A Few Informal Words: An Interview With Milk n’ Cookies

mnc

This past weekend, Chicago filled with neon and kandi. For Spring Awakening Music Festival, Soldier Field bumped from 3PM until 11PM all three days. Each stage exploded with massive pyrotechnics and streamers. Our photographer, Kelsey, and I had a couple interviews scheduled for the weekend as excitement couldn’t begin to describe our feelings on Day 1. As were waiting for our scheduled interview with Midnight Conspiracy, a half an hour passed and I started to feel a little discouraged that the first interview of the festival was going to be a complete fail. We stood over a huge crowd for Destroid in the Media Area and saw two good looking twins dressed in tight black tees walk up with a buddy of theirs. Twins Paul and James Makelwain, aka Milk n’ Cookies. They seemed pretty approachable, so we decided to grab my dying phone and warm up our interview game. This is what followed:

How did you come up with the name Milk n’ Cookies?

Paul: Let’s give a fake answer!

No, let’s give a real answer!

You want the real answer?

Yes, I want the real answer.

Paul: Alright. Condensed version. Well got blacked out  a bunch of times in our freshman year and literally only had tons of these Oreo cookie packs that our mom would buy us that we wouldn’t eat cause we were trying to stay fit. So we were eating it…(At this point I couldn’t help but laugh a little, Is this the real story?) Yes, this is a real story, and the frat that we pledged had on deck a tap of chocolate milk-
James: And once we were initiated in the frat, our frat house had the milk, our room had all the cookies. We’re a duo, we’re twins. So once we-
Paul: We started doing that shit before he even started Djing, then he bought turntables-
James: They started jokingly calling me Milkshake, and then I taught him and naturally it was Milk n’ Cookies
Paul: Cause that milk and all those cookies, I mean it makes sense.

Do you have any groupies?

Paul: Yes! I’m texting them right now!

Oh, you still actually have their numbers?

Paul: Well…  I guess… groupies are…they can stick around if they’re cool.
James: Well it’s not like women in the late 80’s. They got cell phones, so you can text them.

So it’s not like a hit and run kind of thing?

Paul: Well how would you meet them? How would you communicate with them? I’m not gonna send them a letter.
James: But the initial possibility for a one night thing, yeah that happens.
(Paul: Are we recording? Yes, we’re recording.)

What are you most excited for this weekend?

Paul:  We’re playing tomorrow at the main stage, and then we have to fly to New York City right after we play and play New York at night. Then, fly back and play with our hopefully future girlfriends/baby mommas Nervo at Concord Music Hall. So I’m excited about that whole little crazy mini flight trip, two shows, one day, two different favorite cities. And then play with Nervo.
James: And we’ve met them a little and, they like us a little bit.

And you like them, too?

James: Oh I love them, they’re two babe ass twins!

So what would be your ideal festival?

Milk n’ Cookies: Ideally we would fly to a little beach and live in a little hut for 5 days. On some remote beach where Oh No is cooking up shrimp and there Claude Von Stroke and us playing the festival, deep house. Smoke weed in your hut all day and bang Hawaiian chicks. Your drinking your glasses while all the dudes are playing. 200 people are traveling there,  Rhiannas chillin’. Gotta be a beach setting. A luxury beach is ideal, lemurs not allowed.

At what point did you realize “Oh My God, we’re doing something big?”
The two argue about this for a moment, telling the other to shut up like brothers should. They came up with:

Paul: When we finished this remix in our living room in like 30 minutes, and 6 months later we’re sitting on our couch in our living room and Afrojack was playing at the European Music Awards, DJing, and dropped our shit while we were watching it. We didn’t even know he was going to do it. He had Tweeted at us “Yo send me that shit.” So then we were like making it in our living room but he was playing it at the European Music Awards…we could do this. We always thought we could do it but it was kind of like a sign that we were working hard. Shit like that helps.

Paul, you seem like the more dominant one, is that true?

Paul: Are you talking about musically or…

Yeah, [James] is kind of sinking back right now. Who bought the turntable first?

Paul: Well he did.

So he’s the brains of the situation?

Paul: Well I’ve been trying to write music since I was 12. So it collided in a cool way, because he wanted to DJ and I was like I’ll write the music so we’ll do it together.

What was your best musical experience?

James: Definitely the recognition we got, and the popularity we gained, and the financial security we gained just simply from making one free bootleg remix that blew up internationally last summer and took us to the next level in every way. We made more money, we got more respect, people wouldn’t fuck with us, big DJs played our stuff. That was a huge moment that people wait for.
Paul: Just seeing that it can be done, that everything will be alright. Just keep grinding.

While these guys are definitely on the bro half of the music scene, it’s clear that they have a true passion for music. How good you look, how well you work out, or how outspoken you are shouldn’t detract from an overall appreciation for talent. Paul and James are perfect examples of that. They allowed for an honest, frank, and hilarious dialogue between music lover and artist.  Their answers were far from cookie-cutter, and we thank them for that. If you get a chance to see them, do. If they get a chance with Nervo, wish them the best.

Ashley Cizek

Went to school at UW-Madison, graduating with a BA in psychology. I hula-hoop, I write, I enjoy sunlight.

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