we like to comment on our surroundings and what we see because it’s more true and personal to us and therefore to other people who experience or see the same shit. Three blokes in their early twenties from the suburbs in Britain aren’t gonna be able to change the world or the political landscape but we can make a start and I believe that start must happen from the bottom going up.
Who writes the music and lyrics for Bilk?
Sol writes all the songs, music and lyrics.
You met over Instagram, which is different to most bands; how did you develop the ability to work well together and friendship despite originally being strangers – what did you bond over etc?
Luckily we were into the same music and culture so we had stuff in common from the get go. We also all had the same aspiration and drive of making it in music. We argue and bicker from time to time but sweep it under the rug mostly because we all know there’s a bigger mission in place.
The first song Sol wrote was about hating teachers, does your music provide a form of anger and emotional release?
Yeah anger is definitely a useful emotion but it’s all about how you use it. Some people take their anger out on a night out kicking someone’s head in but we think it’s more useful to put it into the music where people can relate to it and you can tell something you mean.
There have been stage invasions at your previous shows… what are your thoughts on this…?
We love the chaos keep it coming.
You’ve captioned on Instagram that its “No wonder security fucking hates us” – do you find venues to be overly cautious or rightfully so?
We’ve been asked to sign wavers to stop people from crowd surfing or stage invasions but we think it’s all bollocks and people should be able to proper go for it at gigs. Some people are held back and pushed down their whole lives and for people to try and take away 30 minutes away from someone where they can finally let go, it’s ridiculous. It’s what gigs are all about.
You’ve said the most difficult thing about the music industry is that it is full of fakes – could you expand on your experiences and interactions with these ‘fakes’ and what makes Bilk, and you as people and a band in this industry, not ‘fake’?
We’ve had a lot of experiences with people in the music industry lying and faking but our way is just to be us and not change to make ourselves more “marketable” or anything like that. What you see is what you get we don’t have any gimmicks. We just play our music and do us.
The interview confirms Bilk is the ‘brainchild’ of Sol, given he writes all of the tracks. I’m curious and interested to know how much influence Harry Gray (drumer) and Luke Hare (bassist) have on the direction of Bilk’s music and leaves me to wonder if this is something we could see in the future.
I appreciate the comments about fakeness in the industry, and as a society, I’m sure most (if not all) of us can relate. However, whilst I respect Bilk’s love for their fans freedom, I do question whether sometimes this crosses the line and ends up on the discourteous side of things. I (personally) think it’s possible to ‘let loose’ and “proper go for it” without breaking set and disrespecting venues, especially small independent venues who have less funds available to constantly be replacing broken kit.
Having said this, Bilk continue to get invited to support some insane gigs and festivals including Louis Tomlinson at Crystal Palace Bowl and Reading and Leads Festival 2022. They also continue to get picked up by radio presenters and music publications as ‘ones to watch’.
Their honest social commentary is something to be appreciated and rewarded, and the upcoming album ‘Bilk’ promises to deliver more of the anthems that we not only want, but need. Recent release ‘Hummus and Pitta’ teased us with what to expect; so, it’s safe to say, expectations are high and September can’t come sooner.